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      RECIPE TITLE "Pumpkin Soup With Pheasant Breast And Fried Ginger"
    from the book The Kitchen Sessions with Charlie Trotter, Copyright 1999

    ... more great recipes by Charlie Trotter on our GREAT CHEFS page!

    yields4 servings time-- difficultymoderate/difficult

    The simple flavors of this soup produce extraordinary elegance. Ginger and dried cranberries accentuate the sweetness of the pumpkin and make the soup nearly pop with flavor, while at the same time they counter the lusciousness of the pheasant. Crispy pepitos add a playfulness that could also be achieved by adding toasted almond or hazelnut pieces. Butternut, acorn, or blue hubbard squash could easily be substituted for the pumpkin, and lobster works nicely in place of the pheasant.


    • 1 small pumpkin (about 1½ pounds), halved and seeded
    • Salt and pepper
    • 3 tablespoons olive oil
    • 12 sprigs thyme
    • ¼ cup Preserved Ginger (see page 211)
    • 2 cups Chicken Stock (see page 201)
    • 3 tablespoons butter
    • ½ cup julienned fresh ginger
    • ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon canola oil
    • 2 pheasant breasts, skin on
    • ¼ cup dried cranberries, chopped and rehydrated
    • ¼ cup pepitos (green pumpkin seeds)
    • 4 teaspoons pumpkin seed oil


    METHOD—To prepare the pumpkin: Rub the pumpkin with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place the pumpkin halves upside down on a sheet pan and place 8 of the thyme sprigs under the pumpkins. Add 1/4 inch of water and roast at 350 degrees for 45 to 60 minutes, or until the pumpkins are tender.

    To prepare the soup: Purée the Preserved Ginger and any ginger syrup, the stock, and the pulp from the cooked pumpkin until smooth, and season to taste withsalt and pepper. Cook the mixture over medium heat for 5 minutes, or until warm. Whisk in the butter and season to taste with salt and pepper.

    To prepare the ginger: Place the julienned ginger and 1/2 cup of room temperature canola oil in a small saucepan. Warm the oil over medium heat and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy. Drain on paper towels.

    To prepare the pheasant: Season the pheasant with salt and pepper. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon canola oil to a hot sauté pan over medium heat. Add the pheasant and cook for 3 to 5 minutes on each side, or until just cooked. Let rest for 3 minutes and then thinly slice. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

    ASSEMBLY—Ladle the soup into 4 shallow bowls. Arrange the pheasant slices in the center and sprinkle the dried cranberries, pepitos, fried ginger, and the remaining thyme leaves around the bowl. Top with freshly ground black pepper and drizzle the pumpkin seed oil around the soup.

    WINE NOTES—A full-bodied, lean Puligny-Montrachet from Domaine Leflaive or Jean Marc Boillot would be a good match with this soup. Their acidity balances the sweetness of the soup, while the oak makes the pumpkin seeds jump out.

    HOT! We recommend:

    Charlie Trotter Cooks at Home Charlie Trotter Cooks at Home Charlie Trotter delivers another top-notch book for the home chef's library in Charlie Trotter Cooks at Home. The over 150 recipes are a distillation of the show-stopping fare that has earned the Chicago restaurateur international acclaim. While bearing the master chef's signature style, the dishes are streamlined with an eye to basic ingredients and straightforward techniques. Trotter begins by discussing classic methods of preparing food, from braising to grilling to sauteing and then moves on the three main sections of the book—Starters, Entrees and Desserts. A model of clarity and approachability, this book will equip you with the recipes and know-how to prepare world-class cuisine in your own kitchen.
    Charlie Trotter's Vegetables Charlie Trotter's Vegetables
    The dynamic follow-up to the bestselling Charlie Trotter, this sensational celebration of vegetables presents some 100 seasonal vegetable recipes. Each dish is pictured in the same lavish style that so distinguished Trotter's first book. Organized by month, each chapter offers four or five savory dishes and one sweet course.
    Charlie Trotter's Meat & Game Charlie Trotter's Meat & Game
    After nearly two decades of practicing his art, Charlie Trotter has established himself as one of the true visionaries of modern American cuisine. In the past two years alone, Trotter has received the Outstanding Chef and Outstanding Restaurant awards from the James Beard Foundation, and his Chicago restaurant was named best in the world by the Wine Spectator. His first cookbook, published in 1994, broke new ground with its stunning food photography, exquisitely wrought recipes, and deluxe format. With nine books and an award-winning PBS cooking show to his credit, Trotter hasn?t looked back. Charlie Trotter's Meat and Game finds the chef in top form and, like the wines from his restaurant's renowned cellar, perfectly paired with the feast at hand. Exotic meats like pheasant, duck, wild boar, and venison take their place alongside ever-versatile lamb, pork, and chicken; and such robust fare proves to be the ultimate platform for Trotter's synthesis of French technique, Asian minimalism, and improvisational verve. Start off with a classic refigured French Onion Soup with Shredded Pork, Goat Cheese Brie, and Sourdough Croutons and then segue to a study in color, texture, and aroma with the Smoked Squab with Israeli Couscous,Stuffed Tinker Bell Peppers and Chocolate Vinaigrette. Introduce pleasant hits of spice with a Cumin-Corriander-Scented Lamb Tenderloin, tempered by the cool, tangy finish of a Cucumber-Yogurt Sauce; and for those for whom one way, even two, is never enough, the Foie Gras Five Ways awaits. Whether you put this book to work in the kitchen or admire it with your feet up, just don't take your eyes off Trotter--you may miss where American cuisine will be tomorrow.

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