Gretchen McKay

Bruschetta: Carbs on the grill

Roasted Pepper Bruschetta/Gretchen McKay

 

Fresh vegetables are starting to roll into local farmers markets, and what better way to whet summer appetites than by firing up the Weber for a quick and easy appetizer? You know you want to be outside after sitting behind a desk all day, and carbs on the grill are so much easier than you might think.

All you need to make the primo Italian dish bruschetta (pronounced broo-SKE-tah) is a loaf of crusty bread, some olive oil, a clove or two of garlic and a couple great toppings. That, and a sharp knife to cut the bread on the bias into thick, grillable slices and a pair of tongs so you don’t singe your fingertips when you’re crisping it to perfection on the hot grates.

It’s that easy.

I’d go so far as to argue bruschetta is the backyard griller’s dream, because it looks and tastes absolutely amazing with so little work.

In its purest form, making bruschetta can be as simple as toasting a piece of bread on the grill or over a fire’s embers, rubbing it with a cut clove of garlic and then drizzling on top a fruity extra-virgin olive oil and sprinkling it with salt.

For a more substantial dish, thoughts immediately go to traditional diced tomato-based toppings. But why stop there? Consider each slice of toasted bread as a crisp blank canvas, just waiting to be painted to life with an artist’s palate of different colors, textures and flavors. Savory, sweet, tangy, spicy — bruschetta lends itself to any number of ingredients and combinations. Everything from roasted peppers, mushrooms and eggplantto salty anchovies, delicate cheeses and fruit.

Yes, fruit. You even can serve bruschetta for dessert, as the recipe below for Peach and Blue Cheese Bruschetta demonstrates.

Any rustic, open-textured bread will work just fine for bruschetta, but keep in mind it should be coarse enough that pools of olive oil can sit on the surface. It also should be sturdy so the toppings, which can be juicy, especially if tomatoes are involved, won’t drip through and end up on your chin or lap. Breadworks’ ciabatta is my favorite, but you can use thick slices of Italian. I’ve had great successes with sourdough and Frenchbaguettes, too.

And if it rains? Simply brown up the bread under the broiler, toast it in a hot oven or do like I do in winter and fry it on the stove in a little olive oil. Magnifico!

Below, we offer a few favorite recipes to help you savor the season.

Classic Bruschetta

My favorite way to eat tomatoes in summer. If you’re feeling adventurous, add a generous pinch of hot red pepper flakes.

  • 3 to 4 vine-ripened tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 small handful basil, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 baguette, halved lengthwise
  • Freshly ground parmesan cheese

Combine chopped tomatoes, garlic, basil and parsley. Add a dash or 2 of balsamic vinegar and a few teaspoons of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Let it sit for a while so the flavors combine.

Grill bread on both sides until slightly charred, about 30 seconds per side. Remove from grill, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Top each half with the tomato mixture. Sprinkle a generous amount of parmesan cheese on top. Slice crosswise into 1-inch-thick slices, and serve.

Serves 4.

— Gretchen McKay

Grilled Eggplant Caponata Bruschetta with Ricotta Salata

Grilled Eggplant Caponata Bruschetta/Gretchen McKay

This dish has both sweet and sour notes. It’s best to make the topping at least an hour before, so the flavors can meld. I left out the raisins and celery because my kids don’t like either cooked. You can find ricotta salata, a Sicilian goat cheese that’s similar in texture to Greek feta, at Pennsylvania Macaroni in the Strip District. Or simply substitute regular feta or another tangy, crumbly cheese.

  • 1 large eggplant, cut into 3/4-inch-thick slices
  • 4 plum tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large celery stalk, finely diced
  • 1 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup Sicilian green olives, pitted and chopped
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • 2 tablespoons brined capers, drained
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 1 loaf ciabatta, halved lengthwise
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 ounces ricotta salata cheese, grated

Heat your grill to high for direct grilling.

Brush eggplant and tomatoes with 1/4 cup of canola oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill eggplant until golden brown and cooked through, about 4 minutes per side. Grill tomatoes until charred all over, about 8 minutes. Remove both to a cutting board and dice.

Heat remaining 2 tablespoons canola oil in large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add celery, onion, and pepper flakes and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add vinegar and sugar and boil until slightly reduced, about 5 minutes. Add eggplant, tomato, olives and raisins and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in capers, parsley and basil and season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a bowl and let sit at room temperature for at least 1 hour before serving. (Caponata can be made 1 day in advance and stored, covered, in fridge. Bring to room temperature before serving.)

Grill bread on both sides until slightly charred, about 30 seconds per side. Remove from grill, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Top each half with some of the eggplant caponata and sprinkle with ricotta salata. Slice crosswise into 1-inch-thick slices to serve.

Serves 4 to 6.

— “Bobby Flay’s Barbecue Addiction” by Bobby Flay (Clarkson Potter, April 2013, $35)

Roasted Pepper Bruschetta

The original recipe calls for sweet brioche, but you certainly can use Italian or French bread. You can make the topping up to three days in advance, but be sure to bring it to room temperature before spooning it onto toasted bread. To make garlic oil, mash 1/2 clove of roasted garlic and mix with 1/2 cup olive oil and juice of 1 small lime.

  • 3/4 cup roasted red, green and yellow peppers
  • 3 teaspoons finely chopped kalamata or Nicoise olives
  • 1 teaspoon garlic olive oil
  • 3 basil leaves, rolled and chopped into thin ribbons (chiffonade)
  • 3 pieces toasted brioche

In a medium bowl, combine peppers, olives, garlic oil and basil. Mix well to form a spread. Evenly divide topping and spread it on the toasted brioche. Cut the bread in half on the diagonal, arrange on a dish and serve.

Serves 4.

— “Latin Grill” by Rafael Palomino (Chronicle, 2012, $19.95)

Bruschetta of Cherry Gold Tomatoes and Anchovy

Easy, and just a bit salty.

  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, preferably Sun Gold
  • 1 clove garlic, grated or very finely minced
  • 2-ounce can oil-packed anchovies, drained (reserve oil) and roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • 12 small slices grilled Italian or French bread

Slice tomatoes in half. Combine them with garlic, anchovies with reserved oil, and a pinch of salt in a plastic bowl with a tight-fitting lid. Cover bowl and shake vigorously.

Spoon tomato mixture over freshly grilled bread and serve immediately.

Serves 4.

— Adapted from “Where There’s Smoke” by Barton Seaver (Sterling, April 2013, $30)

Peach and Blue Cheese Bruschetta

Looking to hit your sweet spot? This recipe pairs fragrant grilled peaches with crumbly blue cheese and a drizzle of honey. If you can’t find good, fresh peaches, substitute nectarines or apricots.

  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 8 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 4 firm but ripe peaches, each cut in half
  • 8 slices Italian or French bread, each about 1/2-inch thick
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • 4 ounces crumbled blue cheese (about 1/2 cup)
  • 3 tablespoons honey

Prepare grill for direct cooking over medium-low heat (about 350 degrees).

Stir cream cheese, sugar and thyme until blended. Set aside. Lightly brush peach halves and bread slices on both sides with oil.

Grill the peach halves over direct medium-low heat, with the lid closed, until lightly charred and beginning to soften, about 8 minutes, turning once. During the last minute of grilling time, toast the bread slices over direct heat, turning once or twice. Remove peaches and bread from grill.

Spread each bread slice with an equal amount of cream cheese mixture.

Cut peach halves into 1/2-inch slices. Divide peach slices among the bread slices, overlapping them slightly. Top with blue cheese and drizzle with honey. Serve right away.

Serves 4.

— “Weber’s New Real Grilling” by Jamie Purviance (Sunset, April 2012, $24.95)

 

 

Old-fashioned pumpkin doughnuts/Steve Mellon

They’re one of fall’s most visual offerings, foods so colorful you make them the centerpiece on your Thanksgiving table. Or maybe you like to pile these jewel-toned veggies on the stoop next to the jack-o’-lanterns come Halloween.

What you really should be doing is eating them, those brightly striped, sometimes weirdly shaped, more often than not hard-as-a-rock autumn gems known as winter squashes.

I came late to the squash party. For much of my cooking life, I relegated this quintessential fall offering to the “no way, no how” list of ingredients. I’m bad enough with a chef’s knife, let alone a cleaver (I once managed to nearly take off a fingertip while slicing cake), so trying to peel and then whack a Hubbard or acorn squash into cookable pieces seemed a guaranteed trip to the ER.

Better to limit my family’s squash-eating to the easy summer varieties such as zucchini and yellow crookneck, which are a snap to slice and dice into a stir-fry or gratin or grate into a chocolate cake.

They’re one of fall’s most visual offerings, foods so colorful you make them the centerpiece on your Thanksgiving table. Or maybe you like to pile these jewel-toned veggies on the stoop next to the jack-o’-lanterns come Halloween.

What you really should be doing is eating them, those brightly striped, sometimes weirdly shaped, more often than not hard-as-a-rock autumn gems known as winter squashes.

I came late to the squash party. For much of my cooking life, I relegated this quintessential fall offering to the “no way, no how” list of ingredients. I’m bad enough with a chef’s knife, let alone a cleaver (I once managed to nearly take off a fingertip while slicing cake), so trying to peel and then whack a Hubbard or acorn squash into cookable pieces seemed a guaranteed trip to the ER.

Better to limit my family’s squash-eating to the easy summer varieties such as zucchini and yellow crookneck, which are a snap to slice and dice into a stir-fry or gratin or grate into a chocolate cake.

My kids, I’m sad to say, didn’t put up much of an argument. While all happily gobbled (pureed) squash as babies, by the time they were in elementary school none would have touched butternut squash with a 10-foot pole, let alone a fork. Then two years ago, a copy of “Martha Stewart’s Dinner at Home” landed on my desk.

She’s a crafty one, that Martha, practically Double Dog-daring us into rethinking everything we thought about squash with one simple, delicious-sounding recipe. Today, one of my daughter Catherine’s favorite fall dishes is her “Gratineed Baked Squash Halves,” or acorn squash baked with garlic-and-sage-infused cream and then topped with melted Gruyere. She starts asking for it about the time school starts.

Generally, summer squashes are picked young, when the skin is still soft and the fruit is small, while winter squashes are allowed to mature. That’s why many varieties, including acorn and buttercup, have such hard, thick skin. But not all are daunting to work with: the only thing that stands between you and the sweet orange flesh of the oblong-shaped delicata squash, for instance, is a vegetable peeler, or a half hour in a hot oven. (Roasted, the skin is quite tender.)

Small and sweet sugar (pie) pumpkins — yep, they’re actually a type of squash — also are extremely easy to prepare for cooking; just wash, cut in half, remove the stem and scrape out the seeds and fibers. Then, they can be roasted, steamed, grilled, boiled, microwaved, grated or stuffed in any way you can imagine.

What I’m learning, with the help of several new cookbooks, is that the winter squash is well worth exploring. You can’t beat its versatility. Appetizers, soups, stews, side dishes, breads and muffins, vegetarian entrees, desserts — there’s a way to sneak squash into virtually any meal. Creative types even can use the shell as a serving bowl for soups and stews. And don’t forget about the seeds, which can be toasted for a snack or garnish.

Happily, the weather’s been kind in Western Pennsylvania, so there’s a wide variety of cooking pumpkins and squashes available at your local grocery store and farmers market. Among the offerings at Janoski’s in Clinton, for example, are acorn, butternut, spaghetti and delicato squashes; Schramm Farms in Penn, Westmoreland County, has all that plus those thick and bumpy Hubbard squashes, which, once you hack your way to their dense yellow-orange flesh, prove mighty tasty. At Farmers Market Co-op of East Liberty, Brian Greenawalt of Greenawalt Farm also has green and orange kabocha (also known as Japanese pumpkin), which has an exceptionally sweet flavor.

Canned pumpkin has gotten expensive enough (a 15-ounce can costs about $2.50 at Giant Eagle) that a growing number of people are trying to make their own from scratch from sugar sweets, said Mary Pat, a part-time “vegetable pusher” at Schramm’s, which sells them for 45 cents a pound. (In general, 1 pound fresh winter squash equals 2 cups peeled and cooked pumpkin.)

She said, “So many are buying for the first time.”

Roasted Spaghetti Squash Noodles

PG tested

  • 3 cardamom pods
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole allspice berries
  • 3 star anise
  • 1 large Granny Smith apple, cored and halved
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 spaghetti squash (about 2 pounds), cut in half lengthwise, seeds and pulp removed
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons packed golden brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup apple cider (optional)

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 300 degrees.

Place cardamom, allspice and star anise in a small skillet over medium-low heat; toast spices, shaking the pan often, until fragrant, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat and grind in a spice grinder; set aside.

In a small bowl, toss apple with lemon juice and set aside.

Place squash on a rimmed baking sheet or casserole dish skin-side down; brush flesh of squash with butter and honey; evenly sprinkle ground spices, sugar, salt and pepper over the top. Place on apple half with juices into the cavity of each squash; add apple cider to inside of cavity, if desired.

Bake, basting occasionally, until squash is tender and offers no resistance when pierced with a paring knife, 11/2 to 2 hours. Remove from oven; discard apple and let cool for 10 minutes. Using a fork, scrape cooked squash into a medium bowl and toss to separate the strands. Serve warm.

Makes 4 servings.

— “Holiday Dinners with Bradley Ogden” by Bradley Ogden with Lydia Scott (Running Press, 2011, $30)

Pumpkin Old-Fashioned Doughnuts

PG tested

These were so much easier than I anticipated, and yummy! Don’t let the oil get too hot and pay attention to flip times, or you’ll end up burning the second and third batches.

— Getchen McKay

For doughnuts
  • 3 cups cake or soft wheat flour, plus more for rolling and cutting
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons shortening
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 2/3 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
  • Canola oil, for frying
For glaze
  • 4 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 teaspoons light corn syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup hot water

To make doughnuts: Sift flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg and pumpkin pie spice together into a bowl and set aside.

In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, mix sugar and shortening for 1 minute on low speed, until sandy. Add egg yolks, then mix for 1 more minute on medium speed, scraping the sides of bowl with a rubber spatula, until mixture is light colored and thick.

Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients in 3 separate additions, alternating with sour cream and pumpkin, mixing until just combined on low speed and scraping the sides of the bowl each time. The dough will be sticky.

Transfer dough to a clean bowl and refrigerate, covered with plastic wrap, for 45 minutes or up to 24 hours.

Meanwhile, make glaze by placing confectioners’ sugar, corn syrup, salt, pumpkin pie spice, pumpkin and vanilla in the work bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle. With machine on medium speed, add hot water in a slow, steady stream, and blend until all of the sugar has been incorporated, scraping the bowl a few times is necessary. Set aside.

Using a candy thermometer to measure, heat oil (at least 2 inches deep) in a large pot or high-sided frying pan to 325 degrees. Roll out chilled dough on a floured counter or cutting board to 1/2-inch thick, flouring the top of the dough and rolling pin as necessary to prevent sticking. Cut into as many doughnuts and holes as possible, dipping the cutter into flour before each cut. Fold and gently reroll dough to make extra holes and cut again.

Shake excess flour off doughnuts before carefully adding them to the hot oil a few at a time, taking care not to crowd them. Once doughnuts float, fry to 15 seconds, then gently flip them. Fry for 75 to 90 seconds, until golden brown and cracked, then flip and fry the first side again for 60 to 75 seconds. Transfer to a rack set over paper towels.

While doughnuts are still quite hot, dip the side with the deepest cracks on each into the warm glaze. Let dry on cooling racks, glazed side up, for about 15 minutes.

Makes 1 dozen doughnuts and holes.

— “Hand-Forged Doughnuts: Secrets and Recipes for the Home Baker” by Mark and Michael Klebeck with Jess Thomson (Chronicle, 2011, $16.95)

Pumpkin soup/Steve Mellon

Witch’s Pumpkin Brew Stew

PG tested

  • 2 medium yellow onions
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 3 15-ounce cans pumpkin, or 6 cups mashed cooked fresh pumpkin
  • 5 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 15-ounce cans unsweetened coconut milk
  • Up to 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • Sea salt
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup toasted pumpkin seeds

In a large saucepan over medium heat, saute the onions and garlic in the olive oil for about 5 minutes. Add red pepper flakes, curry and coriander to pan, and saute for about 5 more minutes; be sure spices are well coated with the hot oil. Add pumpkin and vegetable broth. Stir well and bring soup to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.

Transfer soup, in batches, to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Return soup to the saucepan. On low heat, add coconut milk and maple syrup. Adjust seasonings, adding salt and cayenne to taste.

Garnish each bowl of soup with a sprinkle of pumpkin seeds.

Serves a crowd.

— “Gluten-Free and Vegan Holidays” by Jennifer Katzinger (Sasquatch, Oct. 2011, $24.95)

Caramelized Pumpkin Bruschetta/Steve MellonCaramelized Pumpkin ‘Bruschetta’

PG tested

This easy appetizer was served at Pittsburgh Public Market’s Green Gathering workshop in September. Also terrific as a side dish.

  • 1/4 ounce pancetta or bacon, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 cups peeled and cubed pumpkin
  • 1/4 teaspoons chile pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • Sage leaves
  • Baguette

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place pancetta, garlic, pumpkin, chile flakes and brown sugar in bowl, toss to coat. Place in baking dish and bake 30 to 35 minutes, or until pumpkin is browned. While the pumpkin mixture is still warm fold in sage leaves and allow to wilt. Place the lemon juice and olive oil in a bowl and whisk.

Toss pumpkin mixture with the dressing. Place a spoonful of the pumpkin on a slice of toasted baguette.

Serves 8 to 10.

— Kevin Costa, executive chef, Crested Duck

Chicken-Pumpkin Tacos

PG tested

I wasn’t sure there’d be enough liquid to cook the chicken in this simple taco dish, but once the pumpkin cooked down, the meat ended up deliciously tender. Use a very large pan or you may have to transfer the ingredients mid-recipe — I ended up dumping everything into a Dutch oven. The recipe says it makes 6 tacos, but we had enough filling for at least 10. I ate the warmed-up leftovers with a spoon. — Gretchen McKay

  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 red peppers, seeded and diced
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (I used strips)
  • 1 pound fresh pumpkin, seeds and fibers removed, peeled and diced (2 cups)
  • 1/4 cup canned unsweetened pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup canned tomatoes and juice
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Dash of hot sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon minced cilantro
  • 6 flour tortillas, 8 inches each, or crisp corn taco shells
  • 1/2 cup plain nonfat yogurt
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 1/2 cups grated cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1 ripe avocado, peeled and chopped
  • 3 cups shredded lettuce
  • 1 1/2 cups salsa

Heat oil in a large skillet or saute pan over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook for 3 minutes. Add peppers and chicken and cook for another 3 minutes. Stir in fresh and canned pumpkin, tomatoes, chili powder, cumin, hot sauce and salt. Cover, reduce heat and summer until chicken is tender and no longer pink, the pumpkin is easily pierced with a fork and sauce thickens, about 10 to 15 minutes. When chicken is cool enough to handle, shred it and return to pan. Stir in lime juice and cilantro and let the mixture sit while you heat the tacos.

On a griddle or skillet, over medium heat, warm tortillas for 1 minute on each side. Place 1 on each of 6 plates and divide filling among them. Combine yogurt and sour cream in a small bowl. Top each taco with yogurt mix, cheese, avocado, lettuce and salsa. Fold in half as you eat them.

Makes 6 generous tacos.

— “Pumpkin: A Super Food for All 12 Months of the Year” by DeeDee Stovel (Storey, $12.95)

Gnudi di zucca e l’olio nuove (Butternut squash Gnudi with fresh olive oil)

PG tested

  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, preferably l’olio nuovo, divided
  • 1 pound butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into small cubes
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 pound fresh ricotta cheese
  • 1 1/4 cups freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus extra for sprinkling
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup flour, divided

Heat half the olive oil in a saucepan on medium heat. Add butternut squash and salt and pepper, and saute until squash is fork-tender. (If you boil the squash, it will retain too much water.) When squash is fork-tender, transfer it to a big mixing bowl. With the back of a fork, work it until it’s even mashed.

Add ricotta cheese, 1 cup of Parmigiano, egg and about 1/3 of the flour, and mix everything together. Keep adding flour, a little at a time, until everything is mixed thoroughly and forms a dough.

With your hand, scoop a bit of the mixture and roll it into a ball about the size of a golf ball. Keep going until you’ve used up all the dough.

Place gnudi balls in a pot of boiling salted water for about 1 minutes or unitl they float to the surface. Drain and plate.

Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with remaining Parmigiano.

Serves 4 to 6.

— “Made in Italy” by David Rocco (Clarkson Potter, Oct. 2011, $35)

Miguelito’s pumpkin and chicken puree

Why should grownups, or maybe just people with teeth, have all the fun when it comes to pumpkin? This Cuban baby food is perfect for children ages 6 months and older.

  • 1 pound pumpkin flesh, diced
  • 1 boneless, skinless chicken breast, steamed and cubed
  • 2 teaspoons butter or cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup vegetable or chicken broth

In a large heavy saucepan, cover pumpkin pieces with 6 cups cold water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-high, and continue cooking until pumpkin is very tender (about 20 minutes). Do not add salt or any seasonings. Drain and transfer to a food processor.

Add chicken pieces and butter, and process until very smooth. If desired and your child is old enough, add broth gradually as your process to get the right consistency.

Serve immediately, making sure it is not too hot for the baby, or freeze (in ice cube trays) for future use.

Makes 4 servings.

— “The Cuban Kitchen” by Raquel Rabade Roque” (Knopf, 2011, $20)