squash


Just two days left in April which means only two days left to try a few more of Keller’s recipes from ad hoc at home.  It’s been fun cooking through Thomas Keller’s book.  I still have several recipes marked but not as many as it was.

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Last night I tried fritto misto. Defined it merely refers to small morsels of meat, seafood, or vegetables coated with batter and deep fried. Here in the south we deep fry anything but you won’t see deep fried veggies on any menu of Southern food.

This reminded me a lot of tempura frying.  The batter is a little heavier but the results are about the same.  In the recipe Keller lists 1 1/2 cups cold water.  I found it worked better with just a little more water for a thinner batter, but your choice.  The broccolini fried up the best. With the thin ‘branches’ there was more batter in between for fry up.

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This was so good!  The veggies came out crispy but sogged up quickly if they weren’t eaten right away.  My one tip for you:  Don’t drain them on paper towels as Keller suggests but on a wire rack OVER paper towels.  They don’t get soggy as quickly.

The eggplant and squash were also very tasty.

Keller lists several choices to fry including carrots, fennel, mushrooms, and calarari rings. All of these would be great.

The recipe is on page 173 of ad hoc but I also found it HERE (if it comes up).

I’m linking this post with Cookbook Countdown hosted by Kitchen Flavours and Emily’s Cooking (Makan2).

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Who says a salad has to be made with leafy greans? Or pasta? Why not try one with quinoa instead? Like this one from Ellie Krieger.

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Mixing some cooked quinoa with chicken sausage, corn, zucchini, and lots of spices is a great way to make salad. It is full of flavor, good ingredients, and, as always with Elie’s recipes, good for you.

I could have just eaten all the vegetables by themselves before adding the sausage and quinoa.  Doesn’t it look wonderful?

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I couldn’t find a salad I was really in the mood for my cookbooks so I went on line and this one caught my eye immediately.   After I made it I realized we had originally made a similar recipe in Ellie’s Weeknight Wonders  {Corn and Quinoa with Sausage}   but it wasn’t listed as a salad. It is basically the same ingredients but with different flavors (Cumin and parsley) and the zucchini thrown in. Bingo!!

One small change I made – the recipe called for adding the diced red pepper at the end.  I assumed she meant raw and I don’t like raw pepper so I threw the diced red pepper in with the onions to cook.   And I think next time I will add a little more cumin.

And it was great.  Definitely one to enjoy regularly.

You can find the recipe on Ellie’s website.  

Find out what Gaye made for her salad by clicking on over to Eating with Ellie.  I’m sure it will be good.

I still have butternut squash left.  We stored it in the ‘root cellar’ aka BARN and it is still sweet and tasty.  But we are tired of eating the same ol’ same ol’ so I needed a new recipe to use up the squash.  There aren’t many recipes out there for butternut squash bread.  After looking at pumpkin breads and banana breads and zucchini breads I still had found nothing that would do.  So I made up my own.

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    3/4 cup AP flour
    3/4 cup Whole Wheat flour
    1 tsp baking soda
    1/2 tsp baking powder
    1 tsp ground cinnamon
    1/2 tsp nutmeg
    1/4 tsp allspice
    1/4 tsp salt
    1 cup roasted butternut squash
    2/3 cup honey
    1/2 cup (Splenda) optional
    1/3 canola oil
    2 large eggs
    1 large egg white
    2/3 cup rolled oats.

Preheat oven to 350. Spray a 9′ x 5″ or an 8″ x 8″ square pan with cooking spray.

Bake the butternut squash at 350 until it is soft. Let it cool. Cut in half, remove seeds, and scrape the meat out of the shells. I partially mashed mine up so I would have some nice chunks in the breadbut you can puree it if you like.
Mix together the flours, baking soada, baking powder, cinnamon, hutmeg, allspice and salt in a large bowl. In another large bowl mix together the honey, oil, eggs, butternut squash, and egg white until they are well combined.
Add the dry ingredients to the squash mix. Mix til just combined.

Pour batter into the pan. If using the 9′ x 5′ bake for 50 – 60 minutes. If using an 8″ x 8″ pan bake for 30 minutes or until the center is done and a knife comes out clean.

Cool in pan for 15 minutes. Remove to a wire rack and cool completely before slicing.

I added the Splenda to add a touch more sweetness. This is a nice little cake and bakes up quickly in a 8″ x 8″ pan for a nice snack.

I like to cook. No, I LOVE to cook. Good thing since I need to feed my family. But I only really learned to cook about 10 years ago or so. Beautiful Daughter used to come home and ask me what I was burning for supper that night. I know. But I love her anyway. Cooking was just something I did. NOW it’s something I DO!! And thanks to blogs like Living the Gourmet, which was my Secret Recipe Club ‘assignment” this month, it gets easier all the time.  Catherine, Tammy, and Michael Pappas are the people behind the blog.  Catherine is the founder who wanted a way to leave recipes for her children.  Tammy, her daughter, is the photographer (and her photos are beautiful).  Michael, her son, is in charge of interviews and product reviews.  The three of them are quite a team.

As usual it was hard to find just one recipe, so as is my habit I narrowed it down to three. (Why three?  Once I get my assignment I take a week to read and then try to cook one recipe each week until the reveal.  Makes it easier.)

The first recipe I tried was

ASIAN STYLE MARINATED SALMON FILET 

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A wonderfully flavored salmon fillet marinated in

      3 tbs. teriyaki sauce
      2 tbs. rice wine vinegar
      1 tsp. orange marmalade or apricot sauce
      ¼ cup of Italian parsley – chopped
      1 large clove of garlic – chopped
      1 inch piece of fresh ginger – chopped
      1 tbs. sesame oil
      2 tbs. soy sauce

then baked grilled until the fish is flaky. I’m glad I made two fillets because it was delicious.

Next came

YELLOW SQUASH WITH SAUSAGE AND PASTA

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A delicious mix of pasta, Italian sausage, yellow squash {I subbed in a zucchini}
Catherine’s recipe called for Italian sausage, yellow squash, lots of garlic, red onion, Italian parsley, fresh basil, red pepper flakes and dried oregano for flavor. There is no way you would not like this one.

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And THEN there’s dessert….

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This is no-churn HONEY VANILLA AND BROWN SUGAR ICE CREAM.

I love making no-churn ice cream. I’ve made ice cream in a table top churn for eons but sometimes you just want something easier. And these no-churn definitely are. If you have made this you know it is super simple. Whip together 2 cups of heavy cream with 1 can sweetened condensed milk and a 1 tsp vanilla. Catherine added in ¼ cup brown sugar and 3-4 tbs. honey. Catherine garnished hers with mini cookies but I didn’t have any so I used turbinado sugar.  The honey definitely adds an extra layer of flavor.

I think this one just became my favorite one.

Thanks, Living the Gourmet for some great recipes still to come.

There’s more for Secret Recipe Club.  Click on the frog.

How many times over the past 20 or so years have we made New Year’s Resolutions to lose weight?  Or at least eat healthier?  Only to have those initiatives fade after a couple of months.  Diet is a four letter word.  I don’t use it any more.  I also don’t make resolutions any more.  I use the word suggestion and it is easier to follow.  So is eating healthier when Ellie Kreiger is around.

Our ‘assignment’ this week was to find something from Ellie to give us a FRESH START.  So, owning 5 of Ellie’s books I went recipe hunting.  It is cold and windy outside.  It is supposed to rain and thunder.  I needed comfort food. What about Mac and Cheese?  Perfect!

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Not as ooey-gooey as my regular M&C but tasty and definitely healtheir.

It’s all about not using as much cheese as you normally would and subbing in something to replace the flavor.  Like Winter Squash. And low fat milk.  And ricotta cheese.

    1 pound elbow macaroni
    2 (10-ounce) packages frozen pureed winter squash
    2 cups 1 percent lowfat milk
    4 ounces extra-sharp Cheddar, grated (about 1 1/3 cups)
    2 ounces Monterrey jack cheese, grated (about 2/3 cup)
    1/2 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
    1 teaspoon salt
    1 teaspoon powdered mustard
    1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    2 tablespoons unseasoned bread crumbs
    2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
    1 teaspoon olive oil

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Coat a 9 by 13-inch baking pan with cooking spray.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the macaroni and cook until tender but firm, about 5 to 8 minutes. Drain and transfer to a large bowl.

Meanwhile, place the frozen squash and milk into a large saucepan and cook over a low heat, stirring occasionally and breaking up the squash with a spoon until it is defrosted. Turn the heat up to medium and cook until the mixture is almost simmering, stirring occasionally. Remove the pan from heat and stir in the Cheddar, jack cheese, ricotta cheese, salt, mustard and cayenne pepper. Pour cheese mixture over the macaroni and stir to combine. Transfer the macaroni and cheese to the baking dish.

Combine bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese and oil in a small bowl. Sprinkle over the top of the macaroni and cheese. Bake for 20 minutes, then broil for 3 minutes so the top is crisp and nicely browned.    Original Recipe The recipe is also from The Food You Crave. page 168
We liked the sweetness of the butternut mixed with the spice of the cayenne and dried mustard. The only change I would make would to make the chess sauce ‘saucier’ before adding to the pasta, or using less pasta.

I only made 1/2 of the recipe and cut the ricotta in half because I didn’t have enough.  (I think that is why it was just a tad dry.) It was plenty for two people to have more than two medium servings each.  Ellie said the whole recipe made eight 2-cup servings and I didn’t need that much. Each serving is only 390 calories.

Definitely something to make more of this winter when the wind is howling.  The rain is blowing.  The night is dark and dreary.

Check out what the other IHCC members made for their FRESH START.

 

We eat a lot of chicken. A LOT of chicken. I am always looking for new ways to cook it. Thanks to Ellie, and Kayte, I have a new way.

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The group made this the first week of August. But since I am not a fan of tarragon I skipped it.

    Mistake!

I made it for the rewind and it was quite tasty. Instead of tarragon I subbed in some basil. The chicken, which is simply browned, is nice, but the star of this dish is the ribbons of squash. Thin little ribbons of squash and zucchini slightly simmered in wine, tarragon basil, lemon juice, and white wine they hold all the flavor. They were tart against the ‘sweetness’ of the chicken. Glad I went back and made this one.

The recipe is on page 142 of Ellie Krieger’s Weeknight Wonders where all the meals/salads/sides/desserts can be made in 30 minutes or less.

For the other Chicken you can see them HERE!

It’s MYSTERY BOX CHALLENGE week again with I Heart Cooking Clubs. I love a good challenge. Especially when I can meet the challenge.

This weeks mystery box contents:

    Salmon (fresh, smoked, canned),
    Green Peas (dried, fresh or frozen),
    Hazelnuts,
    Eggplant,
    Parmesan Cheese,

    Kale,
    Apples (Any color/kind),
    Blue Cheese,
    Bread Rolls/Buns, and
    Rosemary.

I managed to complete the challenge with three of the ingredients, weak, yes, but still…

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Gratin of Ziti and Vegetables

I love making dishes with the fruits of our garden and this one had it all – squash, tomatoes, eggplant, corn. I cannot think of a better way to use these all up.

    2 quarts water
    4 ounces ziti or penne
    3 tablespoons virgin olive oil
    1 onion (about 8 ounces), peeled and coarsely chopped
    4 ounces string beans, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (1 cup)
    1 small eggplant (about 8 ounces), cut into 1/2-inch pieces (2 1/22 cups)
    1 teaspoon herbes de Provence
    1 pattypan (or other type) squash (8 ounces), cut into 1/2-inch pieces (2 cups){ I used zucchini.}
    1 1/2 teaspoons salt
    1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    2 ripe tomatoes (about 10 ounces),cut into 12-inch pieces (2 cups)
    2 ears sweet corn (about 1 pound), husked and kernels cut off (1 1/2 cups)
    1/2 cup black olive shavings, preferably from Nyons olives { I used kalamata.} (about 2 dozen olives)

CRUMB TOPPING

    l slice fine-textured white bread, processed into crumbs in a food processor (2/3 cup)
    1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
    1 tablespoon virgin olive oil
    1/2 cup minced chives

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Cook the sizi in boiling water with salt until al dente. Drain and briefly run ziti under cold water. Cover, and set aside.
Heat the oil in a large skillet then add the onion and beans.
Cover and cook over medium heat for about 2 minutes.
Add the eggplant and herbes de Provence. Cover and cook, over medium heat for another 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Then add the squash, salt, and pepper. Cover and cook 2 more minutes.
Remove the skillet from the heat. Mix in the tomatoes, corn, and olive.
Mix in the cooked pasta and pour the mixture into an 8-cup casserole dish.
In a small bowl mix the bread crumbs, Parmesan, OO and chives. Pour the mix over the pasta and veggies.
(Note: The dish can be prepared to this point, covered, and
refrigerated for up to 8 hours.)
Bake the gratin at 400 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes {mine took about 22 minutes} until nice and brown. Serve immediately

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This was very very good. But it was also very very very dry. I went back to the recipe to see if I had left something out, but I followed it correctly. The crumbs on top did not stay well on the dish, but were good mixed in. I will make this again, but it really needs some ‘juice’ of some kind. {Original recipe is on page 102 of Jacques Pepin’s Table.

The other Mystery Box dishes are probably delish. Check them out at I Heart Cooking Clubs.

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