Archive | October, 2013

Delicata Squash

29 Oct
Delicata Squash photo by Elizabeth Wheeler

Creative Commons photo by Elizabeth Wheeler

We returned last week from a three-week vacation in Israel, with a three-day stop in Rome. We used up or gave away all our perishable food before we left and so we expected to come back to a cold and empty kitchen, but our daughter Hannah thoughtfully brought in some provisions for our return.

On our counter was a striped delicata squash, which I had seen in stores but never eaten. No need to peel it, Hannah said, just wash it, cut it in half, scoop out the seeds and roast it.  So that’s what I did, though I cut each half in slices first.

It was delicious — and much easier to prepare than butternut or acorn squash. This is going to become a new favorite in our house.

Here’s how to cook it:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Wash and dry the squash, then cut it in half, and scoop out the seeds. Cut each half into slices about 3/4-inch thick, and put them on a greased baking pan (I used my handy olive-oil Misto to spray the pan). Drizzle with olive oil (or spritz again with the Misto). Sprinkle the delicata squashslices with kosher salt or sea salt.

Roast for about 10 or 15 minutes, than turn the slices over with a spatula and continue roasting for another 10 or 15 minutes. Turn again and continue roasting if necessary. Both sides of the slices should be golden brown and the squash should be soft.

If you are cooking something else at a lower temperature at the same time, the squash will roast just as well at a lower temperature — it will just take a little longer, maybe 45 minutes total.

Green Beans with Orange Essence and Toasted Pecans

22 Oct

Green Beans with Orange Essence and Toasted PecansI clipped this recipe from the Costco magazine, but that information didn’t appear on the recipe and I couldn’t remember where I got it. When I checked by searching online, it turns out the recipe was developed by Cooks magazine in 2003. It’s kind of a “potchke” so when I make it again, I will use candied pecans from the store (Trader Joe has good ones) and save a lot of effort. The first time I made it our guests included someone who wasn’t eating gluten, so I substituted cornstarch for the flour, and it worked fine.

Ingredients:

¾ cup pecans, coarsely chopped
3 Tbs. unsalted butter or margarine
2 Tbs. maple syrup
Salt and pepper to taste
2 shallots, minced
⅔ tsp. grated orange zest
Pinch of cayenne pepper
2 Tbs. all purpose flour
1½ lb. green beans, trimmed
⅔ cup chicken broth
⅓ cup orange juice
1 tsp. minced fresh sage (or ½ tsp. dried sage)

Directions:

Toast the pecans in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium high heat, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Off heat, stir in 1 Tbs. butter, maple syrup and a pinch of salt. Return skillet to medium heat and cook, stirring constantly, until the nuts are dry and glossy, about 45 seconds. Transfer to a plate and set aside.

Wipe out the skillet. Add the remaining 2 Tbs. butter to the skillet over medium heat. Add the shallots, orange zest and cayenne, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the shallots are softened, about 2 minutes. Stir in the flour until combined, then add green beans. Add broth, orange juice and sage. Increase heat to medium-high, cover and cook until beans are crisp-tender, about 4 minutes.

Uncover and cook, stirring occasionally, until beans are tender and sauce has thickened slightly, about 4 minutes. Off heat, season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to serving dish and sprinkle with pecans.

Serves 8

Old Place’s Lemon Chicken

11 Oct

Old Place's Lemon ChickenI have no idea what The Old Place is or was. It sounds like the name of  a restaurant, but if it was in Detroit, it disappeared long before I had a chance to eat there. This very easy recipe was published in the Detroit News or the Detroit Free Press.

Ingredients:

1 chicken, cut in serving pieces
1 garlic clove, cut in half
Juice of 2 large lemons (about ½ cup)
½ cup vegetable oil
Salt (optional), pepper, oregano and paprika to taste

Directions:

Several hours or the day before cooking, rub the chicken with garlic. Combine the lemon juice and vegetable oil in a dish. Sprinkle the chicken with salt if you use it, pepper, oregano and paprika. Lay the chicken in the oil-lemon mixture, turning to coat each piece. Cover and refrigerate.

When ready to cook, arrange on broiler rack and baste with marinade. Sprinkle with paprika for color. Broil 3 or 4 inches from heat, turning occasionally, for 15 to 35 minutes depending on thickness of chicken. (You can probably cook it on the grill equally effectively.)

Alternatively, you can bake the chicken, uncovered, skin side up, in a 300-degree oven for about an hour.

Serves 4 to 6

An apology

3 Oct

You may have noticed a strange post from me a few days ago. That’s because I started another blog and posted an entry to this one by accident.  Sorry for any inconvenience.

Zucchini and Tomato Salad with Basil Vinaigrette

1 Oct

zucchini tomato basil saladIt’s time to pick those tomatoes, zucchini and sprigs of basil from your garden before the first frost. Here’s a nice salad that combines all these ingredients.

Ingredients:

3 small zucchini
3 ripe plum tomatoes, cored and diced
Half a small onion, thinly sliced
¼ cup finely diced red pepper
2 Tbs. finely minced fresh parsley
⅓ cup olive oil
⅓ cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves, washed and dried
2 Tbs. red wine vinegar
1 large clove garlic, mashed
Salt & pepper to taste
Fresh parsley to garnish

Directions:

In a food processor or blender, combine the oil, basil, vinegar, garlic, salt and pepper. Process until smooth.

Cut the zucchini in half lengthwise and then into ¼-inch slices. Add the tomato, pepper and onion. Add the vinaigrette and toss well. Leave the salad at room temperature for at least an hour.

Garnish with fresh parsley, and serve slightly chilled.

Serves 4