Archive for October, 2010

October 30, 2010

Local Strawberries?!? It’s Practically November!

But yes, the last of the local strawberries were at the Worthington Farmers Market this morning.  I snagged a quart, from Crum Strawberry Farm, along with some turnips and an arugula and lettuce mix from Honey Run and some of the bacon I love from Curly Tail.  Pure fall happiness!

Be on the lookout for these in recipes coming up this week.

October 28, 2010

Butternut Squash “Pasta” and Stuffed Squab

There’s been something appealing about trying difficult recipes lately.  Some days – well let’s be honest, a lot of days – all I want to cook is something familiar and easy (i.e., Japanese noodles and salmon).  And tonight’s recipe seemed, at first, to fit into the difficult category.  Although, as it turned out, it wasn’t hard, just slightly exotic.  And exotic can seem hard at first blush. 

The squab were beautiful and from the food heroes at d’Artagnan, so I had extra incentive to do my very best cooking to pay proper homage.  I had been kicking around the idea of making “pasta” from a butternut squash (remember it’s Week of Gourd) so I figured it’d be a good time to give that a shot, too.  This wasn’t pasta at all, just thin ribbons of butternut squash cooked for 30 seconds in boiling water, then finished in a saute pan with butter, a little grated nutmeg and some parmesan.  The result was a remarkably fast dinner (it did require some afternoon prep time) that wasn’t too low on the sophistication scale. 

Chestnut-Stuffed Squab with Butternut Squash “Pasta”

2  squab, each about a pound, necks and wings removed

Zest of 1 orange

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October 27, 2010

Kitchen Magic: Local Squash Soufflé and a Steak

A soufflé?  On a Wednesday?  Why yes!  Of course.  You know why?  Shhhh.  Because there were leftovers.

Yesterday’s roasted Hubbard squash risotto meant that there was a whole half (ha!) of a squash leftover, which amounted to about 2/3 of a cup of pulp.  I had every intention of fixing something else entirely for dinner tonight, but at the store, I couldn’t find what I needed.  Some nice looking steaks were on sale, and we had the squash from yesterday, so I figured I could come up with something.  I told you I would.  I just didn’t want to let you down.

Soufflés sound all difficult and daunting and well, they kind of are all you’ve ever read about.  Like any good prima-donna, soufflés have a long contract rider with demands such as

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October 26, 2010

The Week of Gourd: Hubbard Squash Risotto

Blue Hubbard

Image by SamH one via Flickr

So the Week of Gourd continues.  They’re all over your grocery store, in season, inexpensive, but perhaps a bit of a mystery.  One of the many varieties to check out is the pretty blue Hubbard squash.  I’ve been told they can grow to enormous sizes, but mine was around three pounds (only?) and I used half for this recipe.   This is a seriously thick-skinned squash, good for keeping over the winter. 

Have a good sharp knife at the ready and some nerves of steel.  As for this one, I got the knife started, it got lodged and I ended up banging the squash on the cutting board to loosen the knife.  Not exactly the super technique, but I’m not the only one who fights with these beasts. (I know Hades is reading this, shaking his head, vowing to not leave me alone next time with a hard winter squash and a butcher knife.)   But I’ve heard of chefs using cleavers and hammers.  Do not be deterred!   I got the knife out, and broke the squash in two, removed the seeds and pulp, rubbed both sides with olive oil, salt and pepper and roasted in a 350 degree oven for an hour while the tornado sirens were going off.  Midwest living!  Persephone 1, squash 0.  When the squash was tender, I let it cool a bit, then took a large spoon and scooped out all the orange flesh from one half.  I’m still pondering what to do with the other half.  I’m sure you’ll hear about it soon enough.  Without further ado, tonight’s recipe:

Roasted Hubbard Squash and Rosemary Risotto

2 T olive oil

1/2 onion, finely chopped

1 sprig rosemary, leaves removed and chopped

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October 26, 2010

Happy Re-Birthday, Goodie Shop!

I see why Upper Arlington folks are so loyal to the Tremont Goodie Shop. We stopped in this afternoon for a slice of birthday cake (free today!) for cherub and took home a box of Goodies.  The shop has a tremendous variety of cookies and cakes (never frozen), as well as Crimson Cup coffee and fresh-baked breads.  Tasty, tasty, tasty.

It was, admittedly, my first visit to the shop.  (I had spoken with someone on the phone three years ago and had a rather unpleasant experience.)   From my friend Maia, I learned that the original owners took over the shop once again, restoring it to its former pastry glory.   If you’ve got time today, stop in on the way home to say Happy Re-Birthday and for a slice of cake, it eases just about every commute.

October 25, 2010

Party Snack: Posh Squash

Sunday I (well, mostly Cherub) gathered some locally-grown pumpkins and squashes at a nearby u-pick farm.  Since nearly everyone has a gourd or two lying around this time of year, I thought I’d give you some ideas about how you might use them.  One minute they’re seasonal decorations on your front porch and the next you’re serving them to party guests.  Result!

Today, I used one of those squashes, the demure Carnival, for a posh little party snack.  Tonight’s do was hosted by my friend Elpis, and as I’m sure you’re aware, party season is upon us.  These nibbles are easy and sure to please, so add this recipe to your arsenal.

The basics are roasted squash, pancetta, parmesan and buttery toast.  You can go two ways with this one: quick and dirty or overacheiver.  I opted for the overacheiver version for your viewing pleasure, and to encourage you to do the same. 

Roasted Carnival Squash Nibbles with Pancetta and Parmesan

1 Carnival squash, peeled, deseeded and cut into large-ish cubes

Olive oil, salt, pepper

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October 24, 2010

Fall Sunday in Ohio

 

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