Posts Tagged ‘summer squash’

I made a couple delicious sandwiches last week because I claimed some bread when I visited my mother the weekend before.

Step one: Herbed Mayonnaise
Cut up into itsy bitsy pieces (if using a food processor, I would still cut them up a bit first so you don’t end up with stringy chunks) the leaves of:
Summer Savory

And then if you also want to use more distinct herbs, pick one of the following and label the jar with that one – and be careful with your amount (the others, not so careful):

And then mix with your favorite mayonnaise in a jar and let sit in the fridge for a couple days. Also good as gifts.

Step two: Sandwiches

I really love these steak rolls I claimed from my mother (claimed means that she bought them so my father could make cheesesteaks one night and then they didn’t have any use for the rest of the package).

So one of those. Spread with a teaspoon or less per half of the herbed mayonnaise.

Thinly slice:
1 slightly larger than fist-sized home-grown fresh off the vine already ripened tomato (and cut the slices in half)
1 home-grown salmonella-free sexy serrano pepper also from my mother’s garden
1 super small and cute yellow summer squash from the farmers’ market
1 ounce (well, maybe 2) of Jack cheese made by random amish farmers and sold at the farmers’ market (which is surprisingly tastier than their cheddar)

Step three: Pile only roll. Nom nom nom.


Stir fried beef & eggplant salad

Well, I promised you more salad recipes

Cold bit
spring mix
a few leaves of kale torn up, too.
a small yellow squash, sliced up (why, yes, I thought they were adorable and bought several of them)
serrano pepper (was actually too hot – leave this off)

Hot bit
I had pulled some beef I had sliced thinly for stir fry out of the freezer, so add about 1 oz of that, maybe less.
1 long, thin chinese eggplant, sliced into 2mm thick rounds
stir fried in 1 tsp of oil (mixed olive and sesame oils)
with 1 Tbsp of black pepper sauce
And then I tossed in 3 small apples, quartered and sliced crosswise, but not peeled because their skins weren’t particularly thick.

1 1/2 tsp chinese mustard (which I had thought was supposed to lose potency over time, but it could have knocked me over when I opened the jar)
1 tsp real soy sauce
2 tsp black vinegar
3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
juice of half a lime

Aside from being too spicy, this was a very successful salad.

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thai spring squash

   Posted by: Livia    in non-vegetarian, Recipe, vegetarian

thai-ish eggplants and summer squashes

So this is a hella modified recipe based on one in Nancie McDermott’s Real Thai: The Best of Thailand’s Regional Cooking

Original recipe:

Moo Paht Peht
Pork Sauteed in Red Curry Paste

3 Tbsp vegetable oil
3 Tbsp Red Curry Paste (recipe also in book)
1/2 lb pork, thinnly sliced into strips about 1 1/2 inches long and 3/4 inch wide
2 Tbsp fish sauce
2 Tbsp water
2 teaspoons sugar
12 green beans, trimmed and cut into 2-inch lengths
1/2 cup diced eggplant (1-inch dice)
a handful of graprao leaves of other fresh basil leaves or mint leaves
12 fresh wild lime leaves
9 long, thin sweet red pepper strips

In a wok or medium skillet, heat the oil over low heat until very warm but not hot. Add the curry paste, which should sizzle gently as soon as it meets the oil, and press and stir it into the oil. Cook the curry paste, mashing it into the oil, until it is well blended, fragrant, and shiny, about 3 minutes. Add the meat and stir-fry to brown it and coat it evenly with the curry paste, about 2 minutes.

Add the fish sauce, water sugar, green beans, and eggplant; mix well. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and stir in most of the basil leaves, lime leaves, and red pepper strips, reserving a little for garnish. Transfer to a plate, garnish, and serve warm.

note: omit the wild lime leaves and fresh basil if they are difficult to find

My recipe:

So I started with 1 tsp of olive oil. Into which, I added 2 teaspoons of red curry paste (because this was the third dish I had made from one little can) and an onion, quartered and sliced.

After the onions had started to melt, I added 7 cloves of garlic, coarsely minced, and around 3/4-inch of garlic, finely minced.

Then I added 1/2 cup of concentrated stock (because I thought stock was in the recipe, but I must have been thinking of a different one), 1/2 cup of water, and 2 chinese eggplant (sliced with rolling cut).

When the eggplant started softening, I added 1 yellow squash and 1 zucchini, halved lengthwise, and then sliced into half rounds. I also added 2 teaspoons of white sugar I had with lime and grapefuit zest.

Since I was right out of fish sauce, I poured in some worcestershire sauce and some salt. And since I was out of hot basil, I used regular basil, some fennel, and a dash of five spice powder. At the very end, I squeezed half a lime over it all.

Served over rice, it still needed a bit more salt. Other than that, very tasty.

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I made an amazing breakfast.

The initial plan was to cook down some spinach and tomato and then scramble an egg in it – pretty standard.

And it started out simple enough with about as much fresh spinach by volume as the tomato (so there ended up being a lot more tomato once everything cooked down).

But this was a big, luscious tomato from my mother’s garden, so it released a lot of liquid. So I poured off some of the liquid (into a jar to keep since I could put it in rice or soup or something – and it’d be wasteful otherwise – and don’t judge me because just wait until the depression or the apocalypse hits because then you’ll all want me to be managing your foodstuffs so you won’t get scurvy), and then I poured off some more. And then I realized that it was just willing to cook down into sauce.

I added a bit of 5 spice powder for fun.

So instead of scrambling the egg, I just cracked it in and gave it a lot of channels into the goody and poached it right there, covering the pan occasionally so that the top would steam cook, too.

And I ground some pepper and sprinkled kosher salt on top.

And oh my, it was like pudding – tasty savoury egg, tomato, and spinach pudding. Only sexier.

I have enough spinach to try it again and see if the results are repeatable.


And there was a salad with za’tar

I went home last weekend, and I ended up cleaning out and organizing my mother’s space cabinet. A while back, she had purchased a tiny container of zatar from Penzey’s because it sounded unlike any of the other stuff in her cabinet (we’ve never cooked with sumac much). A few years later, it still hadn’t been used, and it wasn’t sounding like anything my father would enjoy, so it came home with me.

My initial plan was to soak it in lime juice and then taste it and build a salad dressing from there. Luckily, however, I looked it up online before I started, since apparently it has a sour taste that can replace lime/lemon/tamarind in recipes. So once I knew that was how it slotted in, it became easy and I’ll be able to use it regularly.

Cold bits
spring mix
sliced tomato
serrano pepper

Hot bits
roasted zucchini, yellow squash, eggplant, and bell pepper (rewarmed in the microwave)

3/4 tsp za’tar
1/2 tsp crushed mustard
2 Tbsp white balsamic
2 tsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp honey
2 Tbsp red wine
3 small scallions, sliced

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food list

   Posted by: Livia    in Food, lists

I have way too much meat in the house

food I have
rapidly aging lettuce (one last meal there, if I pick through it tonight)
2 grapefruit
1 red bell peppers
jalepeno peppers
plums (1 purple/black, 3 green)
2 eggplants
1 yellow squash
1 zucchini
bunch of scallions
1 kiwi
yellow onions, 1 purple onion, and shallots

chicken stock
most of 1 breast of chicken
rapidly aging roast beef leftovers
Harry’s roast beef leftovers
Harry’s beef sirloin leftovers
pork leftovers
leftover meatloaf

menu planning
Monday, August 4
dinner: salad – with pickled carrots, ginger, scallions, maybe some zucchini, and some purple onion – using some of the chinese mustard in the dressing
Also prep for lunches: hash using up potatoes, oldest beef roast, the last of the purple onions, and some garlic. Freeze meatloaf into portions, too.

Tuesday, August 5
try to get to Whole Foods to buy more salad greens before Weight Watchers
dinner: Do something with eggplant, yellow squash, and zucchini. Stir Fry? Ratatouille? Or just roast them and use them in salads for a couple weeks? Turn the eggplant into curry and save the squash for later?

Wednesday, August 6
Think about making a soup.
Also think about what to do with the sexy leftover beef that is not hash

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What do you mean when you say it’s a squash?

   Posted by: Livia    in Food, historical

So I am preparing another workshop on Roman cooking, and I’m trying to include more of the vegetable dishes.

But I have a translation problem.
Book III (The Gardener): Section IV Cucurbitas

See – that is the genus name for squash (summer & winter). But I’m pretty sure that squash was native to the western hemisphere.

So what would the Romans have been talking about?


Okay, so I was ashamed to post this without a proper googling, first.

This page explains that what I’m really looking for is called a calabash, and I think I am reading it correctly that the easiest substitution would be a zucchini, right?

ETA: Here is a picture of the calabash split open. I am dubious.


Okay, so when the calabash is less mature and in Italy, it is known as a cucuzza. Here is a good guide on picking and cooking one. Actually, this vegetable (straight, not bulgy, about 1 foot long) is frequently available at my produce truck. SCORE!

Here agrees that the calabash and the cacuzza are the same gourd.


ETA: 9/9/08 : Looks like someone has already done this research



Soup Pondering

   Posted by: Livia    in experiments, Food, Recipe, soup

I think I am going to make soup tonight – maybe something vaguely ministrone-ish, but without white beans and I’m still waffling on the inclusion of pasta product.

I have stock, yellow squash, zucchini, canned tomatoes, roasted garlic, and greens. (ETA: onions, a couple baby carrots, and some seasonings.)

Is there anything else that would be really spiffy in the soup that I should run over to the farmer’s market across the street to buy before I go home?

Hmmm… I also have carrots. Is this a carrot kind of soup?

Comments – the only suggestions from those wise asses was celery



Food lists

   Posted by: Livia    in Food, lists

So I haven’t had much interest in cooking the past couple days. This is a problem, since I have a lot of lovely produce waiting to be eaten… or go bad. I’m hoping some lists will get me more in the cooking mood.

lists! of food!
last of the farm grown tomatoes
a couple small turnips
hot peppers
a few tomatillos
red potatoes
collard greens
2 zucchini (now grilled)
turnip greens
1/3 butternut squash
most of a can’s worth of refried beans

greek yogurt!
sour cream
italian seasoned cheese (open)
mild cheddar (open)
2% milk (shouldn’t last much longer)

cooked chicken (1 meal)
cooked ground beef (1 meal with a extending)
ground beef
chicken stock (about 8 4 cups)
(and chicken breasts are on sale this week, so I’ll buy some of those)

I want to focus on gravies and cream sauces: a) because they are tasty, and b) because I’m about to pitch about 3lbs worth of store-brand flour because it was cheap and makes nasty bread.

Hee – let’s call this Chicken Florentine:
Creamed spinach – clean and cut all the spinach, cook an onion and some garlic in 2T butter, add 1 heaping Tablespoon flour, make roux, add spinach.
I can add the cooked chicken to that. And a hot pepper.
I could add pasta to that to make a real meal, or I could just eat it with a spoon. I’m thinking spoon.
ETA: Done. Wasn’t as tasty as I had hoped. No idea what went wrong.

I’ve been wanting something bisque/chowder-ish with corn. And I have corn in my freezer. So onions, white roux, and then… how about butternut squash chunks? Roasted garlic. The rest of the roasted bell pepper I have in a jar with oil in my fridge. And some collard greens cut into thin ribbons. Sound decent? Does it need anything else? I could roast the turnips and tomatillos for a side dish. This sounds like it needs fresh parsley.
ETA: Started. I have the cream base with squash in it. I have a sprig of rosemary floating in it today. I roasted some hot peppers yesterday, so maybe I shall add them as well.

Hamburger Helper:
Shut up – it makes a great starting point.
Onion, garlic, ground beef. Zucchini. Collard Greens. And shred cheese on top and slices of tomato.

Kenyan Collard Greens:
greens, tomato, rice. (get my 5 spice powder back from my mother’s)

What’s left? Tomatoes, Potatoes, Turnip Greens, Refried beans, chicken stock – and I haven’t made use of the greek yogurt that was so hard to find!

All right – here’s a thing. These are fresh and tasty tomatoes, so I don’t want to cook them. I refuse to use the last tasty tomatoes in a dish where canned would work just as well. I’ll probably just end up eating them while I cook other things… but still.

Ummm… how about open-faces quesadillas – I know those have a name.
Tortilla, topped with a thin layer of refried beans, topped with shredded cheese, topped with tomatoes. With sour cream. Probably I won’t be able to eat enough to use up the refried beans, but maybe put a dent in them.

greens. Ummm… More soup? Turnip greens, diced potato, and carrots in chicken stock. That actually sounds rather dire.

Ummm… I could pickle the rest of the turnip greens and wait until I have leftover roast pork to make more of the excellent soup I made last night. My parents have a roast to make, so that should be soon.

Freeze the chicken stock.

Okay… Moussaka?
Layer a casserole with a mixture of ground beef and eggplant and potato slices, use lots of seasonings, pour a can or two of tomatoes over all, and serve with yogurt on the side?

That should do.

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I will be grilling:
there could even be hot dogs

I also have:
tzatziki sauce
whole wheat pita bread
awesome pickles

There could be:
bread pudding with apples

(if you don’t come, I’ll be forced to keep the meat frozen and eat all the yummy vegetables by myself)

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Food, glorious food

   Posted by: Livia    in Food, lists

This weekend I went to the farmers’ market, which I have missed for the last thousand weekends. Also, it was finally cool enough to do some real cooking – I roasted some lamb and made stock from its bony bits!

Food I have
a big purple eggplant that needs to be eaten soon
1 small white eggplant
3 small zucchini
2 ears of corn
apples from the tree in my backyard (suited to cooking)
1 plum
1 banana

beef roast leftovers (these need to be used soon)
lamb leftovers! (about enough for 2 large meals, or 5-6 smaller meals – and since I am a little short of freezer space at the moment, I might go with small meals… but I have greatly decreased my backlog of stored lunches)

tzatziki sauce
moldy cheese
a little bit of chevre left, but it ended up being kinda soapy

my almonds are getting old
mashed potato leftovers (pretty much a full meal)
1/2 a carton of creamy butternut squash soup
lamb stock (still needs to be cooked a little longer and strained)

Meal planning
Monday, August 14 (supposedly the hottest day of the week)
roast eggplant until the skin is crusty. Grill onions and cumin in ghee – add eggplant – add some tomatoes – figure out whether you want it more like spicy indian food or mediterranean with some oregano and cinnamon
– cook the mushrooms as a side dish

Tuesday, August 15
beef leftovers sliced thin and put with gravy.
make a lot of rice and thaw chicken creole and stew in fridge to make lunches

Wednesday, August 16
Lamb & zucchini with pasta and breadcrumbs. That was amazing last time I made it, and it reheated well.

Thursday, August 17
Grilling – any leftover zucchini, the eggplant, the corn (if it’s starchy, I’ll sautee it with butter and salt, instead), some onion, and maybe hamburgers as well
Fresh Grocer – buy oil-cured olives for Saturday

Friday, August 18
go to grocery store – buy two bolar roasts, if they are pretty ($1/99/lb!)
pack up the chicken in my freezer
go to my parents’ house
eat with them
Make blue jello

Saturday, August 19
Lemon Chicken
Blue Jello
something resembling a vegetable
(go to parents’ farmers market early enough to get eggs)

My mother has recently been told by her doctor to eat more fiber, and she ended up hating my favorite of the high fiber cereals. So, at least as long as that box lasts, I am trying to eat breakfast on weekdays.

I tell you, that stuff about not skipping breakfast is crap! I doesn’t make me any less hungry throughout the morning. It doesn’t give me any more energy, either. If anything, it makes me more hungry since my body is all, “Oooo… so we’ve started eating already? Let’s keep that up.”

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