Posts Tagged ‘squash’

Farmer’s Market Pasta

Wednesday, August 17th, 2011

Is it just me, or do the veggies at the farmer’s market look just a little bit brighter and just a little more enticing as the weather gets hotter? In my heat-induced delirium I choose to believe that it is nature’s way of drawing me in as the heat intensifies and my resolve to cook wanes…

Because my resolve to cook is waning… Can’t use the oven, too hot to grill, tired of salads, what’s a cook to do??? With a counter covered in produce and the air filled with the smell of basil, this quick pasta recipe is a lovely way to get dinner on the table!

Gather Up:
3 pounds garden tomatoes, mixed varieties if you wish, peeled and quartered
3 large cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
1/3 cup olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
½ pound penne pasta, cooked al dente
2 teaspoons sugar
½ pound loose Italian turkey sausage
3 zucchini, or summer squash of your choice, sliced and halved
¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan
Large handful fresh basil leaves

In a large heavy sauté pan put the garlic and the tomatoes. Drizzle with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Cook slowly over medium low heat until the tomatoes are falling apart and their juices have mixed with the olive oil to form a nice sauce, about 30 minutes. Stir in the sugar and taste for seasoning.

In a separate sauté pan, heat a few splashes of olive oil and sauté the sausage until brown and caramelized. Remove. Add another splash of olive oil if needed and sauté the zucchini until caramelized around the edges.

Add the sausage and zucchini to the tomato sauce. Toss in the cooked pasta.

Remove from heat, and gently work in the Parmesan with tongs. Top with torn basil leaves and serve.

Adapted from Tyler Florence: Quick Farmer’s Market Pasta

Summer Veggie Tostada

Sunday, July 24th, 2011

Family road trips have always been our thing. (Or maybe, rather, my mom’s thing. But we all go along with it.) For as long as I can remember, we’ve taken one every summer. When we moved to Texas 16 years ago, we took a massive road trip through the southwest. We went to the Grand Canyon, Saguaro National Park, Carlsbad Caverns and the Petrified Forest. On the way home we spent the night in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and the city completely captured our hearts. Ever since then, some contingent of our family has gone every summer.

For the past several years, it’s been just my parents and one of the kids – the rest of us haven’t been able to go (summer school, work, etc.). But this year, the stars aligned and we set out as a family on the 12-hour drive from Austin. I’m not going to lie – the drive is LONG and BORING. West Texas doesn’t offer much eye candy, and the scenery across the New Mexico border isn’t all that different. But when you get closer to Santa Fe, things start to look more promising. There are mountains in the distance and little adobe houses dotting the landscape.

And, you can always feel the mood in the car shift when people realize that we’re within an hour of New Mexican cooking. On our first night, we drove straight to Harry’s Roadhouse, and 3 of the 5 of us ordered the Tostada. As I’m sure many of you do, my mom had carefully researched where to eat and what to order, and Harry’s Tostada did not disappoint. Completely worth it. The veggies were fresh, the tortilla crisp, the flavors savory. It was my favorite meal of the trip.

When we got home, I couldn’t kick the craving. I wanted more. Apparently, so did my mom. When tomatoes showed up in our farm basket, tostadas were first on the menu. And since then, we’ve had these almost every week. There’s a perfect mix of veggies, and the end result is a meal that tastes light and fresh from beginning to end. They’re a little piece of Santa Fe summer…just what we need in this ridiculous heat!

Gather Up:
2 cups fresh corn kernels from 3 ears sweet corn
1/2 cup diced red onion
2 cloves minced garlic
2 medium diced zucchini or summer squash
1 cup organic black beans, rinsed and drained
pinch dried oregano
flour tortillas, preferably homemade or bakery fresh
olive oil
1 pound peeled and chopped garden tomatoes
1/3 cup fresh chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
Sea salt
Freshly ground pepper
Grated soft white cheese (optional)
1 ripe sliced avocado

Slice corn off cob and saute in hot oil over medium high heat until cooked, 2-3 minutes. Season corn and remove.

Adding additional oil, saute the red onion until soft and beginning to brown, 3-5 minutes. Add garlic and stir until the fragrance is released, about 30 seconds.

Add zucchini and saute until just beginning to soften, 2-3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Return corn to the pan, and add the beans and oregano. Stir and heat gently. Check for seasoning. Remove from heat.

Combine tomatoes, cilantro, lime juice and salt and pepper in a bowl. Set aside.

Lightly brush both sides of a tortilla with olive oil and slide it into a hot nonstick pan over medium heat. Gently press it with a spatula, and flip it over when the first side begins to turn golden and crispy. When the second side is done, remove to a rack and repeat with remaining tortillas.

To assemble tostada place several spoonfuls of the veggie and bean mixture on a tortilla. Top with a light sprinkle of white cheese if desired, add a generous spoonful of the tomato salsa and top with a few slices of avocado!

Adapted from a recipe by FarmHouseTable; Inspired by Harry’s Roadhouse, Santa Fe

Savory Acorn Squash Pudding

Thursday, August 26th, 2010

Lately I have become obsessed with puddings… Good or bad, I have never really cared about dessert puddings. I would always choose cakes or pies or cookies or ice cream, you name it, before I would think of assembling a dessert pudding.

But savory bread puddings are another story. Really they are just one step away from STUFFING, which is probably the best invention ever for eating corn bread! And really, they are just one more step away from BAKED ONION SOUP, which is definitely the best invention ever for eating giant croutons!

So, what is not to love about a dish of rustic toasted bread layered with onions and garlic and cheese, all tucked amongst slices of slightly sweet yellowy squash happily soaking up the savory goo collecting all around it…  (Wow that is a mouthful.)  Just like this dish…

This is another recipe from Nigel Slater’s new cookbook, Tender, one of only two souvenirs I brought home from Ireland – the other being some silly rainbow-colored silicon measuring spoons. It is organized by vegetable, a concept that is starting to pop up in other cookbooks as well, and is wonderfully useful in an ingredient driven kitchen!

Trust me when I tell you this dish is other-worldly – and you can use any hard-skinned squash you have on hand.  Plus, Ur Dad said three times, “This is reaaally good. What is in it again???” Success!

Gather Up:
1 Hard-Skinned Squash: Acorn, Butternut, Pumpkin, etc
4 Thick Slices of Artisan Bread
1 Small Onion, sliced
2 Cloves Garlic, worked into a paste with salt
Pinch of Thyme
Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper
1 Cup Grated Gruyere Cheese
2 Tablespoons Parmesan Cheese
3 Cups Low Sodium Organic Chicken Broth
Olive Oil for Drizzling

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Peel and cut the squash into thin slices. Toast the bread.

Sauté the onion in a little olive oil until soft and beginning to caramelize.

In a small to medium size casserole dish fit the toasted bread into the bottom, reserving at least one of the slices to cut into croutons for the top.

Spread the onions and the garlic paste over the bread. Sprinkle lightly with thyme, salt and pepper.

Lay the squash slices over the onion and garlic. Spread the grated cheeses over the squash.

Cut large croutons from the reserved bread. Spread over the top.

Pour in enough chicken broth to cover the layers. Drizzle olive oil over the assembled dish.

Cover and bake 45 minutes. Check to see if the squash is tender. When tender, remove the lid and let go another 15 minutes or so to crisp up the croutons.

Kabocha Squash Scones, aka Pumpkin Scones

Thursday, August 12th, 2010

Ever since I learned about Kabocha squash I was on the lookout for one in my CSA box. Did u know they taste of pumpkin??? Well I did not, and pumpkin anything coming out of the tidal wave of summer squash sounded heavenly… When I spied the likely candidate the only thing on my mind was substitution in which pumpkin recipe?

Now ur mom has cooked with fresh pumpkin once before… Pumpkins intended for eating are a little hard to deal with and can have a very pronounced pumpkin taste. Plus I got the comment from Ur Dad that I dread hearing, “Well, it would be good if I liked that sort of thing…”

But this particular variety of squash promises a mild pumpkin flavor and is known to be slightly sweet. And unlike the last large squash I dealt with, it was not life-threatening to cut it open… So I forged ahead. 

Worried yet? Don’t be, these scone-biscuit thingies are soft and orange and oh, so warm and delicious. I intended to serve them for dinner but the smell was so heavenly and the taste so addicting I’m afraid we ate the whole pan standing around in the kitchen…This is a squash with great promise!

Gather Up:
Small to medium size Kabocha squash
5 ounces flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
2.5 ounces butter
1 egg, beaten
1/3 cup milk
Pinch dried thyme
Pat of butter for the pan

Cut the squash into wedges and cook in a 375 degree oven until tender. Set aside to cool.

Mix the flour, soda and salt in a bowl. Cut the butter into small pieces and rub it in with your fingertips.

Remove the flesh of the squash from the skin and mash it thoroughly. You should have about 1 ¼ to 1 ½ cups. Beat in the egg, then the milk and thyme.

Pour this into the flour mixture and mix well. Season with a little freshly ground pepper.

Warm a heavy ovenproof nonstick skillet over medium heat. Melt a pat of butter in the pan, then pour in the dough and smooth it flat. Leave it to cook over medium low until the underside is pale golden.

Lightly oil a dinner plate. Tip the skillet and slide the scone onto the plate, (the cooked side down on the plate). Flip the scone over into the pan from the plate, and cook the other side until pale golden.

Put the pan into the 375 degree oven for 6-8 minutes until it is lightly set in the middle.

Turn out of the skillet and slice into wedges. Serve warm.

Adapted from Tender, Nigel Slater.

Welcome to Like Mother Like gal, stay at home mom, college student. Just 3 girls who love to eat and are dedicated to doing it the old-fashioned way! Plan, shop, cook, bake, clean, sleep, repeat. Hope you enjoy - we are so glad you are here!
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