Roasted Delicata

Thu, Oct 21 • 0

In one way, I think my wife usually dreads the autumn, because that’s when I start doing things with winter squash. For the most part, she’s not into them. I think it has something to do with the way they sort of stick to your teeth, and their tendency to be sweet like sweet potatoes (also not on her list of favorites). So I was pretty surprised by her reaction to roasted and sliced delicata squash.

The delicata squash is ovoid in shape, with slight ribs running along its length. Their default color seems to be a light, creamy yellow, but that’s streaked with orange and green most times. They’re relatively easy to peel compared to most other winter squash, as the skin is smooth and mostly unblemished. I use a Y-peeler for the main body, pulling it towards me as I go, and a normal peeler for the rounded ends, which I trim off mostly anyway. I cut it in half, and core out the seeds and guts with a spoon. Then I slice the meat in quarter inch slices, toss them in olive oil and salt, and spread them on a foil lined baking sheet. I cook them in a hot oven, 425, for about an hour, tossing them halfway through.

The result is almost like french-fries, but with more fiber. She especially likes the dark and crispy caramelized parts. I bet if your kids don’t like to eat vegetables, they’ll dig these, too.


Onion Topping Better Than Green Beans

Fri, Jun 27 • 0

My wife exclaimed that while the green beans are “good,” the onions are “fab! Just like onion rings!”

I tossed together some green bean casserole last night for dinner. Just some frozen haricot verts, parboiled for 5 minutes, and some pre-made alfredo cheese sauce. I was thinking about topping the whole thing with Parmesan and panko bread crumbs, but then I remembered Alton Brown’s recipe for green bean casserole, where he eschewed all premade badness (the canned crispy onions and the cream of mushroom soup) in favor of homemade. He topped them with fresh made onion crisps. As leftovers, my wife exclaims that while the green beans are “good,” the onions are “fab! Just like onion rings!” So I guess I’ll be making them more often. The recipe isn’t that hard, though it’s a little heat intensive for a hot summer day.

1 or 2 onions, sliced thin
2 T AP flour
2 T panko bread crumbs
Salt, to taste

Preheat the oven to 475°. Slice the onions as thin as possible. (I use a slicing gizmo.) Separate into rings, and put in a large bowl. Add flour and bread crumbs and salt. Toss so that all the rings are relatively well coated. Spread on a sheet pan sprayed with cooking spray, and cook in the middle of the hot oven for 30 minutes, tossing every 10.


White Bean Mash

Sat, Jun 14 • 0

An easy dinner side dish comes together in less than 10 minutes.

1 large clove of garlic, chopped
1 can cannellini
(white kidney) beans, drained

In a sauce pan, heat up some oil, and lightly fry the chopped garlic. Add the beans, and let them heat up. Then, with the back of a wooden spoon, mash the beans to form a paste. Season with some salt and pepper.


Zucchini with Scallions and Mint

Sat, Jun 14 • 0

A tasty recipe to use up all the squash for your garden.

I saw this on Lidia Bastianich’s cooking program on PBS. It’s surprisingly delicious. (You should know, though, that boiling vinegar will leave a lingering, though not completely unpleasant odor.)

½ c white wine vinegar
3 medium green zucchini, sliced
6 scallions, cut into 1″ pieces
fresh mint leaves, chopped

In a small saucepan, bring the vinegar to a boil, and reduce by half. In large frying pan, sauté the scallions in a little hot oil. Add the zucchini, and allow it to brown on both sides. Add the reduced vinegar and toss to coat each slice. Remove from heat, and add chopped mint leaves. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm or at room temperature.


Corn on the Cob

Sun, May 4 • 1

As far as I’m concerned, there are only two ways to make corn on the cob … the good way, and the better way.

The good way has you boiling a pot of water with a handful of salt and a handful of sugar, and once the water is at a full boil, you put in the shucked corn, let it boil for 5 minutes, and then turn off the heat, and let it steep for another 7 to 10.

The better way to do it has you put the corn, husk and all, on the grill, turning every few minutes, for 15 minutes. This will give you a delicious smoky flavor, and the corn silk will come right off. (Some people dunk the ears of corn in water first to prevent burning. I actually like the husks to char a bit, for the flavor.)

In either case, slather it with butter and kosher salt.

I’ve read suggestions that you can cook corn in the microwave, wrapping the corn in plastic wrap, and steaming it in the husk. I’ve tried it with very mixed results, so I generally stick to the two methods above.


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