Thursday, November 3, 2016

Chaotic cookery! - From Someone Else's Table: Butternut squash, brussies, and chick peas!

Long promised, never fulfilled...'til now!!!  I am going to try to routinely create posts of one of my favorite things:  cooking (or is it eating?  or sharing?)  When I think about it, they end up being the same thing!!  And I love them all!  I wrote up a little cookbook some years ago, titled The Black Magic Cookbook, by my kiddo's.  Just recipes that were my fav's and things my family enjoys, with little anecdotes about how the dishes came to be, along with family stories.  It was well most who were gifted a copy...and that is more than enough encouragement for me!!!

From Someone Else's Table.  A title I settled on after some struggle when "writing my cookbook", because, who really created the first rendition of THAT dish? Who made the first mac 'n cheese?  Who deserves credit for cioppino?  Fried chicken?  Pumpkin pie?  Julia Child did not invent Boeuf Bourguignon, though much to the chagrin of many a Frenchman I would imagine, her name is synonymous with least here in the states.  Add to that, the fact that very often after our travels, or a yummy meal at at a restaurant, I come home and attempt to re-create a dish that I way.  So...whose dish is it?  I work very hard to give credit where it is due in literature, melanoma research, sewing patterns...everything I do, really.  Folks deserve credit for their hard work!!  But sometimes....things just are what they are.  No matter how many folks re-do them.  Bottom line, I figure all MY dishes really came From Someone Else's Table!  I will do my best to acknowledge the source as best I can!  So, here we go....

I've often mentioned all the veggies consumed at the Morris Table when folks are extolling me and others to cure our melanoma and other ills in that manner.  That technique hasn't worked for me, yet...but I do love my veggies.  Here are three of my favorite veggie dishes that just happened to make up dinner recently...

Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Warm Cider Vinaigrette

     This salad has been a hit with everyone I've ever shared it with.  It comes from Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics, by Ina Garten.

1 butternut squash, peeled, and diced into bite size pieces             olive oil
1 T maple syrup              salt/pepper            3 T dried cranberries (though I really like to use dried cherries and did so here!)
Dressing:  3/4 c apple cider, apple juice, or white wine   2 T cider vinegar     2 T minced shallots          2 t Dijon mustard            salad greens     {walnuts per her...NOT per me since I am allergic....but I'm sure they'd be good!}   grated Parm to top if you like (sometimes I have it, sometimes I don' was 'don't!)

Preheat oven to 400.  Toss squash pieces in olive oil, syrup, salt and pepper.  Place on sheet pan and roast 15-20 minutes, turning once, until tender.  Add the dried fruit to pan for the last 5 minutes.

Dressing:  Combine vinegar, apple cider, and shallots in saucepan and bring to boil.  Cook 6-8 min, until reduced to about 1/4 c.  Off heat add mustard, 1/2 olive oil (I generally use less), salt/pepper.

Place greens on plate.  Top with roasted squash, dressing, and toppings if using.  Serve immediately as it can get soggy!!!

Cochon Brussies

     I looove New Orleans.  And of all the yummy choices, Cochon Butcher may be my favorite restaurant there.  (I know.... Where is THIS dish from THIS place going in a veggie meal, right???)  And, B looooves brussel on a visit there a couple of years ago....we shared this amazing dish.  After sneaky talks with the server and practice at is my version:

Prep fresh brussel sprouts...frozen would be okay...but fresh will hold up better.  Half if large.  Blanch til barely tender in salted water.  Drain.  Saute 1/2 c diced red onion in bacon drippings if you want to be bad and delicious, but olive oil works just fine, in an oven proof pan.  Return drained brussies to pan.  Add splash of champagne vinegar, fresh chopped mint (about 1 T, dried is ok, just use less), red pepper flakes to taste (you can also add more after serving if tastes at your table vary), and crumbled bacon if desired. (I didn't for this meal.)  Roast at 375 or 400 for about 20-30 minutes until roasted and golden.  Enjoy!

Roasted Chick Peas 

     I am not one for a lot of heat in my food, though many of my favorite eaters love it.  But we all love flavor.  Here are some awesome flavors of the world that are delicious. 

I also love garbanzo salads, pasta salads, soups, sauteed with spinach, onions and lots of paprika, a' la  Espinacas con Garbanzos, that I adored in Spain.  Here is a super quick and tasty snack, hors d'oeuvre, or as I used it here...a way to put a yummy veggie protein into a meal. (I think Ruthie shared this one!)

Obviously you can cook up your own garbanzo's from dried.  I just used a can here. can roast or pan saute them with any seasoning you like.  Serving Spaghetti?  Season with salt, pepper, basil and oregano.  Steak with a side salad?  How bout seasoning the beans with a steak seasoning blend, or  salt, pepper, paprika, garlic and parsley?  There are no limits to your options.  Here I drained the chickpeas, placed them in hot skillet with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of South African Peri Peri Blend shown above. Roasting in the oven works great, too.  So good!!!

So that's the first installment.  Hope it gave you some cookery ideas of your own - From Someone Else's Table!!! - c