Sunday, September 30, 2007

Baked Acorn Squash

It's fall. Time for squash and stuff. These are really easy to make.

1 acorn squash
2 pats butter
2 tsp. honey (or syrup or brown sugar)
cinnamon, salt & pepper

Preheat oven to 400'. Cut that squash in half lengthwise, scoop out seeds and pulp*. Put them up in a lined baking dish. Put some butter and honey in those things and get some cinnamon up in there. Bake for an hour.

* Don't throw out the seeds- toast them like pumpkin seeds. Separate them from the pulp and rinse them off in a colander. Let them dry out on a paper towel while your squash is baking. When the squash is done, lower the oven to 350'. Spread the seeds out on a cookie sheet and season with a little salt. Bake for about 10 minutes. Keep an eye on them and take them out just when they start to get a little color. I devoured mine before I thought to get a picture.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Scotch eggs

...Seems wherever I live, I whip some of these up and people (who've inevitably never heard of them before) are horrified. I don't get it. What's not to like about a hard-boiled egg, wrapped in sausage, dipped in beaten egg, rolled in bread crumbs, and then deep-fried?

I've only deep-fried them once; I couldn't get a large enough volume of oil hot enough to do it up right, and baking leads to a healthier product, relatively speaking. Note the different shades of breading in the latter photo; the ones on top are breaded with corn flake crumbs, while the bottom are normal bread crumbs. Verdict: corn flake eggs are tastier hot, and standard are better cold. They're both DELICIOUS.

(In the background, you can catch a rare glimpse into my cooking environment. Notice large Maryland sporting-event cups full of essential utensils, the KitchenAid mixer of Amy's that'll last until the next ice age, several sorts of tea, and the ever-present cast iron skillet. With the right equipment, even a pathetically small kitchen can produce delicious food.)

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Vietnamese Summer Rolls

I filled the rice paper wrappers with shrimp, lettuce, basil and rice vermicelli and served the rolls with peanut dipping sauce. I used a bagged lettuce mix that had some herbs already in it. The recipes I looked up said to add mint and cilantro as well. I'll save that for next time.

The rice papers come in a package as brittle sheets. When you soak them in warm water for a few seconds they soften up and behave like saran wrap. If you're not careful they'll start to cling up and stick to themselves.

The technique is to layer the fillings on one-third of the wrapper and then just roll it up like a burrito.