Monday, September 10, 2012

Stuffed Pattypan Squash

This is really more of a method than an actual recipe, but these stuffed squash are a great way to use up leftovers that are hanging around in your fridge.  They can be made with any variety of summer squash, but I love the shape of the pattypan squash, they're too cute.  This recipe would work for either a side or main dish.  Change up the fillings as you see fit...use orzo or quinoa in place of the rice, ground beef instead of sausage, parmesan or monterey jack in place of can do just about anything once you have the method down!  

Stuffed Pattypan Squash

1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup rice
4 pattypan squash
1/2 onion
1/2 sausage, browned and crumbled
1/4-1/2 cup finely shredded manchego cheese
1/4 teaspoon red pepper (cayenne)
salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Add about 3 inches of water to a pot or saucepan with a lid, lightly salt the walter and bring to a boil.  Add the squash to the boiling water and allow to cook for about 10 minutes, or until the squash is fork tender.  Remove the squash and allow it to cool.  Meanwhile, bring the chicken broth to a boil, then add rice.  Simmer until liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender.  

Drain the water from the pot that had the squash and heat up a little oil over medium heat.  Saute the onion until tender. 

In a bowl, combine the cooked rice, onion, sausage, cheese and red pepper.  Remove the tops of the squash and scoop out some of the flesh inside, trying not to cut all the way through the squash.  (If you do, it's okay, the filling is dense enough it shouldn't cause any mess...not that I'd know...)  If you choose to add some of the scooped out flesh to the filling, squeeze out the excess water.  Check your filling for seasoning and add salt and pepper as desired.  Stuff the squash with the filling, mounding a little on top as well.

Spray a baking dish with a little nonstick spray and place the filled squash inside.  Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes or until everything is warmed through and the squash is very tender.  

Makes 4 side-dish servings or 2 main-dish servings

**You could more than likely use this filling to stuff bell peppers as well, just add about 1/2 inch of hot water to the baking dish before baking them.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

7 Layer Mediterranean Dip

I made this tasty dip last week for a weekly gathering we have with folks from our church.  Five of us nearly finished off the entire dish, it was that good!  I used my hummus recipe, but feel free to use store-bought as well.  We had pita chips, cucumbers and bell peppers to dip it in.  Just for fun, I topped a lamb burger with the leftovers later in the week, and it was phenomenal.  Just the right thing to go with that burger.

7-Layer Mediterranean Dip
(adapted from Circle B Kitchen)

1 1/2 cups hummus
3/4 cup peeled and diced cucumbers
3/4 cup diced red onions
3/4 cup diced tomatoes
1/2 cup diced kalamata olives
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/2 cup diced roasted red pepper (jarred is fine)

pita chips and/or vegetables, for dipping

In a 9-x-13 inch baking dish (or any other serving dish), spread the hummus in an even layer.  Add layers in the following order:  cucumber, onions, tomatoes, olives, feta cheese, and roasted red bell pepper.  Serve with pita chips and/or fresh vegetables.

**I gave measurements here, but when I made the dip, I simply put on as much as looked good.  I used the entire batch of hummus.


Monday, March 26, 2012

Tenderloin Steaks with Garlic Sauce

These little tenderloin steaks have a tasty garlic sauce that would taste good on any number of other foods as well.  This recipe comes from a great little book from Cooking Light, called Light and Easy Menus,  that contains menus, something I'm not the best at putting together myself.  I have a hard time coming up with creative sides that go well with a main dish.  I love the menus in this book and since it's from Cooking Light, I feel like I'm making good choices.  The steaks weigh in at 190 calories each, the sweet potatoes at 163 per serving and the broccoli at a whole 33 calories per serving!

Tenderloin Steaks with Garlic Sauce
(from Cooking Light)

1/4 cup fat-free beef broth
2 tablespoons dry red wine
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon juniper berries (optional)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
2 (4-ounce) beef tenderloin steaks (3/4 to 1 inch thick)

Combine first 5 ingredients and juniper berries, if desired.  Set aside.

Press 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper evenly onto steaks.  Heat a heavy skillet over high heat until hot.  Place steaks in pan; cook 3 minutes on each side or to desired degree of doneness.  Transfer steaks to a plate; keep warm.

Reduce heat to medium; add broth mixture.  Cook 2 minutes or until sauce is slightly reduced, scraping pan to loosen browned bits.  Serve sauce over steaks.  (2 servings)

Mashed Sweet Potatoes

1/2 pound sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1/4 cup (1 ounce) goat cheese
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper

Cook potato in a large saucepan in boiling water to cover 10 to 15 minutes or until tender.  Drain; return to pan.  Add cheese, salt, and pepper; mash well with a potato masher.  (2 servings)

Steamed Broccoli

1/2 pound broccoli, trimmed
1 teaspoon grated orange rind

Steam broccoli, covered, 5 to 8 minutes or until crisp-tender.  Drain well.  Sprinkle with orange rind.  (2 servings)


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