Week of September 26

These awesome ideas come from Nan Dell. Check out her awesome catering service on facebook 

Spaghetti Squash

SpaghettiSquash is an edible squash with slightly stringy flesh which when cooked has a texture and appearance like that of spaghetti.  Spaghetti squash can be baked whole, in the oven (make sure to poke a few small holes with a toothpick so it doesn’t explode in the oven), or it can be cut open and sautéed or steamed.

Spaghetti Squash is rich in Vitamins B-6, C, Magnesium and Fiber.  It is hearty and withstand colder temperatures.

Spaghetti Squash Pizza Crust Topped with Caramelized Onions

3 cups spaghetti squash

1 egg, beaten

1 garlic clove, minced

1/2 cup part skim shredded mozzarella cheese

¼ cup gratedParmesanReggiano cheese

Salt and pepper to taste

5 onions sliced into uniform slices

1 tbs. butter

1 tbs. olive oil

1 tbs. sugar

1 tsp. salt

¼ cup balsamic vinegar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Cut spaghetti squash in half and bake until tender (you can remove seeds before baking or after, your choice).  Once squash has cooked scrape out and place in a colander to drain.  Using a paper towel(or a dish towel) squeeze out as much of the water as possible.

Mix the dried squash with the egg, mozzarella, Parmesan, salt and pepper and pat down onto a baking sheet to about ½”.  Bake until golden and crispy, about 20-25 minutes.

While squash bakes (before you make the crust), heat olive oil and butter in a heavy skillet.  When butter has melted, add the onions, salt, sugar and balsamic.  Let onions cook at medium low heat for about 15 minutes (undisturbed), gently stir onions and leave undisturbed for another 10 – 15 minutes, repeat this process until onions are golden and reduced by 3 x’s.  Be patient, this is a labor of love and well worth the effort.

Once “crust” has baked, top with onions and a sprinkle of parmesan.  Serve as a side or add some Italian sausage and serve as a main course.

Roasted Cream of Carrot Soup

3 tbs. Butter

2 shallots, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 tbs. brandy

8 - 10 carrots, scrubbed and peeled if desired half of them quartered and half of them diced and set aside)

4 cups chicken stock (vegetable stock can be used)

Salt

Pepper

1 1/4 cup coconut milk (in the carton next to the soy milk), soy milk or almond milk

2 tsp. mint

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Place quartered carrots on a cookie sheet and drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.  Bake for about 25 minutes, or until carrots are soft. 

Heat butter over medium high heat.  Add shallots and garlic.  Add diced carrots and sauté for about 5 minutes.  Stir in brandy and simmer for about 5 minutes, add stock, pinch of salt, fresh ground pepper and half the mint.  Let simmer for about 20 minutes.  Roughly chop roasted carrots and add to mixture.  Puree soup until creamy and return to pot.  Stir in milk and gently heat.  Serve soup with fresh mint, a dollop of Greek yogurt and a drizzle of lime juice.

 Pickled Fennel and Radishes

½ fennel bulb, sliced paper thin with a Mandolin

3 pickling cucumbers sliced thin

1 small bunch radishes, sliced

2 star anise

1 tsp. fennel seed

1 tsp. coriander seeds

½ stalk lemongrass, bruised

5 juniper berries

10 peppercorns

1 bay leaf

¼ cup white wine vinegar

¼ cup apple cider vinegar

¼ cup water

½ tbs. Koshersalt

1 tbs. sugar

Heat a skillet over medium low heat.  Add star anise, fennel seed, coriander seed, juniper berries, peppercorns and bay leaves and toast until fragrant.  This should take about 3 – 4 minutes.  Removed from heat and set aside.  In a separate saucepan, add white wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar, water, salt and sugar and heat until salt and sugar have dissolved.  Add toasted spices and lemongrass and let heat for an additional 5 minutes.  Place shaved fennel, cucumber and radishes in a large glass jar, pour vinegar/spice mixture over fennel and let cool to room temperature.   Place a tight fitting lid on jar and place in the refrigerator.  Let sit for 1 day before using.