Saturday, July 08, 2006

More uses for squash, and other recipes

I made several snacky things Saturday and I wanted to share the recipes.

1. Pan-fried Summer Squash

My dad used to cook yellow squash this way... I guess maybe he still does-- Do ya, Dad? When my mom heard that I still had some of that 5+ lbs of squash left from the farmer's market, she suggested I used them this way.

5 baby squash, sliced long-ways.
Flour, black pepper, salt and basil for dredging. Amounts are up to the cook.
Olive oil for pan frying.

I put the flour mixture in a bowl and dabbed the squash pieces around in it. Meanwhile, I had olive oil in my skillet on medium. I put as many flour-coated squash pieces in the pan as I could fit and let them sizzle a while before flipping. At this point most of the oil was sponged up into the flour coating, so I sprinkled the skillet with water just to get it sizzling again without adding too much oil.

2. Blooming Onion

Mr. Morris's leeks have turned into full-fledged onions now. So I peeled one cut it into eighths--leaving part of the bottom intact. I placed the onion on some heavy foil, separated the "petals" a little with my fingers and drizzled it with olive oil and sprinkled it with salt.
Wrapped up the little foil package and stuck it in my toaster oven at 500 for maybe half an hour. Not as good as the deep-fried restaurant variety, but very tender and sweet.

3. Fresh Bruschetta

My basil is really growing bushy. Before pesto production begins, I thought I'd use it for another Italian favorite.

1 small bunch basil, leaves torn into small pieces
1 large ripe tomato, chopped finely
~3 Tbs sweet onion, chopped finely
4 cloves garlic, chopped finely
1/4 cup black olives, also chopped.

Mix it all together and serve over toasted Italian bread.
I usually cook all that with olive oil, and add salt. Cooking will mellow the garlic, basil and onion and sour up the tomato. I was in the spicy mood though.

4. Balsamic Chicken Bites

Had to use two chicken breasts and this is how I did it.

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch chunks.
Flour, salt, pepper and basil for dredging.
Olive oil, balsamic viniagrette for pan frying.

I had flour mix leftover from the squash, so I thought why not? To add a little more flavor, I added a few splashes of the dressing to the frying pan. It also helped the chicken brown nicely.
Took maybe 5 minutes per side to cook? I always cut a few of the fatter pieces to check for doneness though. Joe enjoyed dipping these in a pineapple-mango-coconut sauce that his folks gave us.

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