Jul 18

Let’s start with a bit of an introduction. This dish falls under a number of categories, it’s a great side dish, served either warm or cold, depending on the main course and time of year. It’s perfect for those on a diet, as the calorie count for this entire recipe is about 800 calories. It’s frugal and will let you use up the zucchini from your garden or a friend that brought you a basket of it.¬† Zucchini high season is toward the end of the summer so we wanted to get this posted before it was harvest time. Last, it freezes well, so fits nicely with the other recipes we’ve done targeted for the “cooking ahead” strategy.

By the way, if Ratatouille sounds too fancy, just call it “veggie stew,” which reminds me, serve this to your vegetarian friends and they’ll know you really care. Now, let’s get cooking.

Ingredients
4 lbs zucchini
3 red peppers
2 Vidalia (or sweet) onions
2 28oz cans tomatoes (I use one whole and one crushed)
1 tbl crushed garlic

First, fry the garlic with a little olive oil, for a few minutes, then add the onions and cook over a low heat. You want the onions to soften and it’s ok if they caramelize a bit. (Note, this is an 8 qt pot. If your pots are smaller, you might need to cut the recipe in half)

Cut up the zucchini into big chunks, as shown. I cut off the ends and washed the zucchini, but not peeled it. No need to.

This is when the food photographers get my admiration. Five shots and this was the best I could do. You get the idea, though. Once those onions are done, you’re going to put in the zucchini and peppers, and both cans of tomatoes. Cook for about two hours covered, on low heat and be sure to stir every twenty minutes or so.

You can take the lid off once the zucchini has softened and cook till it’s the thickness you prefer. It can be served over rice or noodles, or by itself. You notice I didn’t mention any seasoning at all? If I have fresh basil, I put in a dozen leaves or so, chopped fine. You can add oregano, if you like, about a table spoon or so. After you make it the first time, try whatever variation you wish. You can add eggplant, carrots, turnip, whatever. I know some people will add salt to everything they cook. Not us. Try this dish once and we’re sure you’ll find that you make it again and again. Let us know what changes you make to it by leaving a comment. We love to hear from our readers.

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Jun 23

Mashed squash makes a nice side dish and it’s very easy to make if you have the time (like when you’re cooking for the week but have a spare burner.)

squash1

Start out with a nice sized butternut squash. This one weighted just under five pounds.

squash2

Peel, cut in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds, and quarter. Steam the cut up squash for about 25 minutes or until fork tender. Note, after peeling and scooping, we have just over four pounds of squash, if you wish, you can buy it already prepped like this.

squash3

Next put into a casserole dish, this is a 2-1/2 quart size, add eight table spoons brown sugar, and mash with a potato masher or fork until smooth.

squash4

Cook for 60 minutes at 350F, covered, then remove cover and cook another 20-30 minutes until the top starts to brown a bit. From start to finish is nearly two hours but the work is minimal, and this will last nearly a week in the refrigerator. Enjoy.

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Mar 30

Batter:
1 cup sifted all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon sugar (a bit more if you have a sweet tooth)
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
3/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Filling:
1 cup dry-curd (not cream-style) cottage cheese
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon pineapple jam
1/2 cup finely crushed cornflakes
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

BATTER: Beat egg. Add milk and water. Sift flour, salt and sugar together and gradually add to liquid, beating and blending until smooth.
BRUSH hot skillet (large or small, depending on size blintzes desired) with melted shortening. Pour in enough batter to cover bottom very thinly. (Pour any excess that doesnít immediately cling to the bottom of the pan back into the uncooked batter.)
FRY until dry. Turn out on waxed paper. Put 1 tablespoon filling and fold envelope-style into a small package. Continue frying blintzes, being sure to brush pan lightly with melted shortening before each batch.
REFRIGERATE filled blintzes until ready to serve. To serve, fry in melted butter until brown on both sides. Serve plain or topped with sugar and cinnamon.
FILLING: Mash cottage cheese or press through a sieve until smooth. Add remaining filling ingredients and mix thoroughly. Use about 1 tablespoon in the center of each blintz.

NOTE: Blintzes can be made in advance, wrapped in waxed paper and frozen. To serve, remove from freezer, thaw in refrigerator and fry in melted butter.

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