Showing posts with label patty pan. Show all posts
Showing posts with label patty pan. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

How to Make My Family's Favorite CSA Vegetable Spaghetti Sauce

Practical advice for how to save ripe summer farm share vegetables--by roasting--for use in a kid-friendly spaghetti sauce all year long.

The purpose and timing of this post reflects my mission for this blog: to provide practical support for local eating. We chose to get a large Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm share not because I'm a masochist and like to torture myself with overwhelming quantities of vegetables for the kids and I to eat while my spouse is deployed because it's a good value and I know if I put up the produce properly, I'll be feeding my family from the farm share all year long. With a couple of tried-and-true techniques, including #4 from this post, and a substantial Visual Recipe Index by Ingredient filled with ideas for what's in the box, my goal is to help you feed your people from your farm share as well.

Let's talk fantasy versus reality, especially as it pertains to spaghetti sauce. In a fantasy world, I'd start with ingredients like this and spend a leisurely day chopping and simmering in my spotless kitchen [this is my fantasy, after all]. Tomatoes would always be ripening in m weed-free back yard [no need to watch where you step either], basil would be fresh for the plucking, and I'd have an interesting assortment of eggplant, peppers, fennel and squash to make flavorful sauce. [Oh, and plenty of freezer space while we're talking fantasies].

In reality, this is what the start of my spaghetti sauce often looks like. It's a bit beetier, no? I grab a bag of vegetables and a piece of Parm rind out of the freezer, a jar of tomatoes out of the pantry, and 30 minutes later I've got sauce. Homemade sauce in a half an hour is possible only because I did some prep work in the late summer, as in right about this time of year. Typically I roast my vegetable surplus and freeze it in bags as shown, but this year I'll be throwing the farm share on the grill.
When I have more propane.
Funny, how propane is a necessary ingredient when you have a gas grill. Sunday night I came back from sled hockey camp [my son plays, I'm a hockey mom] planning to Grill All The Things in the crispers. I'd forgotten I was almost out of propane when I made pizza last. I turned on the oven instead. Using my previous little grill, a tank lasted almost 2 years. Now it lasts about 4 months. Just like you need lids and jars when you're ready to get canning, or a fresh roll of bags when you're freezing produce (Amazon affiliate link), you need propane to grill. If you have a gas grill, that is. Lesson learned.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Grilled Korean Chicken Thighs with Squash and Peppers

A flavorful meal of Korean-seasoned farm share vegetables and chicken thighs, grilled and served with bok choy and rice. Told ya I was throwing the farm share on the grill!

I may not be superstitious but I do believe in signs.  When I read a recipe for bibimbap and learn that the secret is a spoonful of Korean hot pepper bean paste (gochujang) which keeps for a while once opened, in the fridge my brain makes a mental note "get gochujang". When I read an article calling for gochujang to make sweet & spicy grilled vegetables and chicken thighs right when I've got the veggies from the farm share--I just go for it. Even with a too small grill (this was last year).

This recipe makes a pretty snazzy meal, a departure from my usual simply seasoned & grilled goodies. This complex flavor is deceptively simple--you throw some stuff in a bowl, whisk it together, pour it into 2 bags, dump prepped veggies and chicken into those bags, throw them in the fridge and walk away. When you're ready to cook, fire up the grill and the rice cooker, do a bit of work on the stove (or use your grill as a summer kitchen) and you're sitting down to a flavorful meal pretty quickly.

For other recipes using patty pan squash, please see my Summer Squash Recipe Collection. For other recipes using peppers, please see my Pepper Recipe Collection. For other recipes using bok choy, please see my Bok Choy Recipe Collection. These collections are part of the Visual Recipe Index by Ingredient, a resource for folks like me looking for ways to enjoy the produce from the farm share, farmers market, or generous gardener.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Patty Pan Squash Crumble (Reflections on Two Years of Blogging)

Patty pan squash, simmered with spices, tucked between a sweet crumble dough then baked. Summer squash for a Fall dessert. Revisited after 2 years of blogging.

Since I've been doing this blogging thing for about two years now, I've decided to revisit a recipe post from my first weeks of blogging. A post that has bothered me. Oh, the recipe is a sound one--though I did tweak it a bit--it's the rest of the elements of blogging that bothered me. I'll list them out for you.

  • The title. Summer Squash = Fall Dessert? Sure, that's a valid description of the post, but it's not really going to come up on many search engines. I may be ridiculously boring and obvious in my recipe titles these days (see my Visual Pizza Recipe Index for proof) but at least you know what you're getting with a Fig Jam, Goat Cheese, and Fresh Pear Pizza, don't you think?
  • The presentation. When I made this before, I observed that it probably would be good with ice cream but I didn't go get some and try it. After my IceCreamWeek experience, it doesn't make sense not to eat ice cream when you can. I'll admit this time I didn't go out and get some ice cream--I sent my son. We're all glad I did.
  • The photo. This one shouldn't be a surprise, but I will point out that at least the original photo was taken in natural light and is in focus, and also not extremely close up. You can see it here.  Not a horrid photo, right? But it doesn't tell a story. I'm continually working to improve my photos by adding elements that tell a story, like I learned in my 30 Days to Better Food Photography course.
The story of this recipe remake can be told through these three photos. After setting up the shot I asked the kids for help--with the promise of snacking once I was finished. I'd say they liked it.

Happy 2 year anniversary to Farm Fresh Feasts.  Thanks for reading.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Slow Cooker Squash and Beef Masala

Indian spices, patty pan squash and ground beef comingle in this slow cooker supper.  A tasty way to feed the family from the farm share on a busy afternoon.

Slow Cooker Squash and Beef Masala

With school starting I feel like I'm supposed to say our days will get busier, but more than the busier Fall days, I am looking forward to the structure of the coming weeks.  Without any structure to each week (my activities have been irregular this summer), meals and meal times have really been fluid.  We'll eat lunch at 2 pm, then not really be hungry for dinner.  Having the kids up at ___ time, out the door at ___ time, with evening activities at ___ time will give me a framework on which to hang meals.  Then my spouse will return, and we'll soon be in the swing our our family routine again.  I'm looking forward to that.

I use my slow cooker year round, but not often enough for it to get Pride of Place in the kitchen.  It lives in the basement Active Storage area.  Technically I have 3 slow cookers, so they live in this area.
[My spouse has an engineer brain, so we have an Active Storage area and a Cold Storage area--which doesn't store food, but does store less frequently accessed items like Christmas decorations.]  I primarily use my ancient 3-4 Quart Crock pot, but I love to heat spaghetti sauce in my little one (for the days when my son is in charge of boiling the noodles right before the rest of us get home) and make Kalua Pig or soup stock in my large one.

I developed this recipe from a desire to use some of the cow in the freezer and the patty pan squash from the CSA farm share in a form that my kids would enjoy over multiple meals.  They loved Rebecca of Foodie With Family's Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala when I riffed off it to make my Slow Cooker Chicken and Chick Pea Tikka Masala.  I figured I'd do something similar.  Since tikka = chicken it makes no sense to title this dish "Tikka" anything as there's no chicken in it, but since masala = a sauce, usually with tomatoes and spices and cream, I'm good with my title.  This makes a lot, and the leftovers are good in a thermos for a school or work lunch.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Baked Eggplant Chip Pesto Pizza

Cheesy, crunchy, breaded eggplant slices on a pesto pizza crust spread with extra pesto and topped with shredded Italian and crumbled feta cheeses.
If you've been or known a picky eater, could you ever imagine that picky eater to say "this spaghetti sauce needs more cowbell some eggplant"?  
My kids were picky, or at least not game for any vegetable, when we first started getting a CSA farm share.  Ever since I figured out that I could take the farm share eggplant and puree it with other vegetables to make spaghetti sauce (my first ever posted-on-the-internet recipe, at Tasty Kitchen, is here) I haven't had eggplant the way I love to eat it--breaded and covered with cheese.  Since the kids will eat eggplant in spaghetti sauce, that's what we do with our farm share eggplant.  Period.

Until this blog happened along, which probably coincided with me thinking that, just this once, I'd like to eat eggplant as the star of its own show, not as a bit player in an ensemble.  I've been all about treating myself this summer, making foods that I want to eat, and this is another one of those.  It's my hope that you'll also benefit from my self-pampering.

This is the third time recently that I've posted a recipe-within-a-recipe, and I hope I'm not violating some sort of blogger laws or setting up some unrealistic expectations.  Just like you don't need to make pizza with your Sun Dried Tomato Pesto, nor do you need to use Kale Hummus in your Fattoush Dip, you don't need to make Baked Eggplant Chips the way I describe below in order to make Baked Eggplant Chip Pizza.  You can make them another way.  The first eggplant chip recipe I ever had was from my CSA in Virginia, Blenheim Organic Gardens, and you can find Becky's tasty eggplant chip recipe here at the Washington Post.

I wanted a breaded cheesy crunchy sort of eggplant chip, and I had a hunch, when I got a great coupon for Kraft Fresh Takes (not sponsored, I bought this because it was a good deal and I wanted to play), that instead of coating chicken or fish I could coat slices of summer vegetables.  I tried it with zucchini,  patty pan squash, and eggplant.

I got a little carried away.

With the leftover eggplant (because it's frequently about the leftovers around here) I decided to toss it onto a pizza.  This was a good call--the breaded eggplant slices retained their crunchy cheesy eggplant goodness.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Summer Squash = Fall Dessert

Pattypan squash in a crumble for dessert? Yes.

I love changing seasons.  As much as I don't want to turn on an oven in the heat of the summer, as soon as the weather starts to turn cool I look forward to baking, stewing, and roasting.
I also relish the opportunity to look at a familiar vegetable in a new way.  Like this patty pan squash.  I'd cut it up, prepared to sauté it with something-or-other, then took the kids to the dentist.  Lucky for us I also brought along a copy of Farmer John's Cookbook, because in that I discovered a new-to-me use for squash that I'd never make in the summer but is perfect for a cool fall evening.  This recipe will work with any summer squash, but since my CSA box had this pretty patty pan I've used it.