Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Pan-fried Squash Fritters

In my eternal quest to turn our healthy CSA bounty into something less healthy, I set out to make some squash fritters recently with some Magda squash and Benning's patty pan squash we got from our fabulous CSA farm, Tecolote.

I used this recipe as a base, but since I had no idea how large the original recipe author's squash were, I sort of winged it on the proportions. I just love a forgiving recipe, don't you?

I started with this much squash:

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Shredded it up in my brand new food processor (yay!), along with a small spring onion, also from Tecolote:

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Added in two eggs, a cup of shredded cheddar cheese, and a whole cup of flour. The recipe calls for only 1/4 c of flour and suggests that the batter will be "almost a dry mix" at this point. But even after a full cup of flour, it wasn't even close to being dry. So I did what most home cooks would do; I cheerfully ignored the recipe and started frying flattened spoonfuls in a skillet with a little peanut oil.

It worked.

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If When I make these again, I'll probably try draining the squash or squeezing it out with paper towels before mixing in the other ingredients to see if I can dry out the batter a bit. I liked them as they were, though - ever so slightly crunchy on the outside, but soft and squash-y (that's "squash-y," not squishy) on the inside. My friend Jackie described them as being sort of like squash crepes, which I think is a good description.

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You can top these with all manner of condiments depending on your tastes - a little sour cream or creme fraiche and a light sprinkle of sea salt is wonderful, or you can even eat them with a few drops of soy sauce and Asian hot oil to mimic a potsticker flavor. They make for a nice, light summer meal, or could be served as a side dish.

Mission un-healthify squash, complete.

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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Fresh Coconut Paletas

As anyone who follows my Pinterest boards has probably guessed, I'm a little bit obsessed with homemade frozen treats right now. My friend/neighbor/food co-conspirator, Jackie, got a popsicle mold a while back, and has been sharing her delicious creations with us. After devouring a particularly memorable horchata pop, I broke down and bought my own mold.

The beauty about making paletas (or popsicles, whatever) is that you can completely fly by the seat of your pants while making them. Get as creative as you want. Throw a little of whatever sounds good in the blender, taste it, doctor it to your heart's content. In other words, my kind of food creating.

For my first batch of paletas, I cracked open a couple of fresh, young coconuts (I was intimidated by how this was going to work, but this post made it a cinch). I used almost all the juice of both coconuts and the meat of one of them (because I couldn't resist eating the other). I also tossed in maybe 3/4 c shredded coconut from a bag and about 2 tablespoons of honey. Again, the beauty of these is that you can really adjust the ingredients to taste, and recipes are difficult anyway, since popsicle molds come in so many different sizes. I knew my molds held a total of 25 oz of liquid and my blender has hatch marks for ounces on the side, so that helped me eyeball how much liquid I needed to end up with. I blended everything together, poured the concoction in my molds, and waited.

I was delighted with the way the finished product came out. Like eating a fresh coconut, only with a lovely crunchy, icy, refreshing texture.

I'll definitely be making these again.

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Friday, May 4, 2012

Food Photo Friday: Baked Eggs for Brunch

It's Friday! Which means that those delightful brunch days of the week are upon us. I finally made it to Contigo for brunch last weekend, and I'm so glad I did; the baked eggs that I ordered catapulted Contigo to my short list of favorite brunch spots after one bite. Beautiful golden eggs, spicy arugula, roast-y brussel sprouts...both delicious AND low-carb - unless, of course, you order one of their amazing housemade buttermilk biscuits to go with it. Or a bloody Mary. Hey, it's the weekend, after all.

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