How I Made Him Eat Squash

MJW is a fairly picky eater. He would never say he’s a picky eater but he makes a point to avoid: cooked onions, cooked tomatoes, any cooked vegetable for that matter, chocolate, sweets, pumpkin, couscous and of course, anything “vegan”…among other things. I make up for the confused pallet, that’s for sure.
I had an extra squash laying around today and I knew that I wouldn’t be able to eat the whole thing. Acorn squash, yes. Yellow squash, not so much. I also got my hands on some flaky dough so I was trying to piece together a game time appetizer using both items.
We might be taking baby steps, but I looked to the one ingredient no man in his right mind would ever turn down – bacon. I had some leftover. It’s not like I went out and bought it just for this recipe. This was all about getting rid of some leftovers. Two things would be accomplished – trick MJW and clean the fridge.
Within about 20 minutes the house smelled like bacon and both MJW and Reddick were wondering what was going on. With that, Squash Bacon Rolls were created!
Ingredients:
 
Flaky dough (I found a recipe here, or you could use frozen puff pastry, pie crust or even Pilsbury’s Croissants)
1 yellow squash
4 strips of bacon
Olive oil
Cheddar cheese, shredded
Salt and pepper
Methods:
 
1. Cut the squash into strips lengthwise. It’s easier to work with if you cut the squash in half first and then slice into 2-3 inch strips. (the point is to make it resemble the shape of the bacon)
2. Season the squash and saute in olive oil until soft.
3. Roll the dough into a rectangle. The dough should be fairly thin and you want the longer side of the triangle to be at least 12 inches. The shorter side is going to determine how many slices you get. Chill the dough for 5 minutes.
4. Lay the squash flat on the dough and cover the surface.
5. Lay the bacon diagonally across the squash from the top left corner to the bottom right.
6. Sprinkle with cheese.
7. From the bottom, start to roll (like you are making cinnamon rolls).
8. Once you have your roll, slice into 1/2 inch pieces/discs.
9. Lay flat on a baking sheet.
10. Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes. If you are using flaky dough, it will not really brown. As soon as it bakes and is no longer doughy, it’s done.
11. Serve while they are hot or they are even good after they have been sitting out for a bit.
They are almost gone. I think we have a vegetable sneak-in success!

Creativity in the Kitchen

Last week, some weird things ended up in my kitchen.

Purple is my favorite color, but purple peppers are not my favorite peppers. I’ve found them before at farmers markets back in NY, but never down here. I ended up picking these two up at Whole Foods the other day and had no idea what I was going to use them for. Tonight I got a little restless and started to chop one up in hopes that inspiration would come my way. I ended up taking a bite and was not happy. The purple peppers are pretty flavorless compared to other peppers. They are not sweet and have a slightly bitter, pale taste. I ended up putting them into an omelette with some provolone and my favorite, Newman’s Own Black Bean and Corn Chili. (This is one of the best salsas you will ever have. I promise.)
I did have a little bit of random kitchen success last week. Earlier in the week we made cake rolls and ended up having a ton left over. I had been reading The Flavor Bible and was inspired to try something with the leftover cakes.
I took them home and dried them in a low heat oven for about 2 hours. Leaving them out to become stale would have yielded the same result. After they were dry and slightly hard, I processed them until they became a fine powder, or a flour…
I knew that the flour was a little too rough to become another cake or bread, so my first thought was to make cookies. I also thought that the flour was automatically going to be fluffy and spongy, like the original cake, but I was very wrong.
 I went with chocolate chip cookies and this is how they turned out…
They certainly aren’t the prettiest cookies you will ever see, but they tasted pretty damn good. You could definitely taste the raspberry from the cake roll and they were a little mushy from the “flour” itself. I still have some of my homemade flour, so I plan to try this again really soon and have a much better looking final product.