Elizabeth A.S. Brooke

Crafting, traveling and everything in between.


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Zucchini (Squash) Fritters

After making zucchini bread for the National Scrapbooking Day scrap last weekend, I had a lot of leftover grated veggie. So I made zucchini fritters!

This is actually a recipe called squash fritters, which I use summer or crook neck squash to make. Zucchini, of course, is a type of squash, so works perfectly in this recipe, too.

Squash Fritters
6 squash, boiled and mashed or grated
1 egg
1 small onion, minced or chopped
breadcrumbs
salt and pepper

1. Mix everything together.
2. Pat out into patties or spoon and drop into oil in frying pan at medium heat.
3. Cook until brown on each side and serve.

Chris loves when I make this. We prefer to eat squashes sauteed or steamed, but if we’ve got some in the freezer or canned, I make this. We eat ’em with ketchup.


Gnocchi and Alfredo

I love gnocchi! And it’s all Giada de Laurentiis’ fault! 🙂
Last night I made a big match of mashed potatoes and pulled about 3 cups of potatoes to the side before adding butter, milk and salt and pepper to make traditional mashed potatoes. To make gnocchi, which is basically a pasta-like dish made out of potatoes, you add eggs and flour and roll it out.
The recipe I use is from Giada’s book “Everyday Pasta.”
For lunch today, I warmed up some alfredo sauce I had leftover from a fettuccine dish I made with kale, mushrooms and tomatoes several days ago. Oh, so wonderful! The alfredo recipe is from Easy Everyday Cooking, a recipe subscription service I used several years ago. I still use the recipe cards to this day.
If you tend to make a lot of mashed potatoes, how about giving this recipe a try. Below is the recipe from the book, but here’s a similar Giada gnocchi recipe here. I’ve also included the alfredo sauce below, which is good but doesn’t have garlic, which I thought every alfredo sauce had.
Gnocchi
3 cups of mashed potatoes (24 oz.) (maybe 2 medium or large potatoes)
1 egg
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
3/4 cup flour
1/4 cup parmesan cheese (optional)
After the potatoes are boiled and mashed, mix in the egg, salt and pepper. Then add in the flour and mix well.
Roll a palmful of potato out at a time into a snake-like log. Cut into bite-sized pieces. (Giada recommends running the cut pieces along the tines of a fork. I sometimes do this, but not always. This may help the gnocchi hold sauces after it’s cooked.)
Next, plop the potato gnocchi by batches into boiling water. When they float to the top, they’re done.
Top the gnocchi with parmesan cheese, if you’d like. Since I ate this with alfredo, extra cheese was not needed.
Other ideas: eat the gnocchi with tomato-based sauces or a browned butter sauce. I also wonder if this would be good as a pasta salad-type dish. Mmmmmm …
Alfredo
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups whipping cream
2 cups grated parmesan cheese
Combine the butter, whipping cream and cheese in a bowl. And that’s it! Throw it on some pasta, chicken, gnocchi or other dish.


Delicata squash

Lately I’ve been trying out fall squashes. Butternut, spaghetti and delicata are now marked off the list.

Delicata, seen below, is the most recent squash I’ve tried and I love it! It’s sweet, smooth and great with a variety of seasoning — from good ol’ standbys salt and pepper to sage or cinnamon.

The first time I made delicata I sliced the squash in half, seeded it and sliced it into half moons. After tossing the squash in a combo of olive oil and sage, I baked it at 400 degrees for 20 minutes, turning half way through the cooking time. Wonderful!

Last weekend, I wanted to create something using some tomatoes from the garden. This dish was inspired by tabbouleh, a dish that uses bulgur, a grain; tomatoes; mint; lemon juice and olive oil.

I also made pan-fried, thyme-rosemary-sage chicken breasts. This may not be the proper way to use herbs with chicken, so if you know a better technique, please let me know!

Both recipes are below.

Delicata Squash-Bulgur Salad (serves 2)
Ingredients:
1 delicata squash
1 medium tomato
1/2 cup of bulgur
1/2 cup boiling water
1 Tbsp. tarragon leaves (or other spice, such as sage)
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut delicate squash lengthwise and seed.

Cut squash in chunks and place in oven for 20 minutes.

Place bulgur in a bowl and pour boiling water over it. Let sit for 30 minutes.

Cut tomatoes into chunks and mix in a bowl with bulgur, squash and spices.

Add salt and pepper to taste. You can also add a bit of olive oil if you like.

Thyme-Rosemary-Sage Chicken Breasts (serves 2)
Ingredients:
2 chicken breasts
4 tsp. sage
4 tsp. thyme
2-3 sprigs of rosemary (or 2 tsp. dried rosemary)
olive oil
salt and pepper

Heat large skillet over medium heat. When warm, pour in about a tablespoon or two of olive oil.

Rub 2 tsp. of sage and thyme on one side of the chicken breasts. Also sprinkle with rosemary. Place seasoned side down on skillet. Season other side of chicken.

Cook about 3 minutes on one side of chicken until brown. Then turn over and cook for a couple more minutes then reduce heat and cover skillet.

Cook for about several minutes until chicken is cooked through. I let it cook at a low heat for 20 more minutes while I cooked the rest of the meal.

Salt and pepper as needed. Enjoy!


Squash-Chard Salad

The other night I planned to saute some squash and zucchini, but at the last minute I decided to throw in some chard. With a splash of apple cider vinegar, this made a great side dish with ham, green beans and mashed potatoes.

Squash-Chard Salad
a small or medium squash
a small or medium zucchini
small onion
2 or more cloves of garlic, diced
3 or 4 leaves of chard
butter or olive oil
salt and pepper
apple cider vinegar (optional)

Directions:
1. Slice the squash and zucchini and tear up or cut the chard into small pieces. Chop onion and dice garlic.
2. In a large pan, melt a bit of butter or warm a tbsp. olive oil. Add 2 or more cloves of garlic and cook for a minute or two.
3. Add squash, zucchini and onion. Cook for a couple minutes until onion is translucent.
4. Add chard and stir, coating well. Cook until chard is wilted.
5. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve with a splash of apple cider vinegar.


Easter Egg hunting in the fall and a Christmas flop

Have you heard of the pawpaw fruit?

Many people may be familar with the traditional childhood folk song that refers to them, but many people have never actually seen or tasted a pawpaw.

According to The PawPaw Foundation, the fruit is a native to the Americas and can be found near creeks and rivers in forests of eastern United States. The fruit sort of looks like a banana and has a very tropical scent.

Chris and I have five, fruit-producing pawpaws at the bottom of our property and there are several more smaller ones growing but not yet old enough to produce fruit.

My grandmother, whom I affectionately call Nannie, was so excited to learn we had pawpaw trees. She used to sit under her uncle’s pawpaw trees and eat the fruit with her cousin, Madeline. She immediately ate one earlier this season when I brought a few to share with her.

The last couple of years have been too dry for the sensitive trees to produce any fruit. But this year we had a bounty.

So, I decided to gather some of the fruit and turn them into preserves. It was like Easter egg hunting in the fall. Supposed to be 3-6 inches in length, our longest fruit was 3 inches. I had to search among tall, green grasses and weeds to find the grass-colored, egg-shaped fruit.

Deseeding the fruit was not fun. It took hours to find the best way to extract the long, slender seeds. Chris and I finally decided the best way was to separate the seeds from the fruit was to use a colander with big holes and to manually pick out the seeds from the cooked fruit.

I used this recipe from the Kentucky State University for the preserves:

Pawpaw Preserves
12 pawpaws (about 5 lbs.)
2 cups water
3/4 cups sugar
1 lemon
1 orange

Peel pawpaws. Put in kettle with water, without removing seeds. Boil until soft, then put through a sieve. Add sugar and juice of orange and lemon. Boil until thick. Grated rind of organge or lemon may be added. Put in sterilized jars and seal.

I tried the fruit for the first time this Sunday. I wasn’t impressed. Neither was Chris. But I’m not one for citrus type preserves, such as citron, so maybe it’s just not my thing.

The Kentucky State University site also lists several other types of recipes that I’m willing to try, such as cookies.

Needless to say, the pints I stashed away for Christmas may not make it into gift bags. Except maybe Nannie’s. She loves pawpaws.