Thursday, July 10, 2014

Summertime Stuffed Squash

It's kinda funny that my food posts have become TV show rants, but please.. have you guys seen One Tree Hill? Yes yes, again i'm behind the 8 ball here, but this show is like a fishing hook and I am the trout on the other end. I just made it, I think about 100 episodes in... it's been maybe a week? Yeah, I know. Couch potato to the extreme-o! But i've swapped the couch potato junk food for these squash boats! You really have to try them, they're about as addicting as this show.

Now, I can't seem to figure out... will Serena stay with Dan? I just made it to the part where they've broken up for the second time. I'm sort of frustrated because it's this cat and mouse game with them and it's like.. dude! Just get together here...this is sort of annoying but awesome all at the same time.

But on the other end of summer, i'm now working over 50 hours a week (didn't even know there were that many hours in a week) just to make rent and save up money to visit my bestie in London. So with all that time at work, studying for my GRE/MCAT and watching OTH I really need quick recipes that will hold in the fridge. Whole foods had these beautiful yellow squash the other day for sale and I instantly wanted to stuff them with just about everything! I tried a couple renditions and they were all pretty good but the one below was definitely the best. I've already made it 4 times since and it's been killer every time. I think the pesto really take it up a notch!

4 Summer Squash (yellow ones), seeded and cut in half
Sea salt & Black pepper
2 tbs. Pesto
1/2 c. Cherry Tomatoes (I like the different colored ones)
1/2 c. Red Onion, sliced
Sprigs of fresh basil
1/4 c. Sun dried Tomatoes

Preheat oven to 325 deg F. Cut squash in half and scoop seeds out with the back of a spoon.  Sprinkle halves with salt and pepper and bake in aluminum-lined baking dish cut side up for 25 minutes. Squash should be very tender but still hold their form. Spoon in 1/4 tbs. Pesto into each side. Load in cut cherry tomatoes, red onion, sliced basil and chopped sun dried tomatoes. Place back in oven on a low broiler setting for 10 minutes. 


Bear in mind that this is a highly individualized recipe! You can basically fill it with whatever you want! Some renditions i've tried before are:
— spinach, goat cheese and artichoke hearts
— ground turkey, roasted red pepper spread, black olives
— ground beef/seitan, cumin, bell peppers and onions (saute them before) 

What would YOU put in your boats? 

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Eggplant Bun-licious Burger

I know what you're saying... what in the world is happening? Did she just seriously make a no bread burger— how original, everyone does that! So yes, a "burger" means: bun, meat, and more than likely some cheese. Well thats the definition our culture has given it anyway. I know everyone has come up with various types of bread substitutes and believe me i've tried them all. By far the eggplant is the most complex flavor profile i've ever had. So this is my non-bread burger.

Plus, if you've been following along (which I hope you have been) we like to keep things in season/local here on Make With Your Hands. Since it's summertime, theres no better time to go outside and get the grill working and using things like eggplant which is at it's prime in the summer

It's literally a party of flavors in your mouth. Nothing is better than caramelized onions with meat and then that little hint of pesto comes in as the you bite through the crisp eggplant... ah! We're so close to 4th of July, this is definitely on the menu this year!
8 oz. 97%-lean ground beef
1 yellow onion
2 clove garlic, minced
salt and pepper, to taste
1 tsp. olive oil
1 american eggplant (the dark black ones)
1 tbs. olive oil
2 tbs. sea salt
2 tbs. pesto
1/2 c. baby spinach leaves
 Cut up half of your yellow onion as small diced squares. The other half is sliced for caramelization. To prepare your burger meat, mix the ground beef, diced onions, minced garlic, olive oil (1 tsp) and salt and pepper. Separate in half (4 oz. portions) and place on griddle. Cook meat until internal temperature reaches 145 degrees (F).

Wash and slice up eggplant into 1/4" slices. Place on paper towels and sprinkle with 1 tbs salt. Allow them to sit for about 30 minutes until the water as been pulled out. I flipped mine over and did the other side, but you could skip this step if you feel enough water has been expelled. Season slices with olive oil and the remaining 1 tbs sea salt. Place in preheated 400 degree oven on the top rack. Slices should not touch each other. Cook for 20 minutes or until totally crisped (not burned).

To caramelize onions, place remaining onion slices in 1 tbs. garlic with a dash of sea salt and cook on medium heat stirring constantly.

Once everything's been cooked, you're ready to assemble. Take eggplant slices out and let them cool down so they definitely "dry up" and become crisp (about 5-10 minutes). Spread about 1/2 tbs. serving of pesto on the slices. Add baby spinach (1/4 c) to bottom, top with your grilled meat, onions and the remaining slices as your top bun!

What's the most creative burger you've ever made?

Friday, June 27, 2014

Mango Slaw

I've been home this past week, which means endless Chicago Fire episodes and a fridge full of yummy ingredients to experiment with. But before I talk about this dish, lets talk about Chicago fire. I just hit the part of Dawson and Peter Mills. Aah.

 However, I started watching Chicago Fire rather unconventionally. I started with that episode where they  joined forces with Chicago PD (because, yes, I'm a chicago PD fan) and then I got hooked on chicago fire and just had to figure out what was happening. Since that was season 2 I just ended up watching the last 3 episodes until the season finally of season 2 and then went backwards and started at episode 1 of season 2. (confused yet?) Then I now, have started with season 1 episode 1. Wondering why I am so weird with my TV watching? Well, because having a HuluPlus membership is as good as garbage. They never have anything on there that you want to watch, plus there are stinking ADS! hello? Who's with me. Sorry Hulu, you can be so much better but you're failing me and that is not okay. So I gave up, switched to the beautiful Amazon Prime. Which then they didn't have season 1, so now I had to go and buy season 1 from Amazon prime and am making my way through (no pirating episodes for me)! Episode 13 everybody... finals are over and it's Fire + mango slaw time! 

I'll leave to you to this recipe and see if how Dawson dumps mills and heads to Casey... wooop? Spoiler! Sorry!! ;)

1 head Green Cabbage, sliced thin
1 Mango, julienned
1 Red Onion, sliced thin
1 Red Pepper, julienned
3 Persian Cucumbers, seeded, julienned
2 springs of mint, chopped
1 tsp. minced garlic
1/4 c. white wine vinegar
zest of 1 lime
juice of 2 limes
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. red pepper flakes

Yields 8 (1 c. servings)

Mix all liquids together. Toss with slaw mix and coat with fingers. Refrigerate for a couple hours before enjoying.

Pairs great with grilled chicken, tangy shrimp (a little lime juice and pepper flakes) or alongside some tri-tip sandwiches!
What TV shows have you  been watching this summer?