Butternut squash tart

I had originally planned on using the Women’s Day recipe for the filling, and just substituting this for the corn-meal pie crust. But neither filling was exactly what we wanted (or had), and pre-cooking the onions and squash (like the Scraping the Skillet recipe calls for) seemed like a good idea. So I modified each a bit and came up with the following.

I mostly followed the crust recipe, but made it by hand rather than in the food processor:

  • 2 1/4 c Flour
  • 3/4 c Cornmeal
  • 1/2 c Vegetable shortening, cold
  • 1/3 c Unsalted butter, cold
  • ~1/2 c Ice water
  • ~1 Tbs Lemon juice

Mix the flours and cut in the butter and shortening. Add the water and lemon juice and mix. Using your hands kneed it a couple of times to bring it all together into a ball. Put in the refrigerator while getting the filling ready.

For the filling

  • ~2lb Butternut squash, peeled and cubed
  • 1 Red onion, sliced into rounds
  • 2 Tbs Olive oil
  • 1 tsp Dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 cup Cheddar cheese
  • 1 Egg

Preheat the oven to 400˚F. Caramelize the squash in a pan with the oil. Add the onions and caramelize. Add the thyme, salt and pepper. Remove from heat, let cool a bit.

Divide the pie crust in half and roll each half into a circle about 14in across. Don’t worry too much about the shape. Move the pie crust to a greased cookie sheet (or cookie sheet with a piece of parchment paper). Place half the filling in each pie crust. Sprinkle the cheese on top, and fold up the edges of the crust. Brush the crust with egg. Bake for about 20 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes and enjoy!

Mint scones

Mint scones based on recipe at The English Kitchen:

  • 3.5 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 Tbs finely chopped mint leaves
  • 1/4 tsb salt
  • 6 Tbs unsalted butter
  • 8 oz cream ( I needed to add about 1/4 c more)
  • Jam

Mix flour, baking powder, salt and the sugar. Using pastry blender chop in butter until the mixture resembles  bread crumbs. Stir in the mint leaves. Add the cream mixing it in until the mixture forms a soft dough. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll the dough out until it is about 1/2 inch thick. Cut into triangles or other shape. Place onto the prepared baking sheets, leaving a good two inches between each.

Gently make an indentation into the center of each scone using the back of a teaspoon or one of your fingers. Spoon a heaped half teaspoon of  jam into the middle of each indentation. Place into the heated oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown.

Meals for Feb 5-11, 2010

  1. Salad with Butternut Squash, Lentils,  & Feta, from DALS, using the salad greens on sale this week and omitting the pecans.
  2. The Indonesian Chicken from last week didn’t work out…dried out in the crock pot. So this week, we’ll try Polynesian pork. Rice and mixed veggies on the side.
  3. Crisp rice cakes with stir fried vegetables and chicken (TFMCB, p. 324)
  4. Beer-glazed [pinto beans] with chorizo and orange (TFMCB, p. 397, and kind of like this)

Pork Shoulder Ragu

This appeared on Dinner A Love Story, one of my favorite sources these days. The original recipe called for braising in a dutch oven for 3-4 hours. Given that we don’t own a dutch over (why do they cost so much!?!) and it is much easier to put stuff in the crock pot and go off to work and come home to a tasty meal, I adapted it for the crock pot…or more truthfully, I just followed the recipe, it didn’t need any adaptation! YUM!

All I did was brown the pork shoulder in a skillet first as directed. After putting the pork in the crock pot I put the red wine in the skillet to deglaze and get all the browned bits scraped up. Add that and everything else to the crock pot and cook on low for a while, I did 9 hours because that’s how long it was until dinner time!

Came out yummy! Thanks for the recipe.

Quinoa pumpkin pancakes

OK, so it looks like most of my favorite meals are breakfasts. It is true that on most weekends I’ll come up with an idea based on some ingredient we have and Google around until I find something that looks good.

Today we had some pumpkin left over from last weekend and just found out about quinoa. I saw a few recipes around the similar to this, but they either didn’t have pumpkin, or used quinoa flour. So here’s our version:

Quinoa pumpkin pancakes

Cook 1/2 cup quinoa (1/2 c raw + 1 c water, bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10-15min. Start it and mix the rest of the stuff and it will be ready to add in at the end.*)

In a bowl mix:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2tsp ground ginger

Add in:

  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tbs melted butter or oil
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1.5 cup milk
  • 1.5 tsp lemon juice
  • And the cooked quinoa

Mix it all up and adjust the consistency as needed. Cook in pan, top with maple syrup or whatever you like.

* Under normal circumstances it probably wouldn’t take 10-15 minutes to mix this up, but this morning we had a standoff in the kitchen with the kids arguing over who got to add the baking powder: Kid 2 brandishing the open container of baking powder, Kid 1 refusing to relinquish the measuring spoons! My attempts to mediate the situation were futile and kids were banished from the kitchen…