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2013.01.30: "It appealed to the schizophrenic in me. Both of them, actually."

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Tuesday evening we finished 'Dollhouse' ("Epitaph Two: Return"), caught up on 'The Following' (yet to be a worthwhile hot mess ... but it may have potential), and tried 'The Taste' (insanely stupid ... and fun?). Today I thought too much about food.

I. Stuffed Squash

When shopping at Publix last week or so I found a couple nice little acorn squash, including a 'Golden Acorn', with a brilliant golden-orange skin. I bought two, both of which were nice, small, single-serving beasts. Since Ms. S. was working an afternoon/evening shift today, leaving me to my own devices for dinner.

Our eating habits are different enough -- and I'm inclined to cook us the same or similar items when we eat together -- that having a couple non-breakfast meals to myself allows me to cook things Ms. S. wouldn't/won't eat, either for dietary reasons or because she doesn't care for the flavor. Barley and bulgur are off-limits when cooking for her, for example. I have to limit my use of parsley or keep most cabbages out of it. For example.

Squash ... not something she cares for.

Usually I just cut them in half, use a fat -- butter or olive oil --, provide some spice (cinnamon, paprika ...), and roast them for an hour, plus or minus. Why not stuff them a bit? I wanted some barley. I alas had nothing particularly exciting or exotic to cook up. But some diced onion, diced garlic (both sauteed), a little thyme and a little fennel, a splash of balsamic? Added some character. For one of the halves I scooped out the cooked squash and combined it with the barley mixture; the other I left as-is and filled with the barley. Both got a couple tablespoons of diced tomatoes on top and were returned to the oven for 10-15, and a little broiling.

I think I prefer the scooped-and-remixed version (easier to eat!). Of course, a little parmesan on top would have also been nice.

II. Stuffed Squash, Part 2

Stuffed acorn squash is a common motif:

[1] www.chow.com/recipes/135
66-roasted-acorn-squash-wi
th-wild-rice-stuffing


[2] vegetarian.about.com/od/
maindishentreerecipes/r/ba
rleysquash.htm


[3] blog.streaminggourmet.co
m/2012/11/05/roasted-stuff
ed-acorn-squash-barley-bul
gur-pilaf-with-caramelized-apple/


[4] afoodieslife.com/2011/09
/23/barley-stuffed-acorn-s
quash/


[5] www.recipetips.com/recip
e-cards/t--3528/roasted-ac
orn-squash-with-barley-and
-apple-stuffing.asp


[6] delicious-knowledge.com/
?p=1077


[7] www.thesweetslife.com/20
12/01/barley-stuffed-acorn
-squash.html


[8] www.wholefoodsmarket.com
/recipe/harvest-stuffed-ac
orn-squash


[9] www.dailyherald.com/arti
cle/20110104/entlife/70105
9866/


[10] www.abusynest.com/2011/0
1/barley-and-fennel-stuffe
d-acorn-squash.html


[11] littleleopardbook.com/20
13/01/11/chef-inspired-dis
h-quality-social-vegetaria
n-barley-stuffed-squash/in
gredientpics/


[12] whatdawneats.com/2011/05
/barley-stuffed-acorn-squash/


I didn't have raisins or craisins this evening, and given the other things I planned on eating I wasn't interested in using an apple in the mixture. But in the future I'd be interested in using chopped dates or figs. So far, though, I've resisted the urge to open the remaining figs and dates I have in the cupboards ... they're so addictive it's hard to eat just a couple.

III. Schnitzel

A week back on 'Top Chef' the elimination challenge involved fried chicken; Stefan f***ed it up by going for a chicken Cordon bleu, and evidently a mediocre one at that, instead.

Tonight an NPR article -- www.npr.org/blogs/thesal
t/2013/01/29/170595236/cla
ssic-comfort-dish-chicken-
kiev-got-its-start-in-france
-- had me thinking of Chicken Kiev ( en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ch
icken_Kiev
and www.foodnetwork.com/reci
pes/alton-brown/chicken-ki
ev-recipe/index.html
), which then led me back to Cordon bleu ( en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ch
icken_Cordon_Bleu
), which is a essentially a version of schnitzel ( en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sc
hnitzel
) ... which left me hungry for any number of the variations, especially those from Austria, Germany, and Hungary.

And before I could even complete my thoughts about, "hrm, perhaps I could make a vegetarian or vegan version for Ms. S." I noticed on the WikiPedia page a reference to Vegetarian Schnitzel.

That led me back to Google for a few minutes to look up the options:

[A] Vegan Weiner Schnitzel & German Potato Salad happyherbivore.com/2010/
10/vegan-weiner-schnitzel-
german-potato-salad/


[B] Eggplant and Portobello Schnitzel Recipe www.vegetariantimes.com/
recipe/eggplant-and-portob
ello-schnitzel/


[C] Schnitzel bitte andytchef.blogspot.com/2
010/01/schnitzel-bitte.html


[D] Tofu schnitzel dreams stoveria.blogspot.com/20
09/03/tofu-schnitzel-dream
s.html


... it would be nice if people would spell it correctly, mind you ... "Wiener," not "Weiner" ... but I digress.

The tofu and butternut squash versions both interest me, and Feb. 15th I'm cooking a larger meal for me and Ms. S.'s parents, so perhaps then I'll get around to them. Add some spätzle on the side.

Last night Ms. S. and I watched the first episode of 'The Taste' ... which is much more 'American Idol' than any sort of cooking show, but it's an amusing hot mess. One of the first contestants to show up I recognized from a YouTube video of hers I watched a few months back when looking over hamburger bun recipes.

- by sarah ashley www.bysarahashley.com/
- How to Make the Perfect Burger + Super-Fast Buns www.youtube.com/watch?v=
FTG9B-Uck-c


I didn't use her bun recipe; I don't want most of my bread products done quickly ... I want them to rise slowly and develop flavor.
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