Saturday night – 10/14/2017

Whenever I’m at a loss for what to make for Saturday dinner I just look back a year, or two, for inspiration. That is, after all, one of the reasons I record our Saturday night gathering menus.

Menu
Oven Barbecued Ribs
Buttered Shells with Parsley
Grilled Green Beans with Sesame
Skillet Braised Carrots
Parker House Rolls

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

Notes under the cut

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Delicata Squash with Red Onion and Za’atar

One of my favorite fall vegetables is delicata squash. If you get them quickly enough after harvest you can cook them without peeling. The flavor is milder than butternut squash with a bit of earthiness thrown in. The shape is like a fat sausage or salami. The center of the squash is filled with pulp and seeds like a butternut or acorn squash.

I paired it with red onions and za’atar, a spice blend used in Middle Eastern cooking consisting of sumac, thyme, white sesame seeds and salt. On a whim I sprinkled a bit of vinegar on just before serving.

Delicata Squash with Red Onion and Za’atar
Servings: 8-10
Prep time: 15 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 red onion, halved length-wise, peeled, and half moon
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 4 lbs. delicata squash – peeled, scooped to remove seeds, and cut into 1/4″ half moons
  • 2 tsp. za’atar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar

Directions:

  1. Heat oil in a saute pan over medium heat for about 1 minute. Add the onions and toss them in the oil until coated. Distribute the squash over the onions and then sprinkle the squash with the za’atar. Add the water, cover and cook for 5 minutes.
  2. Give the pan a shake or two to redistribute the squash, exposing areas that may have been previously covered by another piece of squash. Cook for another 5 minutes.
  3. Test a piece of squash with a fork; if the fork pierces the squash with just a bit of give then you are ready to finish the dish. If the fork doesn’t easily pierce the squash then recover and cook for another few minutes then test again.
  4. To finish the dish turn the heat up to high and set aside the cover. Gently toss the onions and squash together with tongs. Once the water has evaporated sprinkle the squash and onions with the vinegar. Plate and serve.

Notes:
I have a vegetable peeler with a serrated edge which worked well on this squash.

You’ll want a pan with a lid for this dish as the squash basically steams over the onions. I used a Pampered Chef straight-sided saute pan that we’ve had for ~15 years.

A number of recipes I looked at for inspiration suggested substituting butternut squash for delicata. You may need to cook a bit longer.

Saturday night – 10/07/2017

This week’s menu started with the chicken tenders. Ted does an amazing job with them however we don’t do them often because the coat every horizontal surface with first flour, and then hot oil. I built the rest of the menu with stuff I was in the mood for over the past week.

Menu
Chicken Tenders
Mashed Potatoes
Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Delicata Squash with Red Onion and Z’atar
Corn Bread (ala Alton Brown)

store-bought apple pie

Notes under the cut

Noodle Salad

This recipe is inspired by some “Asian” noodle salad from a local market’s prepared food section. I grab it when I swing by for their house-made frozen cod cakes. I did the online search for “Asian” noodle salad, mixed and matched a few things and came up with this.

It seemed to go over well and the leftovers were as good, if not a bit better, after a couple of days rest in the fridge.

Noodle Salad
Servings: 10-12
Prep time: 10 minutes
Total time: 90 minutes

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Pantry Staple Pasta Sauce

We returned from a short vacation Friday night and Saturday was filled with all the errands except for grocery shopping. As a dinner time approached I turned to the cupboard to see what kind of thing I could cobble together.

Lentils and chickpeas provide a bit of protein in a vegetarian dish. We served it with some grated Parmesan cheese, cracked black pepper and a splash of extra virgin olive oil.

Pantry Staple Pasta Sauce
Servings: 4+
Prep time: 10 minutes
Total time: 40 minutes
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Saturday night – 09/09/2017

Sometimes dessert leads the way when planning our weekly Saturday night gathering menu. This week my husband had a hankering for some oatmeal raisin cookies. I said I’d make them on Saturday night. Then we finished up a particularly delicious batch of macaroni and cheese so we, obviously, needed to make more. Pork loin was on sale and then it was just a matter of choosing from the items at the farm stand to fill-in the rest of the menu.

Menu
Roast Pork Loin
Ted’s Macaroni & Cheese
Roasted Cauliflower
Zucchini Pancakes

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Notes under the cut