Sunday, November 27, 2005

Papaya, Red Pepper, and Pecan Salad with Chicken

Fruity, but the lime in the dressing cuts the sweetness.

For 4.

8 cups torn romaine leaves; about 2 heads
2 ripe papaya, peeled, seeded, and cubed
1 large or 2 small red bell pepper, diced into ¼-inch pieces
4 green onions, sliced finely
¾ lb boneless, skinnless chicken, cooked and cubed
¼ cup chopped pecans, toasted

3 cloves garlic, pressed
¼ cup fresh lime juice (1 lime)
2 tbsp chicken broth
1 tbsp honey
1 tsp Dijon mustard
3 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper

Mix salad; whisk dressing ingredients together; dress.

Papayas were fiendishly expensive ($2.99 each!) and poor-looking today; I substituted with the remains of a bag of Trader Joe’s frozen mango and half a can of pineapple. It worked out very nicely.

I also substituted leftover turkey for the chicken, which also worked out, making this a good post-Thanksgiving or post-Christmas recipe.

I’m not convinced the broth adds anything much to the dressing; I wouldn’t bother unless you happen to have some handy.

(From the American Institute for Cancer Research’s The New American Plate Cookbook.)

Spaghetti Squash Burrito

An off-the-cuff use for leftover spaghetti squash which worked out surprisingly well.

For 2—4.

½ spaghetti squash, cooked
½ cup tbsp sour cream
1 cup medium fresh salsa (homemade, or we like the La Mexicana from Albertsons)
1 cup Monterey Jack cheese, grated
flour tortillas

Mix squash, sour cream, salsa, and most of the cheese. Roll burritos into a oiled baking dish, top with the remaining cheese, and bake approx 15 minutes at 350°F or until heated through.

Spaghetti Squash with Marinara Sauce

Spaghetti squash is weird; but good. It's pretty mild so needs other flavours to accompany it.

I cooked my squash by halving it, removing the seeds, and roasting at 375°F for about an hour. You can also roast whole for about the same time or in a microwave for 15–20 minutes; in both cases, pierce it a few times with a knife first to avoid explosion. Or boil it whole for 20–30 minutes; but you'll need a pot bigger than my biggest…

For 2–3.

½ medium spaghetti squash
2 tsp olive oil
½ medium onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 28oz can chopped tomatoes
(1 tsp dried thyme)
(½ tsp dried rosemary)
salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tbsp chopped fresh basil
¼ cup grated parmesan

Cook the squash.

Saute onions and garlic until translucent; add tomatoes, thyme, and rosemary, and season; being to a boil; simmer 10m. Remove from heat and stir in basil.

Remove seeds from squash and scrape out flesh with a fork in spaghetti-like strands. Mix with sauce, top with Parmesan.

(Omitting the thyme and rosemary seems to work out OK, too.)

(From the American Institute for Cancer Research’s The New American Plate Cookbook.)

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Roasted Sweet Potato Salad with Sesame-Lime Vinaigrette

Cheap and cheerful for fall, particularly around Thanksgiving when yams are freely available. (In the US, at least, yams are sweet potatoes.)

For 4-6.

2 lbs sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
2 tbsp canola oil (or other light oil; I used peanut oil)
salt & freshly-ground black pepper
1 red bell pepper, diced
4 scallions/spring onions, sliced
3 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro (optional; turned out fine without it)

Preheat oven to 500°F—which on mine is full blast. Toss sweet potatoes in oil, salt, and pepper and roast in a shallow pan for 15 minutes, turning once. Caramelized edges are good here, don’t worry about blackened bits.

1 inch piece ginger, peeled and sliced (could use more)
2 cloves garlic (could use more)
juice 1 lime
2 tbsp canola oil (or whatever)
1 tbsp dark/toasted sesame oil
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 tsp brown sugar

Chop garlic and ginger in blender; add remaining dressing ingredients and blend.

Mix vegetables and dressing; serve warm.

(From Andrea Chesman’s The Garden-Fresh Vegetable Cookbook .)