Spaghetti Squash – a preview of fall

Squash is a favorite of mine, zucchini, yellow, and spaghetti routinely make their way into my kitchen.  Spaghetti squash is a fall favorite.  I usually serve the “noodles” from the squash with marinara or spaghetti sauce and, on occasion, I whip up a cream sauce and make an alfredo type of squash with cream, garlic, and Parmesan cheese.

Recently, I began looking for new recipes.  I wanted something different and new from my standard dinners.  I eat a lot of chicken, so I began to experiment with the concept of chicken and squash.  I ended up with this variation on chicken and spaghetti squash.

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Two chicken breasts diced in bite sized pieces

Half an onion diced

One carrot shredded

One medium tomato diced

One bell pepper diced

Fresh basil chopped

Parmesan cheese to taste

tomato pesto sauce, half a cup

Small spaghetti squash

Olive oil, salt and pepper, and Italian seasoning all to taste.

Cut the spaghetti squash in half, length wise.  Sprinkle olive oil, salt, and pepper over each half.  Place the halves open side down in a baking or oven proof dish and cook at 350 for thirty minutes. After thirty minutes, remove and permit to cool.  Once cool, remove seeds with a grapefruit spoon then, still using the grapefruit spoon, remove the squash in long noodle like strings to a bowl.

Next, in a skillet, add more olive oil, onion, chicken, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, and shredded carrot.  Sauté until chicken is almost done.  Toss in the tomato and bell pepper and sauté another three minutes.  Next add in the Parmesan cheese and spaghetti squash.  Remove entire mixture to a baking dish and place in the oven on 350 for thirty minutes.

Enjoy!

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My Red, White, and Blue Holiday Supper

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There is no better way to spend an evening than with friends. So what better way to celebrate the 4th, than with a supper with friends grilling out on the patio.

I decided to go with a red, white, and blue dinner, London broil cooked on the grill, blue cheese scalloped potatoes, a salad for the main course, and raspberry sorbet with chocolate chess pie for dessert.

Dinner began with a simple tray of cheese and crackers as we waited for the steak to grill. My first “red” was my London boil. I started preparing my London broil the evening before with a rub of garlic salt and chili powder. Pat the meat dry and lightly spray with olive oil. In a ziplock bag combine garlic salt and chili powder. Close the bag and shake, add the meat, close the bag again and shake until the meat is coated. Put the meat into the refrigerator to sit until an hour before you are ready to grill. Take it out in time to bring the meat to room temperature before you begin to grill. I like my meat on the rare side so on the grill or in a cast iron skillet on the stove, cook five minutes on a side (adjust time based on size of meat and how done you wish it).

 

The first course of the meal was a simple garden salad of butter lettuce with black and red tomatoes and a purple onion. I used a simple vinaigrette to dress the salad and sprinkled oregano and basil on top.

For my “blue” and “white”  portion of the supper, I prepared scalloped potatoes with blue cheese. Peel and thinly slice Yukon gold potatoes and set to the side in a bowl of water. Make a white sauce (flour, butter, milk, salt and pepper). Once the white sauce is made add sharp white cheddar cheese and blue cheese crumbles to the white sauce stirring slowly as you add to keep the sauce from burning as the cheese melts. I recommend a low heat. Spray your casserole bowl with olive oil, drain the potatoes, and layer the slices alternating potatoes and cheese sauce until the bowl is full. Pour the remainder of the cheese sauce over the top. As your final layer, cover the top with a thick layer of Parmesan cheese to create a crust. Bake at 400 for an hour.

 

The dessert course was a chocolate chess pie (see my Heirloom Cooking post for the recipe) and another “red,” a scoop of raspberry sorbet. Perfect for a July evening on the patio.

Happy Independence Day!