Saturday, November 3, 2012

CMAs and spaghetti squash

Do you every get really excited to cook something for the first time? Although spaghetti squash has been all the rage since low carb became the thing years ago, I hadn't made it until this week. Well. Wow. It is good, so good. The CMAs with all my favs and a good dinner. That was a nice Thursday!
Pecorino Roasted Spaghetti Squash & Italian Tilapia with Sauteed Vegetables
1 medium/large spaghetti squash
2-3 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
1/4 cup  Parmesan or Pecorino cheese, grated
Preheat the oven to 400 degree. Slice squash lengthwise (carefully - it is hard to get through the skin). Scoop out seeds. Coat flesh with EVOO and season with S&P well. Roast (flesh-side up) for roughly 50 minutes. Remove and allow to cool for 20 or 30 minutes. Using a fork, shred squash in long threads. In a large saute pan, add 2 garlic cloves of garlic, minced in about 2 tablespoons of EVOO. Add squash and coat well. After squash is hot all the way through, remove from heat and sprinkle cheese and parsley throughout, mix well.

Another interesting and tasty treat from earlier this week were corn arepas. I had arepas for the first in the airport (of all places) on my way back from Minnesota last week. Arepas are corn-like pancakes and we enjoyed ours with cumin sauteed peppers and black beans. Arepas are found in Colombian and Venezuelan cooking.
1.5 cups yellow cornmeal, finely ground
1/2 cup grated Cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup fresh sweet corn kernels, or frozen kernels, thawed
1/4 cup chopped scallion
3 teaspoons dried cilantro
1 small serrano or jalapeƱo chili, seeded and minced, optional
3 tablespoons canola or olive oil
Cooked black beans or vegetables and sour cream and salsa for topping

Place cornmeal in a large bowl with salt and cheese. Heat milk in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until steam rises, then add butter and stir until melted. Remove from heat and stir into cornmeal mixture until a thick batter is formed. Fold in the corn kernels, scallion, cilantro and chili if using. Let batter rest until it thickens into a soft dough, about 15 minutes. Gently pour the batter into the (well-oiled) saute pan, as you would pancakes. You can fit about three arepas in the pan at a time. Fry for roughly 5 minutes, then flip and cook for another 3 minutes on other side. Drain arepas on a paper towel and top with sauteed vegetables, beans, salsa and sour cream. Yum! I think these would be also be delicious with a fried egg on top for a South American breakfast flare.

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