I am the greatest chef in the world

Date night ingredients: beets and horseradish for the wife, molasses and summer squash for me. I did well, I think, but the wife knocked it out of the park. She made salmon with a horseradish cream sauce over roasted potatoes and beets. I modified this recipe and made Roasted Brussels Sprouts over Molasses Vinegar Squash Puree.

YAY_1507 Ingredients:

  • Summer squash (I used two good-sized yellow squash)
  • Two tablespoons butter
  • Package of fresh Brussels sprouts
  • Rosemary
  • Thyme
  • 2 TBSP balsamic vinegar
  • 2 TBSP molasses
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Olive oil
    Directions: Chop the squash into one-inch-ish cubes. Melt the butter, mix in the rosemary, thyme, vinegar, and molasses. Put the squash in a bowl and cover it with the butter mixture. Chop the Brussels sprouts, lightly cover in olive oil and salt and pepper. On two separate cookie sheets, roast all the vegetables. I did them at 450 for about 20 minutes, mostly because that’s the temperature the wife wanted. Roasting vegetables is not an exact science, and there’s a broad range of “done” that you’ll be happy with, so make sure the vegetables aren’t too hard and don’t burn too much and you’ll be fine. Puree the squash and put it on a plate. Cover with Brussels sprouts and enjoy. I think this was a tiny bit too sweet – I think next time I’d put in a little more vinegar or a little less molasses. But it was quite delightful as it was.

Another date night, another success

We had another date night tonight. The wife’s ingredients were rhubarb and garlic, so she cooked rhubarb salad with goat cheese. Except they didn’t have rhubarb at Whole Foods, so she subbed in apple. It worked. My ingredients were veggie chorizo sausage and phyllo dough (since we didn’t finish it from last time). I made Spicy Pigs in a Blanket with Lime Salsa. It was pretty good.

YAY_1430 Ingredients Pigs in a blanket

  • Phyllo dough
  • Veggie Chorizo
  • Granny Smith Apple
  • Tiny bit of olive oil
  • Cooking spray
  • 2 roma tomatoes
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 lime
  • 1/2 can great northern beans
  • Small handful of cilantro
  • Largish pinch of salt
    Directions Chop the sausage and the apple into pretty small pieces and mix together. Double over the phyllo dough, sealing with olive oil. Cut into strips a couple inches wide. Put a bit of the apple/sausage mixture onto the dough and roll it up. Technique isn’t important here. Cook at 375 for 12 minutes or until the dough starts to brown. Chop and seed the tomatoes. Chop the pepper. Rinse the beans. Toss all into a bowl. Chop and add the cilantro, add the salt. Add most of the zest from the lime, as well as all the juice. Toss. That’s it. I served it all together, but each one stands up on its own if you’re so inclined. So, I’m pretty much the best cook ever. And I say that with all appropriate modesty.

Date Night In

For all you couples with kids, you know what I mean when I say it’s tough to get out for a date night. A lot of you busy with other stuff know what I’m talking about, too. So the wife and I have started doing Date Night In, inspired by watching Chopped on Food Network. We each pick two ingredients, and the other person must make a dish using them. We usually pick a day or two in advance so we can go shopping. We don’t have 1) the experience of the chefs on Chopped or 2) the extensive pantry. And we alternate – one week I do a salad or appetizer while she does the main, and the next week we switch. This is our third one. It was my most successful, though we haven’t had a bad one yet. My ingredients were bananas and goat cheese, and I was doing the salad/appetizer. Getting a little inspiration from this recipe, and a little imagination, I cooked up Banana Goat Cheese Rolls. Ingredients

  • 1/2 white onion, chopped
  • 1/2 jalapeno, finely chopped
  • 1 banana
  • 2 TBSP apple cider vinegar
  • filo/phyllo dough
  • A bit of olive oil
  • Goat cheese
  • A large pinch of salt
    Directions Saute the onion and jalapeno for five minutes or so until the onion starts getting translucent. Mash the banana in a bowl and mix in the apple cider vinegar and salt. Add this to the onions and turn down the heat. Let it thicken, five or ten minutes. Lay out a sheet of filo dough and spread a bit of olive oil around the edge of half of it, then fold it over. Cut it into four strips – they should be three or four inches wide. Put a spoonful of the onion/banana mixture at one end of the strip, then top with a spoonful of goat cheese. Roll the dough, folding the sides a bit so nothing comes out. Spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray and lay the rolls on the sheet. I used three sheets of dough, but it probably depends on how much you put in each. Put them in the oven at 375 until the dough starts to brown, probably 15-20 minutes. Let them cool a bit and enjoy! I’m pretty excited about how well they turned out. The banana was pretty strong, and the jalapeno a little weak, but the wife said she’d serve them to company. I think we’ll try that next time we have company. We might tweak the recipe a bit. I highly recommend watching Chopped if you want to be a better cook. Not that you’ll learn how to cook from watching, though you should pick up some tips, but that watching it makes me want to cook more, and makes me want to try new things that are a bit outside my comfort zone.