Monday, July 25, 2011

Sick of Summer Squash

Today, with temperatures finally in the eighties, it was time to get back into some indoor cooking. Of course it was still quite hot indoors but that didn't stop me from picking up the weekly farm share and immediately returning home to turn on the oven.

Stoneledge Farm CSA Farm Share 2011, Week 7

What I picked up for week seven of the share was the following: a bulb of fennel, a bunch of swiss chard, two red onions, a bunch of parsley, Early Jersey Wakefield Cabbage, cherry tomatoes, three more pounds of summer squash, one cucumber, two eggplant, okra, blueberries, peaches, and sugar plums.

Funny Eggplant

I am something of a connoisseur of funny shaped vegetables. The latest entry is this funny little guy. The best part is that I didn't even realize I'd selected this winner until I got home. It kind of looks like a cross between an eggplant, a pig's butt, and Adrian Brody.

Zucchini Ribbon and Fennel Salad

Since we had received yet another load of summer squash I had to get to work. With the weekly supply of summer squash remaining unchanged and our appetite for squash dwindling with every passing hour it became important to get to work using up the summer squash as fast as possible. That's why, for a salad, I sliced some thin ribbons of the various summer squash and fennel then tossed with lemon juice, olive oil, salt, pepper, crushed coriander seed. The result was pretty tasty even for two people who are pretty much at their limit as far as summer squash consumption goes.

One of Jen's greatest laments in life is that I rarely like to make the same dinner twice. This means that every so often I make something she really likes and then she knows there is very little chance I will make it again. This is convenient for me since I don't ever measure anything or have any recipes so I'm rarely able to create the same dish twice. At least not with 100% accuracy.

Summer Squash Moussaka

Jen was hoping I'd make moussaka again so that's what I did. However, the original moussaka I made three years ago that she remembers so fondly, had been made slowly over the course of the day. Tonight I had roughly ninety minutes and that included doing a tremendous amount of dishes and the forty minutes of cooking time. Therefore I had to act fast and, of course, cut some corners.

I sliced the eggplant and summer squash thinly, seasoned lightly, then threw them in the oven. While in the oven I made a very quick sauce with garlic, onion, green pepper, ground beef, tomato, salt, and pepper. I made a second sauce with butter, flour, milk, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. All of this while baking a potato.

Then I layered slices of eggplant, zucchini, potato, tomato sauce, cream sauce, and mozzarella until a casserole dish was filled and I threw the thing in the oven for about thirty or forty minutes. I didn't really cook it until it was done but I did cook it until Jen got home from work which was all the time I could spare.

Traditionally the slices of eggplant (and summer squash if you accept this bastardized recipe) should have been salted, dusted in flour, and fried before being layered. The result was that this version of moussaka tasted a little different. A pleasant side effect was that it was much lower in fat given that no frying was used.

Allagash Tripel Ale

I wasn't really sure what kind of beer to pair with moussaka so I actually used the BeerCloud app on my phone to see what would go well with moussaka. Since moussaka wasn't listed I chose lasagna and was pleasantly surprised when it told me to pair with a Belgian ale. For the first time in a while I didn't have a Belgian ale in the fridge so I went with a Belgian-style ale in this Tripel from Allagash Brewing Company. While I didn't taste the passion fruit notes they talked about on the label it was still quite enjoyable.

This beer worked pretty well but I'm pretty sure just about any other beer would have worked equally as well.

I'm not sure I'm sold on the art of beer and food pairing. Much like wine and food pairing I think it might be a bunch of baloney. Just for the record, I would pair baloney with a nice sauvignon blanc.

Or, if you fancy a beer instead, a Milwaukee's Best.


uberlours said...

Good try, but I think bologna goes best with an Old Style. Unless it is garlic bologna then you are correct, a Milwaukee's Best is preferred.

Unknown said...

Garlic bologna? Fancy.

uberlours said...

They compliment each other so well.