Damn this priority reshuffling stuff

July 20, 2010

Friends, I am here to tell you, this gym business is kicking my ass.

Mine and new son’s, as well. Although he has the ex-Marine busting his butt, and me, well, I’ve got the slings and arrows of the last — ahem — several years.

So after a tough workout last night — the elliptical is a creation of Satan, I am here to tell you — we played hooky tonight, with the solemn promise we’ll be back tomorrow night for a lighter workout, and another ass-kicker on Thursday.

So after coming home and getting horizontal on the couch for 30 minutes or so, and imbibing a portion of a glass of wine, I decided to reorder the menu planning for the week and do the stuffed squash tonight. They are currently in the oven (this post to be updated with a photo and report later), and should come out in about 10 or so.

UPDATED PHOTO (update portio of post at the end, so read through)

It's a right pretty presentation, isn't it? Looks better than it tastes....

You bake the cute little pattypans, whole, for about 30 minutes, until they’re somewhat tender when you stab ’em with a steak knife. You slice off the top, scoop out the innards, throwing away the seeds and pith, and you scoop out however much flesh you can while leaving the shell intact. You dice up the tops, less the spot where the stem connected (a squash belly-button, as it were), and the flesh, and mix in some grated cheese and some browned sausage. I used PJF country sausage, because that’s what I had. You stuff that BACK into the squash shells, and back into the oven they go to brown and let the oozy sausage-and-cheese goodness get all friendly with the squash. Idea sounds good, anyway.

I’m going to have it with a convenience caprese, that being made with a slab of fresh mozz and a scoop of the diced tomatos and garlic and basil in olive oil that’s been in the fridge since Sunday. NS is having his with nuked baked beans out of a can, because, well, that’s how he rolls. And I’ve got half a pound of sausage left to go on a pizza later this week.

Child B is coming in Friday. Anxious to see her. I can’t recall if I’ve told the blogging world, but Child B is going to  make me a grandmother next February. A real kid this time, not granddogs (I have four of those). I bought him/her a sock monkey last week. Got to get in practice.

Bought, of all things, ANOTHER cookbook last week — The Professional Chef, from the Culinary Institute of America. Not sure why I bought it, as I will never be a professional chef, other than the fact that, well, I wanted it Learning all kinds of cool stuff already and I haven’t even gotten to the recipes yet. I will report.

Time to get the squashes out of the oven. Back to y’all shortly.

Update. Meh. It was OK. I’ve cooked worse. The tomatos and mozz were wonderful. I suspect I’ll take that, and some sauteed squasn ‘n onions, to work for lunch tomorrow.

This was my first time cooking pattypan squash, which is one of the squash family we never raised back home. It’s an interesting taste/texture combination; the texture reminds me — if this makes any sense — of what watermelon rind might taste like if it were cooked. (Which begs the question, if I were  about pickling stuff, I might try pickling some of those critters.) The taste is a bit sweeter than crookneck or zucchini, but not nearly as sweet as the fall squashes. It puts me in mind of jicama.

On reflection, I think what did not fly for me was the pairing of the PJF sausage, which is heftily spiced with sage and peppers, with the milder and more delicate squash. It overwhelms. While I’ve never tried it, I think a chicken and apple sausage, with nutmeg, cinnamon, et. al., would perhaps make this work better. I used colby jack cheese, and wondered if I should have used parmigiano. The answer would be no. That would have quarreled with the sausage and overpowered the squash completely.

On second thought, I may perhaps work on this a while and try something different. Because, y’know, it’s pretty.

Speaking of pretty:

This? Now THIS is pretty.

This was Sunday evening. I have gotten damn good at pork loin, if I do say so myownself. Me and Rendezvous seasoning. This one was in the oven vs. on the grill, because I’d consumed a six-pack of beer out on the lake, but it didn’t matter. We had it with squash, okra, roasted corn and tomatos. I was the only somebody who ate corn, so the remaining corn is in the fridge from whence it will become a major ingredient in polenta with roasted corn and drizzled with ancho cream sauce, if I have any anchos left. If I don’t, it’ll be Hatches. That’s this weekend with something, possibly PJF tenderloins on Saturday in honor of Child B and new grandchild-to-be.

Tomorrow night it’s mini-Cubanos (which puts me in mind, after a glass and a half of red wine, of really, really short Fidel Castros) after the gym, to use up the remaining pork loin.  Thursday may well be a chicken pot pie. And then we’re at the weekend.
Which I already need. You and y’mama ‘n ’em got any tips for getting through the rest of the week?
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