One particularly time-starved friend of mine remarked she always disregards a recipe if it has more than five ingredients. I understand time constraints, I really do. But dismiss a wonderful recipe simply because it has six ingredients?
I couldn’t leave this alone. I couldn’t resist peppering this abbreviated-recipe fan with “what if’s.” “What if that 6th ingredient said ‘optional’? What if that 7th or 8th ingredient were dried herbs, or other pantry staples that only take about 5 seconds to add? What if… ,” my voice a strident pitch, “…that recipe is the main course, including side dish? Would you toss the recipe then? I mean, it’s not like I’m tacking on ingredients for deboning, poaching and brushing a duck with aspic.” My friend stared at me blankly, sorry she’d opened her mouth.
I am fully aware, ingredient-fearful-friends, that this recipe has 12 ingredients. I even eliminated some of them for the sake of brevity: Celery, garlic, sage, to name a few. Go check your cupboards, I’ll bet you find at least half a dozen of these ingredients begging to be used in this stuffed acorn squash.
This lovely, seasonal fare is a vegetarian meal in itself. But it also would tastefully and colorfully complete a plate of roasted chicken, turkey or seasonal game.
An aside: Be on guard when cooking with whole grains. When rice and grain manufacturers write cooking times for their products, they are using freshly harvested grains. By the time we buy our bulk grains, or put that colorful little recycled package into our carts, we have no idea how long they’ve been sitting around. Liquid amounts can be off-kilter, cooking times ambiguous, resulting in burnt pans and undercooked grains. My rule of thumb is to use the packaging instructions as a starting point, check the pan often, taste, and allow extra time and liquid until the desired tenderness is reached.
Here’s a no-recipe recipe for folks with little time and large palates. Tomato sauces are great to have hanging out in the fridge for impromptu meals. With their high acidic content, they have a lengthy refrigerated shelf-life, at the ready for spooning over, or incorporating into, grain dishes and proteins. The best bottled, freshest tasting … Full recipe post »
Today I began cooking for a holiday party I’m hosting the day after tomorrow. One item I want on the menu is an old-fashioned spice cake, and while thumbing through cookbooks in search of a recipe, I was imagining rich layers of flavor that would be more redolent of spice than cloyingly sweet. No such … Full recipe post »
Hi there! I'm Peggy Lampman -
Food writer by trade, curious cook by design.
The past 30 years have witnessed a raucous race from my professional to
home kitchen - persnickety customers, petulant children and piles of dirty dishes
lie in my wake. And the dinnerFeeds - well - they
are my story. More about Peggy and this site...
Taste buds prickle; wanderlust triggered. An Argentine barbecue (asado)
enticed me to Patagonia. A friend gave me a vial of ground sumac berries--4 months later I was
waking at dawn to the "Call To Prayer" in Turkey. Porcini to Tuscany, and so on. Read more about my chronicles of
trips and favorite associated recipes. Browse my travel recipes...
Here are ideas gleaned from others that speak to me;
where I highlight projects that bring friends, neighborhoods, and communities together. For me,
complimentary food makes the project and event more fun. Browse my projects and related recipes...