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.
Must pasta insist we default to basil and oregano when seasoning the accompanying sauce? Does Indian cuisine demand we pay homage to proteins with basmati rice, potatoes or Naan? Break free the chains! Particularly now since Al Dente’s latest line of Piccola Pastas have hit market shelves to switch things up. My last post, Pastazanella, was inspired by … Full recipe post »
UPDATE: CONGRATS, TERRI! Your name was PICKED–The CD and dish towels are on their way!!! Thanksgiving yum is on the horizon. In the right hand column →→→you’ll see a Holiday Cookbook link next to a Gold Ball under “Find Your Favorite Recipe“. Here, I’ve put together dozens of recipes that might suit your table. Also included is a super-simple segment and … Full recipe post »
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