Acorn Squash

I got this from a magazine…it’s extremely easy and amazingly delicious.

  • 1 acorn squash
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Dried thyme leaves (fresh is good, I just never have it)
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and black pepper

Cut the end off the squash, and cut it in half top to bottom. Scoop out the seeds, and slice each half into 1/4 inch slices; the more uniform the slices are, the better they cook.

Lay them on a baking sheet. Brush with olive oil, sprinkle with salt, pepper and thyme, then with parmesan cheese. Roast at 400 degrees for 25 minutes or so. Amazing.

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Wonderful Slum*

For 2 people, scale it up for more.

  • 1/2 to 2/3 lb hamburger, divided and shaped into two thickish patties.
  • 2 slices of bread
  • Cheese- I like using 2-3 oz of cheap medium cheddar per person, since it’s going to be melted, and I use block cheese; shredded and high-end cheeses don’t seem to work as well.
  • 11 oz can corn, I like the kind with no added sugar.
  • 1 small bunch green onions, chopped
  • 1 4 oz can sliced black olives
  • 4-6 oz sliced mushrooms (optional)

Get everything ready. Sprinkle garlic salt on the hamburger patties and grill/broil/fry them (I use a Foreman grill because I like that.)

While the patties are cooking, toast the bread in the toaster.

Put a saucepan on medium heat, drain the corn and olives, put them in with the green onions. Heat til you can smell the onions.

If you use mushrooms, sauté them with a tiny bit of olive oil in a separate pan so you can drain the juices when they are done. Add to corn and olives.

When the toast is done, put a slice on each plate. When the hamburgers are ALMOST done, cut up the cheese pretty small, add to the corn pan, and turn the heat to low medium. Stir and keep an eye on this pan, you want to melt the cheese but not let it burn.

When the cheese is melted and mixed in with the corn/onions/olives/mushrooms, put a hamburger patty on each piece of toast and spoon half the cheese mixture over each, serve immediately.

*When I was dating Mr. Otter, I went over to his house when he was sick. I’ll cook dinner, I said, and went looking in his kitchen. Typical batchelor kitchen, all he had was bread, cheese, hamburger, a can of corn, a can of olives and spring onions. I made this (we started adding mushrooms later) and served it for dinner.

What’s this called? he said.

I don’t have a name for it, I just slum it all together (riffing on Pogo).

Well, it’s wonderful, he said. And so it was named.

Spolentooms

  • 1 to 1 1/4 lb sweet Italian sausage. This is the most important ingredient, so higher quality sausage really pays off. If the sausages are in casings, cut off the casings and cut the sausages into 1 inch slices/balls. Loose sausage meat is fine too.
  • I package fresh baby spinach
  • I lb sliced brown (crimini or baby bella) mushrooms
  • I onion, diced
  • Pepper to taste
  • I scant cup corn meal
  • 1/2 cup milk (I use nonfat, it’s what’s in the fridge)
  • 1/4 cup (approx) fresh shredded parmesan cheese.

Boil 3 cups of water in a large saucepan with the 1/2 cup milk mixed in. Salt the water a bit. Just when it starts to boil, mix in the corn meal, whisking it in slowly. Turn the heat to medium low, and let cook for 20-30 minutes, whisking every 5 minutes or so. Don’t let it burn, just thicken and cook it.

While you’re watching the corn meal, get out a large frying pan and brown the onion in a bit of olive oil. Then (medium heat) add sausage and brown, and season with black pepper to taste. Then add the mushrooms until they give up their juices. Keep an eye on the polenta; just as it’s getting done, add the spinach to the sausage and stir and cook til it just barely wilts.

While doing the spinach, take the polenta off the heat, stir in the parmesan and let it sit until the spinach is wilted.

Spoon polenta in each person’s bowl, then sausage mix over it.

Serves four.

 

 

Cows in Blankets

  • High quality hot dogs (my fav is Hebrew National)
  • Cheese of choice (for me, cheddar)
  • Croissants or bread sticks in a tube

Make a slit in each hot dog the long way.
Cut slices of cheese about 1/4 inch thick and 1/2 inch wide, a bit shorter than the hot dog.
Open the bread sticks or croissants, unstick them from each other, and wrap one around each hot dog in a spiral.

Put on cookie sheet and bake at recommended temperature from the bread wrapper for about the time it says; keep an eye on them, make sure they’re done and browned but not burned.

NOTE: A package of Hebrew National has seven hot dogs, the croissants or bread sticks usually have eight or ten…you can get creative with the extra bread…