Double Shot Butternut Squash

A perfect side dish for fall and winter needs to be rich, hearty and comforting when you eat it.  Butternut Squash meets those criteria in a delicious way.

Not only is it versatile enough to use in soups, casseroles, sauces and more, including roasted like we have here, it’s also nutritious. Butternut Squash is of the winter squash variety, as opposed to its cousins, summer squash, so it has a hard skin like acorn squash, spaghetti squash and other winter varieties. Harvest time for butternut squash is summer through fall, but they store very well so most groceries have them year-round.  Their flavors get richer and sweeter when ripe, so if it’s not ripe it’s meat can be tough, bland and tasteless and be very difficult to cook. A ripe one will be creamy and sweet when prepared properly. Unless you’re growing them, it can be quite a challenge to figure out if they are ripe and ready to go. If you’re interested in learning more about butternut squash and how to tell when they are ripe, here’s a little lagniappe for you.  Let’s get this show on the road with this simple, no-angst recipe that will make you famous. Continue reading “Double Shot Butternut Squash”

Brussels Sprouts Slaw

Brussels Sproutsmaybe they’re not as polarizing as cilantro, but let’s face it, lots of people don’t love ’em.

The cilantro hatred can get heated, with many people flatly stating they hate it but those that don’t hate it usually love it, there’s rarely any ambivalence. But when it comes to Brussels Sprouts, many people simply put it on the “I don’t like it” list but rarely want to get physical about it. I suspect that many times the cabbage-like perfume and the unique appearance lands the poor misunderstood veggie on the no-fly list without even giving it a chance. While cilantro may be the culinary serial killer, Brussels Sprouts are more like the ugly cousin of veggiedom. Given half a chance, I’m certain that many naysayers would be surprised how approachable it is. And since we’re always trying to impress with new and unique side dishes, Brussels’ flexibility may be just the thing you need to impress that snooty foodie who thinks you can’t cook anything at all. Who needs that angst, so, let’s dress up that ugly cousin and bring her to the prom…after all, she probably can’t get another date. Continue reading “Brussels Sprouts Slaw”

Stuffed Bell Peppers

 

I love stuffed bell peppers! When well prepared, the peppers are soft and mild and can be stuffed with most kinds meat or seafood-many in South Louisiana add rice to the stuffing; my grandmother used a mixture of ground beef and ground ham. Almost every cuisine has a version of stuffed peppers. These very flavorful goodies have a filling made with beef and veal, cooked down with sweet onions, chopped bell peppers and spices, making a perfectly delicious stuffing. Fight the urge to make them too large; they are so good you’ll be tempted to eat too many! Make sure you get a nice piece of pepper with every bite of stuffing. Stuffed bell peppers are a great main dish but also great as a side with red beans and rice.  They go great with mac and cheese or pasta with tomato sauce. You won’t believe how great these are as left overs-something about the way the flavors meld together.  Another option is to freeze the stuffed pepper before you bake Stuffed Bell Peppersthem and save for a later time. This makes a large batch so you may be able to enjoy some now and save some happiness for a later date.   Get a couple of cold beers standing by and let’s get going. Continue reading “Stuffed Bell Peppers”