Pattypan squash is such a funny vegetable. It’s like a scalloped flying saucer. I’ve wanted to learn how to cook them for a while, but had no idea how to approach it – and honestly, chopping it into pieces seemed like a waste of their cool shape. But then I found this recipe for Eggs Baked in Pattypan Squash and it seemed like a good thing to try.
3 pattypan squash
2 or 3 eggs
1/3 onion, diced
2 smallish or 1 large clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 pinches dried thyme
Trim the ends of the pattypan squash. Then take a spoon and hollow out the middle of the squash, leaving at least 1/4 of an inch of flesh/rind all around. Brush with olive oil and bake at 375 for 15 minutes. While the squash are baking, saute the onion in some olive oil. After a few minutes add the garlic and then the thyme. Once the onion is soft, remove from heat. Into the little pattypan squash holes, scoop in some of the onion mixture. Then crack an egg and slip it into the hole as well. Carefully return it to the oven and bake until the eggs are set/as done as you want them – about 15 minutes.
I really liked this recipe. The only problem I had with it was the the pattypan squash were too small for a whole egg to go in there! There was some spillage into the baking pan. This was touted (and would make) a great brunch dish, but I had it with salad and wine as a light dinner and that worked well. So this I think was a great, simple introductory recipe to such a funny-looking veggie. Song of the Week: Sit Down John, from 1776. Long before there was Hamilton, there was another surprise Broadway hit about the Revolutionary War – 1776 which focused on the Continental Congress declaring American independence. I have been obsessed with this musical since I was 5 and listen to the soundtrack every 4th of July.
This recipe came about due to an alcohol-buying mistake. I had an open bottle of red wine that had a weirdly smoky aftertaste, so I didn’t want to keep drinking it. But it was perfectly good wine, so I figured I should at least cook with it. Annoyingly for me, most recipes calling for a red wine sauce involve meat. But then I found this recipe for poached eggs in wine sauce and decided to give it a try. Albeit with a less complicated sauce.
1 cup or so red wine
1/2 cup vegetable stock
1 tablespoon butter
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 small leek, thinly sliced
2 pinches dried thyme
1 tbsp flour
Melt some butter in a small saucepan and saute the leek and garlic for a few minutes. Melt a bit more butter and mix it with the flour into a paste. Add the thyme, stock, and red wine. Mix so the butter-flour paste is thoroughly dissolved in the liquid. Simmer the mixture until the volume has reduced by about half. I boiled mine a little too long I think. It started getting vinegary-tasting so I added a bit more red wine and that fixed it. Set aside. Poach however many eggs you intend to cook. To poach an egg you (in theory) crack open the shell and gently slide the egg into the water, where you boil it for a few minutes until the desired done-ness. Well, keeping the egg a coherent blob is surprisingly difficult, but you can use a spoon to try to gather the white which will spread out in the water. Once the eggs are done, stick an egg on a piece of toast and spoon the sauce on and around it. Serve warm.
This turned out pretty well actually. It looks a bit messy, but its actually tasty, and I like the sauce with all the leeks and garlic in it. Those are always good things. I didn’t actually toast my bread first, and that was a mistake – toasted bread will be better. So, if you have red wine you want to cook with, or just want a non-meat accompaniment to it, I would suggest trying this recipe out. Obviously you serve this with more red wine, and a nice green salad to make a decent meal. Song of the Week: Moscow Nights by the Red Army Choir. Last week was Russian (Orthodox) Christmas (for which my family eats Chinese food – long story) so a Russian song felt appropriate. And while Tchaikovsky is my favorite Russian composer and one of my top three favorite all time composers, I decided to share something different. I also really love this song, and I think its a beautiful rendition.
Once again the need to use something that had been in my fridge for a while provided the basis for this week’s recipe. I don’t remember why I bought it precisely, but I bought a leek awhile ago and needed to do something with it, and I found a recipe for “Leeks Vinaigrette” in the French Market cookbook. Well, since I needed to use the leek, and miraculously had everything on hand (except mustard, I don’t like mustard and avoid it like the plague) I figured I should roll with it.
1 medium leek, halved and sliced lengthwise into ribbons
1/2 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
1 hard-boiled egg
Put the leeks, tossed with a little olive oil, in a smallish pan. Cover and steam for about 10 minutes, or until the leeks are limp but still have some crunch. While the leeks are cooking, mix the garlic, vinegar, salt, pepper, and a splash of olive oil together. When the leeks are done, toss them with the vinaigrette and let it sit for a few minutes. Once the leeks have marinated a little, stick them on a plate and sprinkle some parsley on top. Chop the hard boiled egg into little pieces and add that on top as well and serve.
Really good. It’s not spectacular, quite frankly it’s far to basic to be a wow of a dish. But it’s good and with a few slices of bread and cheese makes a lovely and fast meal. It’s a good – I made something cool and elegant-looking with few ingredients and work – dish (totally a thing). I had this with a Reisling, and I think it’d go pretty well with any number of white wines. Honestly, this felt more like a spring dish than a fall one from my perspective. Song of the Week: Habits as done by Postmodern Jukebox. This was insanely hard this week because I’ve basically be obsessively listening to Postmodern Jukebox and Sam Tsui all week and choosing between those two insanely difficult. But Habits won (watch and you will understand). But just go on YouTube and lose yourself in both of their channels.
Hmmm, something looks a bit different with Sunshine Kitchen, you might be saying to yourself. Yes – I finally bought a domain name for this blog! I initially wanted to see if I was going to stick with this whole blogging thing, and then I just never bothered to get around to it. But here we are! Yay! So this week I decided to do another Persian/Iranian dish, which is called a kuku. It’s basically their version of a frittata. I looked at a number of recipes, and ended up making a stove-cooked mishmash of this recipe and this one.
1/2 medium eggplant, chopped into wide matchsticks
1/2 onion, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
2-3 eggs (I did 2 eggs and 1 egg white)
1/4 tsp turmeric
3/4 tsp ground ginger
2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
Heat some olive oil in a frying pan. Saute the onions until soft, then add the eggplant pieces until they are soft too. While the eggplant and onion are cooking, beat the eggs in a bowl. Add the garlic, turmeric, ginger, parsley and a dash of salt. When the onions and eggplant are done, pour the egg mixture over them. Cover the frying pan and cook at medium heat until the edges are done. Flip and cook the other side until done, which will only be a few minutes. If you can actually flip in in one fell swoop, color me impressed. I, however, cut it in in half and flipped each one. Serve and eat warm.
So good. The first bite was like, hmmm, but after a couple more bites it was mmmmmm! Every time I try a new Persian recipe my reaction is always why don’t I cook Persian dishes more often? This will be made again. And there are a billion variations, and I like the spice/herb combos in Persian food a lot so more versions will be made and posted as well. Song of the week: I am the Walrus, by the Beatles. Total honestly, when I saw the name of the zucchini version was kuku kadoo, my first thought was koo koo kachoo from this song’s refrain. So, it clearly needed to be featured this week. It’s also a great song and trippy in the best possible way.
I don’t care how old you get, Dr. Seuss is always awesome. This recipe, however, initially had absolutely nothing to do with the author however – it started with parsley. Fresh herbs are always better than dried ones – but when you cook for one person, a whole bunch of any given herb takes awhile to use up. This week, I happen to have a lot of extra parsley, and had to find a way to use it.
2 eggs OR 1 egg and 1 egg white
2 green onions, chopped
Chopped fresh parsley
1 oz shredded mozzarella cheese
Melt the butter in an omlette pan, add the white parts of the green onions and let saute for about a minute or so. Mix in the eggs, and scramble them. I usually use one egg and one egg white because it strikes me as slightly healthier. After a couple minutes, add the green parts of the onions, the parsley, and the cheese and mix into the eggs, continuing to scramble until they are all done. I list mozzarella because it works well with the parsley, but you could use fontina or probably goat cheese if you want.
The result is awesome – it makes a good brunch item, a lovely quick dinner after a long day of work, and when I eventually become an aunt I will totally make and feed it to my sister’s kids while reading them Green Eggs and Ham. Sometimes, good food doesn’t need to be complicated or involve a lot of prep – and that’s a helpful thing to remember – especially when you spend 12 hours at work on a given day. Song of the week – Here’s to the Heartache by Nothing More. Angsty music gets a bad rap in my opinion – life sometime is objectively crappy, and when that happens, angsty, angry music often makes me feel better. Not that I had a bad week – my sister just introduced me to this song a couple days ago and I had to share.