Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Is it Spring Yet?

Before starting this blog, I have a quick note:  Russia, where did you go?  Germany just passed 100 hits.  You're only at 84.  84!  Come on, Russia, I know you can do better!  Let's make a deal.  You click around and get your hits up to 100, and I will make Borscht.  I do love me some beets!

When I started this project, my goal was one year.  That one year mark is quickly approaching!  That's exciting in a sense, but I am in no way counting down the days.  As I said on day one, I haven't been depriving myself.  If I am craving a salmon fillet, I'm going to believe that it's because I'm lacking some Omega-3 fatty acids and my body is telling me that, and I'm going to go get me some salmon.  Not every week, but when I need it, I do cheat.  And I've been pretty open about that.

I'm also not running low on food.  I do recall a point when I first started this project when I couldn't find any food to eat.  It was meat and parsnips.  There weren't even any potatoes!  I know I'm not to that point in the year yet - because it hasn't been a full year yet - but I don't feel like things are nearly that bad.  It could be that I'm doing a better job at sourcing things, but it also could be that there is just more available.  It's hard to tell if I'm noticing things that were always there, or if things are starting to pop up.  Milwaukee has always been a little slow - maybe we're finally getting on board with the locavore movement.

Can I take partial credit?  Would that be wrong?  After all, I am an award winning food blogger.  No, my blog hasn't won any awards, but I won an award, and I blog... same thing, right?

I probably shouldn't take credit.  But I might anyway.  Just in my own mind if nothing else.

I don't expect my eating habits to change much once the one year mark is up.  More seafood for sure, obviously off of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch Sustainability Guide.  Download the App.  It's a good time.  Another App to download, although it has nothing to do with this post, is ShopNoGMO.  It can help you avoid purchasing genetically modified food.  There's a lot of it, and it's sneaky.  It doesn't announce itself.

(True story, Monsanto - the company that develops and sells most genetically modified seeds - says that there's no reason to test their genetically modified seeds to see if they're safe for humans.  Their argument read like circular logic to me.  We don't test because there's no evidence that anything's wrong... which how could there be if no tests were done...?  But, hey, I'm no scientist, so what do I know?)

Anywho, I'm mostly just ready for it to be warm.  This has been a very mild winter in Wisconsin, but it seems even more draining than usual.  I think it's because there hasn't been any snow to play in.  Snow or be warm, damnit!

But I do have food to eat.  And, I feel that my meals over the past week or so have been leaning towards the warm weather side.  I was especially excited to try out my newly delivered sausages.  I made a Greek inspired Summer meal in the middle winter, and it tasted delicious.

It would have helped if I didn't need to put on a sweatshirt right after eating it because I was cold!

Gyro Sausage with Pickled Zucchini Relish, and Spicy Squash with Garlic Yoghurt

Actually, there's really no recipe here.  Bet the bolded title threw you off!  Heat up delicious gyro sausage (or whatever kind of brat you want).  Place on bun.  Top with delicious pickled zucchini relish.  You can also crumble on a little feta cheese, if you're feeling feisty.

I also made the same squash that I made for Christmas this year (last year?  This past Christmas.), but I made it in a pan instead of in the crock pot.  I really didn't notice a difference in flavor/texture/anything on the eating end.  I did notice a difference on the cooking end, when I dropped the squash into the slightly too hot oil and got grease burns all over my face.  And, instead of being smart and going and washing off my face or sticking my face in the freezer or anything else to make it stop burning, I just hopped around the kitchen going "AHHHHH!!! HOT!" while my pets stared on confused.  It's a good thing I wear glasses, or I might be blind right now.  This, by the way, is not a part of the recipe.  Don't follow this step.

Other than that, though, I thought the squash came out exactly the same.  It cooked a lot faster, so if you don't have a reason to use the crock pot (like, not having access to a stove...), I would recommend using the stove top method.

I totally did just copy and paste this from the original post.  Does that count as plagiarizing myself?

Spicy Squash with Garlic-Yogurt Sauce

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 1/2 lb squash, peeled, cut in half, and cut into 1 1/2 inch thick slices (I used a combination of butternut and an orange squash that I bought because it was pretty, but which I have no clue what it is)
  • 1 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 2-3 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp curry powder
  • 1 small diced Thai chili (frozen from my garden)
  • 1/2 pint tomato sauce (from my canning frenzy!)
  • 1/2 cup honey (this time I used buckwheat honey.  I liked the less sweat flavor that added)
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
 For the Yogurt Sauce
  • 1 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tbsp fresh chopped oregano
  •  1 tbsp fresh chopped dill
In a large dutch oven, over medium high heat, warm the olive oil.  Working in batches, add the squash, season with salt and pepper, and saute until evenly browned, about 7 minutes.  (DON'T BURN YOUR FACE OFF!).  Once the squash is browned, remove it from the pan. You may need to work in batches to avoid overcrowding.  To the pan, add ginger, garlic, coriander, cinnamon, curry, and chilis, and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Stir in the tomato sauce, the honey, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper.  Stir, scrapping the bottom of the pan, and bring to a boil.  Return the squash to the pan and stir gently to combine.  Cover, reduce heat to low, and allow to simmer until the squash is tender - about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, or the day before, combine yogurt, garlic, oregano, dill, and 1/2 tsp salt.  Cover and refrigerate until serving.

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