Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Beet and Squash Faux Tomato Sauce

I experimented with a dish like this a few months ago when Ms. gorgeous and I had leftover beets and squash, and it turned out pretty well. On vacation with my parents I tried it again with the principle goal being to make the sauce and it turned out great. The flavor of the beets and the squash together make a wonderful combination and go incredibly well with pasta just like normal tomato sauce. A nice end of winter coming into spring sort of dish.

First you can see the pasta on the left above. It is sort of a funky circular pasta. Unique and delicious. My parents brought that with them.

The sauce is incredibly easy to make only requiring beets, squash (I think we used winter), oranges, and salt and pepper. It will take as long as the beets and squash take to cook plus about 10 - 20 minutes to prepare the sauce (Pasta should be made at the same time).

Prepare the beets and squash. For the beets boil in water until they are tender when pricked with a fork - about 45 minutes and you may need to refill the water to keep the beets covered. For the squash, slice in half and brush a small amount of olive oil on each end. Place face down on a baking sheet and cook for about 30-45 minutes at 400 degrees until tender.

Once the ingredients are cooked, peel the skin off the beets and put into a blender saving one on the side. Scoop out the squash and put the flesh in the blender as well. Blend until smooth (Ms. gorgeous one complaint was it was too smooth so maybe pulsate and not puree). While blending, dice the saved beet into small pieces and put to the side. Ms. gorgeous had the great idea to put oranges on top to add a little zing to the sauce. It turned out wonderfully so additionally peel and cut an orange into small pieces.

Taste the sauce and season with salt and pepper. It is ready to be eaten.

Put it on top of your favorite pasta, add some of the beets chunks to give it some additional texture and then the orange to offer a contrast in color and flavors. The sauce looks like pure beets but the winter squash offers significant flavor and background to the beet taste. Oranges are a little funky but give a sweet kick, definitely a plus.

Enjoy, I will definitely be making it again.

Monday, April 27, 2009


A month or so ago, Ms. gorgeous and I went to a restaurant, Rosa Mexicano in Gallery Place. One of their specialties is to wheel around a cart of avocado's and make guacamole right there for you. It is pretty sweet. On this particular day though the avocado's were not ripe, which is not surprising having watched them cart around hundreds of avocado's, but it made me disappointing.

What was a man to do? Gorgeous decided to make his own Guacamole = delicious.

Concept again was easy as pie. I think variations could really make this great, but I went for the standard.

All you need are the following ingredients. 2 ripe avocado's (the skin should give way when you press in), 1 tomato, 1/2 an onion, 1/2 jalapeno, cilantro, and salt. Cut everything really finely except for the avocado. This releases the flavors and lets the tastes blend together really well.

Cut the avocado in half as shown in the top picture. I think this looks awesome. Take your knife and hit it against the seed so it sinks in a little bit. Twist and out pops the seed. Next scoop out the avocado into a bowl. Add all the previously chopped ingredients and some salt. Crush with a fork or spoon, or if you are really sweet a Molcajete (mortal and pestle - shout out to Papa gorgeous and the Mow-Ka-Je-Te). Serve with chips and bamn you just one upped Rosa Mexicano.

I would be interested to hear other chef's variation or different flavors that you add in.

Friday, April 3, 2009


This is another dish that I have been making a crazy amount of lately, and comes from the book of add the basics and the rest is for the flourish. It is simple, cheap, and has highly variable flavor depending on the flourish that you choose. Just today I made it on vacation with my parents and Ms. gorgeous.

The game plan for the basics is chickpeas, olive oil, and tahina. From there you can go wild... Sometimes I put in pepper flakes or lemon juice and definitely garlic.

Add all of these ingredients into a blender and blend until you get the consistency desired. I usually do not dump out the chickpea liquid because it has some flavor and you need some liquid to keep the humus moist. Also, I add some water to get the humus looking right. Our blender broke the other day so now we depend on the infomercial contraption to the right (the magic bullet). It works ok, but I am looking forward to getting a blender soon.

Once created I put the hummus into a bowl and add Paprika to the top which makes it looks more sophisticated (as shown above). The next step is eating it. I generally use pita, celery, or carrots to eat with my hummus. Sometimes Ms. gorgeous or myself create pita chips by cutting the pita into slices and pouring olive oil and herbs on top and then toasting. Recently I have been making some great sandwiches by stuffing a pita with hummus and lots of mixed vegetables. Very tasty!!!