All-American BBQ

The summer days of my childhood fell into a pretty consistent routine. Mornings were spent splashing and playing in the pool or running through sprinklers attempting to cool off in the hot Las Vegas sun. Each afternoon the heat and bright rays would drive my siblings and me into the house for afternoon siestas. Of course, that didn’t last too long and soon the cool water called to us and we ventured back out to the pool playing until well past dark. Our large pool was often crawling with neighbors, friends, and extended family. And most evenings while we enjoyed the water, my father fired up the grill.
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Mushroom Spaghetti Squash

From Dawn B
VSC Everett WA

 

We are a meat loving family (my husband is ‘the meat man’ and works for a large meat distribution company – so we are blessed to be able to frequently indulge in meat) but this is one of our families favorite ways to eat Spaghetti Squash. It is a meatless dish (but could easily have sausage added for some meat but has plenty of flavor without) it uses mushrooms and squash from last weekend and onions (and squash if the week befores is already gone!) from this most recent Saturday.

A great side dish to this meatless entree is a nice big chopped salad, topped with tomatoes, avocados and any other veggies your family loves and dinner rolls!
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Summer Squash Supreme

I told Sally that I’d be providing the “Manly Produce Perspective” on the blog since I’m one of the two male VACs (Volunteer Area Coordinators).  I do love to cook but I have to admit that before I met my awesome wife, who happens to be an incredible cook, I like many men used cooking as a way to impress.  I suppose I still do.
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Roasted Garlic Pasta Sauce

From Bountiful Baskets Recipes

Roasted Garlic Pasta Sauce

Ingredients

  • 6 bulbs garlic
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 medium red, yellow, and/or green sweet peppers, halved and seeded
  • 12 lbs ripe tomatoes, peeled
  • 3 tbsp packed brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp kosher salt or 4 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 2 cups lightly packed fresh basil leaves, snipped
  • 1 cup lightly packed chopped assorted fresh herbs (such as oregano, thyme, parsley)
  • 6 tbsp lemon juice

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Peel away the dry outer layers of skin from garlic bulbs, leaving other skin and cloves intact. Cut about 1/2 inch off top portions, leaving bulbs intact but exposing the individual cloves. Place the garlic bulbs, cut sides up, in a 1 to 1 1/2 qt casserole. Drizzle with 1 tbsp olive oil. Cover casserole. Arrange peppers cut side down, on a foil-lined baking sheet. brush with the remaining 2 tbsp oil.
  2. Roast garlic and peppers for 40 to 50 minutes or until pepper skins are charred and garlic cloves are soft. Cook garlic on a wire rack until cool enough to handle. Pull up sides of foil and pinch together to fully enclose the peppers. Let peppers stand for 15 to 20 minutes or until cool enough to handle. Peel off skins and discard. Chop peppers, set aside.
  3. Remove garlic cloves from paper skins by squeezing the bottoms of the bulbs. Place garlic cloves in food processor. Cut peeled tomatoes into chunks; add some of the garlic in food processor. Cover and process until chopped.
  4. Transfer chopped garlic and tomatoes to a 7 - 8 quart stainless steel, enamel, or nonstick heavy pot. Repeat chipping the remaining tomatoes, in batches, in the food processor. Add all tomatoes to the pot.
  5. Add brown sugar, salt, vinegar, and black pepper to the tomato mixture. Bring to boiling. Boil steadily, uncovered, for 50 minutes, stirring often. Add chopped peppers to tomato mixture. Boil for 10 to 20 minutes more until mixture is reduced to about 11 cups and reaches desired consistency, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; stir in basil and assorted herbs.
  6. Spoon 1 tbsp of the lemon juice into each of the six, hot, sterilized pint canning jars. Ladle hot sauce into jars with lemon juice, leaving a 1/2-inch headspace. Wipe jar rims; adjust lids.
  7. Process filled jars in a boiling water canner for 35 minutes. Remove jars from canner; cool on wire racks.

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Freezer Tomato Sauce

Freezer Tomato Sauce (from Bountiful Baskets Recipes)

Freezer Tomato Sauce

Ingredients

  • 6 lbs ripe roma tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp olive oil or vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onions (3 medium)
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 3 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1-2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 2 tbsp snipped fresh oregano or 2 tsp dried oregano, crushed
  • 1 - 2 tbsp snipped fresh thyme, or 1 - 2 tsp dried thyme, crushed

Instructions

  1. Wash tomatoes. Remove stem ends. To peel tomatoes, bring 4 inches of water to boiling in a large saucepan, immerse tomatoes, a few at a time, into boiling water for 30 to 60 seconds or until the skin starts to crack. Immediately dip tomatoes into cold water; drain in colander. Slip off skins; discard. Remove cores and seeds. Coarsely chop tomatoes.
  2. In an 8-quart heavy pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions, celery, and garlic; cook for about 5 minutes or until tender. Add the 10 cups chopped tomatoes, sugar, salt, black pepper, and, if desired, cayenne pepper. Bring to boiling, reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in oregano and thyme. Simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes more. Cool slightly.
  3. In a food processor, cover and process tomato mixture, one-fourth at a time, until sauce is desired texture (or press tomato mixture through a food mill). Transfer sauce to a large bowl. Place bowl in a sink filled with ice water; stir mixture to cool.
  4. Transfer to pint-size freezer-safe containers, leaving a 1/2-inch headspace. Seal and label. Freeze for up to 6 months. To store in the refrigerator, ladle sauce into sterilized pint jars, leaving a 1/2-inch headspace. Seal and label. Store in refrigerator for up to 1 week. Makes 3 to 4 pints.
  5. Tip: To use frozen tomato sauce, thaw overnight in refrigerator. Pour the thawed sauce into a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat until hot, stirring occasionally.

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Plain Green Beans (boiled or steamed)

I'm going basic with this because I know there are people who have never cooked green beans from scratch!  If you are a little scared of the fresh green beans this is for you!

Plain Green Beans (boiled or steamed)

Ingredients

  • Green Beans
  • 1/2 an onion
  • Water or broth
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Snap your beans (take off the ends and throw away, then break into bite size chunks)
  2. Chop in large pieces an onion (cut off the ends, cut in half, put half away for later, strip off a couple outside layers until it is fresh, then cut in wedges, then cut the other direction to make about 1/2 in pieces.)
  3. Put green beans in a frying pan
  4. Put onion in too
  5. Barely cover with water
  6. Add a generous bit of salt (1/2 tsp)
  7. bring to a fast boil
  8. Take off stove and drain when the onions and green beans have changed color and drain.
  9. If you want to steam them put the green beans in the steamer basket with the onions
  10. add a bit of water under
  11. add salt
  12. steam until the change of color.
  13. put pepper to taste right before serving.


	

Sicilian Fried Cauliflower

This recipe is one of my favorite from family get togethers!  Just amazing.  If you let people snack as you pull the cauliflower out of the pan there will be nothing left.  it’s.that.good!

Sicilian Fried Cauliflower

Ingredients

  • 1 head Cauliflower
  • 2 - 3 eggs
  • "green can" parmesan cheese
  • pepper
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Instructions

  1. beat eggs
  2. add about 1/4 of can of cheese
  3. add pepper
  4. Trim Cauliflower into florets
  5. Put about 1/2 inch of oil in pan on medium heat.
  6. Allow oil to get hot.
  7. Bread Cauliflower in the egg mixture
  8. Put in the frying pan in small batches and turn until all areas and gently browned and cauliflower is fork tender
  9. Set on paper towel on a plate to drain after removing from the pan
  10. DO NOT LET ANYONE TRY them off of the plate or none will be left for dinner!