One of the hardest parts of being in Norwalk was that we didn’t really have a functional kitchen. UVM puts us up in very nice apartments but as anyone who cooks knows, it takes a long time to build a great kitchen and these kitchens lack the knives, pans and other accessories to really pull off a big meal. I made simple things every night but missed pulling off elaborate meals or trying new recipes.
The only new one I tried while I was there was spaghetti squash with bacon, goat cheese and spinach. This recipe tasted delicious but the presentation was not as pretty as pictured and it took a fair amount of time to prep. The best part of the recipe was the new-to-me suggestion of how to cook spaghetti squash. In the past, I’ve either split the squash in half long ways and baked it or boiled it in half, neither of which are particularly easy to work with afterwards. Slicing the squash into rings and baking it was BRILLIANT. Still, for a gluten free meal, this is a delicious one that most people are likely to enjoy.
For Mother’s Day, I wanted to make a special meal for my mom and went with rubbed pork chops on the grill, butternut squash bread pudding, roasted Brussel sprouts with maple syrup and berry bundt cake.
The butternut squash bread pudding was unique and delicious but made enough for an army. Cutting this recipe in half would still yield plenty to feed four people so unless you’re having a large dinner party, I would suggest that. I used muenster cheese instead of gruyere and it was delicious. The only thing I added was rosemary and oregano in addition to the sage and it gave it a stuffing like taste that went perfectly with pork.
The cake was also a success, if only because it slid easily out of the pan instead of clinging on as bundt cakes usually do. I used frozen, bagged berries from the grocery store and made the mistake of the mix containing strawberries, which created big craters when baked so would avoid that in the future. Otherwise, frozen berries worked well. I also made my own buttermilk (3/4 cup of whole milk + 1 tablespoon of lemon juice –> sit for 10 minutes until clabbered) instead of using Kefir or purchasing buttermilk. I did attempt to make the icing but unlike the icing in the picture, mine looked thin and running and I opted to leave the cake “naked” instead, which turned out to be a great idea because it was plenty sweet on its own AND served as Will’s muffins for the week.
What have you cooked lately? Any great late Spring recipes to share?