Saturday, December 8, 2012

Spaghetti Squash with Shrimp

I rarely make spaghetti squash mainly because butchering it horrifies me.  I always come way too close to chopping off a finger.  But once you finally conquer the squash and cut it open, the rest is easy and the final product is both healthy and hearty.

1 large spaghetti squash
3 cloves of minced garlic
15-20 medium uncooked shrimp (peeled and deveined)
1 15 oz. can Italian style diced tomatoes
2 teaspoons of brown sugar
1 tablespoon of garlic powder
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Grease a large baking sheet.  Cut the squash in half length-wise.  Remove seeds and place both halves face-down on the baking sheet.  Bake for about 45 minutes to an hour or until the skin can be sliced through easily with a knife and the flesh is soft.  Take it out of the oven and let it cool.  Heat some olive oil or cooking spray in a large skillet over high heat.  Add the garlic and cook for a few minutes until fragrant.  Make sure the shrimp is patted dry, season with salt and pepper, and add to the pan.  Sear the shrimp for a couple of minutes per side.  Add the can of diced tomatoes along with the brown sugar, and reduce heat to simmer.  While the shrimp and sauce simmers, use a fork to pull the flesh of the squash out of the skin and into a large bowl (will peel apart and look like spaghetti).  Season the squash with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.  Add the shrimp and sauce mixture to the bowl of squash and toss with a fork or tongs.  Serve it topped with the Parmesan. 

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Chili Verde

This chili verde is Trav's favorite, and since his team, the Chargers, have been losing so horribly, I wanted to help heal his spirit.  He enjoyed this hearty bowl paired with a delightfully strong old-fashioned, and was a happy camper again in no time.

1 1/2 lbs pork tenderloin cut into 2 inch cubes
1 diced yellow onion
2 chopped and seeded green bell peppers
2 chopped and seeded Anaheim chilies
1 diced and seeded jalapeno pepper
3 cloves of minced garlic
2 teaspoons cumin
1 tablespoon oregano
1 lb of tomatillos (roasted with husks and skin removed)
4 cups of chicken broth
1 bunch of cilantro
salt and pepper to taste

First roast the tomatillos at 400 degrees for 20 minutes after removing their husks and rinsing them off. Once they are cooled, remove the skins, dice them, and set them aside.  Heat olive oil in a large skillet over high heat.  Add in the pork and brown on all sides (about 5 minutes).  Set the pork aside in a large stock pot.  In the same skillet the pork was in, add the onion, peppers, chilies, garlic, cumin and oregano and sweat for about 5-7 minutes.  Add the veggie mixture to the pork in the stock pot.  Then add in the tomatillos and cover chicken broth.  Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.  Simmer for at least 90 minutes over low heat.  I also ended up adding about a teaspoon of cornstarch mixed with water to thicken it up a bit more at the end.