Friday, January 15, 2010
"On Top of Spaghetti (squash) All Coverd in Cheese"
On the "Great Trek Through the Commissary" the children saw a spaghetti squash and marveled at my description , they demanded it's entry into the buggy. It would not fit in the crisper drawers in the bottom of the fridge and so it was placed reverently next to the milk on the bottom shelf. You would have thought some exotic pet had taken up residence in the fridge the way the kids have been poking it, and petting it and asking after it, "how are we going to cook it Mom?" "what do you eat with it?" "are you sure it's noodles inside, I've never heard of a vegetable with noodles in it." So, tonight while DH was safely at work, I cooked it (he's not a fan of squash of any kind, usually).
I made the announcement "Tonight we're having fried chicken legs and the squash with mozzarella, tomatoes, and mushrooms". They missed out on the boring stuff like the chopping it in half (cause I have a tendency to cut myself when people grab at my legs and stare at me), scraping out the seeds, and steaming, but I made sure to call them into the kitchen for the miracle that is scraping out the innards and it "magically turning into noodles"! There was much oohing and aahing over this changeling vegetable. I was secretly pleased with myself. My children are usually adventurous eaters but I had my doubts, they had yet to taste it. But I had a Plan. A good Plan.
Here's the Plan
steam spaghetti squash, scrape and salt to taste
shred 1lb mozzarella cheese
top with tomatoes and mushrooms (I've mentioned we like mushrooms haven't I?)
The Plan was not as successful as I'd hoped , oh they liked it, mostly, kind of, some of them. DS#1 gobbled his up faster than I'd seen him eat anything in a while, score 1 for The Plan DD#2 (aka the baby) ate 2 servings, score 2 for The Plan, DS#2 was not as impressed, ate his chicken and 3 bites of the main dish, cause he's 3 and that's the RULE (in our house if you don't like something you have to at least eat as many bites for as many years you are old) and DD#1 informed me that as long as she had more of the toppings in her mouth than the squash it was quite tasty. She said this, mind you, with a mouth full of food and a face that let you know she in no way meant what she was saying (like I was bind and couldnt' see that she'd only taken a few bites of the squash but had eaten everything else her plate).
The fried chicken on the other hand....
1tbs kosher salt
1tsp each the following
marjoram (the herb)
mix with 1 1/2 cup flour
toss with 14 chicken legs
In a large cast iron pan filled almost 1/2 way with vegetable oil that is heated enough to make a sizzle when you lightly flick some of the flour mix from your finger into the pan (or you can get all schmancy and bust out a thermometer with a frying setting, I have one, that I don't use, cause the way Grandma does it is faster) and I suppose you could do this in a non cast iron pan. On a side note, if you want your veggies to taste as good as they'll ever taste, and if you've been anemic ever (I was always anemic growing up, till I met and married DH, and his Papa gave me a cast iron pan, and I learned how to and started using it) you should get a cast iron pan to cook in. They are the easiest things to take care of, the only down side I've found is they weigh a ton, so use two hands when you pick them up. OK back to the chicken. This is known as pan frying not deep frying, feel free to Google it, Alton Brown has an entire episode of "Good Eats" on frying that is AWESOME (all of his shows are awesome). Only cook as many pieces of chicken in the pan so that they are about half submerged. you want the steam in the chicken to have somewhere to escape from. When they are a nice golden brown on the bottom turn and cook the other side.
I thoroughly enjoyed the squash, and the chicken, the combination was kind of like chicken Parmesan, kind of, if you were from the South. I guess I know what I'll be having for lunch next week!