Thursday, August 27, 2009

Holy Summer Squash, Batman!

We joined a CSA recently--got lucky. They didn't have a space until about 3 weeks ago, but now we are getting weekly deliveries right to our door, and we didn't have to pony up ahead. We pay each week, and can cancel, postpone, etc. at our will. It's the perfect solution for non-committal types like us. This CSA, the Fallywalker Farm, is known for the unusual varieties they grow, like black zucchini, blue potatoes, rat-tailed radishes, snake beans, flying saucer squash (patty pan), pink carrots, lemon cucumbers, Transylvanian Brain Tomatoes, etc. Everything has been fresh, delicious, and wonderful, and we've even received fresh flowers in each delivery. Awesome. As a result, Rowan's new favorite food is tomatoes, and we're eating more veggies than ever. Plus, I'm cooking a lot--when it's there and would spoil, you gotta use it up!

So, we're stuffing a lot of squash, making a lot of ratatouille, and eating loads of cucumber salad. But a woman cannot live by stuffed zucchini alone.

So I've been trying to come up with new ideas, and the other day I came up with one that was a hit. Full of zucchini or patty pan squash, but even a purist (I'm hoping) would appreciate it. Rowan, Dr. B and I sure did. Oh, and Lucy was way ticked off that she couldn't have any (dogs can't have onions or garlic.)

Shrimp Creole with Summer Squash

(amounts are approximate)

*1 medium onion, chopped
*3 cloves garlic, minced (to taste)
*1 small green pepper, seeded and chopped (ours was black, but whatever.)
*2 cups chopped tomatoes (or 1 can diced)
*1-2 cups of sliced (bite sized pieces) zucchini or patty pan squash. Peel if the skin is bitter, leave on if it's not (FWF squash skin has not been bitter at all)
*1 small can tomato paste
*2 cups water
*1 TB flour (I use Wondra. It mixes great, and the can is handy dandy. But regular is fine.)
*2 TB butter (or more, depends)
*14-16 oz. shrimp (fresh, shelled and deveined or frozen--doesn't matter. I used a bag of frozen.)
*Creole Seasoning, to taste. (I use this one--it is non-negotiable in my house. I even brought it to France and got more sent when I ran out.)
*Hot cooked rice to serve (we used brown, but it doesn't matter. You could even serve it over barley, I have and it's great.)

Heat butter and add onions and peppers. Cook until fragrant, add garlic. Cook another minute or so, then push the veggies to the side and add the flour in the hole in the middle. If it doesn't completely mix in with the liquid, (partially dry and powdery) add a bit more butter. Cook a minute or two until it smells toasty. It will begin to coat the veggies, that's fine--it will blend in and thicken the sauce later. Add the tomatoes, zucchini, tomato paste, water, and season well with Tony's Creole seasoning. Simmer until veggies are cooked, about 20 minutes or so. Add shrimp, and let cook just until shrimp are thawed or turn pink, a couple of minutes. If they get overcooked, they'll curl tight and be tough, so less is best.

Serve over fluffy rice and say "Y'all" and "Chère" a lot while you eat it.

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