Friday, July 16, 2010

I'm becoming a real live cook!

I'm pretty proud of last night's dinner! I had planned on using all of the yellow summer squash and the green patty pan squash collected from CSAs and friendly coworkers (as I'd finished off the zucchini and yellow patty pans the night previous -and promptly had the zucchinis replenished). I also determined that I need to use up the many, many cherry tomatoes I'd acquired.

So good they're emitting light!

As I was looking over my grains, millet fresh on my mind, quinoa protested by the household, tired of the rice, out of barley, not feeling the bulgur, I spied my long-neglected jar of corn meal. I've had the first Savvy Abby post I'd read on my mind for some time and dinner immediately came together:

Cumin Chili Squash over Corn Bread topped with Fresh Gazpacho Salsa Dressing!

The above post was about hot water cornbread. I'm not giving away any secrets when I say that this is essentially cornmeal and hot water mixed, formed into cakes, and fried.

For mine, I used two cups of cornmeal, 3 diced jalapenos, a big pinch of sugar (will probably go for more next time), some granulated garlic, and enough water, added slowly, to form a paste.

Before I fried those up, I sautéed the squash in oil, waiting until they were tender to add cumin, chili powder, and salt. Once they were removed from the cast iron skillet, I added more oil and fried the corn cakes without washing. Cross-contamination can be your friend.

The Fresh Gazpacho Salsa Dressing is one of my favorite recipes, but sadly it is not my own. It comes from Terry Hope Romero's Viva Vegan!. The only adaptation I made was replacing the chopped tomatoes with halved cherry tomatoes. This Gazpacho is a cool, and refreshing all-purpose topping and I'm glad I own the book for it. (However, it's not my favorite from Viva Vegan! - my heart belongs to Yuca with Cuban Garlic-Lime-Mojo Sauce).

There is one more component that I left out of my already uncreative title: black beans and corn. I lazily tossed them with lime juice before assembling my meal.

All in all, an easy meal to make and lots of complimentary flavors and textures to enjoy. It's also perfect as lunch the next day! I'm proud because it used up a lot of ingredients I had around that needed using, it's delicious, it's filling, and I didn't have to think very hard to do it. It was a very intuitive cooking session. This leads me to believe that my recent experiments are helping me to become the kind of cook I want to be!


  1. That looks amazing. I will definitely have to try things over the cornbread cakes; for one thing, I've got tons of little hot peppers that need to find a home.

  2. Yeah, me too! With a new CSA box last night, I'm swimming in all sorts of little peppers.