Sunday, April 20, 2008

Iron Chef here I come.....

I am ready for the Iron Chef challenge. As in the show, you are given ingredients that you must use in a dish. I had my basket full of ingredients, my challenge is to use it all. So far, on day two, half the basket is gone. My biggest challenge: the mysterious artichoke. My first step, study on how in the world to prepare this odd looking vegetable. If you are wondering the same thing, click here to find out step by step. I had researched on line to find a great new recipe including an artichoke. I have had this on pizzas, in salads and as a dip but never made one myself. I found a recipe for a pasta dish that sounded great. I did my prep work. carefully trimmed the points off the leaves and trimmed the base and the top. I steamed them in my pressure cooker for 14 minutes. My first dish was going to be an appetizer with the leaves. Miss Molly had already used her artichokes and told me she dipped them in a mayo/curry dip. Me and my two little kitchen testers tried that out and they were pretty tasty. I was then all prepared to get to the hearts and slice them up for my extraordinary pasta dish. To my great disappointment, the hearts were not good. Molly said hers were great, mine were a bit moldy. Darn. My dinner had to be switched using a few other ingredients in the basket. My mexican squash and the swiss chard. It turned out rather tasty. I have no idea what to name it, but here is what I put into it:
1 C. heavy whipping creme
1/2 C fresh grated Parmesan cheese
1 stick butter
salt, pepper and garlic to taste
Melt all together stirring frequently on medium to low setting. Thicken with ultra gel if needed.
Pasta ingredients:
I used Cannelloni pasta, use whatever shape you want. I used about 10 oz.
cook till al dente.
Cut up squash, use any kind, into 1 inch chunks. saute in olive oil with a little garlic until just tender. I added 2 cans albacore tuna and heated until all warm. You can use chicken also or any fish.
Toss in noodles and cover with sauce. I shredded the swiss chard into really thin ribbons and sprinkled it on top. Probably about a cup worth. You can use spinach.
You can add whatever you want.Mushrooms, sun dried tomatos, peppers would all be great. The sauce is great and really low fat. (HA)
We also ate the radishes by slicing them and dipping them in ranch with our lunch.I have a few left that I will grate in our salad tomorrow. All of the mango's were used in my smoothies. All of the other normal produce has tasted great. I have been very impressed. So far, I have heard only positive things about this co op. For those of you who haven't joined in, I have added them to my links under Bountiful Baskets. I wish they had this every week because we go through it so fast. Tomorrow morning we will be having banana pancakes!

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