Corn, Squash, and Green Onion Flatbread

IMG_3768It has been a busy week, and I was wrong about having more time to write.  With the start of school and my wanting to catch up on some errands and get ready for a busy weekend of parties, I feel as if the days have gotten away from me.  Of course we have been eating and I have been in the kitchen, but I have not found the time to sit down and write about our meals.  I know as we settle in to our new school schedule this will change.  In the meantime, I thought I would share a recipe off our must try list that I finally got around to making, per the instructions.  Well almost.

Several weeks ago I wrote about a chard naan pizza that I made.  The flatbread came about as I did not have all the necessary ingredients for this recipe for a corn, squash, and green onion flatbread that Little Miss Mixture had placed on our must try list.  This past weekend, I decided to try the recipe that helped to create those chard pizzas.  The reviews online at cookinglight.com were slightly mixed, but I read the recipe and a couple reviews and decided to give it a go.

I love pizza and these individual type flatbread, naan bread pizzas are great for an easy meal during the week.  I find this especially true during the school year when on occasion we eat in shifts.  As I stated I followed the recipe sort of.  I felt the need to make a few changes that would enhance the flavor.  The recipe is very basic in that it calls for yellow squash.  I love most vegetables and prefer many of them raw, but I just could not imagine raw squash with cheese melted on it.  The recipe does not indicate cooking the squash, but I chose to sauté it with some garlic as I knew the green onions would add some crunch.  I also chose to leave out the black pepper, salt, and thyme the original recipe called for.  I rarely add salt to anything as I find it is not necessary with most recipes and having sautéed the squash I wanted that sweetness of that to shine rather than thyme or black pepper.

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Corn, Sautéed Squash, and Green Onion Flatbread

1 Frozen Naan Bread per serving

1-2 pieces yellow squash, cut into chunks

1 clove garlic, minced

1 ear of corn

2 green onions, cut into 1/4″ pieces

1 cup Fontina cheese

3 Tbsp. Butter

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Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees with pizza stone in it.

In a medium skillet heat 1-2 Tbsp butter over medium high heat.  Add the garlic and squash and sauté until browned and soft.  Meanwhile cut the corn from the cob.  I chose to use grilled corn as I had some extra for meals such as this, but you can boil it if you prefer.  Remove the squash from the skillet and add another 1 Tbsp butter.  Heat each of the naan breads to lightly coat each side with some butter.

On your heated pizza stone place the naan bread.  Top with corn, squash, and the green onions.  Lightly cover with cheese and heat in the 400 degree oven until the cheese melts.  Cut into small pieces and enjoy.

Okay so as I am writing my version of Corn, Squash, and Green onion Flatbread, I am realizing that once again I really did not follow the recipe.  However the idea was based on this cooking light recipe and the meal turned out well.  I consider that a win and another type of pizza has been added to our list of dinner ideas.

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Low Country Kebabs

DSC_0532I seem to have a love hate relationship with kebabs.  I love the idea of making kebabs, I find them to be a fun twist on a meal, especially since you can customize them.  However each and every time I get them made and put on the grill I remember that I hate cooking kebabs.  I realize the idea has been around for years.  When pioneers and explorers cooked over a fire they used sticks to cook their food.  When you go camping these methods are still used.  In fact we own these extending sticks for making s’mores and such in our backyard fireplace, but there is a big difference in a light airy marshmallow and a stick full of meat and vegetables.

Obviously for even cooking one must rotate the sticks.  We see this same idea with rotisserie chicken and similar type items.  But the kebab sticks once they are loaded with items just never seem to rotate well for me.  Does anyone else have this problem?  I consider myself fairly skilled at the grill and can cook a variety of items over it, but the rotating of kebabs throws me each and every time as I never seem to be able to rotate them evenly.  And that is not the only challenge.  Once you have this beautifully grilled stick of meats and vegetables, you have to get them off when the metal is hot and hope the items land nicely on your plate. UGH!  It sounds so simple in theory.

The idea of these kebabs came from my always wanting to have a low country boil.  About 10 years ago, we were visiting friends at a nearby lake and they took us to a dive on the water to eat.  It was great. I had never had a low country boil.  The huge pot of seasoned food arrived at our picnic table.  It was dumped out and everyone started eating.  Of course most of the items are eaten with your hands, so there were rolls of paper towels on the table as well.  It was such a simple meal, yet everyone was sitting around licking their fingers and using paper towel after paper towel.  It was a blast.

I have replicated the idea once or twice with a larger group of friends and it is always well received.  On this particular occasion, it was just the three of us, so I scaled it down to this taking advantage of the lovely summer evening and cooking over the grill rather than a pot of hot water.

Low Country Kebabs

1 kielbasa or turkey sausage, cut into chunks

2-3 ears of corn, cut into 2-3 inch pieces

1/2 lb. shrimp

10 small potatoes, partially pre-boiled

Olive Oil

2 Tbsp. Low Country or Creole* seasoning

In a large ziploc bag mix about 1/4 cup olive oil and the seasoning mix.  Marinate the shrimp and corn for 20-30 minutes.  In the meantime pre boil the potatoes for about 3-5 minutes depending on their size.  Allow to cool and then build your kebabs.  Grill for 15-20 minutes, rotating every 5 minutes.  Remove from kebab sticks and enjoy.  You may serve alongside melted or clarified butter to enhance the flavor of the corn, potatoes, and shrimp.

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* I used Emeril’s creole seasoning that I had on hand.

Grilled Red, White, & Blue Potatoes

As we all look to celebrate America’s birthday, many of us turn to the grill to serve our family and friends.  so as the temperature outside gets hotter, we as a society apparently feel that is the perfect time to sweat even more by firing up the grill and cooking outside.  I am just as guilty as I love to grill but rarely will you catch me out there in temperature where I need a coat.  I would much rather grill during the summer even if preparing dinner does require another shower.

Colors have been a theme in our house this week.  Little Miss Mixture loves food for holidays.  I have been known to whip up random things last minute to get a smile from her.  Take for instance my Cinco De Mayo Smoothie.

This year she has had her mind set to make a sweet for the holiday.  After scouring several store for red and blue sprinkles, she finally agreed to be creative and use some colored sugars we already had at home.

As I look forward to her treat, I have been more focused on making sure real food is consumed.

One of the easiest ways to serve patriotic food on the 4th of July is fruit.  Watermelon, Blueberries. Raspberries, strawberries all pair well with vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, or yogurt.  Viola!  Easy Red, White, & Blue

Another way to take advantage of great seasonal food is potatoes.  Fingerlings can be found in most farmers markets right now in a variety of colors.  Last weekend we bought a quart of Red, white, and blue potatoes.  If you ask me they were really purple potatoes, but that is not what they are called even though they appear that color inside and out. As I was cutting them, I realized what a perfect recipe for this weeks patriotic holiday.

One meal a couple of years ago, I was grilling and wanted to simplify things so ya their than cooking inside and out, I tossed diced onions and potatoes into a small cast iron skillet.  I drizzled some olive oil over the skillet and took it to the grill.  The result one of my favorite ways to make potatoes.

Grilled Red, White, & Blue Potatoes

Fingerling Potatoes – enough to fill but still fit in your cast iron skillet allowing you to stir as needed. About 2-5 per person.

1/2 Red onion, diced

Olive oil

Fresh ground Pepper to taste

Heat grill to 400 -450 degrees.  Add all items to cast iron skillet.  Pour enough oil over potatoes and onions to moisten, but not fry the mixture on the grill.  Place skillet on the grill.  Stir potAtoes about every 10 minutes to ensure even browning as the potatoes cook.  Dish is done when potatoes are nicely browned and softened, about 30-40 minutes.  Remove from grill and be carefulness skillet will be very hot.  I tend to use the pot handle cover as well as grill safe pot holder for high temperatures, so that I can hold the pot securely and move back to a flat surface for serving.

I use a 8 inch cast iron skillet.

 

Printable Recipe & Nutrition Info

Chicken Shawarma

When I cook and especially when I grill, I think the marinade and seasoning make the meal.  I love to use a lot of different seasonings.  From week to week I may have almost the same fresh foods from the farmers market in the summer but depending on the seasonings that same food can become a completely different meal.  A lot of the time I just toss in different flavors, but other times I actually take inspiration from recipes.  Sunday we had a simple grilled meal with middle eastern flavors.

The below recipe was originally found in a Cooking Light Chicken Tonight cookbook, but Shawarma, which refers to a type of meat preparation where a variety of meat is placed over a grill or a spit for a period of time often an entire day and then shaved into a sandwich type meal, so you could easily substitute the chicken with lamb, turkey, or beef.  The original recipe called for cutting the chicken prior to grilling as smaller bite size pieces are needed.  However, I think chicken stays juicer and more moist when cooked in larger pieces and sliced for eating.

Chicken Shawarma

Chicken Shawarma           4 servings

Chicken

1 pound skinless boneless chicken

2 Tbsp lemon juice

1 tsp curry powder

1/4 cup olive oil

1/2 tsp cumin

3 garlic cloves, minced

Mix all the above ingredients together and marinate the chicken for 30 minutes at room temperature.  While the chicken is marinating you can prepare your sauce and toppings.

Sauce

1/2 cup greek yogurt

2 Tbsp tahini

2 tsp lemon juice

1 garlic clove, minced

Mix the sauce ingredients together and set aside until your chicken is ready to eat.

Additional Ingredients

4 Whole Wheat Pita Pockets, cut in half or Whole Wheat Naan Bread

Lettuce, shredded

Tomatoes, chopped

Cucumbers, chopped

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Preheat the grill to medium heat. Grill your chicken for 6-8 minutes on each side.    During the last 2 minutes put your bread of choice on the grill and lightly grill for 1 minute on each side. Remove from grill and allow to sit for a minute and then slice into smaller strips or bite size pieces.

Assembling your shawarma.  If using Naan bread you will basically create a salad (lettuce, tomato, cucumber, chicken) atop the bread.  Finish it off with the sauce and then fold it to eat.  If using a pita pocket you will put all ingredients into your pocket and top with the sauce.

The recipe makes enough sauce for about 2 Tbsp per serving.

Chicken Shawarma           4 servings