Saturday, June 14, 2008

Zucchini And Squash With Basil And Feta


The most rewarding part about cooking is seeing people enjoy your food. I'm sure anyone who cooks would agree with me on this, am I right? What I struggle most about it though, is putting a menu together. Well, if I went to culinary school this story would have been different but I didn't. I just have to learn this area vicariously through restaurants, TVs and magazines while relying a lot on my (and Mr. J's) tastes buds.

Personally, I am not picky and in the least bit particular about the pairing of my food. My philosophy is, it will all get mixed up in your stomach anyway. Thankfully, Mr. J is not picky as well. He's game, he'll try anything. I'm proud to tell you that he's even tried eating "bulad" - the dried, salty fish in the Philippines, which a lot of foreigners find really repulsive (it has a strong fishy smell when being cooked). I still have to convince him to try our world famous "balut" delicacy though, or the fermented duck's eggs with the embryo in it. Hahahah.. sorry if I gross you out, but the truth is, a lot of people in the Philippines enjoy this delicacy. (I don't though, so that's why I don't have the right to push Mr. J to try it himself) Balut is supposed to have a lot of nutrients and is believed to be an aphrodisiac as well. Hmmmn..

Back to my food today. When you're a career lady, the last thing you want is to spend a long time in the kitchen when you get home from work. I don't know about you but I don't. Much as I like to cook, when I 'm from work I just want to relax. That's why if you notice, majority of my recipes are simple and quick to do but without sacrificing the taste.

So here's a simple side dish that is quick, flavorful and healthy. I served it with a blackened salmon steak cooked in a cast iron pan. Hope you like it.

Zucchini And Squash With Basil and Feta
Adapted from Cooking Light

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tbsp unsalted butter
2 cups zucchini, sliced
2 cups of baby pattypan, halved
2 cups leeks, sliced (about 2)
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
3 tbsp feta cheese, crumbled
2 tbsp fresh basil, cut into strips (chiffonade)

1. Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium high heat. Add oil and butter to pan, swirling to coat.
2. Add squash/zucchini and leek to pan; saute for 5 minutes or until tender, stirring frequently.
3. Stir in salt and pepper.
4. Transfer squash mixture to a serving platter. Sprinkle with cheese and basil.

1. Sprinkle salmon steaks with salt and pepper on both sides.
2. Heat your cast iron skillet to medium high. Add about a tablespoon of oil, just enough to coat the pan to make sure fish does not stick.
3. When skillet is hot, add the fish. Fry 4 mins on one side or until done. Do not overcook or salmon will get dry.
4. Serve with lemons, if preferred and the side dish above.

1 comment:

conni said...

what is a patypan??? looks yummy.