How are you doing this morning? This week has been flying by so far, and I’m certainly not complaining! Yesterday I had quite the Try Something New Tuesday adventure in my kitchen, so grab a tea or coffee and get ready to read!
1. Recipe of the Week: One thing Vancouver is famous for (and most coastal cities in general, I would think) is seafood. You guys have witnessed my many fish-based recipes and I’m absolutely giddy at the thought of the amazing seafood and sushi I’m about to consume this weekend. I wonder if I could possibly work it into a breakfast?? 😉 Needless to say, I’ve had fish on the brain lately, so this week’s recipe is Mahi Mahi with Tropical Salsa.
I must emphasize that even if you’re not a mahi mahi enthusiast, this salsa is awesome on its own and could easily pair with chicken or just about anything else you’d want salsa on (which for me, is everything).
I enjoyed this dish over greens and it made a fantastic lunch, but if you’re looking for something more filling at dinner time, I’d suggest adding some quinoa and tossing it in some of the leftover pineapple juice. Enjoy!
2. A big patty pan squash. Ok, this is where the big story comes! Long-time readers may remember way back to Try Something New Tuesday 56 when I found baby sunburst squash. These are a very small yellow variety that fit nicely in the palm of your hand. They have a bigger and greener cousin, whom I recently met at the St. Jacobs Market. His name is patty pan squash, and he looks like this:
My patty pan squash was about the size of 15 sunburst squash, and it had a very thin, pale green skin. I wish I had some available to do a size comparison, but sadly this is all I’ve got.
Inside, there were a few seeds, about the same size as the ones you’d find in a butternut squash. After scooping them out, I decided that I was going to embark on a veggie burger quest. At the time I had no idea what an ordeal it would be, and if Try Something New Tuesday wasn’t a regular feature, this post’s title would be called The Little Veggie Burger That Could.
I began with the following ingredients:
- 1 cup grated patty pan squash (about 1/4 of the entire vegetable)
- 1 cup grated carrots (about 1 large carrot)
- 1 cup diced yellow onion
- 1/2 cup loosely packed fresh parsley
- 1 cup cooked chickpeas
I knew it was going to need some spices, so I added a little Italian seasoning, garlic, and black pepper. After the first taste test, I was far from amused. I continued adding spices to the food processor for about 15 minutes, tasting after each whirl to see if the mixture would be any more exciting than the last time. It took a while, but I finally came up with this combination:
- 2 tsp dried Italian seasoning
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- black pepper
- 3 cloves minced garlic
- 1 tsp chipotle chili powder <– a latecomer to the game, added out of desperation
My next task was to form something that resembled a patty. I tried to pack a big scoop of the ingredients together, but they just kept crumbling apart. When I squeezed a handful of the mixture into a ball, tons of moisture dribbled down my hands.
Then I thought about the 4-ingredient Cucumber Garlic Salmon Patties that I made in July, where I used herb flavoured cracker crumbs to absorb some of the moisture. Into the food processor went some Ozery’s Pita Break Rosemary Garlic Crispy Pitas, leftover from the lovely samples I received in May. (There is no photo to document this because I was getting frustrated, not to mention super hungry.) I added 1 cup of crumbs to everything else and mixed it in with a spoon.
This time, when I attempted to form a patty on my lined baking sheet, it crumbled apart (nothing new there) and looked like someone had spilled burrito filling onto parchment paper. At this point, I wondered if I should just cut my losses, abandon ship, and do something easy like sautee some chopped patty pan squash with other veggies and some chicken in olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and call it dinner.
I had one last idea, and if it failed, that was exactly what I planned to do. I decided to scoop the super spiced up crumbly veggie mix into a small white ramekin, press it down as hard as I could, then quickly flip it over and smack it down on the baking sheet (without breaking it obviously). The cooking gods were definitely feeling sorry for me, because to my amazement, this method actually worked. Beautifully.
My oven was preheated to 400F, and had been for the last half hour or so while I tried to salvage the veggie burgers. Now that I had them on the pan, all they needed was baking. (Note: There is absolutely NO way these would have worked on the grill.) I baked them for 15 minutes per side, and with a prayer and some very, very careful action with the flipper, they came out like this:
Can I get a “HA-LLELUJAH!”
This had to be one of the most tedious Tuesday recipe trials to date, and I can guarantee that the rest of my squash will be used in an omelette or doused in balsamic vinaigrette and herbs, just like the other veggies I’ve been eating these days. Taste wise, the veggie burgers (if we’re going to call them that – I prefer to call them a miracle) were actually really tasty. I attribute this to the spices (particularly the chili powder) that I added and the strong rosemary garlic flavour of the crackers. As for the squash on it’s own, it’s pretty bland and tastes just like a zucchini.
Upon sinking a fork into this patty, it crumbled instantly. Instead of getting frustrated, I sat there with a big smile on my face and thought, “Thank God I already took the photos.”
So tell me…
- Did you try anything new this Tuesday?
- Have you ever tried for way too long to salvage a recipe? Did it turn out in the end?