Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Spaghetti Squash Au Gratin

Have you ever had spaghetti squash? If not, you should go to the store right now and get one. Seriously. Spaghetti squash are insanely easy to cook and taste just like shredded potatoes (at least in this dish). You can also substitute spaghetti squash in as pasta because it imitates the texture. The best thing about this squash is that it is low carb, but still delicious. We try to eat relatively healthy in our house, but we enjoy food too much to resort to the rabbit food lifestyle. So anytime I find a recipe that we love, but that is also healthy, it's goes into our permanent recipe file. This is definitely one for the permanent file!

Here's an even better bonus-the baby loved it too! She's not too picky about her food, but she does seem to really enjoy her meats and veggies. It wasn't a big surprise that she loved the squash, but it tickles us every time she gets excited about the food we make. We love her so much!

Spaghetti Squash Au Gratin
*Adapted from Dandy Dishes

1 large spaghetti squash
3 tablespoons butter
1 large shallot, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (we grind ours to a powder)
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh thyme
1/2 cup sour cream
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Kosher salt and pepper, to taste

Spaghetti squash are a little tough to cut. To do so, place your knife tip into the middle of the squash and press down lengthwise toward your cutting board. Repeat on the other side and split. Once you've cut it, remove the seeds. Place the halves in a dish, fill with about 1/2 inch water, and cover. Microwave for 12-15 minutes or until the squash is soft and the flesh scrapes off easily with a fork. (We did this part in batches because our dish wasn't large enough.)

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a skillet. Add the shallots and cook until translucent. Add the red pepper flakes, thyme, and salt and pepper. Cook a few more minutes, until the shallots are slightly brown. Add the garlic and cook for about 1 minute longer, until fragrant.

Combine the squash, shallot mixture, sour cream, cream cheese, and half the cheese in a large bowl and mix well. Transfer to a buttered baking dish and top with the remaining cheese. Bake for 25-35 minutes at 375ยบ or until the top is golden brown.


Friday, June 22, 2012

CrockPot Kalua Pork

This is one of the best recipes I've ever tried. Other than a few minutes of prep work and the ten minutes it takes to shred, this pork is easy, flavorful, and makes enough for a crowd. Hubby and I will eat this with BBQ sauce on sandwiches or in tacos with spicy black beans and sour cream. It lasts for days! An added bonus is that our 8-month-old loves it too. The smoke flavor is pretty mild, but so delicious-it's even baby approved!

Kalua Pork

5-8 pound bone-in pork roast
1 1/2 tablespoons coarse sea salt
2 tablespoons liquid smoke

The first thing I learned about the prep work for this recipe is to wear gloves! Liquid smoke smell will stay on your hands all day if you don't wear those gloves. Pierce your pork roast all over with a fork (we use a tenderizing fork so we get some nice big holes). Make sure you get all sides.

Rub in your sea salt.

Pour on the liquid smoke and massage that in as well. 

Place the roast in the CrockPot and cook on low until the meat starts to fall apart, anywhere from 8-12 hours, depending on the size, turning once. Remove the meat from the slow cooker and drain the juice into a bowl. Do NOT throw that out-that's the good stuff!

Shred your pork, removing the fat as you go. Return the shredded meat to the slow cooker and add in a few large spoonfuls of that delicious juice you saved. You'll know you have enough when the meat starts to look very moist. Cover and cook on low for about 30 minutes.

Serve in tacos or with BBQ sauce on sandwiches. Or be like my hubby and eat it right out of the CrockPot. Pat yourself on the back because this dish is SO good! And enjoy!