Hye Thyme Cafe

Welcome to the Hy
e Thyme Cafe. Although not all of my recipes are Armenian, the name is a little nod to my Armenian grandmother who is no longer with us. The Hye refers to all things related to her homeland, and she represents all things food-related to me, so the two just seemed to go together. I can't even claim that my Armenian recipes are truly Armenian, since Greece, Turkey, Armenia, Lebanon, Syria, and even Egypt share so many foods that they've all sort of morphed into one over thousands of years.

Whether you like to cook, bake, have never done either, or just like to play with your food...come on in and join me! :)


Friday, July 15, 2016

Twice-Baked Spaghetti Squash with Spicy Tomatoes and Parmesan

Twice Baked Spaghetti Squash with Spicy Tomatoes and Parmesan: Hye Thyme Cafe


You may have noticed that I'm a big fan of spaghetti squash. I've made it with pesto, mozzarella, chicken meatballs and a light tomato sauce, etc. A few weeks back, I picked one up but hadn't decided yet how I wanted to use it. I also needed grated Parmesan at the time, but when I was in the cheese section by the deli, there was only shredded Parmesan for some reason. I usually buy either grated or a wedge and grate it myself. For whatever reason, I went ahead and bought the shredded, and I'm now very glad that I did, because I liked this so much, I've already made it again twice.

One word of warning - the third time I made it, I was having company for dinner, and since I would be making appetizers and dessert, it occurred to me to roast the squash the night before so I could free up the oven sooner the next day for dessert so it could be served while still warm. Bad idea - the squash released a crazy amount of liquid overnight that I ended up having to pour off, so the end product was a more dense/compressed version rather than nice and light and fluffy. It just had to be when I was making it for company. Oh well, still tasted great.

The reason the grated Parmesan worked so nicely was that rather than a topping like on a mac and cheese where you would mix breadcrumbs with grated Parmesan for a bubbly crispy topping, the shredded Parmesan created a different sort of crispy texture that I really enjoyed, and I found the flavor to be more pronounced.


INGREDIENTS
1 spaghetti squash
olive oil
1 can Delmonte Petite Cut Diced® Tomatoes with Zesty Jalapenos
  (or with green chiles - ooh, I just saw that they have chioptle now too!)
Shredded Parmesan
Butter
  1. Carefully cut the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise, and use a spoon to scoop out the seeds.
  2. Brush the inside of the squash with a little olive oil, then roast at 375⁰ until fork tender.  I like to start off with it cut-side down so the steam can work on it for a bit, then flip it over so it starts to caramelize. 
  3. Allow to cool for a few minutes, then use a fork to shred the strands and transfer to a baking dish.
  4. Open the tomatoes and drain off some of the liquid, then toss the tomatoes with the squash.
  5. Top with a generous sprinkling of Parmesan, dot with butter, and bake at 350⁰-375⁰ until golden (time/temp will vary depending on what you're making to go with it, your baking dish, etc.)

Twice Baked Spaghetti Squash with Spicy Tomatoes and Parmesan: Hye Thyme Cafe
Twice Baked Spaghetti Squash with Spicy Tomatoes and Parmesan: Hye Thyme Cafe



  






Twice Baked Spaghetti Squash with Spicy Tomatoes and Parmesan: Hye Thyme CafeTwice Baked Spaghetti Squash with Spicy Tomatoes and Parmesan: Hye Thyme Cafe

Twice Baked Spaghetti Squash with Spicy Tomatoes and Parmesan: Hye Thyme Cafe
Twice Baked Spaghetti Squash with Spicy Tomatoes and Parmesan: Hye Thyme Cafe


Twice Baked Spaghetti Squash with Spicy Tomatoes and Parmesan: Hye Thyme Cafe

Twice Baked Spaghetti Squash with Spicy Tomatoes and Parmesan: Hye Thyme Cafe





Thursday, June 30, 2016

Beet Green and Toasted Pecan Pesto

Beet Green and Pecan Pesto: Hye Thyme Cafe


I try to be good about not wasting food, but it's tough when you live alone. There is only so much food you can eat and/or freeze, especially when it comes to fruits and veggies. Too many turn before I get a chance to get to them. I've been eating a LOT of Beet, Carrot, and Apple Salad lately, and it occurred to me that, although I had used beet greens in a Greens and Beans recipe a while back, I usually end up throwing them away. This time, the greens were so pretty, I couldn't bring myself to toss them, so I decided to try a pesto. 

I took a chance on the color being something less than appetizing by keeping the purple stalks intact. It doesn't have that bright green, vibrant color of some other pestos, but it is equally delicious. I also don't normally bother toasting my nuts for pesto, but since these had been in the freezer for quite a while, I wanted to toast them first to bring some life back to them.

INGREDIENTS:
1 bunch beet greens
1 c pecans
2 cloves garlic
1/2 t salt
1/2 t crushed red pepper
1/2 c parsley
1/2 c grated Parmesan
1 lemon
olive oil

  1. Wash the beet greens well and chop into large pieces; transfer to food processor.
  2. Toast pecans in a dry pan until lightly browned, then remove from pan to prevent burning, and allow to cool for a few minutes.
  3. Add pecans to food processor, followed by garlic, salt, crushed red pepper, parsley, and Parmesan.
  4. Squeeze in the lemon juice - if you want, first wash, dry, and zest the peel and add that to the mix.
  5. Pulse to combine everything, then drizzle in a little olive oil, pulsing again and repeating until you achieve the texture you like. I typically leave mine on the thick side so I can adjust it for whatever I'm using it in - whether as a marinade, dressing, dip, etc.

Beet Green and Pecan Pesto: Hye Thyme Cafe
See, look how pretty - couldn't throw these away!

Beet Green and Pecan Pesto: Hye Thyme Cafe
I always chop and freeze leftover parsley.
No need for water or olive oil and ice cube trays!

Beet Green and Pecan Pesto: Hye Thyme Cafe


Beet Green and Pecan Pesto: Hye Thyme Cafe
You can see little flecks of purple from the stalks.


Whenever I make a batch of pesto, since I won't be using it all at once, I like to portion it out into little silicon molds, or even muffin tins, freeze it, then pop them into a zip-top bag. Two of my favorite uses for pesto are slathering it on chicken before baking, or whisking in a little red-wine vinegar for a salad dressing. I't also great on pizza and bruschetta, and of course, pasta.



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