Thursday, April 30, 2009

Gelato, Why Not-O?

I have a sweet tooth—there's no denying it. As a child, most of my allowance was spent on candy, and even today I jump at the chance to try new sweets.

I've noticed, though, that despite my love of sweets, given the choice, I'll opt for a savory snack most of the time. Often, I'll reach for the salty popcorn before going for the cake.

Luckily, some culinary geniuses have worked to combine the two, and the sweet and salty combination has absolutely become one of my favorite flavors.

To sample a salty-sweet and cold confection on a recent warm evening, I headed to Teo, near Central Market on 38th St.

Presented with a case full of fresh gelato, I usually waffle, trying to decide on which flavor to choose. At Teo, I had no problem in selecting a small scoop of the Salted Caramel.

It was delicious - sweet and creamy, with bites of salt throughout creating slightly meltier pockets throughout the scoop. Even better, it was shot throughout with shards of crunchy burnt sugar.

For me, the only improvement would have been a sugar cone. I love an edible container, but couldn't really justify putting a tiny scoop of gelato into a big waffle cone.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Stuffed Squash

At last Saturday's farmers market, I found some round squash. The farmer described them as being similar to zucchini in texture and flavor. Since I hadn't had them before, I thought I'd give them a shot.

Their full, round shape and flat bottoms make them perfect for stuffing. It's been quite warm, so I decided to use a light and summery quinoa mixture.

First, I scooped out the middles, creating hollows in which to stuff the stuffing.

Next, I stuffed them with a mixture of the sauteed middles, cooked quinoa, Pure Luck feta , tomatoes, toasted almonds, fresh parley and mint.

Then I baked them until they browned a bit.

I think they turned out really well for a dish thrown together on the fly, and I'll probably make them again, or at least a variation. Next time, I might add more fresh herbs—their flavor, especially the mint's, got a little dulled with the cooking.

The squash themselves did taste a lot like zucchini, juicy and buttery, but has slightly more bite to them. Overall, the dish tasted really fresh and summery. Aside from having to brown them in a hot oven, they're a great hot-night dinner.