Sophisticated Savories

Sophisticated Savories

Friday, May 3, 2013

Spaghetti Squash

Gluten-free spaghetti sans the calories of pasta… how can this be?

If it sounds "too good to be true," well, all too often - it is.

However, a brilliant, healthy and light alternative to pasta exists in the form of spaghetti squash.

#vegetable #resemblesspaghetti #truestory

Benefits of spaghetti squash… first of all - it's a vegetable. In terms of caloric count- 1 cup contains only 42 calories, 8 g carbs - versus a generic cup of pasta, ringing in at 180 calories, 34 carbs. It is gluten free, vibrant yellow and compliments a variety of dishes.

When preparing spaghetti squash, I will generally cut the squash in 1/2, then drizzle either extra virgin olive oil or walnut/almond oil on the cut surface. A quick sprinkle of smoked sea salt, cayenne pepper, herbs de Provence and lemon juice will aid in the roasting process. Place both ends, cut side down, on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil and allow to roast at 400 for about 30-40 minutes (will be ready when easily pierced with a knife). After cooked, allow to rest for about 10 minutes, then gently, using a fork, scrap the squash "meat" away from the skin. Discard the skin and season the spaghetti squash accordingly.

So how does one turn spaghetti squash into a sophisticated dish?

I recently came across "green caviar" at the grocery store ("sea grapes" or "Umibido" (in Japanese)).


Not only does the forest-green color pop, but the peppery flavor adds decadence to a plethora of salads/garnishes.

I purchased fresh ahi tuna, canned artichokes (they were on sale) and the green caviar.

Canned artichokes… I know, they taste "tinny." How does one eliminate the "canned"- taste when preparing?

First rinse thoroughly, then dry with a paper towel. Drizzle with lemon juice, touch of cayenne pepper, dried oregano, italian herbs, pinch of cayenne, smoked sea salt and a touch of walnut/almond oil (use EVOO if nut allergy). Cut into quarters, then allow to roast for 20 minutes (until crisp/lightly browned) on a baking sheet at 400 degrees.

Ahi Tuna - sprinkle all sides of the surface with smoked sea salt, lemon juice, cayenne and a nice coating of sesame seeds. When searing, I enjoy tuna served raw in the middle (nice and pink!) However, if you want it cooked throughout, then by all means - cook it to your desired degree of doneness. For a quick sear, lightly coat the bottom of a warm sauté pan with sesame seed oil. When the oil hits the "smoke point," (literally smoke will begin to rise from the sauté pan), then sear the top and bottom of the filet (only about 15 seconds per side). This will allow a crispy crust to develop on the outside, with a gorgeous pink inside. When serving, simply cut on a bias, or diagonal, and "fan out" in order to see the nice crust and pink inside.

To compliment and brighten the ahi, I made a quick diced salsa of mango and watermelon, tossed in freshly cut cilantro. I know… it sounds like it wouldn't work… but the sweetness of the mango and watermelon were supporting compliments to the seared ahi tuna.

Presentation - layer a trail of mango/watermelon/cilantro salsa on the plate, then place the ahi tuna atop the colored "road." Again, layer the tuna in a "fanned out" manner, in order to see the dazzling pink compliment the sesame seed crust. On the other side of the plate, spoon a portion of the spaghetti squash, along with a few of the roasted artichoke hearts. A quick drizzle of reduced balsamic vinaigrette over the squash/artichokes will compliment the final presentation, as well as green caviar and edible flowers atop the ahi tuna. What can I say… it just gives it that refined, polished-edge.

"Cooking is an art, but all art requires knowing something about the techniques and materials"- Nathan Myhrvold

Take a cooking class… learn the basic fundamentals, then grow, gain confidence, experiment and develop a love for cuisine!

Love y'all dearly! ♥

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