Cobblestone Cooking Music XXXI – Stirfried Chicken with Not Quite Spaghetti. And A Classic Danish Dessert.

 

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This critter doesn’t look a lot like spaghetti, I’ll grant you. But it’s called a spaghetti squash – because once it’s baked in the oven, I am supposedly pulling a fork through it – and it’ll turn up as long, noodle-like thingies (if I am sufficiently touched by His Noodly Appendage, of course…)

  • Leonard Cohen, Slow
  • Sinne Eeg, Waiting for Dawn

Spaghetti squashes (that does look odd in plural – squashi? 😉 ) are hard! Cutting one in half requires a long, sharp knife, a decent amount of brute force and a lot of being careful with that axe knife, Eugene!

Once it’s cut in halves, take out the seeds and the stringy gunk that holds them, brush some oil over all of it and bake for a good half hour at 200°C until you can quite easily poke a fork down through the flesh all the way to the peel.

  • Bonnie Tyler, It’s A Heartache
  • Styx, Clair de Lune / Ballerina

Add grated cheese, butter if you will, parsley and finely chopped garlic and, with a fork, pull the flesh longitudinally so that you scoop it out and spaghettitize it at the same time.

img_0373It’s quite easy – at least if your ambition does not run to very long strands – except for trying to hold on to a 180-200°C warm half large squash… So I ended up with something that was almost, but not quite, entirely unlike spaghetti…

As for the chicken (breast), I cut it into smaller pieces and marinated it for an hour-ish in soy sauce, oil, garlic and ginger and then stir-fried it along with celery, spring onion and sugar snaps.

  • Fleetwood Mac, You Make Loving Fun
  • Katie Melua, On The Road Again

Serve quickly as soon as both things are done.

And to follow, a classic and also seasonal dessert: Old-fahioned “apple cake” (it doesn’t even remotely have anything to do with cake, but that’s what it’s called).

Peel apples – we have Belle de Boskoop, which is a superior apple for cooking and desserts. De-core ’em and cut them into cubes. Gently boil them with just a tad of water and, if you feel like it, maybe half a pod of vanilla (remember to pluck it out afterwards).

  • Bryan Ferry & Roxy Music, Jealous Guy
  • Supertramp, Goodbye Stranger

When the apples are mushy but not completely an even mush yet, take them off the heat and stir in an appropriate amount of cane (or regular) sugar. Leave to cool. If you get it started late, as I did, it comes in handy that it’s -3°C outside…

On a small pan, heat a bit of butter until it’s stopped foaming, then add “rasp” (Danish for fine wheat breadcrumbs – we buy it ready-made), mixed with 1/3 sugar by weight. Leave on middle heat, while stirring, until it gets light brown and caramelized. Cool off, maybe stir a little once in a while – as it sometimes can self-attach to a rather large and very dry cookie and you want it as a granulate.

  • REO Speedwagon, Keep On Loving You
  • Al Jarreau/David Sanborn/Bob James, Since I Fell For You

img_0374In a presentable bowl of the right size, layer apple and breadcrumbs – start with apple, end with breadcrumbs (which is in fine layers between thicker layers of apple). On top goes whipped cream and the whole thing is decorated with dollops of apple or (any red berry) jelly.

Could well be served with a ruby port – or even a calvados, of course. Not that we did either today.

Happy cooking!

Photo by me.
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