As part of my Summer Entertaining Series I’ve asked several of my favorite bloggers to share tips, parties, recipes, and ideas for great Summer parties. Today I’ve got one of my FAVORITE bloggers (and friends!) sharing one of her Summer recipes. Please welcome Shannon from Kung Foo Feltus to A Well Crafted Party!
I am so happy to be writing a guest post! Wahoooo for Summertime!! I am know for few things. Bacon is pretty much top of the list and gardening is high up there too. I am combining these two loves to bring you a really awesome recipe for a fresh and mostly healthy meal. I am not going on any Paleo diet anytime soon but I have been told that this can fit into that style of eating as well. Bonus! It is low carb for those into that and low sugar too. Really I feel like you can’t go to wrong with meat and veggies when you want to feel full and satisfied. But, more importantly, this dish can totally feed the masses if need be for relatively low cost. Double Bonus! We grow a massive amount of kale and tomatoes at our house among so many other foods. If you can’t grow your own, the next best thing if you don’t live near me, is hitting up the local farmers markets. Produce there is out of this world flavorful too. Grocery stores are great and all but nothing beats fresh local fruits and veggies if you can get your hands on them.
My sister helped me pick a recipe because I had about 30 ideas and no focus. She reminded me of a few very good points. Not everyone is a plant nerd like me. I grow a bazillion vegetables and like, research them and their origin, how they pollinate, how much of the plant can be eaten and of course how to prepare it. Which leads to her best point; Not everyone knows how to cook some of the veggies they like to eat. Like spaghetti squash. Before I had ever learned to cook it, I had eaten it at various friends houses for meals and even a few times in restaurants. With it looking like it does and turning out how it ends up it’s no wonder this delicious food can be botched ( I learned through trial and error horrible error). So, I give you one of my favorites and all the steps I can think of to help make preparation as simple and no nonsense as I can.
The best starting point is to prep your squash and get it in the oven first and let it cook while you do the rest. It takes the longest of all the cook times but once it’s in there, doing it’s own thing, you don’t have to do much to it after that. Pre-heat your oven for 375.
Cut a triangle in the squash and save the chunk. Take a couple tablespoons of either olive oil or butter ( or neither if you are watching your oil intake it’s for flavor more than anything)and put it directly into the hole you cut out. Then add three garlic cloves chopped and a half tablespoon of Montreal Steak Seasoning ( I use that one everything. No joke).
Place the chunk back where it came from, closing the hole up but it can still vent and steam perfectly. Put the whole squash on a cookie sheet or pie pan like I love to use because it cant roll around as easy when going to and from the oven. Bake for an hour to an hour and a half for a med sized squash ( like nerf football size or 3-4 lbs).
Next begin prepping your meat. You can use a whole pork loin if you want and dress the top with bacon and glaze after if you like. I used a loin that was already decided into portions because it was a much better deal and it works just fine too. I wrapped each portion with a strip or two of bacon and secured that with toothpicks. These were grilled on the barbeque, then glazed with an incredible persimmon habanero jam that my darling friend Roxana gave to me ( she is a master canner and food connoisseur who participates in the Portland Preservation Society and I hope to learn her skills soon). These pork masterpieces were finishes in the broiler to ensure bacon doneness and glaze perfection.
Lastly the kale. My favorite go to as a side for practically anything. This time this will be atop our finished spaghetti squash in place of sauce as a lighter alternative and more veggies are always good.
Give a good portion of kale a rough chop ( ours is from our garden but the bundles at the grocery store are about 6-8 big leafs which are perfect for this recipe as a topper. I would double it for a true side without squash) In a large frying pan cook three bacon slices, chopped, until browned and fat has rendered. Add kale to the bacon and bacon fat, Do not drain. This amount of fat is ok to use for sauteed dishes in place of other oils. It adds flavor an wilts the greens perfectly. Dice two roma tomatoes and when the kale has lost its firmness and darkens in color, add tomato to the pan. Toss and turn off the heat. The acids in the tomato break down the fibers in the kale and add a brightness to the greens.
When the squash is ready ( has give to the skin and browns a little on the outside) cut in half an let cool a few minutes. Then with a fork remove the few seeds inside and scrape the stringy flesh into a bowl. Serve in a pile with greens on top and a pork loin beside and enjoy!!! With wine of course.
A HUGE thank you to Shannon for creating and sharing this recipe for my Summer Entertaining series. If you haven’t discovered the awesomeness that is Shannon then hop right on over to her blog to see her post about the summer she was a model in Japan, the time she met Johnny Depp, the gorgeous jewelry she creates, and much more.