I’ve been cooking up a storm in the kitchen the past week. We just hosted our Secret Supper this past weekend and it was absolutely amazing, I had fermented a beet sauerkraut for it and also whipped up 7 squash pies, I did burn my arm kinda badly trying to get one of the pies out of the oven but I feel like it’s just a battle scar from actually successfully making 7 delicious pies in a row. Woohoo! Between prepping for the supper and developing recipes for the cookbook, I’ve been a bit frazzled to say the least. My kitchen looks like a tornado blew through it at the end of each day and I’ve fallen *so behind* on replying to emails, so if you’ve reached out and I haven’t replied yet I am really sorry and will definitely get back to you once I catch up on life in general which somehow always takes more time during the holiday season! I wanted to give you guys a peak at my experience with Blue Apron and how cooking with a company like them can be such a helpful tool when feeling so busy.
The holidays are an especially hectic time of year for me with all the cooking promotion stuff, and I know it’s the same situation with everyone else. Between work, attending and hosting holiday gatherings, Christmas shopping, and keeping up with the everyday household stuff, life can get pretty crazy and it can be hard to find time to do menu planning for the week and go grocery shopping. There’s so much rich food around this time of year, too, that it can be easy to slip into a less than healthy routine of cookies and pies and the like (I am especially guilty of this when it comes to fudge). If you want to cook yourself and your family a wholesome dinner but are stressing out about finding the time to do it, I highly recommend giving Blue Apron a try. They ship all the ingredients to you, source them from farms and small growers as much as possible, and give you the exact right portions of ingredients to make the recipes included in the box, so you don’t end up with a bunch of leftover cilantro that will just end up going bad in your refrigerator and being wasted. You can also send them back the packaging so that it can be reused, too! I’ve used Blue Apron a few times before during especially hectic work schedules and the food has always been awesome and has taken under 50 minutes from start to finish. And they’re offering you guys either $30 off your Blue Apron order or 3 free meals, yay!!! I also have a recipe of theirs in this post so you can give it a test run if you’d like 🙂 These skewers came out awesome and I’ve been craving them ever since. Maybe it’s because I’m Greek, but there’s something about the combination of seasoned meats dipped in thick lemony yogurt that makes me very, very happy.
Spiced Beef Skewers with Roasted Squash and Garlic Rice
Yield 2 Serves
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 small butternut squash
- 1 lemon
- 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup brown rice
- 10 ounces ground beef
- 3 tablespoons panko breadcrumbs
- 2 teaspoons ras el hanout seasoning
- 1 1/2 tablespoonsgolden raisins
- 4 wooden skewers
- 1/4 cup creme fraiche or labneh cheese
PREPARE THE INGREDIENTS
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Peel and mince the garlic. Cut off and discard the squash ends; using a knife, carefully peel the squash, then separate the neck and bulb. Cut the squash into 1/2-inch thick rounds; scopp out and discard the pulp and seeds. Using a peeler, remove the yellow rind of the lemon, avoiding the white pith; mince the rind to get 2 teaspoons of zest. Quarter and deseed the lemon.
COOK THE RICE
- In a small pan, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium-high heat until hot. Add half the garlic and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, 1 to 2 minutes, or until golden brown and fragrant. Stir in the rice, a big pinch of salt, and 1 cup water. Heat to boiling on high. Once boiling, cover and reduce heat to low. Cook 43 to 45 minutes, or until the water has been absorbed and the rice is tender. Remove from heat and fluff the cooked rice with a fork.
ROAST THE SQUASH
- Once the rice has cooked for about 10 minutes, place the squash on a sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper, turn to coat. Arrange in a single, even layer and roast, flipping halfway through, 30 to 32 minutes, or until browned and tender when pierced with a fork. Remove from the oven. Top with the lemon zest, the juice of 2 lemon wedges, and a drizzle of olive oil; carefully turn to coat.
ASSEMBLE THE SKEWERS
- Once the squash has roasted for about 15 minutes, in a medium bowl, combine the ground beef, breadcrumbs, raisins, ras el hanout, and remaining garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Gently mix to combine. Using your hands, form into 4 oval-shaped patties, each about 1-inch thick. Transfer to a plate. Working 1 at a time, insert the ends of the skewers lengthwise through the patties. Season with salt and pepper.
COOK THE SKEWERS
- While the squash continues to roast, in a medium pan heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high heat until hot. Carefully add the assembled skewers and cook 4 to 5 minute per side, or until browned and cooked through. Remove from heat.
SEASON THE LABNEH AND PLATE YOUR DISH
- While the skewers cook, combine the labneh or creme fraiche and the juice of the remaining lemon wedges in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide the cooked skewers, cooked rice, and roasted squash between two dishes. Serve with the seasoned labneh on the side. Enjoy!
Courses Lunch, Dinner