Crispy Delicata and the food52 Party

If you are one of the few people who don't have enough internet-based time sucks in your life or if you just love to cook and eat, head over to food52.com.  I realize I am likely preaching to the choir, but this is an outstanding website with a huge community of cooks and a an even huger recipe database.  They just published their first cookbook, and Sophie and I were heading up to one of the local release parties in Austin.  What to make?  Something from food52 of course!  I wanted to use my delicata squash that has been decorating my fall-themed dining room table as a foodstuff.  Plug in to their search engine, bingo!

Crispy delicata squash rings with currant, apple, fennel relish.  No peeling required as delicata have thin skins.

Sliced into 1/2" rings and seeded.

 I seeded them with a teaspoon after cutting, not too difficult, definitely less messy than a pumpkin.  You could save the seeds if you are inclined and toast/season like pepitas.  I didn't.  I had a party to get to!

 Recipe by ChezSuzanne

2 delicata squash--sliced into 1/2" rings and the seeds scooped out

olive oil

salt

1 lime, zested and juiced

Lightly salt the squash and let sit for 30 minutes.  Wipe dry with paper towels and remove the salt.  Heat a skillet over medium high heat and add enough oil to coat.  Cook squash a few at a time.  You don't want to steam them so don't crowd.  They should sizzle when they hit the pan.  ~2 min per side--lightly browned and fork tender.  Remove from pan and continue til all are cooked.  Sprinkle with lime juice and zest.

Salted and awaiting their turn in the frying pan.

 

For the Relish

1 large bulb of fennel--outer layer removed, very small dice

1 crisp apple (Suzanne recommended Pink Lady, I used Sweet Tango)-peeled, cored and diced

1/2 cup currants

1 cup apple cider

1 TBS Calvados (I omitted because I didn't have any)

Combine in saucepan and simmer over low heat til cider reduced by half.  Strain and sprinkle over squash rings.

 These were quick and easy to prepare and hopefully delicious--nothing like taking a dish you have never made to a party with a bunch of people you have never met.

We braved the game day traffic and arrived on-time at Nancy's house.  There was already a lot of great food there....

 Wish I had thought to write everything down.  This bread was awesome!  Sophie took a piece to-go.  Food 52 provided wine, cookbooks for a raffle and Oxo vegetable peelers as door prizes.  It was so nice to hang out with a bunch of food geeks.  For once I didn't feel weird taking pictures of all the great food.

 Absurdly Addictive Asparagus--yes, it was.  This was cooking on the stovetop when I walked in.  I knew I was in the right place.

 The squash was well received.

Merrill's Applesauce Cake with Caramel Glaze--my favorite!

Boozy Chocolate Kahlua Cake. Sophie was afraid to try this one but after she had a bite of mine she managed to choke down her own slice.

We had everything from soup to nuts.  I cannot believe how varied the dishes were.  No repeats.  Nancy's husband made some killer ribs and chicken on the smoker to accompany all these autumnal dishes.  The Hill Country weather finally made me remember why I love living in Texas with a sparkling clear afternoon.  It all came together.  Thanks Nancy and Abbie for such a great time!