Spanish Rice with Nopales and Green Chilies

Spanish rice with nopales and green chilies
Spanish rice with nopales and green chilies
Quick, easy, and mostly hands off cooking!

Yesterday, we showed you how to clean nopales and get them ready for use, but we realized that we only have one recipe posted for using nopales. It’s a good one, Nopales Con Papas y Más (cactus pad with potatoes and more), and one of our favorites. In fact, it’s about the only way we cook nopales, but, this time, we were out of potatoes, so we made up this dish, instead.

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Potato Focaccia

potato focaccia
potato focaccia
Potato focaccia and cannelloni for dinner. Prego!

When you have a bread starter, one of the things you have to do is feed it each week (or thereabouts). It doesn’t matter if you aren’t going to be baking, it doesn’t matter if your freezer is full of bread, you still need to feed the starter. And, that means you’ll have starter that needs to be used, somehow, some way. Otherwise, it’ll go to waste, and we can’t have that. So, we’ve learned a few ways to use the starter, including turning it into about a pound of bread dough. It’s not great bread dough, so we won’t go into details about how we do it, but we will give you the lowdown on how you can turn about a pound of bread dough into potato focaccia. Fair enough?

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King Oyster “Scallops”

king oyster mushroom scallops
king oyster mushroom scallops
Looks like scallops, but they aren’t scallops.

Once a year, we put together a several course luncheon. As part of the luncheon, we like to serve a small appetizer, but not just an appetizer; we try to make it somehow different than you might expect. For example, one year we served deviled eggs on toast. Only the toasts were tiny and we used quail eggs so we’d have a miniature version. Right now, we’re thinking of making bacon-wrapped scallops, but not made with either bacon or scallops. For the scallops, we’re thinking of using rounds cut from King Oyster mushrooms, and, perhaps, the bacon made from carrots, as in the Crispy Smoky Salty Carrot Strips we recently made. If they turn out as we picture them, they should look  like bacon-wrapped scallops, to fool the eye and make it fun. Naturally, we have to test these beforehand, and, while we tested the bacon, we haven’t tested the scallops until now.

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Watermelon and Strawberry Salad with Herbes de Provence

watermelon and strawberry salad
watermelon and strawberry salad
Cool and refreshing!

We happen to love watermelon just as it is. There’s nothing quite like having a thick slice of crisp, icy cold watermelon during the heat of summer. Even so, we’re always up for something new. And, when we saw this recipe, we thought, let’s scratch it out in the test kitchen. After all, who thinks of adding what’s essentially a salad dressing to watermelon?

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Almond Spread (Vegan Cheese)

almond spread
almond spread
Not cheese — almond spread!

This is a recipe that we’ve had around for a couple of years now. After a couple of years, we either need to try it or toss it (well, not really toss, since the Scratchin’ It filing systems uses a double redundant protocol to maintain records), so let’s try it out. It fits in well with yesterday’s post about the Crispy Smoky Salty Carrot Strips, in that the original recipe intended it as a replacement for a perfectly good food (cheese, glorious cheese) that we enjoy with abandon. So, why are we making it? To us, it might not be a good replacement for cheese, but it might be a delicious Almond Spread.

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Crispy Smoky Salty Carrot Strips (Carrot Bacon)

crispy smoky salty carrot strips
crispy smoky salty carrot strips
Would you believe carrots?

When we first saw this recipe, we were skeptical; supposedly a few flavorings and a bit of baking would make carrots taste like bacon. In fact, the recipe in Bacon-ish, by Leinana Two Moons, was titled “Carrot Bacon,” which we changed to Crispy Smoky Salty Carrot Strips. Why? Well, let’s face it, carrots will not taste like bacon, and they’ll surely not fool anyone into thinking they are eating bacon, and that’s just fine. Why should they? Why can’t this recipe be just a new way to enjoy carrots? A way that’s crispy, smoky, and salty? We thought so. So we figured we’d give the recipe a whirl and pass it by our Scratchin’ It taste-testing panel for critique. What do we have to lose? It’s just a carrot, right?

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Zucchini Citrus Salad

Zucchini Citrus Salad
Zucchini Citrus Salad
The pistachios with their creamy texture are perfect!

It’s that time of year again. Time to break out the Zucchini Files. Being members of a CSA means we get a lot of what grows well, and nothing grows better than zucchini squash. So, over the years, we’ve searched high and low for recipes which use that prolific vegetable, and presented them to you fellow scratcher. This summer, we’re starting with a recipe of our own invention: Zucchini Citrus Salad. Keep reading, and you might just find a new way to use up a few zucchini squash this summer.

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