Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

eG Cook-Off #71: Winter Squash


David Ross
 Share

Recommended Posts

I caved and got a delicata at Trader Joes (99 cents)

 

photo (81).JPG

 

Cut up and briefly rubbed/marinated with these ingredients: fermented black beans, soy sauce, garlic powder, cumin, balsamic, olive oil

 

photo (79).JPG

 

After roasting

 

photo (82).JPG

 

And a few drops of this habanero sauce were nice

 

photo (80).JPG

  • Like 7
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am a great vegetable lover.  In fact, both parents were vegetarians for a long time.  Mother forever.  Father until I was born and forced to eat steak (aka burnt shoe leather) every night until I left home. 

 

However, I do NOT like winter squash and am not sure why.  I'll make squash soup and eat it happily.  Once.  The second time is not so happy.  I don't even like roasted squash more than once a season.

 

I love parsnips and sweet potatoes and suchlike.  Turnips...not so much.

 

Please.  Hit me with your best squash for squash haters recipe and I'll try it. 

  • Like 2

Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Please.  Hit me with your best squash for squash haters recipe and I'll try it.

I think my problem with winter squash (other than pumpkin, which I still detest) was always its sweetness, aggravated by the perverse insistence of many people to add marshmallows or brown sugar. It was about 10 years ago that I learned that squash can be savory-with-a-hint-of-sweetness and did not have to include the typical 'pumpkin pie' spices.

My 'gateway' recipe to winter squash was akin to the sausage-stuffed squash mentioned a few posts ago. Here's the general approach.

- Take a small squash: celebration, if you can find it, or acorn, or something similar in size - larger than a big grapefruit, smaller than a personal-size watermelon. Slice it in half along the equator, scoop out the seeds, and cut the ends just enough to flatten them so they'll sit level.

- Score the interior a few times with a knife, to improve the absorption of the oils and seasonings you are about to add, and drizzle with a bit of olive oil unless your filler is oily. (Honestly, I don't know whether the scoring is necessary.)

- In a small mixing bowl, mix together your choice of a spicy, savory combination of ground meat (Mexican chorizo, Italian sausage, ground beef or lamb work fine, and I'll bet ground turkey would too), finely diced onion, garlic and maybe celery, whatever herbs and spices you think will go well. You can add bread crumbs as a filler/binder, but I don't usually bother. You can add chopped roasted tomatoes and their oil, or chopped roasted red peppers.

- Fill the squash hollows with the mixture. Be generous; mound the stuffing above the level of the squash because it will shrink as it cooks. Put the halves upright in a baking pan, cover and roast - I think I use 350F - until the squash is soft and filling is nearly cooked as indicated by softening squash and cooking protein. Start checking for doneness at 20 minutes.

- Top each half with shredded cheese (I like parmesan), return to the oven uncovered and roast another 10 minutes until the cheese is browned. I think the total oven time is 30 - 40 minutes.

Each half is a one-dish meal in its own bowl, and the approach is very flexible. I'll be posting photos later, but I have to get the squash first.

  • Like 7

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

Follow us on social media! Facebook; instagram.com/egulletx; twitter.com/egullet

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)
"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks, Smithy.

However...as I read your post, I realize that much of what I don't like about squash is the texture.  But then I don't like mashed potatoes either.  I'm trying to think of a vegetable, which I do like,  with a similar texture but my brain is not cooperating right now.  Maybe I just don't like mashed stuff.  I once tried spaghetti squash and thought it was dreadful.  That would be taste also.

But then, DH doesn't like Brussels Sprouts or cooked beets and I love both.  He won't eat liver and I love it.   He likes Butter Tarts and I find them horribly sweet...set my teeth on edge.   But then I don't like wines...really only Manischewitz.  So what makes sense?  Who knows?

 

I think a lot of it for me has to do with childhood foods.  Although then, I have learned to like a lot of foods I had never heard of in my childhood.  And I still hate runny egg whites.  Sorry, I seem to be getting a bit far afield...

  • Like 1

Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well then, maybe something along the lines of squash fries?  Nuke or roast until soft but not mushy, then coat in something and roast or fry to get a crisp exterior?  I've never tried it, so can't offer a recipe.

 

The delicata squash in heidih's post above is great stuff IMO, and I'm eager to try the seasoning combination she used, which will be a new direction for me.  It still gets soft when I roast it, but there's probably a way to get a crisp edge on the soft. 

  • Like 1

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

Follow us on social media! Facebook; instagram.com/egulletx; twitter.com/egullet

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)
"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm going to stick with sweet recipes before I move into more challenging savory dishes using winter squash. I'm intrigued with Heidih's seasonings. I don't cook much with balsamic vinegar, but it seems like it would really enhance the sweet flavor of winter squash.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

0a7cede3685b40db0bedc2aa42619ea0.jpg

A quite nice pumpkin soup made with mirepoix, ginger and cream(and a bit of heat) in the American Airlines Admirals club in PHL. So far the best thing to come out of the US AIRWAYS merger.

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I find coconut milk plays awfully well with winter squashes. I was on a tear for a while frequently making kabocha squash in a coconut heavy broth with Thai curry paste or its ingredients. I added plenty of dry-fried king oyster mushrooms (sliced across the grain) for chew and shirataki noodles for a but of slither.  

 

Leaving the skin on ones like kabocha and delicata gives you a but more chew and adding something sugary like honey or orange marmalade will get you a crisp edge on the pan-down side right out of the oven. Mine were like that yesterday - I ate at least 1/3rd standing in the kitchen and sighing :)

 

Though I am the one who declines mashed potatoes because I prefer to chew my food, I did recently enjoy a butternut squash soup that included tart Granny Smith apples. It was served on a cold day (wow that means many moons ago) as the come in the door and have a petite cup to warm up. The ancient nun had it in a crock pot and also included the tiniest hint of ginger. Some toasted pepitas would have been great on top, or even some garlicky very well toasted tiny croutons. This was super smooth and just sipped - no spoons. 

Edited by heidih (log)
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Anyone ever pickled some winter squash? Would you boil it first to soften it? Would you use a basic pickle brine for winter squash?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My husband and I rarely eat winter squash.  I guess because it's a bit sweet?  I dunno.

 

However, how can I pass this topic up when I have pumpkins from the garden sitting around everywhere?

 

I also bought a butternut squash.  It's currently on the kitchen counter, staring at me.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I make

-butternut squash soup with turkey stock and a little sage.

-diced sautéed butternut and potato hash with bacon

- acorn rings baked then stuffed with mashed smoked sweet pots with a touch of allspice ..topped w brown sugar and broiled

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Squash is strange.  It has the flavour of a fruit but the texture of a vegetable...

 

I often do a variation on a pumpkin pie, using the sweeter ones (banana, butternut, etc.).  The recipe's up on recipegullet.

 

And a few nights ago I made a seared magret with thyme roasted celeriac and chestnut squash, with a gastrique sauce.  It worked well.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I wasn't going to post this since I don't have a photo but changed my mind.

 

Parmesan-Roasted Butternut Squash (minor changes from recipe posted at  http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/parmesan-roasted-butternut-squash-350608)

Makes 8 servings

2½ pounds butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces

½ cup heavy cream

1 tsp kosher salt

¼ tsp pepper

½ tsp dried sage

⅔ cup (40g) finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, divided

Preheat oven to 400°F with rack in middle.

Toss the squash, cream, sage, salt, pepper, and half the cheese in a 2-quart shallow baking dish. Bake, covered, 30 minutes.

Sprinkle the remainder of the cheese on top. Roast, uncovered, until the squash is tender and beginning to brown, about 20 minutes. Let stand about 5 minutes before serving (cream will thicken).

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I wasn't going to post this since I don't have a photo but changed my mind.

 

Parmesan-Roasted Butternut Squash (minor changes from recipe posted at  http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/parmesan-roasted-butternut-squash-350608)

Makes 8 servings

2½ pounds butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces

½ cup heavy cream

1 tsp kosher salt

¼ tsp pepper

½ tsp dried sage

⅔ cup (40g) finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, divided

Preheat oven to 400°F with rack in middle.

Toss the squash, cream, sage, salt, pepper, and half the cheese in a 2-quart shallow baking dish. Bake, covered, 30 minutes.

Sprinkle the remainder of the cheese on top. Roast, uncovered, until the squash is tender and beginning to brown, about 20 minutes. Let stand about 5 minutes before serving (cream will thicken).

Sounds quite delicious. I haven't done a lot with squash so it is great to get some ideas.

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Anyone ever pickled some winter squash? Would you boil it first to soften it? Would you use a basic pickle brine for winter squash?

 

Now this is interesting and something I've never thought about.  Google shows me multiple recipes, some for a quick pickle where the hot brine is poured over salted and drained or briefly cooked  squash pieces and others where the squash is cooked for 20 - 40 min in the brine.  All sorts of spice and herb combinations show up.

 

Not sure I'm up for any big batches but if I find myself with some spare squash, I'm curious to give one of these methods at try.  And even more curious to hear if any one has already done it!

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My second favorite winter squash recipe:

 

Southwestern Butternut Squash Soup

Serves 4,  adapted from a recipe posted at Cookscountry.com

 

1 medium butternut squash (about 3 pounds), cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks

3 medium shallots, peeled and quartered

1/4 cup vegetable oil 

Salt and pepper

4 cups chicken broth

1 tablespoon honey 

1 teaspoon lime juice 

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin 

1/4 cup heavy cream 

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves (optional)

1 tablespoon chipotle in adobo puree

Sour cream  (optional)

 

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 450 degrees. Toss squash, shallots, oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper in large bowl, then arrange in single layer in large roasting pan. Roast, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are golden brown and softened, about 45 minutes. Add ½ cup broth to pan and scrape up any browned bits with wooden spoon. Return to oven and cook until liquid has reduced and vegetables are glazed, about 5 minutes.

 

Working in 2 batches, puree squash mixture and remaining broth in blender until smooth (or transfer all to large saucepan and use immersion blender). Transfer pureed squash mixture to large saucepan and stir in honey, lime juice, cumin, and cream. Bring soup to simmer over medium-low heat, adding ¼ cup water at a time as necessary to adjust consistency. Just prior to serving, stir in cilantro (if desired) and chiles. Serve with dollop of sour cream, if desired. (Soup can be refrigerated in airtight container for 3 days.)

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm working on two dishes today--my Sticky Toffee Pudding recipe with the addition of pumpkin in both the pudding and the caramel sauce. Then one of my favorite recipes from Chef Larry Forgione. The dish is a cedar-plank roasted salmon served with sautéed greens and served with a pumpkin vinaigrette and garnished with toasted green pumpkin seeds. I'm changing it up this time with a roast squab with pumpkin risotto, sautéed chard and pumpkin vinaigrette. I think my favorite ingredient in the vinaigrette are the toasted pepitas (green pumpkin seeds).

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Forgot to add re. the soup, someone gave me a squash soup recipe that made a "stock" from the seeds, strings and peels of the squash. I may try this when I make the soup next time even though I really like to roast the seeds for snacking. 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Forgot to add re. the soup, someone gave me a squash soup recipe that made a "stock" from the seeds, strings and peels of the squash. I may try this when I make the soup next time even though I really like to roast the seeds for snacking. 

 

Back in the 2011 "Recipes that Rock" thread, pierogi posted about the recipe for Winter Squash with Red Chili and Mint that appears in Deborah Madison and Edward Espe Brown's The Greens Cookbook.  It's one of my very favorite squash recipes and I look forward to making it every year once the weather cools down and the squash appear in the markets.  Can't wait to make it soon.

 

Edited to explain that I replied here because this recipe does exactly as cyalexa described and uses all the skin, seeds and innards to make a stock.  Really gets all the flavor out of that squash!

Edited by blue_dolphin (log)
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Forgot to add re. the soup, someone gave me a squash soup recipe that made a "stock" from the seeds, strings and peels of the squash. I may try this when I make the soup next time even though I really like to roast the seeds for snacking.

The stock sounds interesting. It makes sense that the strings and peels could be used for stock, but I wonder if the seeds would make a stock bitter? No basis for using seeds in stock on my part, just curiosity.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The stock sounds interesting. It makes sense that the strings and peels could be used for stock, but I wonder if the seeds would make a stock bitter? No basis for using seeds in stock on my part, just curiosity.

The person that gave me the recipe said that she liked it. I have quite a few butternuts in my pantry and will use this technique when I make the recipe posted above. I'll report back.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's been fairly warm here but after some thunderstorms overnight, it cooled down quite a lot so I made porotos granados (Cranberry Beans with Squash & Corn) topped with a fairly spicy pebre sauce - from the Time Life Recipes: Latin American Cooking. It's basically a stew with beans, squash, tomatoes, onion, corn and some seasonings. 

 

I used a cubed Carnival squash and added them later than the recipe suggested, since I wanted them to retain their shape. The cranberry beans came from Rancho Gordo and were delicious. Overall, the dish was tasty, but probably would have been a bit bland without the pebre sauce (oil, white wine vinegar, cilantro, onion, jalapeno pepper, garlic - all chopped finely and mixed in advance for flavour to develop). The pebre topping brought the whole thing to life. My husband really liked the meal. 

 

IMGP5383.JPG

 

 

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The person that gave me the recipe said that she liked it. I have quite a few butternuts in my pantry and will use this technique when I make the recipe posted above. I'll report back.

Perhaps flogging a dead horse - but the butternut squash soup that I make is from Cook's Illustrated 2001 - it sautes the seeds with shallots and butter until saffron coloured, then adds water.  You put the steamer basket in and steam the unpeeled squash over the water.  The whole thing goes through the food mill to puree. Corrected with a bit of brown sugar and cream and there is no bitterness at all. 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I made a butternut squash soup for dinner last night.  It was not sweet at all.  Adapted from the New England Soup Factory Cookbook:

 

2 onions, chopped

3 ribs celery chopped

5 carrots chopped

1 lb. butternut squash, chopped

4 cloves garlic, chopped

3 tbsp. butter

6 cups chicken stock

2 handfuls tortilla chips

1/2 cup cilantro

6 ounce montery jack cheese

juice of one lime

one bunch scallions, chopped

one can minced green chiles

 

Melt butter and saute all vegetables until soft. Add chicken stock and simmer until vegetables are tender (this took about 40 minutes).  Remove from heat and add tortilla chips, let soften.  Add cilantro and montery jack cheese.  Stir to melt cheese.  Blend with stick blender.  Add juice of one lime, scallions, and minced green chiles.  Season to taste. 

 

It basically tasted like a big bowl of melted nachos.  My 14 year old niece LOVED this soup.  She requested the leftovers for dinner tonight.  The original recipe called for sherry but I did not have any.  The adults added hot sauce at the table. Here is a picture (not great because my niece was standing over my shoulder saying FEED.  ME.  NOW!)

 

butternut squash soup.jpg

 

I served it with a pan of cornbread, the East Coast Grill recipe (you can find it on the New York Times website)

 

east coast grill cornbread.jpg

 

 

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...