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eG Cook-Off #71: Winter Squash


David Ross
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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. 

 

attachicon.gifIMGP5383.JPG

Really looks delicious and lots of flavors going on.

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Shelby, some people do not find butternut squash skin offensive to eat but I do not care for it. I peel my squash for both the recipes I posted but for soup or mash there is no reason why you could not roast halves and scoop. 

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OHHHH the pickle idea has some really good ideas for me.  I wonder if I cut enough up in a certain way can I make pickles....

Just bought a turnip, parsnips, carrots and a butternut squash to make a cider braised vegetable dish.  Hopefully the husband will get home with the venison loin I ordered to go with it as a side.......

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Nothing is better than frying in lard.

Nothing.  Do not quote me on this.

 

Linda Ellerbee

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 There has been some interest in non-sweet, non-spiced preparations for squash, so I will add my two cents because that's the way I prefer squash. One of the easiest, most wholesome and nutritious side dishes I can make while preparing a protein and green vegetable is to put some washed, split and cleaned butternut or acorn squash into the microwave in a covered Pyrex casserole with a tablespoon of water at the bottom. No need to peel, and I like the presentation on the plate in the natural shell. I start with 5 minutes on high for two servings as the rest of the meal nears completion of the cook, and test with a fork until the pieces are tender, but not mushy. All it needs is a little butter and salt. I like it best with pork, and it's not bad with chicken or fish. The squash can also be roasted alongside your protein if it's being done in the oven, and that will concentrate the flavor a bit more and caramelize it. I prefer it roasted, but it is very good from the microwave to me too, so I usually don't fire up the oven unless it's already on.

 

To me, butternut is pretty interchangeable with sweet potato as a side. The texture and taste are quite similar.

 

Peeling winter squash can be somewhat of a challenge, but I've found it unnecessary. As I said, I like serving it in the skin where it fluffs up and scoops out easily after it's cooked, but if I were going to mash or puree, I'd still cook it first in the skin.

 

One technique I didn't see mentioned in this thread it to wash and pierce the whole squash so it won't explode and nuke it for a few minutes to soften it. Then it is much easier to cut up. I use this method with acorn, because it's a perfect two servings, but usually not with butternut since I serve the split bulb one day and the neck another.

 

Smithy's meal-in-it's-own-bowl stuffed squash sounds very appealing, and I'm going to try it soon.

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> ^ . . ^ <

 

 

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Soup report: we didn't take a photo, but the soup looked about like you'd expect a smooth butternut squash soup to look. I did the roasting a couple of days ahead of time, enough veg for a double batch of soup, which pretty much filled my oven. I would have been able to spread things out over all three racks if I'd chosen smaller squashes, but the ones I used were too tall. Yesterday morning, we finished the soup. We dialed back on the spiciness, using only 3 canned chipotles in adobo for the double batch, because we were feeding people with an unknown heat tolerance. We wound up with just enough heat to give a warm tingle at the end, and offered extra chiles for those who wanted more zip. The soup went over very well with the group.

 

With the soup, I chose to make a cornmeal roll, using the recipe from Jeffrey Hamelman's Bread cookbook. I started the poolish on Thursday night, and finished the rolls on Friday afternoon. They maybe weren't quite as light as they could have been, but given my time constraints they were quite satisfactory.

 

Had we had the time to make our own vegetable stock instead, we would have prepared a vegan meal for 30. As it turned out, we had to use purchased chicken stock for the soup (no vegetarians yesterday), so we didn't.

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MelissaH

Oswego, NY

Chemist, writer, hired gun

Say this five times fast: "A big blue bucket of blue blueberries."

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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).

Yesterday was a pumpkin cooking frenzy. I've been making Chef Larry Forgione's Pumpkin Seed Vinaigrette for years now. The recipe in his cookbook "An American Place" is "Grilled Salmon with Pumpkin Seed Vinaigrette and Braised Kale." I've been doing the dish with baking the salmon on a cedar plank and using swiss chard instead of Kale.

My original plan for this dish was to do a roasted squab, the pumpkin vinaigrette, sautéed chard and a pumpkin risotto. Game birds pair incredibly well with pumpkin, and the vinaigrette has enough tang to cut through rich game meat, but I decided against adding the risotto because it seemed to be too rich and creamy along side the other parts of the dish. (Squash Risotto alone is delicious).

The pepitas, (I call them green pumpkin seeds), add a toasted, herbal, almost woodsy flavor to the vinaigrette and the dish really speaks to the fall season.

Pumpkin Seed Vinaigrette-

1/2 cup toasted green (pepita) pumpkin seeds

(then 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds as a garnish)

1/3 cup pumpkin pureed (I used canned)

1 clove garlic

1/2 tsp. turmeric

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

1/2 cup olive oil

1 sprig each of fresh thyme and rosemary

Salt and pepper

Everything goes into a blender and pulsed to emulsify the vinaigrette.

I was a bit worried about roasting a squab because I don't do a lot of wild game cooking, but I referred to one of my Joel Robuchon cookbooks for guidance. Robuchon has a unique method for roasting poultry and it doesn't disappoint. The general sense is that by turning the bird, the internal juices run through out resulting in a more juicy roasted bird.

Rub the squab with butter and season with salt and pepper. Place the squab in a roasting dish turned on its side so it is resting on the wing and thigh. Roast in 450 oven for 5 minutes, then turn to the other side and roast again for 5 minutes and baste with pan juices. Turn the squab so the breast side is down, and roast another 5 minutes. Then turn onto the back, breast facing up, and roast for 10 minutes. Baste again with pan juices. I hit the squab with a dash under the broiler for 2 minutes to crisp the skin. The squab was incredibly moist and medium-rare.

While the squab was resting, I sautéed the chard in olive oil and garlic, then a dash of water. I usually pull the chard off the heat once it starts to wilt but is still retaining fresh, green color.

I think this dish would work with any wild game, venison and elk come to mind, any game bird, chicken, pork, and salmon or halibut. The pumpkin vinaigrette is also delicious in a salad with goats cheese.

Roast Squab.JPG

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David, that looks and sounds delicious. However, this particular element is puzzling:

Pumpkin Seed Vinaigrette

...

1/2 cup apple cider vinaigrette

...

Is that really apple cider vinaigrette in your pumpkin seed vinaigrette, or did your spellchecker/autocorrect do you a disservice?

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

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David, that looks and sounds delicious. However, this particular element is puzzling:

Is that really apple cider vinaigrette in your pumpkin seed vinaigrette, or did your spellchecker/autocorrect do you a disservice?

It's the lack of spell check on the part of the cook. Should read apple cider vinegar--when mixed into the other ingredients makes a pumpkin seed vinaigrette! Oops.
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didn't cook it, but enjoyed an appetizer at dinner last night of butternut squash and goat cheese strudel. It was served with a dollop of onion jam and a little salad of baby arugula on the side, with a nice viniagrette. The astringent salad was a nice counterpoint.

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"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast" - Oscar Wilde

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This is well timed for me as a friend just gave me an assortment of winter squash.

 

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There is a small butternut, a discus buttercup and 4 varieties of kabocha - sunshine, gold nugget, winter sweet and (I think) sweet mama.

I was told they will be best if I don't use them before mid November but I'm not sure I will wait. I want to make sweet mama squash soup this week.

 

The squash is halved, cleaned and roasted. The pulp is scooped out and mashed. While the squash is roasting, cook 1 chopped onion in olive oil, add chicken broth  (the recipe says 5 cups - I use much less. I guess I like thick soup),2 peeled,cored and quartered apples and maple syrup (again I use less than the recipe calls for - it says 1/4 cup - I use half that). Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until apple is very tender. Remove from heat, stir in mashed squash. Puree is food processor or blender (I use an immersion blender). Stir in 1 c. cream, season with salt and pepper. Heat through. Serve topped with chopped apples. Delicious. This may show up on the dinner thread later this week.

 

My favorite way of cooking butternut squash is from Fields of Greens - the squash is peeled and cut into fairly small cubes. It is tossed with a large quantity of diced garlic, salt and pepper and flour just to coat. Put in an oiled baking dish and drizzle with olive oil. Bake until soft. You can use almost any oven temperature and adapt the time accordingly. The recipe calls for a long time at, I think 275. I've used temperatures up to 400 (depending on what else is in the oven) and it always comes out just fine. 

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If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need. Cicero

But the library must contain cookbooks. Elaina

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Another one of my favorite recipes is a sticky toffee pudding with rum raisin sauce. I think I found the basis for the recipe came from BBC Food, but I've changed it over the years. This time I added some pumpkin puree to the pudding. I didn't change the other ingredients to accommodate for the pumpkin, just added about a cup of pumpkin. Made for a very moist pudding. I also added pumpkin to the rum raisin sauce. Again, no adjustment with the other ingredients. The pumpkin did keep the sauce from thickening, but it really didn't matter as the taste was better than ever. Definitely a dish for the Holidays.

Pumpkin rum raisin sauce-

2 cups heavy cream

1 cup dark brown sugar

2/3 cup pumpkin

4 tbsp. butter

1/3 cup golden raisins

1/3 cup currants Dark rum, (I added about 1/2 cup)

Heat all the ingredients in a saucepan until the mixture starts to bubble, then turn the heat down and let it simmer for about 15 minutes.

Pumpkin Sticky Toffee Pudding with Pumpkin Rum Raisin Sauce and Vanilla Ice Cream-

IMG_1092.JPG

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image.jpeg

Pepper squash stuffed with onions, mushrooms and rice and topped with Gruyere cheese.

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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

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That looks really delicious. If my Mother had stuffed acorn squash like that I surely would have eaten every last bit of squash!

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I made a beautiful dinner salad tonight and the pics didn't turn out at all, sniff. But it was roasted cubed Carnival squash (cooled), roasted cubed beets, orange supremes and pepitas over mixed greens with a citrus vinaigrette. We had it with some leftover beef brisket and that was dinner, as the salad was quite filling. I wish I had pics, because it looked nice. 

 

Another salad I wanted to do was a warm one with squash (I have a butternut to use up) and black beans and a spicy dressing. Not sure what all will go in that one, but I might make some cornbread to go with it and that will be another dinner. 

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Well, last night I basically blew up a winter squash in the oven. The sticker on the squash said "heirloom" pumpkin, but it looked more like a green gourd than a pumpkin. The goal was to roast it first, then cut it, clean out the seeds and dice it to use in a pot pie. I set the oven at 350 and the timer at an hour. At the 50 minute mark I smelled the smoke and found the poor thing had split and was oozing onto the heating element. Not all was lost though as I saved most of the pumpkin meat. It looks sort of stringy, so we'll see if I can use it. I plan on using the pumpkin in a cream sauce with pasta.

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Good timing on this topic!  I have a smallish kabocha on hand, planning to make some of it Japanese-style with soy & mirin. Unfortunately out of dashi.  Maybe soup with the rest? I like a little Thai red curry & coconut milk in it.

 

My current favourite variety is delicata. It's a good small size, easy to cut, and the skin is fine.  First time I had it, it came in a CSA box. Didn't know what it was, so DH called it stripey squash. We've been calling it stripey squash since.

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I am a queen of the dorks for sure! Pumpkin/squash duh…I had so little squash this year and so many pumpkins i just did not think this was a pumpkin thread …

 

ok so I am for sure going to make three things I saw in this thread and one being the pork and pumpkin Okanagancooks pumpkin pork curry ..I love curry and squash of all kinds summer and winter it just is a great marriage 

 

I am on a pumpkin jag for sure since I figured out the IP can hold one and it cooks it perfectly from beginning to end  you can put the whole thing skin and all in the blender (vitamix or heavy duty ) and puree the skin and seeds into the most wonderful protein enhanced puree .so with that ….here are a few things I have been making and eating from pumpkins all vegetarian not vegan  

 

here is the fully cooked pumpkin freshly out of the IP and ready for the blender seeds skin and all 

 

/22767349661_82792d6282.jpgno slice shot I gave it away pumpkin pie better this was a…but it was orange and looked like pumpkin pie with streusel …the crust was almost a year old at the bottom of my freshly cleaned freezer (YAY! making room for "Bacon" )  super rustic but I should get cred for cooking this pie in a demo cookie oven with only one unknown temp and barely enough room to shove it in right?  

 

 

22723446916_120072185a.jpg

 

ok unchurned  pumpkin ice cream with that sweetened condensed milk, vanilla  and some egg yolks ( I wanted to the nuts and it was easier to stick them on top but they worked with the flavors …  I have no idea what happened????  it was smooth in the mouth it just looks kind of awful not like ice-cream at all really more like a mashed up cheesecake ..deceptive photos because it was very smooth if you just tasted it and did not look ??? what did I do here? it was a "happy accident" but not really ice-cream per se and I really wanted ice cream so I will make it again the "real" way

 

other things I have made in the past two weeks with pumpkin include but are not limited to (no photos sorry) 

 

Korean pumpkin tea with dates

 

pumpkin soup with fresh found king boletus 

 

right now I have cooking a really nice pot of pumpkin congee (nontraditional ) with , roasted until caramel (frozen from the summer) corn and  (dried) green chiles it smells amazing but looks like vomit so I will refrain from sharing a photo  ..maybe it will look better in a bowl later 

 

I am going to make a pumpkin mole as well for the holidays ..since the seeds are being blended with the pumpkin the mole is already half made! and then I think I am pumpkined out for a bit ..but you guys make it so tempting to continue after reading the entire thread wow! ideas abound! ….pumpkin pickles ..miso with pumpkin (YES! I love that and put a bit in the congee already for that base flavor  and going to freeze the rest 

 

OH!!! dried  Pumpkin strips I already ate them (try drying pumpkin for a  snack it is really good! ) ..I steamed two more pumpkins and made a pot of chicken stock to freeze …so I am going to just can the stock and seal the pumpkin for use later …

 

oh and we did make some pumpkin leather for my grandkids it was pretty orange and is gone! but just fresh raw applesauce and pumpkin 

 

I made pumpkin marshmallows from the Knightscotsman recipe here on EG last year I should see if I can find it I had it on paper but  that was such a fun thread the marshmallow thread 

 

 

I had a garden full of sugar pumpkins and going to stick with this lovely pumpkin again next year for sure 

but for sure i am planting squash I have no idea what happened there I usually am bombarded with regular winter squash and have no pumpkins 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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why am I always at the bottom and why is everything so high? 

why must there be so little me and so much sky?

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The squash that exploded in the oven the other day was resurrected tonight in a dish of pappardelle pasta with pumpkin cream sauce. I couldn't find fresh chanterelles in the market so used brown crimini mushrooms, sautéed in butter then deglazed with chardonnay. Then some roasted garlic in the mix, the pureed pumpkin, fresh sage, cream and lots of cracked black pepper. The pasta was rich enough without it, but I added a good shower of parmesan. Quite a good pasta dish considering the poor pumpkin almost ended up in the bin.

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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!)

 

attachicon.gifbutternut 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)

 

attachicon.gifeast coast grill cornbread.jpg

You aren't kidding about how good this soup is.

 

 I made it last night, only I decided to use one of my pumpkins instead of the b-nut squash.  I used my Instant Pot pressure cooker to do the pumpkin and then the soup (you can read more about that here if you like)

 

I made salsa, tacos and beans to go with, but I literally would have been happy with this soup and a bag of tortilla chips.  It tastes like a wonderful cheese dip.  AND, it's healthy :)

 

Thank you for the recipe, it's a keeper!

 

Oh, and I roasted the seeds, too.  YUM.  Smoked olive oil and salt.  I soaked the seeds in salt water over night.  

 

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PB040892.JPG

 

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Delicious and I like the idea of cooking the pumpkin in a pressure cooker. Tonight I'm doing a braised lamb dish with a roasted squash side dish.

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This isn't really what most of us would think of a squash dish, but it does qualify. It's my salsa recipe and it includes toasted pumpkin seeds--green pepitas. (Same pumpkin seeds I used in the vinaigrette with the squab). It's a blended salsa and the pepitas add a woodsy, herbal note and a bit of crunch to the salsa. I usually serve it with homemade tortilla chips, but it's also delicious on tacos and any grilled seafood or meat.

Chipotle-Pepita Salsa-
6 large Roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped

½ yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped

1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1 tsp. ground cumin

1 tsp. ground coriander
1 tsp. chili powder

1 canned chipotle chile
1 tbsp. adobo sauce* (from the chipotle chile)

2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
Salt, black pepper and a dash of sugar

1/2 cup toasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
2 tbsp. fresh squeezed lime juice

Lime wedges for garnish

 

Green pumpkin seeds are usually bought raw.  Toast them in a 400 oven about 10 minutes just til they turn brown to bring out more flavor.  Place all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse three to four times to make a chunky salsa.  Keep refrigerated.

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Last night I split and stuffed a Carnival squash for dinner. That post will come later. My question is whether I missed a chance with the squash seeds. Could I toast them and use them as a substitute for pepitas? That salsa recipe sounds good.

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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

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I think you could certainly use the carnival squash seeds, or any winter squash seeds.  I happen to especially like the pepitas because I think they offer flavor in addition to crunchy texture in the salsa. I find pumpkin seeds sort of bland. The pumpkin seeds sold in the super market are basically salty and crunchy yet not much in terms of flavor.

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