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Butternut Squash


bloviatrix
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Does anyone have suggestions on how to deal with the resin in butternut squash. When peeling and dicing I tend to wear gloves to avoid getting it all over my hands, but is there a better way?

"Some people see a sheet of seaweed and want to be wrapped in it. I want to see it around a piece of fish."-- William Grimes

"People are bastard-coated bastards, with bastard filling." - Dr. Cox on Scrubs

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Your wearing gloves and I've never heard of this.

I've peeled and diced many an acorn squash and I've come out unskaved

everytime.I feel jipped.

You've never had that sticky resin ooze out of the sliced surfaces? How have you managed to get so lucky? What am I doing wrong?

"Some people see a sheet of seaweed and want to be wrapped in it. I want to see it around a piece of fish."-- William Grimes

"People are bastard-coated bastards, with bastard filling." - Dr. Cox on Scrubs

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  • 5 weeks later...

I get it too (only with butternuts though). I haven't ever stopped to put on gloves, I just kind of deal with it later, does make your hands feel strange, doesn't it?

I'm convinced it would be some sort of great balm for wrinkles, like those temporary wrinkle smoother cremes.

;)

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  • 1 year later...

Understandably it's more difficult to peel and dice a butternut squash, (which is what my soup recipe calls for). But can I just cut the squash in half lengthwise, rub with melted butter or EVOO and bake cut side down (or do I bake cut side up??) until soft and scoop out the flesh. Do I cover with tin foil?? 350 degrees?? Is there a trick to peeling?? I'd like to do what will yield the best flavor. Thanks.

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I cut one up just tonight as a matter of fact. What I did was to halve it and then I scooped out the seeds. After that I cut in half again lengthwise. This makes it very easy to slice into 2-3cm thick moons. Then with the pieces sitting on a flat cut side, I cut the skin off by curving the knife around the skin (just like peeling an orange). Dice. Voila.

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If you want a full-on, caramelized flavor, you'd want to peel and cube it up for maximum surface area exposure. Otherwise, I do find it much easier to halve them, scoop out the seeds, then bake 'em. I never to the oil/butter brush on but you can if you want some additional browning. If you want them to just get softened without browning, you would need to put foil over them to reduce browning.

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I was just at a cooking demonstration by Michel Richard, DC's top French chef, and -- to make his soup -- he just sliced the squash in half and slow-roasted it for an hour-and-a-half. Very rich and carmelized.

I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

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I usually slice, roast and then extract from the skin, if you slice you can get q pretty good surface area/volum ratio for caramelisation and it is a lot easier than peeling. If I ever do try and peel I always seem to waste a lot as well.

Plus I gave myself my worst ever cooking injury trying to peel a butternut squash with someone elses (Fairly blunt) knives. Straight down the middle of my thumb, right through the nail as well (Not that blunt then....) OWW :blink:

I love animals.

They are delicious.

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I usually slice, roast and then extract from the skin, if you slice you can get q pretty good surface area/volum ratio for caramelisation and it is a lot easier than peeling. If I ever do try and peel I always seem to waste a lot as well.

Plus I gave myself my worst ever cooking injury trying to peel a butternut squash with someone elses (Fairly blunt) knives. Straight down the middle of my thumb, right through the nail as well (Not that blunt then....) OWW  :blink:

I see I'm not alone in my butternut squash accident, although my very sharp knife went into my hand between my thumb and forefinger. Quite deep -- had to rush to emergency room. I was trying to cut it, but I had left the stem piece on and the knife got stuck, then suddenly released. I still love the darn things, but I'm a lot more careful.

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Butternut squash has skin that's thin enough to peel easily with a vegetable peeler. No need to risk your fingers while you juggle a slippery squash and a knife.

"I don't mean to brag, I don't mean to boast;

but we like hot butter on our breakfast toast!"

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^ Half, scoop out seeds, chop top off whole garlic and stuff into cavity, bake :biggrin:

I find it too messy to dice it beforehand.

"There are two things every chef needs in the kitchen: fish sauce and duck fat" - Tony Minichiello

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Cut lengthwise, place on oiled baking sheet with lots of garlic cloves in its scooped out cavity.

When done, scoop out flesh and mash it roughly with the roasted garlic forced out its skins. Mix in grated Gruyere and fresh sage, minced. Salt and pepper.

Make a rough pastry dough and fill with squash mixture, forming a galette.

Deborah Madison's advice, not mine. However, this is a favorite seasonal recipe and loved by friends.

"Viciousness in the kitchen.

The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

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  • 1 year later...

Some of you may recall that exactly one year ago, in the thread on multi-tasking equipment, I posted about one of my desires for my new kitchen:

I want a lathe for my kitchen, to quickly and easily remove the skin from butternut squashes. My husband hasn't gone for it yet.

MelissaH

I'm a lucky woman. My :wub: husband did go for it over the summer, and I'm here to show you the results. Behold, the lathe, with its fodder in place:

gallery_23869_3399_934.jpg

It's a Delta LA200 Midi Lathe, which I run on the slowest speed of 500 rpm. When I choose my squashes, I look for relatively straight ones, with thicker necks. To prep the squash, I wipe it with a damp paper towel to remove any surface dirt, and then cut off the top and bottom with a sharp knife, just enough to expose a flat surface. My :wub: husband built me the piece on the right side of the photo, which I use to hold the squash in place. It's basically a flat circular piece of wood with three screws. The lathe grabs the wood, and the screws grab the squash. To install the squash into the lathe, I simply jam it into the screws, trying my best to center it. Then I slide the live-center on the other end into place, crank it up a bit more, and secure it. (That's my hand securing it in the photo above.)

Once it's secured in place, I let 'er rip! I've made a movie of the process and you can watch it here. (Moderators: can I embed the video directly?)

I use an ordinary gouge, although I'd like to find one with a plastic handle so it's less likely to be adversely affected by squashy goop. I thought about using a parting tool to mark grooves for easy even slicing, but decided I'd lose too much of the good stuff to make it worth bothering.

Those of you with sharp eyes will note that the lathe is technically not in the kitchen. It's in the garage, and it's easy to move outside. There would have been room in the kitchen, but I would have spent far too much time cleaning squashy goop off my kitchen walls.

When I'm done, here's what I look like after shaking off some of the turnings:

gallery_23869_3399_40699.jpg

The full face shield is essential. I usually change into ready-to-wash clothes before starting, and I always wear a hat because my curly hair is tremendously good at holding on to squash turnings.

The cleanup's actually not too bad, just requiring a little time with a broom and a handful of paper towels. The towel draped over the lathe keeps any sticky juice from contacting the bare metal, which helps immensely. I remove the turnings, wipe down with a damp paper towel, and then dry with another paper towel. I've learned that it's easiest to clean the live center if you remove it from the lathe. I do make a point of peeling multiple squashes in a session, since it takes as much time to clean up after one squash as it does after half a dozen squashes. And the payoff's tremendous! All those recipes that start with peeled butternut squash are now remarkably easy. A peeled squash is no problem to cube into perfect half-inch dice, or reasonably thin slices, or any other shape. (And who knows, the lathe might just turn out to have other uses as well!)

Got any favorite squash recipes? :biggrin:

MelissaH

  • Like 3

MelissaH

Oswego, NY

Chemist, writer, hired gun

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

foodblog1 | kitchen reno | foodblog2

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That is really something!

Personally, I use a knife.

-drew

www.drewvogel.com

"Now I'll tell you what, there's never been a baby born, at least never one come into the Firehouse, who won't stop fussing if you stick a cherry in its face." -- Jack McDavid, Jack's Firehouse restaurant

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I would SO love that set-up! We have about 30 ambercup squashes that need "doing with". They were a donation from the neighborhood Sharing Farm to the Community Meal that I cook weekly.

Personally, I use a knife.

Some of our volunteers have knife skills which I can only describe as "scary" in a group kitchen context. The skins of the ambercups are really tough, I've watched a couple of knives slide off :shock:

Karen Dar Woon

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That's awesome!

I have to sometimes peel AND dice a case or two of butternut at my job, maybe a jigsaw could be brought into play here as well (I can't feel my knife hand after finishing that case).

Keep up the good work!

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That's awesome!

I have to sometimes peel AND dice a case or two of butternut at my job, maybe a jigsaw could be brought into play here as well (I can't feel my knife hand after finishing that case).

Keep up the good work!

For two cases, I would suggest a table saw setup. :raz: Some days... power tools RULE!

Karen Dar Woon

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I just scoop 'em after steaming...never tried peeling one

I do like power tools though

:cool:

T

The great thing about barbeque is that when you get hungry 3 hours later....you can lick your fingers

Maxine

Avoid cutting yourself while slicing vegetables by getting someone else to hold them while you chop away.

"It is the government's fault, they've eaten everything."

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I looked at this post, chuckled, then moved on to others. Something was bothering me, though, so I came back and saw what my instincts noticed the first time: ditch that floppy towel because it is an accident waiting to happen. As a 50-year machines-of-various-kinds-operator I see danger there.

Just a friendly warning to hopefully prevent a bad thing happening to nice people.

Ray

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I use an ezi grip potato peeler, one with the blade at right angles to he handle. Not as spectacular though

Recipes? I guess the obvious ones

Pumpkin pie

Pumpkin soup ( with stuff like wild mushroom, chestnuts etc)

Roast

Cheesy

Pumpkin bread

Pureed and dried for a crisp

Edited by jackal10 (log)
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Ray,

As a long-time woodworker I agree that any loose clothing or fabric around moving parts can be a danger. The face-shield was my demand.

This video was from the first run and the towel was drawn down away from the spindle. We've since trimmed the towel to width of the average squash and it lies very flat across the platform giving ample space between it and the moving parts. Again we continue to draw the ends down to keep it taunt over the platform, too.

Cheers,

Casey

I looked at this post, chuckled, then moved on to others. Something was bothering me, though, so I came back and saw what my instincts noticed the first time: ditch that floppy towel because it is an accident waiting to happen. As a 50-year machines-of-various-kinds-operator I see danger there.

Just a friendly warning to hopefully prevent a bad thing happening to nice people.

Ray

Casey Raymond aka CRChemist

Chemist, Homebrewer

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