Friday, May 16, 2008

Squash Chronicles - Part II

One upon a time, in a land far away, there were three squash: spaghetti, butternut and acorn. Never having enjoyed them outside an autumn porch decoration, I've gone on a journey to discover them in the way nature intended. This is Part II of their tales - The Squash Chronicles.

Butternut Squash - This one was much easier to get into and I had no trouble cutting it in half. Just like the spaghetti squash, I placed it on a cookie sheet with a little olive oil, face down for 45 minutes then face up for 10 minutes (all at 350 degrees). Butternut squash didn't make cool little spaghetti strands, but it had such a nice deep flavor. It reminds me of sweet potatoes but with a smoother texture. 

Again, I was able to spoon the meat right out of the shell as I was eating it so there was little mess. As far as my preference is concerned, the butternut squash was ok, but I'm not completely enamored by it as I was the spaghetti squash.  The toasted seeds had a really nice flavor, but otherwise, I'm not sure I would make this one again. Perhaps there are better ways to prepare it. Thoughts, anyone?


Melissa said...

I love it with a little butter and brown sugar, mashed up. It also makes a great soup...I've never done it but my mom has many times. It's called Sweet Mama's soup. I'll ask her to pass you the recipe if you want to try it.

Heather @ SGF said...

You know, I probably would like it in soup. Do pass on the recipe. Thanks, Melissa!

Theresa said...

Ooo...I would like to see that recipe too - can you post it?

Beany said...

I made a squash kofta curry using butter nut squash using this recipe. It _is_ quite fatty but incredibly delicious!

Heather @ SGF said...

Beany - Thanks for the recipe!

Melissa said...

As is my mom's recipe for Sweet Mama soup. It's REALLY good. She told me that she has tried boiling instead of baking the squash and it didn't turn out that well. Also she said she's only ever used the butternut squash. I don't think it'd come out right with the acorn, and neither of us knows what sweet mama squash actually is. To be honest, I thought it referred to my mom. :)

8 side-dish servings
Prep: 30 minutes
Bake: 1 hour
Cook: 25 minutes

2 to 2-1/2 lb. Sweet Mama, butternut, or acorn squash
1 medium onion, chopped
1 Tbsp. olive oil
5 cups chicken broth
2 medium cooking apples, peeled, cored and quartered
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 cup whipping cream
Salt and black pepper
Chopped red and/or green apple
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. If using Sweet Mama, use half to three-fourths of the squash. If using butternut or acorn squash, cut in half lengthwise; remove and discard seeds. Arrange squash, cut sides down, in 3-quart rectangular baking dish. Bake for 1 to 1-1/4 hours for Sweet Mama, 45 to 60 minutes for butternut or acorn, or until squash is tender. Remove from oven; cool slightly. Scoop pulp from squash halves. Place cooked pulp in a bowl; mash with a potato masher or fork (you should have about 2 cups pulp).

2. Meanwhile, in a saucepan cook onion in hot oil for 5 minutes or until onion is tender. Stir in broth, apples, and maple syrup. Bring to boiling, reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 20 minutes or until apple is very tender. Remove from heat. Cool slightly. Stir in mashed squash.

3. Transfer half the squash mixture to a blender container or one-fourth the squash mixture to a food processor bowl. Cover; blend or process until smooth. Repeat with remaining mixture.

4. Return blended squash mixture to saucepan. Stir in whipping cream (if necessary, add additional broth to make desired consistency); heat through. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Sprinkle each serving with chopped apple. Makes 8 side-dish servings.

Heather @ SGF said...

I was sold with that recipe as soon as I saw maple syrup and whipping cream. Yum! Thanks, Melissa!

Theresa said...

Oh. My. Goodness. That sounds unbelievably good! Thanks Melissa!