Got giant butternut squash from Misfits

Got giant butternut squash from Misfits

What do you do with a giant butternut squash? I peeled, chopped in chunks and had 6+ cups of squash. I usually make Butternut squash and apple soup but I had no green apples so I used some honey crisp apples. I think my hand slipped and I went heavy on the soup spice so it came our pretty hot and spicy

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp. Unsalted butter (We keep butter in the freezer since we don’t use it all the time)
  • 1 ½ cups roughly chopped sweet onions
  •  1 Tbsp. minced garlic
  • 6 cups peeled and roughly diced butternut squash (I like to buy the squash with a long neck this part has no seeds and usually can get enough for what I need. The bottom I save for roasted later.)
  • 3 cups peeled and roughly diced honey crisp apples (about 3 apples)
  • 2 tsp. Toasted Spice Rub, recipe below. ( I make a lot and store with my spices for future use.) This is where I messed up went with TBS not tsp. Cleared the sinuses.
  • About 30 to 32 ounces low sodium, low-fat chicken broth or you can use vegetable broth.
  • 2 cups of water to add to the broth.
  • Salt and pepper to taste (Don’t add until you taste finished soup a lot of times it really does not need)

How:

Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat, and cook until it turns nut brown, just about the time it stops foaming. Add the sweet onions and cook until slightly softened, about 2-4 minutes. Add the garlic until you smell it 10-20 seconds

Now add the squash and apples, raise temp to high, and cook, stirring, until the vegetables begin to caramelize, about 5-8 minutes. Stir in the Toasted Spice Rub and cook briefly to toast it, about 1 minute.

Add the broth-water mixture, bring to a simmer, and partially cover (use a wooden spoon across the pot rest the cover on that. Adjust the heat to maintain a gentle simmer and cook until the squash and apples are tender, about 40 minutes.

In about 3 or 4 batches transfer to a blender and blend until smooth. Return to a pot, reheat and season with salt and pepper if desired.

Toasted Spice Rub

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup fennel seeds
  • 1 Tbsp. coriander seeds
  • 1 Tbsp. black peppercorns ( I have made with a mixture of pepper corns not bad)
  • 1 1/82 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup chili powder
  • 2 Tbsp. kosher salt
  • 2 Tbsp. ground Cinnamon

In a small heavy pan over medium heat, combine the fennel seeds, coriander seeds, and peppercorns. When the fennel turns light brown, work quickly. Learned this during my Chinese wok cooking stage, turn on the exhaust fan; add the red pepper flakes, and toss, toss, toss, always under the fan. Having trouble breathing? I said under the exhaust fan silly, I did bold it!” Immediately empty the spice mixture onto a plate to cool. I have a small coffee grinder for grinding spices; grind only the fennel, coriander, pepper, and chili flakes. Pour into a bowl and toss with the remaining chili powder, cinnamon and salt. You can use a blender and blend until the spices are evenly ground.  Either way works for me.

Beef and Butternut Squash Chili

Beef and Butternut Squash Chili

We’re doing a fast track Dukan diet and today is a beef and veggie day so I used up some stew beef (well trimmed of fat) and a small butternut squash and made some chili.

Ingredients
• 1 1/2 pounds stew beef, cut into 1-inch chunks
• Kosher salt and pepper
• 6 teaspoons olive oil
• 1 medium red onion, chopped
• 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
• 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
• 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
• 1 to 2 teaspoons chipotle chili powder
• 2 teaspoons dried oregano
• 1 teaspoon ground cumin
• 1 teaspoon ground coriander
• 2 tablespoons fine corn meal
• 2 tablespoons tomato paste
• 1 small butternut squash cut into chunks – have use pinto beans maybe 2 cans

Salt and pepper to taste after cooked and I added a dash or two of Worcestershire sauce

The butternut squash was an after thought instead of beans

Directions

  • Season the beef with salt and pepper. Turn Instant Pot to sauté with 2 teaspoons vegetable oil; sear the beef in two batches, adding up to 2 teaspoons more olive oil, until browned on all sides, 4 to 6 minutes per batch. Using a slotted spoon or tongs, transfer the beef to a plate as it browns.
  • Add the remaining 2 teaspoons oil to the pot; add the onion, red pepper and garlic. Cook, stirring, until onion is soft, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in the cocoa, chili powder, oregano, cumin and coriander; cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add butternut squash. Add the corn meal and tomato paste and cook until the tomato paste sticks to bottom and caramelizes, about 2 minutes. Stir in 6 cups water, scraping tomato paste from bottom of pan. Add the reserved beef and turn instant pot to slow cooker about 4 hours


Todd’s Winter Squash

Todd’s Winter Squash

I’m taking a class at the senior center called Mindful Steps, we start of with some meditation and then walk when the winter weather is to cold or the path has not been plowed we do laps around the inside of the building and exercise in between each lap. Anyway my friend Todd brought in some of the squash bars he talked about last week and they were really good, no great! He used butternut squash on this batch.

Todd wanted to give credit where credit is due.
Butternut Squash Ravioli with Sage Butter Sauce.

Butternut Squash Ravioli with Sage Butter Sauce.

Lyn and I went to Eataly Boston today, a Italian market at The Prudential. So much to choose from came out with smoked Garlic, pasta, jams and a few others things such as these Butternut Squash Ravioli. So I made a butter sage sauce to go along and Lyn whipped up this roasted butternut squash, broccoli and diced tomatoes side dish. Didn’t think we would be hungry after lunch at Sweetcheeks BBQ. Wrong! Gobbled these down.

One thing to do with butternut squash when on sale

One thing to do with butternut squash when on sale

One of my fall favorites, Butternut Squash and Apple Soup then there is plain roasted, fries, replace sweet potato, mashed with a little butter and brown sugar, the list goes on. So when I saw that sale sign and a huge basket of butternut and acorn squash it was another case of my eyes were bigger than my menu. I had some room in the freezer so I did not panic just a quick blanch and freeze.

Mature winter squashes like the butternut have tough skin that protects their firm, yellow-orange flesh and allows them to last longer than their fleeting summer squash relatives. A butternut is so self-reliant that it doesn’t even need to be refrigerated, and can be stored in a cool dark place for several weeks. So how do you choose a good one? First, pick it up. It should be heavy for its size. Look it over and make sure its skin is firm and free of bruises. Check for brown frostbite scars, which can affect the squash’s texture and longevity, and punctures or cuts, which can let bacteria in and cause mold. I like to choose one with a longer neck, especially if I am cubing make life easier. www.cookthink.com

Ingredients

Butternut squash (Quantity depends on you)

 

How

Cut ends on and peel and scrap seeds out

Cut the squash into 1/2-inch cubes.

In a larger pot bring at least 8 cups of water to a full boil

 

Blanch the squash for about 3 minutes

Strain the squash in collider and then immediately put in large bowl of ice water to stop cooking

Place on a large cookie sheet and into the freezer until frozen about 30 minutes to an hour.

Place in freezer bag (we use Food Saver), suck it and back into the freezer.

Butternut squash is an edible member of the gourd family whose roots have been traced back to Mexico in 5500 B.C. (Along with beans and corn, squash is one of the “Three Sisters,” the cornerstones of Native American cuisine.)

A mature winter squash, it grows on a vine, and has a giant pear-shaped body, tough skin, rich-tasting, vivid yellow-orange flesh and a sweet flavor. (It can often substitute well for the sweet potato.) Butternut squash can be baked, steamed, puréed or simmered, and is often referred to by cooks as a “workhorse” because of its versatility. Once cooked, its dry flesh has a glossy and silky texture that makes it a favorite in soups, curries and other dishes. http://www.cookthink.com

 

The word “squash” comes from the Narragansett word that means “to eat raw or green.” You certainly won’t be eating your squash raw or green, and you must cook it even before you freeze it to make sure that the squash retains its color and texture once it is thawed. The process of cooking squash is called blanching. When you blanch squash, you boil it just long enough to stop the enzymes that cause squash to deteriorate. The process for preparing and blanching squash for freezing depends on whether you are freezing summer or winter squash. http://www.livestrong.com