Getting Creative with Winter Squash

Sweet Mama squash is a variety of buttercup squash. It has a round, pumpkin shape weighing about 3 to 4 pounds. The squash has an orange or bluish-gray to dark green skin covering a thick, fine-grained golden meat that provides a sweet flavor when cooked. It can be baked or microwaved to be served in casseroles or it can be stuffed and eaten on its own as a side dish.

Baked

Cut Squash in half and scoop out seeds.  Line the cavity with a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper and cover with parchment paper-lined aluminium foil.  Bake 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes, then take off the cover and continue to bake until done, which could be another 15 to 30 minutes.

Steamed

Cut squash in half, scoop out seeds.  Slice squash into 1″ lengths.  Remove the peel.  Chop squash into cubes and place in steamer basket over boiling water and steam until fork tender, which is usually 20 minutes or less.  Remove from steam, toss with butter and serve, or mash with butter and pepper.  (To make a pie filling, or for muffin recipes, you simply do not add butter and pepper, just mash and let cool.)

I am trying two new techniques, one on the barbecue and one in the oven:

GRILLED WINTER SQUASH

  • 1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 T extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Boil or steam the squash until tender but still firm, about 10 min. Drain or remove from steam basket and cool under cold water. Toss the squash with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Thread the squash on to skewers and set aside.  When ready, place skewers on a medium-hot grill in which you have oiled the grate. Grill the squash skewers, basting with the reserved marinade, until browned and tender, 5 to 7 min.

I and my family like sweet potato fries, so I decided I would try

Squash Oven Fries

SWEET MAMA SQUASH OVEN FRIES

Cut squash in half and remove seeds, then cut into half again.  Cut squash into strips about 1/4″ – 1/2″ slices.  Remove the peel.  Coat slices with olive oil, salt, pepper and chilli powder.
Place the fries on an oiled cookie sheet pan and bake in a 425 degree oven.  Turn fries over after 10 minutes.  Bake for about 20 to 30 minutes, depending on if you want them wet and juicy or a bit more browned and easy to pick up.  Serve with a bit of salt sprinkled on top.  Dip them in ketchup or a sour cream dip.  These are even better than sweet potato fries I must say!  Now, that’s a keeper recipe!

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