Archive for the ‘winter squash’ Category


Fall ushers in soup time. The house is cool enough that I can leave a pot of chicken stock on the back of the stove overnight, and winter squash and root veggies are everywhere and make hearty, warming meals.

I made this butternut squash soup for lunch. Butternut squash soup is perhaps the most ubiquitous winter vegetable soup and is so easy to make.

I cut about three inches off the small end of a butternut squash and chopped it into 1″ cubes. In a saucepan I covered them with water and boiled until tender. I drained some (but not all) of the water and added homemade chicken stock– ladled right out of the pot (about 1 1/2 cups). After throwing in a large clove of garlic, salt, pepper, about 1/2 t each of ancho chile powder and paprika, and 1/4 t cumin, I blended it until it was fairly smooth. It’s better to start with less liquid and add after blending so you get a consistency that appeals to you.

When served you can add chopped parsley or cilantro and avocado…


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this was a total shot in the dark, but it was pretty good. it would have been better if i had added even more half and half, or a little cheese, but i’m trying to lose the seven pounds i’ve put on in the past months eating my way through this blog. the really fun discovery here was in making croutons from cinnamon raisin bread, they went really well with the squash. they would also be great as breadcrums sprinkled over a squash gratin.


cube a couple slices of cinnamon raisin bread. if you have time to let it dry, thats great; but i frequently just let it toast in the pan on low for a long time instead. put some olive oil in the skillet and add the cubed bread. toss quickly to evenly distribute the oil. toast on low, turning as needed, to brown evenly. in a separate pan, toast the pepitas. they pop a little when they toast. no oil is needed, just make sure they don’t burn.


bake one acorn squash at 400 degrees until soft. i cut it into slices to make it bake faster, but you can do it in halves as well. i like to let one side get a little brown as well; the caramelization is nice and produces a richer flavor.

while the squash is baking, add 2 [or more- to taste] cloves of garlic, chopped or minced, to about 3 T of olive oil [and 1 T of butter if you like] in a saute pan or skillet. add a small hand-full of chopped sage and about 1 cup of chickpeas. let saute on medium- low. the sage is subtle. if you want a stronger sage flavor, add some rubbed sage to the chickpeas and garlic a minute or so before adding squash.

when the squash is done baking, scoop the flesh from the skin and roughly chop.
add to the skillet with enough half and half to make a thick sauce. salt and pepper
to taste [this dish needs salt] and toss in cooked pasta; i used penne.

serve with croutons on top and toasted pepitas. you could also add chopped, toasted pecans.

you could use a whisk or hand blender if you wanted to make it really smooth;
i just prefer it with a bit more texture. if you do, whisk or blend the half and half with the squash before adding to the chickpeas. you could also put it in a dish and add the croutons [maybe crumbled] and pepitas, and some reggiano or grated semi- hard goat cheese, and bake it in the oven at 400 degrees until it’s a bit brown on top.

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this was my hair-brained idea for lunch, that usurped my day. it turned out well, although next time it will be better. still, it was very yummy.

i started this morning by making crepes. i was going to do a sweet baked crepe thing, but then decided i wanted something savory.

for the crepes, beat 3 eggs with 4 T of low- fat milk. add 4T of flour and a pinch of salt. let rest for 20 minutes or more, then make the crepes. put butter in a skillet over medium heat, and add butter. when it is sizzling, add about 1/4 cup of the batter and swirl the pan so that the crepe covers the bottom of the pan. the crepes should be slightly bigger than the pan you will bake the dish in. flip crepe and allow to cook briefly, then remove. put a bit more butter in pan before each crepe, although not much is needed. try to make one crepe that is bigger than the rest. put crepes on a plate under a dishcloth and set aside.

cut about half of a butternut squash into large chunks. add 2 cloves of garlic and a couple of chunks of ginger root. add about a 1/2 cup of water to the lidded dish and microwave until squash is soft. drain water. remove ginger and mash squash and garlic while hot. add 1T chopped fresh sage.

while the squash is cooking, prepare the volute sauce. make a roux from 2 T butter and 3 T of flour. saute until light brown but not burned. add 2 cups of hot milk or half and half. stir until thickened. add 1/4 c white wine, some cayenne pepper, freshly grated nutmeg, salt to taste, and ground black pepper. when squash is done, transfer the ginger to the volute.

the trick to this dish is to minimize the amount of liquid that comes out of the squash. allow the squash to cool completely, so that a lot of moisture evaporates. if the squash seems really wet, put in a skillet with a little olive oil, and allow the squash to condense a bit to evaporate some of the moisture.

when the squash has cooled, mix in two beaten egg yolks and 2 T flour. beat egg whites until stiff. fold egg whites into squash mixture with as few strokes as possible as to not deflate the whites. if the squash is still warm, add some squash into the egg yolks first to temper the eggs, then add to the rest of the squash.

put about 2 T of melted butter in an oven- proof dish that is slightly smaller than the diameter of your crepes. brush butter to coat entire inside of the dish.

put the largest crepe in the bottom of the dish [i used an iron skillet]. spoon some of the squash mixture on top of the crepes. spoon some of the volute on top, and some grated cheese. i used a goat gouda, which was fantastic. continue to layer, splitting the filing amounts depending on the number of crepes you have, knowing you will end with a crepe, volute, and grated cheese, but not the squash filling.

continue to layer, ending with a crepe, the volute sauce, and grated cheese. bake in a preheated, 350 degree oven for about 45 minutes. gently open the door and cut vents in the top with a sharp knife, to allow steam to escape. bake for another 20 minutes or so until the top is brown. let rest for about 10 – 15 minutes after, to allow more moisture to escape. cut into wedges and serve.

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flora loves squash!

split and scoop acorn squash. add butter, brown sugar, pumpkin pie spices and a little extra freshly ground nutmeg. roast at 350. i don’t do them upside down, but i baste them throughout.

at thanksgiving she got fancy, adding chunks of pears during the last 20 minutes. actually, like every great chef, she left it to the peon, also known as her mother, while she went off and played with her cousins.

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