Sunday – Winter Squash Mash

Here’s my inspiration (as usual, found at Epicurious), as well as my personal editing (I’m taking out these parts of the published recipe, and adding in these parts), based on what I actually have on hand:

Winter Squash Mash

Bon Appétit  | October 2004

yield: Makes 6 servings

Ingredients:

  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • One  2 3/4- to 3-pound kabocha squash, halved crosswise, seeded
  • 6 4 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter
  • 2 6 garlic cloves, minced peeled
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 cup (or more) low-salt chicken broth
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, divided

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray large rimmed baking sheet with nonstick spray. Drizzle 1 tablespoon olive oil inside each kabocha squash half and brush to coat. Place squash halves, cut side down, on prepared baking sheet. Roast until squash is very tender when pierced with knife, about 1 hour 10 minutes. Cool slightly. Scoop out squash flesh into bowl and mash until almost smooth.

Melt butter in skillet over medium-high heat until beginning to brown, about 2 minutes. Add garlic and thyme and stir 1 5 minutes or until the garlic begins to caramelize. Smoosh the garlic cloves with your spatula and break it up into relatively small pieces.  Add butter mixture and 1 cup broth to squash and mash until smooth. Season generously with salt and pepper. (Can be prepared 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature. Add more broth if desired and rewarm in microwave before continuing.)

Stir 2 tablespoons parsley into squash. Sprinkle squash with remaining 1 tablespoon parsley and serve.

The Verdict:

If you’ve been following the blog, you know that this meal was scheduled for Friday night.  I arrived home Friday to find a take-and-bake pizza sitting on the counter, and roasted squash sitting on the stove top.  Travis had followed the directions faithfully until it was time to take the squash out of the oven.  Then he thought that he’d messed something up, because the squash was collapsed on the cookie sheet.  He’d only seen the photos of 1/2 squashes still firmly keeping their shapes, so he was sure it was ruined.  Since the pizza was ready to go, we went ahead and ate that for dinner on Friday.  But the squash was fine, so we scraped it into a storage container to wait for another day, which ended up being Sunday.

After the trauma on Saturday, I wasn’t up to cleaning the kitchen this weekend.  What with the busy schedule we had this week, everything was pretty much dirty, which is why I didn’t mince or press the garlic cloves.  Yes, I am admitting on the internets that my kitchen was dirty enough that I didn’t have any clean utensils capable of mincing garlic. And I still cooked in it.  That’s how I am (sometimes).  So I figured the mincing was really just to get the garlic into edible pieces, and cooking it to the smashing point and spreading it out would probably work fine. 

I really liked the taste of the kabocha even before the butter and garlic were added – it is probably my favorite of all the winter squashes we’ve tried.  The CSA folks are planning a bulk sale, and here’s hoping there’s a kabocha option!  At any rate, I enjoyed my modified version of this recipe, and I can see how it might need the broth if you started with a less-moist squash, but I would recommend adding it slowly, bit by bit, and testing for texture along the way.

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