Tag Archives: Squash

Thanksgiving Recipes

Pumpkin Ginger Soup topped with Pepitas

My family is ridiculously traditional, and suggesting an innovative take on a Thanksgiving classic usually warrants more eye rolls than anything else. But little by little, year by year, I’ve introduced a few dishes to the traditional Turkey Day menu that have gone over very well. Below is a list of dishes and recipes that you can try this year to give an untraditional spin to a very traditional meal. My family approves, so yours will, too.

STARTERS
Pumpkin Ginger Soup topped with Pepitas

SIDES
Roasted Kabocha Squash (just leave out the chicken to make this a nice compliment to the Thanksgiving turkey)
Butternut Squash, Leek, and Apple Gratin
Easy Biscuits
Jalapeno Goat Cheese Corn Bread
Green Bean Casserole (from The Pioneer Woman)

DESSERTS
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
Sugar Crusted Apple Pie

BEVERAGES
Hard Cider

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Simple Dish

Sometimes you find yourself with too much squash. Don’t you hate that? It’s what some might call a “First World Problem.” Along the same lines as, “Someone scratched my Porsche in the parking lot of Nobu” and “The Pellegrino is flat.” Well, kids, I am really good at turning lemons into lemonade. Seriously, it’s just juice, sugar, and water… it’s not hard. I’m also really good at turning a surplus of something into a delicious dish!

On the menu:
Zucchini (or Mexican squash!) with Ricotta
Serves 2

1 large squash (yellow squash, green squash, zucchini, Mexican squash, whatever your heart desires)
2 Tbsp ricotta
1/4 cup mozzarella, shredded
2 Tbsp parmesan cheese, grated
1 tsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp Panko breadcrumbs
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Slice squash in half and scrape out seeds with a spoon. Lay skin side down on a baking dish. Mix together cheeses, lemon juice, and salt and pepper. Fill each half of the squash with ricotta mixture and top with breadcrumbs. Bake for 20 minutes.

This dish is perfect as a side dish, appetizer, or snack. And it’s as easy as pie. I literally whipped this together in 5 minutes before I ran out to get my laundry. And then I ate it alongside half a pizza. Don’t judge. K thanks.

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Post Holiday Blues

Hey remember how great it was to spend an extended weekend (or in my case, 10 days) doing nothing but stuffing your face and sleeping in and enjoying the snow from your warm snuggly couch with a cup of hot tea? I hope to carry that feeling all the way through New Year’s and ring in 2011 plump and happy. It’s a personal goal.

I realize I’m late with Thanksgiving recipes, but this next one (and tomorrow’s) can be enjoyed all winter long. It’s just comfort food, kids. No need to put a label on it.

On the menu:
Butternut squash, leek, and apple gratin
Adapted from Martha Stewart
Serves 5

3 small leeks, white part only (tough outer skin removed), halved and thinly sliced
3 large Granny Smith apples, halved, cored, and sliced 1/2 inch thick slices
1 medium sized butternut squash, peeled, cored, and sliced into 1/8 inch slices
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup white wine
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 tsp ground sage
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated

Preheat oven to 350. Heat olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add leeks and 2 Tbsp of water, and sautee 3-4 minutes. Add white wine and sage, and cook 5-7 minutes until the wine has reduced by half. Remove from heat.

In a shallow baking dish, layer the butternut squash in one overlapping layer. Salt and pepper. Layer leeks over the top of the squash. Layer apples on top of the leeks. Cover dish tightly with aluminum foil. Bake for 45 minutes at 350. Raise heat to 450, remove the foil, sprinkle cheese on top and bake for 10 minutes until bubbling.

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Kabocha Squash

A few weeks ago I posted a recipe for butternut squash risotto, of which my boyfriend and his roommates picked out all the squash. Boys. Who understands them anyway?

So in anticipation of making dinner for a lady, I turned once more to squash for a revamp on the risotto recipe. And this time I’m turning it inside out.

This is a terrible cell phone picture; I've noticed when I'm REALLY eager to eat something my pictures come out blurry. Go figure.

On the menu:
Stuffed kabocha squash with wild rice and chicken
Serves 4
Loosely inspired by this recipe from Martha Stewart

1 large kabocha squash, quartered, seeds removed
2 Tbsp butter
1 shallot, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
16 oz. baby Portobello mushrooms, chopped
1 tsp dried rubbed sage
Salt and pepper to taste
6 oz wild rice blend (I used an Uncle Ben’s box and threw out the seasoning packet)
3 large chicken breasts, diced into 1 inch cubes
1 Tbsp olive oil
8 oz parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. On a baking sheet, arrange squash with one cut side down. Roast until tender when pierced with the tip of a paring knife, about 40 minutes (test doneness after 40 minutes but if it isn’t tender, leave it in for another 10).

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add shallot, garlic, mushrooms and sage; season with salt and pepper. Cook until tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Add rice and 1 3/4 cups water; bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to low. Cook until tender, without stirring, about 25 minutes.

Heat olive oil over medium/high heat. Cook chicken until cooked all the way through and browned.

Remove rice from heat, and stir in chicken and cheese. Season stuffing with salt and pepper to taste. Plate squash, skin side down, and heap stuffing into squash quarters. Top with more grated parmesan cheese. And if you’re like my friend Meagan, grate a tiny pile of parmesan cheese on your plate and eat it with a fork. Ain’t no shame.

*Note: My boss gave me 2 gorgeous kabocha squash from her CSA, one orange and one green. You could replace the kabocha with any squash that is on the sweet side: butternut, acorn, etc. Just test the doneness of the squash when roasting after about 25 minutes so it doesn’t turn to mush.

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Sneak Peek!

Last week my lovely boss gave me three beautiful squash. One I knew was a butternut and two I had no freaking idea about. They looked like tiny pumpkins: one green and one orange. I did a quick search and discovered that they are called kabocha squash! And I can not wait to experiment with them. Tomorrow, a gorgeous recipe.

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Melty, Cheesy Goodness: Summer Style

If you read this blog on the regular, you have probably gathered by now that I like cheese. And if you’re especially perceptive, you know that I like melted cheese. It’s like a hidden message I have buried deep within the posts. Subtlety is my forte.

On the menu:
Summer squash and potato with goat cheese gratin
Serves 3 as a side, 2 as a meal

1 medium sized green squash (or yellow)
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
2 medium sized red potatoes
4 oz. goat cheese
1/4 cup skim milk
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

Slice the potatoes and squash VERY thinly, about an 1/8 of an inch thick or thinner if you can manage. [NOTE: if you have a mandolin, use it. If not, a very sharp chef’s knife will work] Toss the potatoes, squash, and onions with the olive oil. Season with a bit of salt and pepper. Layer 1/3 of the potatoes, squash, and onions in a large baking dish. Season again with a bit of salt and pepper, and crumble goat cheese over the whole layer. Repeat the “Layer, season, crumble” 2 more times until you’ve used up all the potatoes, squash, and onions. Sprinkle the grated parmesan over the top of the dish. Bake for 30 minutes with the dish covered, and another 15 minutes uncovered until the cheese is browned. Serve. Eat. Pat belly. Smile.

*Note: this recipe was adapted from this recipe at The Kitchn. Their picture is GORGEOUS. It’s worth a click.

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