Recipes for Shabbat
Ode to a Squash
SQUASH AND GOURDS AND PUMPKINS I SEE
Squash, in general, is a great source of fiber,
vitamins A, C, iron and calcium. Winter squash is more difficult to select
than summer squash because defects are not as apparent. However, choosing
a squash that is heavy for its size is a good indicator of quality. That
means greater moisture and less of a tendency to be dry and stringy.
Shells should be hard with no cracks or soft spots but the skin should not
be shiny. Winter squash should also be true to its color. Butternut squash
that is deep orange instead of light tan on the outside, for example,
should be avoided. Winter squash should not be refrigerated unless cut.
Two pounds of winter squash, when peeled and trimmed, will yield about 4
cups chopped or 4 servings.
Once peeled, halve the squash and remove the seeds
and any stringy fiber. Then halve again and cut into cubes or other
desired shapes for steaming, boiling or baking. Seasonings for winter
squash are similar to what goes well with sweet potatoes - brown sugar,
vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, clove and ginger (fresh, powdered or
candied). Cooked garlic adds a nutty mellowness and Chinese five-spice
powder an exotic note. The exception is spaghetti squash, which, in many
ways, can be treated like pasta with the same kinds of sauces, especially
In a large soup pot over medium heat, heat olive or
vegetable oil. Add onion and sauté until golden brown. Add garlic, curry
powder, cumin, and cayenne pepper; cook, stirring constantly, 30 seconds.
Add squash, chicken broth, water and apples. Bring liquid to a boil;
reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, 25 minutes or until squash is
tender. Remove from heat and cool 15 to 20 minutes. Puree mixture in a
blender or food processor, in batches, and transfer back into soup pot.
Season with salt and pepper. NOTE: At this point, soup may be refrigerated
until ready to serve. To serve, warm over low heat, stirring until hot.
Remove from heat and serve in soup bowls. Makes 6 servings.
Take the butternut squash and peel, seed, and cut it
into 1/2-inch chunks. Cook the lasagna noodles
according to package directions. Preheat oven to
450. In a large bowl, toss the butternut squash chunks with 1
tablespoon olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon salt, then
place the chunks in a single layer on a large
cookie sheet. Roast the squash chunks for 30 minutes or until they're
easily pierced with a fork, stirring after 15 minutes. Remove
chunks from the oven and mash squash with a food
processor (or fork or potato masher)
until almost smooth; set aside. Lower the oven temperature to 375.
In a large Dutch oven or saucepot, over medium
heat melt together the remaining 1 tablespoon
olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter. Add the
chopped onion and cook for about 10 minutes or until golden, stirring
often; add the spinach and 1/4 teaspoon salt and
cook until the spinach is wilted
Remove the saucepan from heat. In a 13" x 9" glass
lasagna pan, spoon about 1/2 cup of the white sauce to cover the bottom of
the pan. Arrange 4 cooked lasagna noodles over the sauce, overlapping to
fit; evenly spread all of the spinach mixture over the noodles, top with
about 1 cup white sauce, and sprinkle with about a 1/4 cup of mozzarella
cheese. Arrange 4 lasagna noodles on top, then about 1 cup white sauce and
all butternut squash chunks, then a 1/4 cup of mozzarella cheese. Top with
remaining lasagna noodles, remaining white sauce, sprinkle with the
chopped green onions and the remaining mozzarella cheese; sprinkle with
the reserved 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese. Cover the lasagna pan with
foil and bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes, then remove the foil and bake
for an additional 10 minutes or until hot and bubbly; let lasagna cool for
10 minutes before cutting, for easier serving.
Preheat oven to 350. Place squash pieces, cut side up, in a large baking pan.
Cover and bake for one hour. For the sauce, in a
small saucepan, combine the thawed orange juice
concentrate, margarine or butter, brown sugar,
cinnamon, and nutmeg. Heat until margarine is melted. Remove from heat.
Pour the sauce in squash shells and return squash to oven. Bake,
uncovered, about 35 minutes more or until squash is tender. Remove
the squash from the oven, place them on the
serving dish, sprinkle the top with the almonds
and garnish with tangerine or orange slices. Serves 8.
The squashes may be baked in the oven or microwave. If you are going to use the oven, preheat it to 375. Cut the squashes in half lengthwise. Place the halves in a baking dish, cut side up, with about 1/2 inch of water, and cover with foil. Bake until easily pierced with a knife but still holding their shape, 30 to 40 minutes, depending on the type and size of squash used.
Or microwave, using as a rule of thumb 4 to 7 minutes each for each squash. Test occasionally to make sure they don't get overcooked. When the squashes are cool enough to handle, scoop out and discard the seeds.
Scoop out the pulp and transfer to a mixing bowl,
leaving a sturdy shell of about 1/4 inch thick all around. Heat the
margarine in a medium skillet. Add the onion and saute over medium heat
until golden. Add the almonds and continue to saute until they give off a
toasty aroma. Combine the onion mixture with the squash pulp. Add the
ginger, season with salt and pepper, and stir together. Stuff back into
the squash shells. Reheat in the microwave or oven, just until heated
through, and serve. Serves 4
With a small sharp knife, cut wide tops out of the pumpkins to make bowl-shaped shells. Scrape out and discard seeds and stringy pulp. Trim all but 1/4 inch of meat from tops. Using a knife and soupspoon, cut and scrape out some of the pumpkin meat, leaving a 3/8-inch-thick shell. Shells should have about a 3/4-cup capacity.) Chop the pumpkin meat and set aside.
Microwave Directions: Place the breakfast beef in a 2-quart microwave-safe dish. Microwave at "high" (100%) for 1 minute and 45 seconds to 2 minutes, or until crisp, stirring twice. Remove the breakfast beef and set aside. Add the onion and chopped pumpkin meat to the dish. Cover with the lid or vented heavy-duty plastic wrap and microwave at "high" for 2 minutes, or until soft. Stir in the flour and chili powder, then the chicken broth. Microwave, covered, at "high" for 5 minutes, or until the pumpkin is very soft. Meanwhile, pour boiling water into the pumpkin shells to warm them. Mash the pumpkin mixture with a fork to a coarse puree. Add the corn and soy milk. Microwave at "high" for 1 to 2 minutes, or until thoroughly heated. Stovetop Directions: Saute the breakfast beef in a saucepan for 3 minutes, or until crisp. Remove the breakfast beef and set aside. Add the onion and chopped pumpkin meat to the saucepan. Saute over medium heat until tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in the flour and chili powder, then the chicken broth. Cook for 5 minutes more, or until the pumpkin is very soft.
Meanwhile, pour boiling water into the pumpkin shells to warm them. Mash the pumpkin mixture with a fork to a coarse puree. Add the corn and soy milk. Continue to cook until thoroughly heated. Empty and dry the pumpkin shells. Fill with the chowder. Sprinkle the breakfast beef on top and garnish with parsley, if desired. Serve at once.
© Eileen Goltz 2002