Recipes for Shabbat
In anticipation of Sukkot I planted acorn squash this year. We FINALLY got our own sukkah (we've always visited family and friends and "shared" theirs" and II wanted to have something hanging in my Sukkah that was home grown and something on my Yontif table that I had literally made from start to finish. The good news is that the plants didn't die. The bad news is that by the time I finished paying for the pots and plants and stakes and fertilizer and fence to keep out the rabbits I figure that each squash that I harvest is going to cost me about $11.00 dollars. As much fun (and as tasty as these gems are) next year I'm skipping the planting and heading straight for the produce section.
But since I already did all my squash research I though I'd save you the trouble and share a few acorn squash tips I learned along the way. Acorn squash should be big, usually the bigger the better. It should be very dry, hard, difficult to cut and heavy for its size. Darker skin on the outside is good and the darker it is on the inside, the sweeter it will be. While cutting a squash might seem like more trouble than its worth it's easier than you might think. The first thing to do is to get a big knife (I like a serrated one). You then cut the squash in half (lengthwise), scoop out the seeds (like a pumpkin) and place the open side down on a baking pan. You can also use a small hand saw (no kidding) or a commercial pumpkin carver (yes there is such an item) or just poke some holes in the squash and bake it whole for about 20 to 30 minutes. Then take it out, cut the squash in half, scoop out the seeds, cut it into smaller pieces and continue baking. The best method for cooking your squash is to bake it in a 375 to 400 oven for 30 to 40 minutes, depending on how big and how much squash you have. You can always freeze any leftover cooked squash for use at another time.
Cook squash in one inch of water in
covered saucepan for 15 minutes, or until
tender. Drain and cool. Mash the squash and add the margarine, onion,
carrots, sugar, mace, ginger and cinnamon.
Cover and simmer gently for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cook until
vegetables are tender. Ad this point place some of the vegetable mixture
in a blender of food processor and then, using
the 3 cups of the broth puree the soup (in several batches).
Return the pureed soup to the pot and add
remaining three cups of broth. Bring the soup to a boil and add pasta.
Cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes, or until pasta is done. Serve
hot. NOTE: If soup is too thick you can thin it
with additional chicken broth. Serves 4 to 6
Cut acorn squash in half. Place the
halves on a cookie sheet and bake in a 350
oven for 30-45 minutes or until tender. Remove the cooked squash
from the oven and let cool... Scoop out the flesh from the skin and
place it in a stock pot. In a skillet saute the
diced leeks in the margarine. Cook until the
leeks are soft. Add the cooked leeks to the squash and about 2/3 of the
chicken stock. Stir everything together and cook, over a medium heat for
about 10 minutes. Add additional chicken stock if too thick. If you prefer
a smoother soup you can puree it before serving or you can serve it as is.
You can add more chicken stock if the soup too thick. Just before serving
season with salt and pepper and garnish the top of each bowl with
the chopped toasted pecans and chives. Serves 4.
An amazing variation of a classic lasagna. Easy to prepare and so delicious that it just might replace your current favorite.
Preheat oven to 350. Place the cut
acorn squash into a microwaveable dish and pour
the syrup over the chunks. Cover the dish with plastic wrap over it,
and microwave for about 12 to 15 minutes or until tender. Cool
slightly and mash the squash and syrup together.
In a skillet heat the oil until hot and then add
the onions and sugar. Reduce heat and cook until the onions are
lightly golden. Set the mixture aside. In a saucepan combine the
maple syrup, honey, and margarine. Cook,
stirring occasionally, over a medium heat until
the margarine is melted. Set the syrup mixture aside. While the
acorn squash and onion mixtures are cooling cook the lasagna
noodles according to the package directions,
drain them and set them aside. In another bowl
combine the ricotta cheese with the egg and nutmeg; Spoon
1/3 of the spaghetti sauce on the bottom of a 9X13 pan. Lay 3
strips of cooked lasagna on top of the sauce. Then spread 1/2 of the
ricotta mixture on top of the lasagna, then
spread 1/2 of the squash mixture on top of the
ricotta, then 1/2 of the onions on top of the squash, and put 1/3 of the
mozzarella on top of the onions. Then put 3 more strips of lasagna,
at a 90 degree angle to the first three, on top.
Spread the rest of the ricotta, squash, onions, and mozzarella on top, and
then add a little bit of sauce, just to cover.
Top with 3 more strips of lasagna (again, at a 90 degree angle to the
previous three), and add a little more sauce to cover the lasagna
on top. You want to have a nice firm lasagna not
a sloppy runny mess so make sure that you don't use too much spaghetti
sauce Bake, uncovered for 40 to 50 minutes. Serves 6 to 8.
Preheat oven to 350. Place squash cut
sides down in medium baking pan. Add boiling
water to a depth of about 1/4 inch. Cover with foil and bake for
30 minutes, until just cooked through but still firm. Carefully
remove foil and pour off water. In small
saucepan, melt the margarine or butter over low heat and then stir in
honey, figs, almonds, cinnamon and nutmeg. Turn squash
cut sides up and fill with fig mixture. Bake uncovered, 20 to 25
minutes longer, until squash is tender and
filling is bubbly. Serves 4
In a large nonstick skillet, heat the oil over medium heat until it's hot. Add the onion, carrot, and garlic, and cook for 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender and golden, stirring occasionally. Add the beans, broth, salt, pepper, and 2 teaspoons chopped sage; heat to boiling then reduce heat and cover skillet and keep warm. Meanwhile, cut each squash lengthwise in half and remove seeds and strings. Place squash halves in 3-quart microwave-safe baking dish. Cover and cook in microwave oven on High 6 to 8 minutes or until squash is fork-tender (you can also cook the squash in the oven if you prefer). Place squash halves, cut side up, on platter. Fill each half with one- ourth of bean mixture; sprinkle with diced tomato and remaining 1 teaspoon chopped sage. Garnish with sage sprigs. Serves 4
* For a dairy option you can sprinkle
Parmesan cheese over the top just
© Eileen Goltz 2002