Sunday, November 16, 2014

Autumn Squash

The snow came. And with it the cold. But before that happened, we had a glorious autumn and ate our fill (low-carb, etc.). Squash was everywhere.

And I even made some. Once. Because: I don't like squash. There I said it.

Don't like the texture.

Don't like peeling it.

But the family loves it so I look at new ways to cook it. This roasted delicate squash requires no peeling (happy rainbows appear) and is not too bad with the sweet and sour sauce composed of fresh lime juice, siracha and honey. (Recipe is below.)

And it is autumn-pretty. I also intensely, overwhelmingly, emphatically dislike beets. (Paul does. Woe is Paul.) I think they're drop-dead gorgeous but pretty is as pretty does and I used to make them once a year to see if my taste buds changed. No. Don't look for beet recipes here.

Now if you combine squash - let's say pumpkin with sugar and cream cheese and then top them with creme fraiche and salted caramel sauce, you could make a case for squash.

So I did that - ignoring my low-carb diet.

And bells rang in our little White Bear Lake kingdom. And all was well. These pumpkin cheesecakes have an easy gingersnap crust that adds some autumn spice. All is easy. All is perfect for Thanksgiving (they travel well). Top it with creme fraiche, whipped cream, Cool Whip for non dairy, or just the salted caramel sauce. Now that's the perfect way to get your intake of squash!

Recipe is here: Pumpkin Cheesecake Muffins with gingersnap crust and salted caramel sauce

Then there's the pumpkin sheet cake. This is a pumpkin version of a spice cake and then topped with a thin, caramel icing. Again, easy, fulfills your vegetable requirement but with panache. This is from Mary of One Perfect Bite. It's a blog you should know and will like. A lot. Much more than I like squash and beets. (Come on, you must have popular "foodie" foods that don't work for you.)

Recipe is here: Pumpkin Spice Cake with caramel icing.

Now for a "real squash" recipe.

Delicata Squash with Sweet and Sour Sauce - serves 4
2-3 delicata squash, seeded and cut into 1/4 inch rings
Olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Juice of 1 lime
1 tablespoon Siracha sauce
2 tablespoons of honey
fresh cilantro for finishing (or in my case Italian flat-leaf parsley - because - you got it - don't love cilantro)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Generously oil 2 baking sheets
Toss squash slices in the oil on the baking sheets and season with salt and pepper
Roast them on one side for 20-25 minute - until lightly browned
Flip them and roast another 10-15 minutes until other side is lightly browned (mine didn't brown a lot)

While squash is roasting, make the Sweet and Sour Sauce by whisking the lime juice, Siracha and honey. When squash is done cooking, transfer squash slices to a plate. Drizzle the sweet and sour sauce over all. Garnish with Italian parsley - or cilantro.

There is a lovely step-by-step presentation of this recipe as well as tips on seeding the squash at Shutterbean found here: Delicata Squash with Sweet and Sour Sauce.

And finally, a week before the snow came - this happened.

We took in a stray. Pippin is giving him pointers on watching Bird-TV.  Happy autumn, all!


Catherine said...

Hi Claudia, I hope all is well. It looks like you have been making some nice delicious dishes.
I love the photo of the two window gazing buds; simply adorable. Have a beautiful Sunday. Catherine xo

Sam Hoffer / My Carolina Kitchen said...

Your roasted delicate squash is gorgeous and such a pretty presentation. I'm not fond of squash for the same reasons you mentioned, but in the fall I feel obligated to do something with it. Glad the new kitty is fitting in.

Stay warm,

Frank said...

Thanks for your honesty, Claudia! Truth be told I'm pretty finicky about winter squash as well. I love the zucca in Italy, so full of flavor, with a lovely velvety texture. The squashes over here, not so much, although I've been experimenting. Have you ever tried baby yams? They have a squash-like flavor, but more intense and have a denser, smooth texture.

Kitchen Riffs said...

I do like squash, and really love it when roasted. And peeling is optional when it cook it that way, as you note. Love the idea of squash with sweet and sour sauce -- something I should try. Your new stray looks so cute! Kind of Pippin to show him the ropes. :-)

Mary Bergfeld said...

You did a fabulous job for one who does not like squash. The colors of your autumn table are gorgeous and those kittens are too cute for their own good :-)

Angie's Recipes said...

I will never get tired of winter squashes or pumpkins. Those roasted delicata look so inviting!
Have a wonderful week ahead, Claudia!

Roz | La Bella Vita Cucina said...

I'm learning to love all of these new squash recipes, especially in pasta. Gotta break out of my old box! So glad to see your posts coming into my email! Hope you have a delightful Thanksgiving, no matter what you serve on your table, squash or no squash!

We're gearing up for a holiday visit to Iowa in late December; looking forward to it and hoping that we don't freeze our adopted Southern thin-skins! (but we probably will anyway. . . lots of Schnapps is on order!)


Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

Hi Caludia! Your new kitty is the cutest!I've been making quite a bit of squash lately as it is one of the more affordable veggies in the grocery right now since it is locally grown. I find roasting it gives it the best flavor. Your pumpkin cheese cakes are something I could dive into--yum!

My Little Space said...

Good day Claudia ! I have to agree with Mary. The dinning table looks awesome. Love the colours too! And so is the roasted squash dish. Absolutely yum.
Enjoy & have a great week ahead dear.
Blessings, Kristy

Pam said...

Nice presentation! Your squash sounds delicious and so the rest. Cute pic of your cats. Ours do that also, when they're not sleeping. :-)

Beth said...

I do like squash, although I don't like peeling it, either. As for beets, try golden beets sometime! They're worlds better than their deep red counterparts.

And I must be honest - I haven't found a kale recipe that's made me a convert.

Ciao Chow Linda said...

Oh Claudia - I applaud you for stepping out to finally give squash a chance. With those great recipes, how can you not like it? I have made one of Mary's pumpkin cakes and loved it. I'm sure the one you chose is delicious too. Pip is just precious by the way. What a charmer. Happy Thanksgiving.

chow and chatter said...

what a great squash recipe and the picture of the cats is adorable

Sprigs of Rosemary said...

I'm the squash fan in my little duo of a family. I love 'em all -- but I just sampled delicata for the first time a few years ago. It's the best. Sorry for my absence here. Missed visiting.

Whats Cookin Italian Style Cuisine said...

have missed you so glad to view this post hope your life is filled with joy! thinking of you and wishing you all the best and happy, healthy Christmas and New Year ahead! Xo hugs

Whats Cookin Italian Style Cuisine said...

love this baby so precious the squash looks wonderful!