Monday, September 29, 2014

Get Squashed

We are getting into squash season.Many home chefs are actually flummoxed by it. They wonder what to do with it?Stuffed?Mashed? Pair it with wild rice or marshmallows? The recipes for it and it's cousin are versatile.There are so many that tout its earthy sweetsness and satiny texture.Best of all they make fo great leftovers. There are several different types of squash.There is the summer one like zucchini that are fresh and green tasting.Winter squash have a denser flesh and sweeter flavor.Thue most popular are the pumpkin along with acorn and butternut varieties but there is also the buttercup and spaghetti types too.One of the easiest and most satisfying is soup.Use butternut along with chicken broth and heavy cream to make a rich , hearty potage.Since it is sweet tasting you may want to use garlic, onions and an olio of spices to cut could also try fresh Ginger for heat and spices such has cloves and cinnamon, as Martha Stewart did. You can also try soup with pumpkin.Piedmontese pumpkin soup is simple, with all the emphasis on the pumpkin.It has vegetable broth mixed with it along with a fresh onion.It is then mashed with rice, butter and cream mixed in.This kind is the easiest to freeze as well.Make up a double batch so you can have a ready meal on a night when you don't feel like cooking.Of course mashed squash is an excellent side.Butternut makes for the creamiest and the most flavorful.It takes only eight to ten minutes to cook.Cut the squash in pieces and then place in a shallow microwavable pan.Mash with a potato masher. You can add butter or even milk for a creamy texture and taste. Squash is also great baked into breads.Again butternut work s the best although you can also use pumpkin too.A squash tea bread is a nice loaf to bake, especially for a fall Sunday brunch.It is loaded with a variety of spices such as allspice and cloves as well as Ginger and cinnamon.What is great about this is that you can use any left over bread as French toast .You can also use this veggie in muffins.Again home chefs can make this super healthy with the addition of raisins and whole-wheat flour.Serve with huge dollops of cream cheese for a tasty after school treat or as a nice breakfast alternative to corn or bran muffins.Surprisingly both pumpkins and squash can also be an ingredient in cookies.Of course, as with anything with it, there is a lot of heavy spicing a Ong with raisins.There are even squash chocolate chip snaps.Because squash is fibrous and watery , expect the cookies to be cakey and chewy.Candy can also be made from it as well.It's a neat way of combining healthy with wicked ,just to get the kids to eat veggies. This is the height of the squash and pumpkin season.Try these versatile gourds in everything from soup to candy.It a great way to vary the family's diet as well as making it healthy one too.

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