Winter Squash Archive

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

acorn squash quesadillas + tomatillo salsa

acorn squash quesadilla

A few weeks ago (oh, you didn’t think that meant I was all caught up, did you?) a friend and I went to a cooking demonstration at a great little modern Mexican restaurant named Dos Caminos. I know very close to nothing about Mexican cooking, despite adoring the flavor palate–the sour and tangy citruses against smoky peppers and hearty beans and meats and seriously, I don’t know why it has taken me so long to try to learn a few new things. Chalk it up to intimidation.

acorn squashacorn squash, sliced thincharring the poblanosliced skinned poblanos

The focus of the demonstration was on fall meals, which was particularly awesome because I think we largely associate Mexican cooking with warm weather, a la pico de gaillos and fresh corn everything. I learned a ton. Like, did you know that Mennonites brought cheese to Mexico and that muenster is a great cheese to use in quesadillas? Did you know that tomatillos are the same family as potatoes? Seriously, I was just swimming in information.

lightly roastedred and green jalapenosmuenstersauteeing filling

Continued after the jump »

Friday, March 7, 2008

roasted acorn squash and gorgonzola pizza

roasted acorn squash and gorgonzola "pizza"

All right, this is just not pizza. I mean, maybe it is pizza-like or pizza-esque or even pizza-ish, but I have a terrifically hard time calling it pizza. In fact, when I saw Giada DeLaurentis make this on her Food Network show last weekend (I seem to have broken a seal with her, no?) all I could think was “that’s not pizza!” and then hmm, that would be a fun Sunday night dinner. So, I did the only rational thing: I decided to not call it pizza. In fact, as soon as I started to think of this as a flat bread, an open panini or an assembly of some of my favorite things, the deliciousness near-overwhelmed me.

flatbread

So, let us take this apart, shall we? We start with a thin layer of pizza dough. You can use my easy-as-sin one, though I have myself moved onto the just as easy wine-and-honey version I updated a few months back. If you don’t feel like making your own, I’m really not doing my job here, but nevertheless, feel free to pick up one from your local pizza joint (what, you don’t have one on your block?) or grocery store. The recipe calls for a one-pound dough, though my homemade one clocked in at 13.5 ounces and, lo, the world did not end.

acorn squashroasted acorn squash

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Sunday, November 11, 2007

pumpkin waffles

 pumpkin waffles

I warned you, didn’t I? I have a lot of fresh pumpkin puree to use up. Call it my late German grandmother communicating her values to me from the great beyond, but I hate throwing away food. It literally makes me sick to my stomach, that in this land of excess and in a city that appears at times to have run out of ways to spend money so it churns out new ones daily that I am part of this ridiculousness, so frequently throwing away old eggs, milk days before its inevitable demise, fruit and vegetables we always forget about, elaborate dishes that bored me too much to eat twice.

This pumpkin, it’s gonna get used.

 pumpkin waffles  pumpkin waffles

Continued after the jump »

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

black bean pumpkin soup

pumpkin soup

I know this sounds like the tiniest of triumphs in a world of people who have respectable accomplishments to be proud of, but nonetheless, it brings me great pleasure to announce that I have found a pumpkin soup that meets my approval.

Yes, I know, who talks about pumpkin soup in November? It seems like strictly an October affair. Pumpkins crowd the markets, and the people gather round with an evil glint in their eyes, eager to carve them up and roast their innards, mwa-ha-ha. You can barely turn your head without finding another half dozen pumpkin recipes, and oh, I know, I’ve spread my share around.

Alex and I bought three smallish pumpkins to carve this year, but the weeks leading up to Halloween were chaotic and we never got to them. Feeling guilty that they were about to go to waste, I roasted and pureed one and a half of them (and stupidly deleted the pictures before, uh, downloading them from the camera), before deciding it was an absolutely excessive amount of work and entirely not worth it. I hear everyone goes through this same process once in their lives.

Continued after the jump »

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

pumpkin butter + pepita granola

pumpkin butter

As if Alex and I weren’t lucky enough to win a trip to Napa Valley for a two-day grilling class on the stunning COPIA campus in August, we also got to meet Elise of Simply Recipes fame. Not only is she as warm, kind and knowledgeable as she comes off on her site, she’s one of those types of people who reach into their bag two minutes after having met you and proffers up a homemade gift, in this case, apple butter made from the early apples grown in her own backyard. “What’s a backyard?” Alex and I asked her, wide-eyed and baffled. Elise smiled politely.

apple butter apple juice

We ate it with a spoon, and I don’t mean weeks later; I’m talking about when we arrived back that Tuesday night near midnight. I confess that apple butter is one of these things I hadn’t known about growing up. Amusingly, my first knowledge of us came from watching Oprah shortly after her first or second major weight loss, and she told her audience that one of her secrets had been apple butter instead of regular butter on her morning toast. Needless to say, I was dubious that anything could take the place of real butter and the idea of trying apple butter fell largely to the back of my mind until that Tuesday night.

Continued after the jump »


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