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Butternut Squash Recipes?

What is the best way to use Butternut Squash? It's a pain to peel, has virtually no flavor when raw, and gets mushy if overcooked!

Do I keep the chunks large and blanch it, or boil and then finish in a pan with some butter, balsamic and thyme (was thinking this might be good).

Anyone know anything good? Can it be BBQ'd? How about kebabs?

TT

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  1. I bake it cut in half, with lots of butter, brown sugar and/or maple syrup and cinnamon and nutmeg in the middle, I like it like that. Sometimes a dash of Jack Daniels or something. It's like fall/winter comfort food to me.

    1 Reply
    1. re: coll

      Do you peel it? I found it was easy to peel the neck, but a pain to do the bulbous bottom part!

      BTW, that sounds good about the sugar and syrup; esp the Jack D. But do you have anything a little more savory?

      TT

    2. I cut it in half, scoop out the seeds, brush lightly with oil, and bake until it's mushy on the inside. Mash it like you would mashed potatoes(I know, you said you hated mushy, but keep reading).

      Sautee some onions with chopped sage leaves, then add the mashed butternut squash. The combination of onions, sage, and butternut squash is heavenly. You can eat it like this with salt and pepper, OR (Deborah Madison recipe coming up)...

      Mix in half a cup to a cup of grated gruyere and an egg, and pile the whole thing into a pre-baked pie shell. You can also fold it into a rustic tart shell. Bake for 30 minutes until golden on top. Heavenly. It's a Thanksgiving staple, and people ask for it all the time

      4 Replies
      1. re: Pei

        Interesting. Would never have thought of adding sage to it. I knew about the sweet angle, but not as a pie filling. I suppose it's not that unusual really, as it's a pumpkin . . . right?

        TT

        1. re: TexasToast

          Squash is wonderful with savory herbs and spices. I especially love a Jaimie Oliver idea for slices of butternut squash (or kabocha or delicata or acorn or, or, or..

          I doctored it up a bit - make a paste of olive oil, garlic, oregano, fennel seeds and coriander seeds (smashing up the seeds a bit). Add some salt and pepper and some hot pepper flakes. Brush slices of squash with this mixture and bake in a hot oven (400) for about a half hour. These are really good and easy.

          I also cook squash in soup. Saute some onions in olive oil, add chunks of squash and a couple of chopped potatoes (I used boiling spuds). Add some thyme, black pepper and salt and as much chicken stock as you need to make it a soup. Simmer for about a half hour. Take an immersion blender and roughly puree (leaving some big chunks) or use a potato masher. I serve this with yoghurt mixed with chopped coriander and scallions dolloped on top of the soup. We had it for dinner tonight and it was really good.

          1. re: oakjoan

            I make a soup like that, but I sometimes add an apple and some carrots, too. I like sage as a seasoning w/butternut squash.

        2. re: Pei

          Butternut squash and sage is an amazing combination. I love this recipe for roast squash pasta.

          http://www.theppk.com/recipes/dbrecip...

          I'm the lazy sort so I dish out the extra money for pre-prepared butternut squash chunks.

        3. I often use this recipe, however add some more spices for more flavor (like nutmeg or ginger). still good if omitting pecans
          http://christmas.allrecipes.com/az/Bu...

          1. I actually find it easy to peel with a regular vegetable peeler -- what are you using?

            One of my favorite ways to prepare it is to oven roast it. I peel it, cut it into 1" chunks, drizzle it with olive oil, season (salt, pepper, thyme, rosemary and/or sage sprigs, minced garlic, sliced onion -- whatever you feel like), and roast at 400F so that you get some caramelization on the edges without making it mushy -- takes about 35 minutes. It is good just like this, but I also add this to cooked pasta mixed with a little chicken stock, cream and parmesan cheese and bake.

            4 Replies
            1. re: Terrie H.

              I was using a paring knife, as I thought the skin would be a little too tough for a regular peeler.

              Once chopped and cubed, I probably left it in boiling water for about 10 minutes (too long I think) and then finished on the stove.

              TT

              1. re: TexasToast

                Nope. Paring knives are great for pumpkins, which have a thicker, more pliable skin, but veggie peelers work better for B-Nut squash. [Edited to remove where I repeated practically verbatim the oven roasting recipe Terrie gave -- great minds think alike.]

                I love butternut squash soup -- there are dozens, if not hundreds -- of recipes on the web, but this is my favorite:
                http://www.recipesource.com/soups/sou...

                1. re: Ruth Lafler

                  Well, no I'll know. It did taste more sweet than savory though, but I have had soups in restaurants; never made one out of it yet though.

                  TT

                  1. re: TexasToast

                    I forgot, I made butternut squash soup a few times, this is what I came up with so far:

                    2 lb butternut squash
                    chopped onion, celery and garlic
                    2 Tbsp butter
                    1/2 c white wine
                    6 cup chicken stock
                    2 more cups chicken stock with 2 Tbs tapioca
                    1/2 cup orange marmalade and/or honey
                    nutmeg, tarragon, salt and pepper
                    1 cup heavy cream

                    Saute onion, celery and garlic. Puree with some stock, add squash and then simmer in the rest of the 6 cups of stock for 15 min.
                    Add stock with tapioca after 5 minutes and then the spices at the end.
                    Swirl heavy cream into bowls when you serve.

                    This is a work in progress, so if you try it and have any tips for me, let me know. I've only made it twice so far and end up changing something every time.

            2. Epicurious has a recipe for a wonderful butternut squash flan with sage. It's from Gourmet a couple of years back and I've made it at least two times and loved it. And B. squash is easily peeled if you poke it with a knife and microwave it for several minutes so that it begins to steam.

              1 Reply
              1. re: jillp

                So I'm hearing sage, eggs, and flan/ pastry quite a bit. Huh, did not think about that AT ALL!

                TT

              2. I second the vegetable peeler. I find it works perfectly. I like to take butternut squash to its savory side,too. I make a puree by first peeling the squash and cutting it into cubes. Then I cook it (usually I steam it). Then I heat some butter in a large skillet and add a couple of diced shallots and cook them until they are transparent but not browned. I deglaze the pan with dry white vermouth and add the squash. I gradually reduce the squash to a pulp with a wooden spoon as it cooks. If it's still too lumpy, I puree it in a food processor and return it to the skillet. Add a handful of chopped fresh Italian parsley. Add salt and pepper to taste. I use this same puree as a filling for crespelle, which are Italian crepes. Butter a pyrex baking dish. Put a spoonful of the puree on the crepe and spread it around. Roll the crepe up and place it in the baking dish. Continue until you've used up all the crepes or puree. Make a bechamel sauce, but add four or five fresh sage leaves to the butter as it heats. Once the butter is hot, remove the sage and proceed as usual. Pour the bechamel over the crepes and sprinke abundantly with grated parmesan chees. Bake in a 350 oven for about 30 minutes or until a light gloden crust begins to appear.

                1. I never peel it. I scrub the outside, but keep the peel on - it softens during cooking.

                  I love squash roasted, as others have mentioned. You can use leftover chunks in salads, stuffings and wraps. Two of my favourite recipes are a roasted squash and caramelized onion quiche and a squash and wild mushroom strudel.

                  For a salad, mix arugula, leftover squash, dried cranberries, goat cheese and toasted walnuts. I usually use a maple syrup vinaigrette, but you can use whatever you like.

                  BTW, you can totally use it raw if you julienne it for a slaw. Just make sure you mix it with other veggies.

                  1. Roasted is good, but so is steamed. Just clean the outside by scrubbing it, cut it, and steam it. You don't need to peel it. Then eat it by scooping it with a spoon. It should be soft and sweet.

                    1. If you cut it in half lengthwise, remove seeds and strings, then bake cut side down until it's soft, you can scoop the flesh out of the skin very easily with a spoon. You can turn this into pie (season etc. as with pumpkin) or any of the treatments above, or if you're feeling ambitious, it makes terrific ravioli filling.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: rootlesscosmo

                        Can you suggest a recipe for the ravioli filling? I've made this a couple of times and been underwhelmed. I don't know what I'm missing. The recipes I've used call for squash or pumpkin, some butter or cream, nutmeg, sometimes sage, sometimes sugar. It tastes neither sweet nor savory to me. Or perhaps I don't have the right taste buds.

                        1. re: cheryl_h

                          I think I'm doing about the same. It is kind of bland, though there's a little sweetness that the nutmeg highlights nicely. Butter (or beurre noisette) and sage and a little grated cheese for a dressing and that's pretty much it. It's not exciting food (my use of "terrific" was a bit of an overstatement, I'm afraid) but I find it very satisfying. (I'm also so stoked when I make home made stuffed pasta and they don't burst in the water that it probably tastes better just on that account.)

                          1. re: rootlesscosmo

                            Thanks for the reply. It could be that I need to make it with tastier squash or do something more interesting with the dressing. I'm thinking of trying squash over orzo or in risotto which also get high ratings. If those don't do it for me, I'm just not the right person to appreciate this kind of dish.

                      2. I forgot to say that you should remove the seeds when you steam it. I hope it was obvious, but sometimes it isn't. My sister just learned how to turn on a stove and I had to be very explicit for everything!

                        I did quick searches typing in "butternut squash ravioli" at

                        http://www.foodtv.ca

                        http://www.foodtv.com

                        http://www.epicurious.com

                        There are very many to choose from!

                        1. I forgot to say that you should remove the seeds when you steam it. I hope it was obvious, but sometimes it isn't. My sister just learned how to turn on a stove and I had to be very explicit for everything!

                          I did quick searches typing in "butternut squash ravioli" at

                          http://www.foodtv.ca

                          http://www.foodtv.com

                          http://www.epicurious.com

                          There are very many to choose from!

                          1. When I'm lazy, I buy the pre-chopped chunks, then steam and mash with cinnamon, Smart Balance and a dash of splenda.

                            Sometimes I'll puree it with a little evaporated milk, roasted red peppers, carmelized onions, and sage, and serve over chilean seabass.

                            My favorite use is in pie, instead of pumpkin... http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: Emme

                              Can you even get Chilean seabass anymore?

                              TT

                              1. re: TexasToast

                                Any hearty white fish will do...

                                1. re: Emme

                                  Monkfish?

                                  TT

                            2. Thanks to everyone who has posted so far. I didn't know there was so much you could do with a Butternut Squash.

                              Keep 'em coming!

                              TT (peeler at the ready)

                              1. I made it into fries today. If you like sweet potato fries, you'll like these.