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Hubbard squash: How to attack the beast?

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When my daughter came home for Thanksgiving, she brought an amazing, enormous Hubbard squash, like a grayish-green football on steroids. It weighs more than our turkey did! I've prepared plenty of acorn and butternut squashes, but this is my first Hubbard. I hear they're delicious, and look forward to every new culinary adventure, but the challenge of getting through the tough skin is daunting. A knowledgeable friend says that she has known people to take a Hubbard squash out to the street and smash it on the pavement to open it up! Don't think I'd want to eat a vegetable that I'd scraped off asphalt! My DH figures he can chop it on our patio with his hatchet. Any other suggestions?

I'm thinking of roasting it in chunks with the skin on, and scooping out the flesh when it's tender, instead of peeling it raw. Your thoughts? Recommendations for roasting temperature and time? Might also follow the Silky Squash Soup recipe from America's Test Kitchen, and sauté the seeds and strings with minced shallots in butter, then add water, and steam some unpeeled chunks over the flavorful broth, which, when strained and combined with seasoned puree, makes an excellent soup. Oh, my mouth is watering already, and the squash is still parked in my garage!

My two usual squash flavor directions are 1) butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, perhaps some OJ; and 2) garam masala and ginger. Your favorites? Thanks in advance!

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  1. If it will fit into the oven whole, wash it off and throw it in ! 350 or so. Let it cook until soft enough to cut into, then cut into pieces if you like and finish cooking. I'd cook it through, mash and freeze for future use.

    1 Reply
    1. re: chowmel

      I have cooked one whole before and agree that that is the path of least resistance. (Tried the dropping-on-the-deck method and nothing happened.) However, there is a danger that steam inside the squash will cause it to explode all over your oven if you don't put some vents into it. This is easily accomplished with a clean Phillips head screwdriver and a hammer.

    2. We grew massive hubbard squash as a child, and I loved the stuff. Anyway, I think my parents did it with a mallet and inexpensive knife or something similar. I think an axe would work. They cut it into chunks and roasted it until soft and tender. When I do winter squash I do 425 (which is closer to 350 in my wimpy oven) for an hour or so, or until soft - it depends on how much I pile in there.

      Then cool, scoop out the flesh, stick it in freezer bags, and you have quick side dishes all year long.

      1. Would an electric carving knife work?

        How about a hammer and chisel to get a crack going?

        I'd stay away from a knife unless you have a very heavy cleaver and can steady the squash somehow without touching it yourself.