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Butternut Squash Cooking Question

r
rjlebed Mar 17, 2011 10:07 AM

I LOVE butternut squash and have finally figured out an easy way to actually cut into the dang things! But, for some reason, in spite of having tried several ways, I have been unable to figure out how to prepare it so that it is not slimy on the outside. I have cut it up into pieces, placed it on a baking sheet in a high heat (425) oven until it gets soft. I have sprayed it with a little olive oil and salt a pepper. But, when it is finally soft there is no crispy outside at all. For some reason restaurants seem to be able to dry out the skin better. I have even tried to put it under the broiler for a few minutes but without success........ Any thoughts?

  1. greygarious Mar 17, 2011 12:36 PM

    Have you tried butterCUP squash? Also known as kabocha. It is squat and round, with a dark green skin, like a turban squash without the upper lobe. The flesh is the same color as butternut's but is dryer and sweeter, much like a sweet potato. I like them halved, de-snotted, and roasted cut-side down. They really don't need anything more but I imagine they would do well peeled, chunked, oiled, and roasted. Since they have less water they should brown and crisp faster.

    1. m
      monopod Mar 17, 2011 12:09 PM

      My guess is that you're not using enough oil. Fat is what conducts heat directly to the exterior of the pieces and allows the maillard reaction to occur, which is what renders them brown and crisp. If you don't have enough fat, they'll eventually burn but never really crisp up. So, you can make them healthier with less fat but less crispy, or up the oil a bit and get them nice and crisp. If you use olive oil, it's relatively good for you anyway so perhaps the fat shouldn't be a big concern.

      1. l
        lemons Mar 17, 2011 11:48 AM

        Preheat oven to 400 (or more). Peel, slice thinly. Toss with olive oil. Spread on a large pan that you've sprayed with oil. Spread the squash out as much as possible. Check after 20 minutes, turn pieces of squash. It should be beginning to brown. (If you're in a hurry, you can crank the heat up in the oven now.) Check it every 5 minutes (through the oven window is fine) until ;it's mostly brown and somewhat crisp. Two of us can eat a small BNS like this; it loses lots of volume. You may have to play with your oven times and temps. And when I say thin, I mean maybe as thick as a quarter, although I'm clumsy and some of my slices are bigger, some of them smaller. The result is, however, a nice mixture of textures. Just came to love this this winter aftr having something similar at a restaurant.

        1. e
          escondido123 Mar 17, 2011 10:56 AM

          Peel, slice and fry in olive oil, maybe with a little butter, just like you would potatoes-do so until tender, brown and crispy. Salt, pepper and enjoy.

          2 Replies
          1. re: escondido123
            r
            rjlebed Mar 17, 2011 11:17 AM

            I will try that. I was hoping to find a way to do it that would not be with a lot of oil. Perhaps I just need to live with the extra (very tasty) calories.........

            1. re: rjlebed
              e
              escondido123 Mar 17, 2011 11:41 AM

              Fat makes things crispy. If you're eating lots of squash, instead of high calorie foods, you can probably afford a few extra calories.

          2. monavano Mar 17, 2011 10:17 AM

            I take it you're not peeling it?
            I've roasted it peeled and unpeeled. For the unpeeled method, I cut it in half and scoop out the seeds. Then oil and s&p only the flesh side and put that down on a baking sheet and bake @425 for 25 minutes or until soft.
            I've never had oily skin.

            3 Replies
            1. re: monavano
              Gio Mar 17, 2011 10:30 AM

              I concur with Monavano...drizzle EVOO on the flesh only. I sometimes roast butternut squash simply sliced in half but recently I've made a few recipes that call for slicing each half in wedges. The wedges ae placed into the roasting pan skin side down so the flesh is easily seasoned with S & P, a drizzle of EVOO, then a mixture of herbs and spices such as cumin/coriander.cayenne or smoked paprika/minced parsley/thyme/basil. . 450F for 25 minutes sounds about right. Oh and make sure that after the whole squash is washed wipe it dry all over...

              1. re: monavano
                r
                rjlebed Mar 17, 2011 11:16 AM

                Oh, I am most certainly peeling it. It never even occurred to me to try to do it without peeling. I have peeled it and cut it into relatively small pieces.......

                1. re: rjlebed
                  Gio Mar 17, 2011 11:57 AM

                  Ah... but did you know that butternut squash skin is edilbe? Perhaps the pieces you're cutting are Too small...

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