Friday, September 21, 2007

Fall Squash!

Sunshine Kabocha, Portimarron, Red Kuri and Confection Kabocha--fancy Brazilian dance moves, or fabulous squash? From nutty to sweet, from yellow to orange, these guys are my new favorite thing.

Squash is really easy to prepare. My basic approach is to cut in it half, deseed it with a spoon, and bake them open-side down in a casserole dish or pie pan with about an inch of water at 350*F until they feel soft (use a fork, not your fingers)--about 40 minutes to an hour. You can spoon out the yumminess and proceed to:
--mash it with herbs
--eat it with cinnamon
--try it in a pie
--blend it into a soup

For this soup, I took these two guys, and while they were cooking up nicely in the oven, I sauted onion and pears in butter, added cinnamon, nutmeg, a touch of chilli powder, and a 1/3 cup or so of apple cider. When everything was cooked down and savory, wham! I put it in the blender. The result? a sweet soup, tempered by cream. In a moment of genius (and needing transport!) I let it cool just enough and then put it in a used OJ container. The soup picked up the subtle flavor, and didn't spill in my bag when I biked! Hurrah recycling, hurrah soup! The vegetable side was a "root mix" (garlic, ginger, turnips, carrots and beautiful blue potatoes) in a mix of spices. Ideally, particularly because of the potatoes, a beautiful creamy curry would do, but instead I just fried them in a light amount of peanut oil, adding spices to draw out the flavor. I have a bag of savory spices from Fiji (check January's entry to see the beautiful spice market!) that did the trick. Mmm!