I thought that everyone cooked with squash – that is until I started posting about it. So many commenters said they’d never used squash. I asked my husband about it, and he said that before he met me he thought that squash were just for decoration.
I learn so much from the people that take the time to comment on my blog. It really helps me to fine-tune what I put out in the blogosphere. I appreciate each and every comment – and my posts are often driven by what you say or the e-mails I get. Thank you so much for sharing with me.
Back to squash – squash is generally a frugal dish as it’s relatively inexpensive and packed with great vitamins and nutrients. Butternut is one of my favorites because of it’s creamy sweetness. You can roast it, cook it in the CrockPot, mash it, saute it…in Beard on Food, the great James Beard even suggests roasting it on a spit.
Sometimes you need to peel one of these luscious babies. Here’s how I do it:
First, let’s talk about my cutting board. This one has a special edging so it doesn’t slip. This is really important, especially when working with a squash because of the tough outer peel. If you don’t have a cutting board like this, you can just put a kitchen towel between the cutting board and the counter.
Using a very sharp 8 inch chef’s knife, carefully cut off the top and bottom so the squash sits on a flat. You want it to be steady for when you peel it. Don’t attempt this with a dull knife – you have a greater chance of cutting yourself.
I love this little Y-shaped peeler for this task because I can hold the handle and run it down the side of the squash without smashing my knuckles, like I do with a traditional straight peeler. So, I just run the peeler all the way around the squash until the peel and the green veins are gone. Sometimes it take two swipes in the same area.
Next, I hold the squash on it’s side and use the peeler to remove the peel around the round bottom of the squash. Again, sometimes I have to make two swipes to remove all of the green veins.
Now, with that very sharp 8 inch chef’s knife, I cut the rounder, bottom part from the top cylinder shaped part. Then, I cut the round part in half – that’s where the seeds are.
Using a spoon, I remove the seeds. I always dry them (here’s how) and roast them. They’re delicious!
Now my butternut squash is ready for to be grated, sliced, or cubed. If I need to cube or slice it, I cut the cylinder part of the squash in half so it lays it flat on my cutting board. I sure don’t want it rolling about. That’s a sure way to slice a finger.
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Have you cooked any squash lately? Favorites? Best tips? I’d love to talk about it.