Los Angeles, Ca, November 9th, 2014-Nothing says November like winter squash dishes. Tune into Paired with Chef Mary and Wine Expert Duane Pemberton to hear more about squashes and the wines to pair with them.
Below the radio icon and Chat window, find some great squash tips and recipes that we will be discussing Live on Monday.
Music courtesy of Picnic (Russia)- instrumental introduction from Violet-Black for the album Egyptian
Post your questions here for Chef Mary and Duane or call in at
Squashes are actually a fruit and are loaded with Vitamin A, Vitamin C and loads of healthy fiber. The skins tend to be thicker and not edible. They’re also ideal for winter because they have a longer storage life.
The most common squashes are butternut squash (tan bell shaped), Acorn (multi-colored green, yellow, orange), Spaghetti squash (large oval shaped and light yellow),
Buying- Buy squashes without dents and bruises and the ones that are firm to the touch. The squash should have an earthy smell with a touch of sweetness.
Prepping- Due to the thick skins squash can be peeled like a butternut squash or baked to remove the skin like acorn squash.
Cooking- Squash are fantastic with minimal ingredients like salt, pepper, sugar, butter or olive oil. Or you can really make a meal out of them and cook them with pastas, couscous and a variety of vegetables. *If you’re roasting your squash cook it cut side down for the best result.
Serving- Add additional flavor and toss the squash with acids, fats or seasonings at the end. Also squash can either be removed from the skins or served in them.
Below are some delicious recipes to get you in the mood!
Butternut Squash Soup
Butternut squash is a winter squash that is bell shaped and a beautiful pinky/orange skin color. It is extremely firm to the touch and should have a hint of sweetness. There shouldn’t be any nicks or damaged areas on the butternut squash.
This squash can be difficult to cut if your knife isn’t sharp enough and if your cutting boards isn’t sturdy enough. The force of your knife and the weight of the squash can move around on the board if you aren’t careful.
For this recipe cut the top and the bottom off first and then peel the butternut squash. It will make cutting the squash into portions a little easier which will then make it easier to dice.
2 hour Servings 4
• 1 Large Butternut Squash (the heavier it is the fresher)
• 1 large onion
• 3 Carrots
• 1 leak
• 1 granny smith apple
• 1 Bay Leaf
• 1/4 c olive oil
• 3 c Chicken Stock
• Salt and pepper
Wash the butternut squash. Cut the top and the bottom of the squash (this requires a lot of muscle) Peel and deseed the butternut squash. After it is cleaned cut it into equal pieces about 2 in by 2 in.
Cut the top and the bottom off of the onion and then peel the outer layer of the onion. Next cut the onion into 2” cubes.
Cut the top and bottom off and peel the carrot. Then chop it into similar pieces than the onion and squash.
Wash the apple and cut the top and bottom off. Next peel the apple and core it. Then chop it into similar sized pieces to the carrot and onion.
Wash the leek and remove the top (cut right before the leek turns dark green) and the growing end. Then cut the leek into half and then into 1 in sized pieces.
Next toss the onion, carrot, apple, butternut squash and leak with olive oil and salt and pepper. Put all of the vegetables and apple onto a greased baking sheet.
Then place all the vegetables and apples onto a cookie sheet and place it into the oven at 350-degrees and roast for an hour stirring occasionally. Once vegetables are soft and lightly brown, add them to a blender, and blend with warm chicken stock. You may have to blend it a cup at a time. Put the blended soup into a large pot and add the bay leaves.
Cook for another 15-20 minutes.
Slice a left over apple into thin slices with peel on and fan it out on the top of each soup.
Tip-This soup is best if it is nice and thick but not chunky.
If it is too thin reduce the liquid, or next time don’t add as much chicken stock.
Butternut Squash Stuffing
• 1 small Butternut squash peeled and diced to dime size pieces
• 1 c Brioche Croutons*
• 2 Fuji Apples peeled and diced
• ¼ raisins
• 1/8 c chopped Sage
• 2 Onions diced
• ½ Leek diced
• ¼ c Chicken stock
• ¼ c water
In a small Sautee pan, add the water and bring to a boil. Once it is boiling, add the raisins to re-hydrate them and turn the water to simmer. Cook them for a few minutes and then add the diced apples. Simmer for 10-15 minutes.
In a large sauté pan, sauté the leek and onion in olive oil and butter on medium heat. Add salt to release the flavor. Add in the diced Butternut squash (you may need to add more olive oil) stirring frequently and continue to cook for 15-20 minutes or until the butternut squash is cooked through.
Next, add in the apples, raisins and sage. Continue to stir. Cook for a few more minutes and then add the brioche bread croutons. Add chicken stock and stir incorporating all of the components. Set aside until the CRP is finished cooking.
• 1 cup diced brioche cubes about dime size
• ½ c olive oil
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl add croutons, olive oil and salt. Toss lightly. Place on a greased sheet tray and toast for 4-5 minutes then turn and cook for a few more minutes. Set aside
Baked couscous and yellow squash
Time: 30 minutes Serving: 4
• 3 large yellow squash, small diced
• 2 yellow onions, small diced
• 1 package of peeled garlic, minced
• 1 cup of shredded Parmesan
• 1 cup Panko crumbs
• 2 tablespoon Olive oil
• 1-cup couscous (cooked)
• ¼ cup white wine
• ½ cup chicken stock
• 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
Bring water and sat to a boil and add in the couscous. Turn the water off and add the couscous and cover with a lid for 10 minutes.
In a large sauté pan heat one-tablespoon olive oil and sauté all of the vegetables – Begin with onions, garlic, then squash.
Once the vegetables are glossy and aromatic add the couscous and white wine. Reduce the wine by ½ and then add the chicken stock. Add half of the Parmesan cheese and gently stir. Add the chopped parsley and season with salt and pepper.
Add the couscous to the baking dish and top the squash mixture with the rest of the Parmesan cheese and Panko breadcrumbs. Bake the squash in a 350-degree oven for 15 minutes uncovered.
Tip: You can use any type of squash (except spaghetti squash) for this dish. They are interchangeable.
Baked Spaghetti Squash:
1 spaghetti squash
2 tbsp olive oil
½ cup water
Salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cut the spaghetti squash in half, lengthwise, and remove the seeds. Place into a baking dish open side up with the ½ cup of water on the bottom. Add olive oil, salt and pepper to both halves and cover the entire dish tightly with foil.
Bake in the oven for an hour to an hour and 15 minutes, depending on the size of the spaghetti squash. Once it’s finished, remove it from the oven and use two forks to gently scrape the meat away from the skin (which pulls into spaghetti-like pieces).
Once all of the spaghetti type noodles have been removed, add a little extra olive oil, salt and pepper for flavor. Serve with chimichurri and skirt steak. Spaghetti squash is delicious paired with the chimichurri.