Butternut Squash

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The Butternut Squash comes from the gourd family, which is native to the Western Hemisphere. There is evidence to support that the natives of Mexico were eating squash as early as 5500 BC.

There are two kinds of squash: summer and winter. Butternut Squash is a winter squash. It has a hard, thick skin and it is filled with seeds. It can range in size from 8 to 12 inches long, and about 3 to 5 inches wide, weighing up to 3 pounds. The color of the Butternut Squash ranges from a yellow to a light tan. Inside, the flesh is orange and has a sweet flavor.

Available in early Fall through Winter, you will want to choose a squash that is heavy with few blemishes and moldy spots.

Storage

Butternut squash can be stored longer than summer squashes because their skin is so hard and thick. Store in a cool dry place for at least a month. If the squash has been cut into pieces, then wrap in a plastic wrap and refrigerate up to 5 days.

Nutritional Qualities

The following qualities are available in one cup of mashed squash: 80 calories, 2 grams protein, 1 gram fat, 18 grams carbohydrates, with riboflavin, iron, Vitamins A and C.

Wine Pairings

Depending on what you are serving with your butternut squash and as to how you are preparing it, try a Pinot Grigio or Chenin Blanc to serve with it.

Spices

Allspice, anise seed, brown sugar, butter, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, cumin, ginger, mace, nutmeg, paprika, sage, savory, tarragon, thyme and turmeric.

Equivalencies

1 pound fresh squash = 3 medium fruits = 3 c. sliced = 1 c. cooked / mashed

Preparation

Rinse and cut the squash lengthwise. Remove and discard the seeds and excess fiber. May peel skin if desired.

  • Stir-Fry: tender when pierced.
  • Bake: 400 degrees 30 – 40 minutes, uncovered.
  • Microwave: 1/2 the squash and microwave for 10 -12 minutes.
  • Boil: Cut into chunks and boil 7 – 9 minutes.
  • Steam: Cube and steam for 6 – 8 minutes.
  • Roast: 400 degrees for 30 – 45 minutes.

Recipes:

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Butternut Squash Soup

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Butternut Squash Soup

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Instructions
  1. Cook and stir onion in margarine in 4-quart Dutch oven until tender. Stir in broth, squash, 2 sliced pears, thyme, salt, white pepper, and coriander.
  2. Heat to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer until squash is tender, 10 to 15 minutes.
  3. Pour about half of the soup into food processor work bowl fitted with steel blade or into blender container; cover and process until smooth.
  4. Repeat with remaining soup.
  5. Return to Dutch oven; stir in whipping cream. Heat, stirring frequently, until hot.
  6. Serve with sliced pear and pecans.
Notes

Source: Public domain recipes converted from Meal Master format

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Butternut Squash Souffle

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Butternut Squash Souffle

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Makes Servings
Units
Prep Time 20minutes
Cook Time 1hour
Passive Time 30minutes
Ingredients
Makes Servings
Units
Prep Time 20minutes
Cook Time 1hour
Passive Time 30minutes
Ingredients
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Instructions
  1. Cut squash in half lengthwise; remove seeds.
  2. Place cut sides down in casserole dish; add 1/2 inch of hot water. Cover and bake at 375 degrees F for 30 to 35 minutes or until tender.
  3. Let cool for 30 minutes.
  4. When cooled, carefully scoop out pulp and mash with potato masher. (This should yield about 2 cups.)
  5. Stir squash together with oranges, margarine, flavoring and spice. Beat egg yolks until thick and lemon colored. Stir beaten yolks into squash mixture.
  6. Beat egg whites (at room temperature) until stiff but not dry. Gently fold in squash mixture.
  7. Spoon into 6 ungreased 6-ounce souffle dishes. Bake at 375 F for 20 minutes or until puffed and lightly browned.
  8. Sprinkle each with toasted almonds and serve immediately.
Notes

Source: State of South Carolina Department of Agriculture

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Butternut Squash Gratin

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Butternut Squash Gratin

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Instructions
  1. Peel squash and cut in half lengthwise. Remove center seeds and strings, and then slice thinly.
  2. Heat butter in a skillet, over a medium flame. Add onions and saute for 10 minutes.
  3. Combine apples and flour-toss to coat well. Place half of the squash into a buttered 9x13x2-inch baking dish or hotel pan.
  4. Arrange half the apples in a layer on top of the squash place the remaining squash on top of the apples. Cover with the remaining apples.
  5. Top with the sauteed onions. Pour stock over all.
  6. Bake at 350 F for 45 minutes, until squash is tender.
  7. Combine breadcrumbs, cheese, and bacon-mix well. Spread mixture over the gratin.
  8. Bake at 350 F for 15-25 minutes, until lightly browned remove from heat and allow to cool slightly before serving.
  9. Serve hot.
Notes

Source: TJ Hill - Appetites Catered

This article was originally published at Suite 101.

Jennifer Wickes is the editor at 'Cookbook Reviews' and 'Cooking With
The Seasons', which has been voted to be one of the Top 100 Culinary
Sites on the Internet! For more information about Jennifer Wickes
or her columns, please go to:
http://www.suite101.com/profile.cfm/CulinaryJen

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