Squash options for Sukkot
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Squash options for Sukkot

By Eileen Goltz

We’ve all heard the terms “summer squash” and “winter squash.” It’s kind of weird because you can get summer squashes all winter and winter squashes pretty much all summer long. Confusing yes, but easily explainable.

Winter (or fall harvested squash) take longer to mature than summer squash and can be stored for months longer than the summer squashes as long as they are in a cool dry area. You can bake, mash, steam, or simmer winter squashes and for the most part can replace sweet potatoes in almost any recipe. Cooked winter squash is great as an ingredient in cakes, pies, soups and casseroles.

You should look for squash that feels heavier than you think it should for its size. The skin should have a deep color and it shouldn’t have any obvious bruises or blemishes.

Bake: Cut the squash in half, poke the skin with a fork, then place the squash cut side down on a cookie sheet with sides and bake at 350 for 40 to 50 minutes until soft.

Boil or steam: Cut the squash into halves, quarters, or rings, and cook with water or broth for 20 to 25 minutes or until the squash is tender. You can mash cooked squash just like potatoes.

Microwave: Place cut pieces of squash in a shallow glass dish with a little water. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and microwave 5 or 6 minutes and test it for softness. Continue checking at 2 or 3-minute intervals until the squash is soft. You can microwave a whole squash. Just poke the skin all over with a fork (so steam can escape) for 7 to 10 minutes.

Beef stuffed turban squash

Ingredients:

1 large or 2 small turban squash
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 pound ground beef
1 small onion chopped
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 green pepper, diced small
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon fennel
2 eggs; slightly beaten
1 cup pareve sour cream
2/3 to 1 cup toasted breadcrumbs
1 cup fresh parsley; chopped

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375. Cutting at a downward angle remove the crown of turban. Scrape out seeds and membrane. Sprinkle the inside cavity with salt. Place the squash in a 9 x 13 baking pan with the cut opening facing down. Add about 1 inch of water. Bake 30 to 40 minutes depending on the size of the squash. It should be soft but not mushy. Remove the squash from the oven turn the cut side up and leave it in the pan.

In a bowl, combine eggs, pareve sour cream, and breadcrumbs. Mix and set aside. In a skillet, combine the beef, onion, garlic, green pepper, thyme, and fennel. Cook, stirring frequently for 7 or 8 until the meat is fully cooked. Drain any excess grease and add the parsley. Add the egg mixture to meat mixture and mix to combine. Spoon the beef mixture into the squash. Place the stuffed squash back in the oven and bake for 50-60 minutes until filling is set. Remove from the oven and let rest for 15 minutes before serving. To serve, cut into slices. Serves 4.

Modified fromabout.com

Casablanca acorn squash (dairy or pareve)

Ingredients:

1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons margarine or butter, melted
4 large acorn squash, halved and seeded
1/4 cup olive oil
1 heaping tablespoon minced garlic
5 to 6 stalks celery, chopped
4 carrots, shredded
2 cups garbanzo beans, drained
1 cup raisins
3 tablespoons cumin
salt and pepper to taste
2 (14 ounce) cans chicken or vegetable broth
2 cups uncooked couscous

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350. Arrange squash halves cut side down on a baking sheet. Bake 30 minutes, or until tender. Combine the sugar and butter in a saucepan and heat until they are combined. Baste the inside of the squash with the mixture and set it aside. In a skillet heat the oil and add the garlic, celery, and carrots, and saute 4 to 5 minutes. Add the garbanzo beans, raisins, cumin, salt, and pepper, and continue cooking (stirring often) until vegetables are crisp tender. Add the broth and couscous. Cover and turn off heat. Allow the mixture to sit, covered for 6 or 7 minutes. Remove the cover, mix to combine and then fill the squash and serve. Serves 8.

My files, source unknown

Chicken and butternut squash stew pot (meat)

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon olive oil
3 to 4 pounds skinless bone-in chicken breast
1 large onion, chopped
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 cup chopped celery
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 cup chicken broth
2/3 cup white wine
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon sage
1 teaspoon thyme
4 cups peeled, cubed butternut squash
1 cup frozen peas
1 pound sliced mushrooms

Directions:

Heat oil in a large (4 1/2 quart Dutch oven. Add chicken and brown about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove chicken and add onion, garlic, and celery to pan; sauté on medium heat about 5 minutes. Return chicken to the pan with vegetables. Add tomatoes, chicken broth, wine, salt, pepper, sage, and thyme, and bring to a boil; simmer about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Add the squash, bring to boil then reduce to a simmer for 20 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook an additional or until squash is tender. Stir in the peas and cook for 2 more minutes. Serves 6 to 8

Submitted by Ronnie Marchoni, Chicago

Orange seafood stuffed butternut squash

Ingredients:

1 (2 pound) butternut squash
Cooking spray
1 teaspoon salt, divided
1 teaspoon pepper
½ cup fresh orange juice, divided
2 tablespoons butter
3 green onions, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons orange zest
1/4 cup whipping cream
1 pound kosher imitation crab meat
Garnish: orange slices and additional thinly sliced green onions

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut the butternut squash lengthwise into 4 wedges. Remove the seeds and place the squash in a 9 x 12 baking dish that has been coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle the squash with 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper.

Pour 1/4 cup orange juice over the squash. Cover and bake for 40 minutes and until tender to the fork.

During the last 15 minutes of baking, prepare the faux orange crab mixture.

Arrange the butternut squash wedges on a serving platter, cut side up. In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the green onions and garlic and sauté for 2 minutes. Stir in the remaining 1/4 cup orange juice, orange zest, and remaining salt and pepper. Simmer for 2 minutes. Add the heavy cream and simmer an additional minute or two. Gently stir in the faux crab and cook for an additional two minutes. Divide and spoon the faux crab mixture on top of the roasted butternut squash. Garnish the platter with orange slices and sprinkle all with additional thinly sliced green onions. Serves 4

Modified from CookEatShare.com

Winter squash and apple soup (pareve)

Roasting squash and apples intensifies their flavors. Use a mixture of winter squash varieties for a more complex taste.

Ingredients:

3 pounds winter squash such as butternut, kabocha, acorn, or delicata, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks (about 8 cups)
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1-inch chunks
1 yellow onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, sliced
1 teaspoon ground ginger
3 cups vegetable broth
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400. Line two rimmed baking sheets or shallow roasting pans with parchment paper. In a large bowl, toss squash, apples, onion, garlic and ginger until mixed well. Spread mixture on baking sheets in a single layer. Roast squash mixture until tender and beginning to brown, about 45 to 50 minutes, rotating pans between oven racks halfway through baking. Remove from oven and purée squash mixture with broth and 1 cup water in a blender or food processor in 2 batches until smooth. Transfer to a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Add more water if needed to thin soup to desired consistency. Serve garnished with parsley.

Modified from wholefoods.com

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