Monday, December 27, 2010

Simple Seasoned Squash

It time for the December contest at Kitchen Play, this time sponsored by MySpiceSage.com. I'm really late with getting an entry up, but what the heck, might as well have some fun now that I'm done with the holiday madness and I have some time off to play around in the kitchen. This is my first entry for this month's contests. I might get another one up before the week is over. Yes, I admit it, I've become a contest junkie.

Did I mention that these Kitchen Play contests are pretty simple? You just pick one of the recipes, make it as-is or change it up, whatever you prefer. Then blog about it and post a link to your blog post on Kitchen Play. Unlike some contests, you don't lose the rights to your recipe. And, gee, you just post on your own blog, so if you're stuck for inspiration on what to post, these can help you brainstorm a bit.

Oh yeah. And there are prizes. Those are nice, too.

I decided to riff off a recipe for Spicy Pumpkin Soup Shooters. My first riff was that I didn't make a soup. Second, instead of pumpkin, I used fresh winter squash. After all, pumpkin is a variety of squash, and to be honest it's easier to find good winter squash than it is to find a decent baking pumpkin. After I was done riffing, I used some (but not all) of the same spices as were in the original soup.

I chose a delicata squash because it's small. One squash makes two small servings. Just enough for a side dish with dinner, without feeling like you've over-squashed yourself.

This recipe is fast, since the squash is cooked through first in the microwave and then baked with the spices and a bit of butter to brown it a bit. You could bake it all the way in the oven, if you've got the time. Or, if you've got no time at all, skip the oven and nuke it again after adding the butter and spices.

Simple Seasoned Squash

1 delicata squash, cut in half lengthwise, seeds removed
2 teaspoons butter
Seasonings, to taste: coriander powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, paprika, salt, pepper

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Place the squash, cut side down, on a microwavable plate or baking dish. Add enough water to cover the bottom of the plate. Cover with plastic wrap and microwave on high until the squash are cooked through - about 10 minutes.

If the plate/dish you used for microwaving is also oven safe, you can use the same dish. Otherwise, use a small baking sheet or pan. Place the squash cut-side up and put 1 teaspoon of butter into each squash half, spreading it over the surface. Sprinkle the squash with the seasonings, and place in the oven. (If you're using a Pyrex dish, you should have a little water in the bottom of the dish - it's not recommended to bake with them completely dry.) Bake for 10-15 minutes, until the squash browns a little.

You can microwave and season the squash in advance and refrigerate them until you're ready to bake. They'll take longer to bake - figure about 15-20 minutes for them to warm through and get a little brown.

3 comments:

Janie said...

Winter squash is one of my favorite things to grow in the garden...
It is a surprise at the end of every season, to see what you have after the vines die down...

Squash soup, and simple baked squash,are some of my favorites...

Casey said...

What a great twist on the original recipe! I love that you've capitalized on the seasonal ingredients on hand (not to mention that you've introduced me to a new squash...we're usually butternut fans around here). Thanks for playing along and good luck!

Best,
Casey

Stephanie said...

What a great twist on the soup recipe! I love that you thought so far out of the box. It sounds wonderful. Any baked squash gets a thumbs up from me, and the spices would be great on this. Good luck in the giveaway!

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