Monday, October 10, 2011

Cranberry-Chipotle Squash

I've launched a little food-related project in conjunction with the folks at Fooducopia, a site where small food producers sell their products. My part in this is that I'll be creating recipes specifically for products sold on the Fooducopia site. This is one of those recipes.

This time the product is Cranberry-Chipotle Table Sauce made by Captain Spongefoot Trading Company.

Local winter squash are just starting to come to market, and I'm pretty excited about having them around. For one thing, they're easy to store. I can leave on sitting on the counter for a week or two without worrying about it. And since I learned a little cooking trick, I cook it much more often.

The cooking trick? The microwave. Yep. It's fast, it's easy, and it's clean. Sometimes I cook squash in the oven, but it takes a long time, so if there's nothing else in there, it seems like a waste of oven space. Quite often I'll finish the squash in the oven, but cooking it most of the way through in the microwave save a lot of time. Microwaving also works well when you're looking for mashed or pureed squash.

Cranberry Chipotle Squash 

1 small winter squash (I used butternut)
Olive oil
Cranberry-Chipotle Table Sauce

Cut the squash in half and remove the seeds. Put it, cut-side down, in a microwave-safe dish. Add about 1/4 inch of water to the dish.

Cover with plastic wrap and microwave on high until the squash is just done - 12-25 minutes, depending on the size and shape of your squash. You should be able to stab the flesh easily with a fork, but it shouldn't be mushy.

Remove the squash from the oven and carefully remove the plastic wrap. Allow the squash until it is cool enough to handle easily. Or, if you prefer, you can refrigerate it until it is completely chilled, at which point it will be much easier to handle.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and drizzle about a tablespoon of olive oil on a baking sheet.

Remove the peel from the squash and cut the flesh into somewhat even cubes. Since the squash is round, you're not going to get completely equal pieces, but keep them as uniform as possible.

Place the squash on the baking sheet, sprinkle with a little salt, and bake until the squash begins to brown just a little bit - about 10 minutes. Remove the squash from the oven, stir them around a bit, and drizzle with some of the cranberry chipotle sauce. Return the squash to the oven for another 5 minutes.

Remove the squash from the oven, stir then around a bit to distribute the sauce, and taste. Add more table sauce, if you like, toss again, and serve. Pass more table sauce for those who want more spice.

If you've overcooked the squash and it's a little too soft, this is also great mashed.

To be clear, I'm not reviewing or endorsing the products in this recipe. I've created the recipe for Fooducopia to post on its site and I'm re-posting the recipe here for my readers as well. Then again, since I created the recipe, rest assured that I liked it. I don't cook stuff that we're not going to eat.