Friday, December 03, 2010

Foody Friday: the butternut squash edition!

Last month I noticed bags of fresh cranberries on sale, and impulsively grabbed one. Then weeks passed, and I still had no idea what to do with it. So I went a-huntin' for cranberry ideas, and found this Butternut Squash Apple Cranberry Bake recipe that seemed simple enough for me. Once I prepared that, however, I ended up with quite a bit of leftover butternut squash, which I decided to make into "fries". I also decided to process the seeds. All in not just one day, but in one friggin' morning.

Procrastination *is* a wonderful thing, isn't it?

(butternut squash & seeds)

Here are the details:

1. Butternut Squash Apple Cranberry Bake
Pretty much followed the instructions, except, since I had so much of 'em, I used a whole cupful of cranberries LoL! It could probably do with a sprinkling of nuts; another improvement would be to dice the squash into much tinier pieces: the 1" chunks were a little too large and overpowering, and I tired of the taste really fast - Kosh ended up eating most of it.

2. Butternut Squash Fries
I thick-sliced the remaining squash into a mixing bowl, then poured a generous amount of oil over them and mixed to coat all surfaces. Then I liberally sprinkled ground cinnamon and ground nutmeg into the bowl and mixed 'em up again. Didn't need to spray the pan/foil because I'd been generous with the coating oil. Followed the instructions about turning them over twice, and putting the heat down at the last stage.
This did not come out good at all, they were soggy, unappetizing. Shoulda puréed them and made a soup or something instead.

3. Roasted Butternut Squash Seeds
I was surprised: I got about a half cup of seeds from this one squash. Separating the seeds from the membranes was ... interesting: can you believe it actually strained my thumb a little? LoL!! I probably wouldn't have bothered with the seeds at all except that I'd already had the oven going for the previous two dishes, so why not just keep going? Waste not, want not, right? Thing is, just a few minutes after popping the tray of seeds into the uppermost rack of the oven, it sounded like I had some popcorn going in there ... the seeds were popping/exploding, and the shells were starting to litter the bottom of the oven! Yikes! So I took 'em out well before the minimum 10 minutes!
Thankfully, they were nice and crunchy, and worth the mess in the oven :)

... so there you have it ... a cranberry adventure turned into a butternut squash excursion instead. Two out of three were edible - according to Meat Loaf, that ain't bad :)

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