Monday, August 9, 2010

The Sword In the Squash

AT THE TOP of my list for yummiest vegetables is the Kabocha squash, also known as Ebisu, Hoka, Hokkaido, or most generically, Japanese Pumpkin. It is sweet and creamy and flavorful, although cutting the thing can be an experience much like Excalibur. If you're like me, peeling and cutting with a dull knife on an empty stomach can really diminish your will to live. The results are worth the suffering, but if you know some special tricks, you can avoid the suffering altogether.

1. You can eat the peel, but it takes much longer to prepare, so I prefer to remove it. Instead of peeling the squash with a parer like I have done in the past, I first cut the squash in half.

2. I would recommend using a serrated steak knife to cut the squash in half. Then place a half on a plate and nuke it in the microwave for 5 minutes or so, and do the same with the other half. Beware: the pieces are extremely hot after being microwaved (clearly I have a Ph.D. in Thermodynamics) so handle with caution.

3. Scoop out cubes of squash after you have allowed them to cool off. Then you can freeze them or use them in any recipe you would like (e.g. croquettes, curried veggies, soup), all equally tasty.

Savory Success!

I try to eat healthier savory foods so I can enjoy more sinful sweets. ;) If you're jonesing for a richer soup, add a bit of cream cheese to your squash purée.