Tag Archives: squash

Piece of Pie

Pizza Pie, that is.

Is there a point where pizza and pie are redundant?

Maybe the point would be at the point of the wedge…..

pizza slice

Piece of pizza – New York style slices

But then there is Pie Pie….

Pumpkin_Pie

Pumpkin Pie

SOOOOOOO,

When you have cooked squash/pumpkin and pizza dough both in your freezer at the same time and it’s also time to think of what’s for supper…….Time for Pumpkin Pizza Pie

Two Great Tastes that Taste Great Together!

 

PUMPKIN PIZZA PIE

2 rounds of pizza dough, rolled out to 10″

1/2  pound cooked squash

1 can Ro-Tell – drain it and drink the juice or save it for soup…

rotel

They were on sale last week – I was thinking of adding them into chili or soup

olive oil

grated  mozzarella or cheddar

grated Romano or Parmesan

  1. Put some oil in a pan. Add the drained Rotel, the squash and a clove or 2 (or 4) of garlic. Any finely diced veg or 2 would do well here now – pepper, onion, celery even a carrot. I had a roasted beet I didn’t think of til it was out of the oven…what a color THAT would have been!

  2. Cook to color, soften. Mash it down,nothing too big, too hard, too lumpy.

  3. Let the mixture cool a bit.

  4. Turn up the oven to 450-500°. Let it be hot.

  5. If you have a lump of cheese, shred it now. Shredded cheese was also on sale, and a name brand, not the store brand stuff. I bought it in spite of the chatter lately about wood pulp et al.in assorted cheese product. This one had potato starch, visible, all over the place potato starch, and plenty of it.  Next time I shred my own.  

  6. Sprinkle some grated Romano or Parmesan in a little circle in the middle. This is a trick I learned from Ian C. at a wood-fired oven workshop years ago.  It makes your first bite extra savory.This doesn’t work on pizzas that aren’t circles to be cut in wedges, although a little extra flavorful cheese underneath almost always works.  

  7. Divide the vegetable sauce between the 2 pizzas and spread across the dough.

  8. Sprinkle any fresh seasoning herbs may want now : fresh basil or fresh thyme. Sage, in very small amounts works with the squash. I had some fresh rosemary, and it only took a couple of pinches, minced fine.

  9. Top  with the shredded cheese. The cheese should not out weigh the rest of the topping….

  10. Put in a hot oven for 10 minutes and then check. It should be golden brown on top and bottom. If not, put it back in for a couple of more minutes – your oven will not be the same as mine! My oven took about 6 minutes more. If I wanted well-done pizza (don’t laugh, I know people who like things COOKED) keep  in in even a few minutes more. Don’t keep it in so long the Fire Department comes over to see what’s in the oven.

  11. Take out of the oven, cool for a minute or two (It helps the cheese set and keeps you from burning yourself). Cut in slices and serve. I froze my leftovers for another day (which was more then one other day, the last one of which was today).

  12. Glorious colors, tomato and pumpkin, two New World vine fruits together!

 

 

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Filed under Eating, Italian, Pantry, Pizza, Recipe, squash

Gold in them there Gourds

Because,

if you’re house-sitting the week of Halloween and have already been displaced so you’re at your ancestral home but 2/3’s of your stuff is at your former dwelling where the fire was AND you’ll be moving in November….did I mention it was the day before HALLOWEEN…..then you should definitely give into the temptation to buy, not one, but 2 giant and rather unattractive ‘decorative gourds’.

But they were substantial and hefty and the price was right – and they had the promise of being tasty culinary gold.

And after Halloween ALL the Gourds and Pumpkins  will be

GONE

Gone gone gone. As if they had never been here at all; as if there was no need for a Pumpkin or a Gourd in Winter. Winter is for Squash, alone.

Poor squash. Alone, poor lonely squash.

pumpkin 2015

They actually looked quite a bit like this, a Speckled Hound variety, but there were more warts.

amygoldmancompleat squash

SOMEWHERE I have a copy of this book, which has everything you could want to know about squash and pumpkins between it’s covers.  But think I learned well. Thank you, Amy G.!

The upside is that not only have they been decorative, but once I had time to hack, seed, peel and cook one……I have over 10 pounds of delicious golden squash/pumpkin/gourd (because they’re different names for essentially the same thing) .

You can’t freeze squash or pumpkin without cooking it first (consider the water content – you’ve seen this on front steps everywhere you look every year around a Halloween frost). Keep them indoors where the frost doesn’t go and you have much more lee-way. When the weather is cool  – and this week has been downright cold, and windy and rainy/snowy/sleety – it’s a perfect excuse to keep the oven going, as you roast it up to store in the freezer.

My excuse to keep the oven on and the kitchen toasty on an otherwise far too gray a day . Like John Alden, I shall speak for myself.

In typical fashion, the first quarter of the pumpkin took more  (or at least as much) time as the last three quarters.  I weighed the seeds and peelings when done – a little over 5 pounds. I wasn’t particularly wasteful; it really was that big.

I did have the option of roasting it whole, which I did once several years ago to a giant Blue Hubbard, Hubbard being my Dad’s favorite. That squash had been used for decorative purpose, and I saved it from the Dumpster. It was a carry in both arms /bigger then a big baby big.

Hubbard_squash

Blue Hubbard

I actually brought it to the ancestral home, poked it with an ice pick (evidently the real reason that that was still hanging around. Even though we called it an ‘ice box’ it was an up to date Frigidaire, frost free and everything) and put Baby Blue on the biggest baking sheet in the house and put it in the oven for a couple of hours until it was all  schlumpy. When it was cool enough, we used the stainless steel serving spoons to break in, separate the gold from the skin and the seeds and packed the gold  into baggies. Lots and lots of baggies. Which we stored in the freezer until there was need for gold. And it got us both through the better part of the winter.

But if you roast a squash or pumpkin whole, you end up with pulpy pulp, and I wanted to hold onto a little more structure/texture.

My new kitchen has 4 windows, so I set my cutting board on the table and was able to watch the dogs walking their people on the green, and cars coming and going at the street corner and the sun moving on the  horizon….I was also paying attention to the big knife that is necessary to cut a big squash…and my knives are home! Knives are sharp. No wounds to report.

Cut the giant in half.

Seed with the ice cream scoop. Seriously the right tool for the job.

Ice+Cream+Scoop

Ice cream scoop/pumpkin seed scoop – a multi-tasker!

Cut into whatever shapes make it possible to peel, peel, peel.

Toss with a little oil, sprinkle with a little salt, spread out on a baking sheet and pop into a 375° oven until it’s done…..20-40 minutes – poke it with a fork, you’ll know.

pumpkinNimono_of_japanese_pumpkin_2014

This is what it looks like coming out of the oven. You can eat it just like this. While humming happy food songs.

Some I ate off the roasting pan as it came out of the oven….lunch.

  • I kept  three of the chopped pounds to add to an equal amount of potatoes for slow cooker  for Squash and Potato with Rosemary that I’ve made before.

 

Italian slow cooker book

  • I’m going to use some of the leftovers of this to make a version of the squash and potato soup. I’ll puree the already cooked veg mix with the broth, and since I’ve already seasoned with rosemary I might leave the sage out. Note to self: Next time cook squash and potato with sage instead of rosemary.
  • Some of the squash/potato mixture will be mixed with eggs and fried in olive oil, a golden and easy fritatta. I fried a chopped shallot in some olive oil, added a little more oil, put the egg/potato/pumpkin in. When the bottom was browned, lowered the heat, put a lid on it and waited impatiently for it to be done.I had thought to sprinkle a little cheese over, but I forget and it was LOVELY.A glass of pear cider and a greens salad with pecans and blue cheese dressing made up the rest of that supper.
  • Some will be thinned with a little broth (or wine) and mixed with some hot macaroni, I’m thinking some hot pepper to season that…

Smoke & Pickles by Edward Lee has another version of Squash Mac and Cheese that I’ll be trying with freezer gold.

Gold updates  as they occur.

 

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Filed under squash, winter

Punkin Bread Puddin

Last week, after making Indian Pudding and Sops of Pompion for the Mass Bay masses….I found I had rather a lot of sops of pompion left.

There are some things that can be re-heated and be just fine…but OTHER things need to be re-imagined to turn into something else altogether to eat.

Let’s start with the sops……..

Here’s the 17th century recipe for the sops…..

To butter Gourds, Pumpions, Cucumbers or Muskmelons.

Cut them into pieces, and pare and cleanse them; then have a boiling pan of water, and when it boils put in the pumpions, &c. with some salt, being boil’d, drain them well from the water, butter them, and serve them on sippets with pepper.

– 1675. Robert May, The Accomplist Cook,

RobertMayTheAccomplishtCookFrontispieceI’ve never tried this with gourds or cucumber or even muskmelons – only pumpkins.And my pompion/pumpkin/punkins  in this case were pre-peeled butternut squash from the grocery store.
In Austraila butternut squash is called butternut pumpkin...confused yet?

In Austraila butternut squash is called butternut pumpkin…confused yet?

I cut the pumpkin into smallish cubes, and dropped it into a pot of boiling, salted water. When it was tender I drained it.

Just like macaroni.

I toasted sliced Thirded Bread from Plimoth Plantation’s  Plimoth Bread Company. For the Boston event I carried both elements separately and finished the sops when I got there to Boston:

Put ample butter in a frying pan, add the cubed, boiled squash and saute until heated, golden and just starting to get a little not quite mushy, but most definitely soft. Spread the pumpkin and butter on the toasted bread – I cut each slice into halves or thirds to make it easy to eat as an appetizer.. Sprinkle the tops with fresh ground pepper. Easy. Serve. Great with beer.Or with soup. Once you have it, you’ll figure out how it fits into your life.

And then the leftovers ( a late 19th century term) …..otherwise known as the relics or the orts……to PrestoChangeo into

PUDDIN

  1. Take your pumpkin sops and eyeball them. You should roughly equal amounts of bread and pumpkin. There were some pears that were a few minutes past peak, so they got cut up and added to the mix. With a whole grain bread you’ll need to add a little more moisture. If you have an enriched type bread, not so much to worry.You can break the pieces up or keep them very large to be broken up in the serving.
  2. The liquid is going to be about equal to the mass of the bread and fruit (technically, pumpkin is a fruit, so is squash) so plan panage accordingly.
  3. The bottom half of a granite ware roasting pan was my choice

    The bottom half of a granite ware roasting pan was my choice. Any type of baking dish you can put in the oven will do.

    Butter the pan very well. Then butter it again even better. As Julia Child has said, “Add more  butter”. The butter keeps it from sticking and the butter will help the edges brown and crisp up nicely and just improve everything.

  4. Mix equal amounts of milk/cream and/or half and half with beaten eggs . We used 6 eggs, but four would be enough for a smaller amount. I’m thinking the ratio is 1:1:1:1 – bread:fruit:eggs:milk. If you have juicy fruit (peaches, say, not the gum) keep that in mind when sloshing in liquids. It’s very forgiving. A little longer in the oven helps dry it out.

    juicy-fruit-vintage-packaging

    Commercial Break!

  5. Mix the eggs and milk together with the bread and fruit. Now is the time to think about spicing…..if you don’t know how to pumpkin spice…….pumpkin pie spice
  6. Or you could go with something different….Ginger, cinnamon and some anise seeds are good. Nutmeg on top another good choice.  Or orange peel and fennel seeds…..
  7. Drizzle honey all across the top. Be generous, like the caramel on a sea salt caramel latte generous.
  8. This whole thing can sit while the oven heats up…helps every little thing to soak up and get it’s act together, working out the melody and the harmonies so it can stand up and sing when it time to serve it.
  9. Bake in a 350° oven until heated through and has crispy edges and a knife in the middle comes out dry and not dripping.
  10. Enjoy hot, warm or cold.

Now if you had Pumpkin Bread….you could also make a different Punkin Bread Pudding again…

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Filed under Autumn, Bread, Recipe

National Potato Day!

Who knew?

Who decides these things?

Does it matter?

This works out for a Meatless Monday……

 Spuds and Squash.

Pumpkin and Potatoes.

The Smashing Pumpkins  - A rock band, not to be confused with a side dish

The Smashing Pumpkins – A rock band, not to be confused with a side dish

 

Mr potato head

Mr Potato Head LOVES that it’s National Potato Day…and is maybe a little afraid…He won’t be doing The Mashed Potato anytime soon.

BUTTERNUT SQUASH AND POTATOES WITH ROSEMARY

1 ½ pounds potatoes (about 4 cups)

1 ½ pounds butternut (or acorn or Hubbard or other firm winter squash – I’ll be using my leftover jack o lantern next week…)

6 garlic cloves (if they’re small, I’ve used more)

Salt and freshly ground pepper

¼ cup olive oil

¼ cup water

1 2” piece fresh rosemary

 

  1. Peel and cut the potatoes into ½” wedges (they need to be a little smaller than the squash pieces). Put in the slow cooker.
  2. Peel and cut the squash into 1” cubes (squash cooks faster than potatoes). Put in the slow cooker.
  3. Add the garlic to the squash and potatoes. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Drizzle on the olive oil and mix well.
  5. Add the water and tuck in the rosemary sprig.
  6. Cover and cook on high about 3 hours. The potatoes and squash should be tender when pierced with a knife.
  7. Serve hot.

Makes 6 servings.

From Michele Scicolone. The Italian Slow Cooker. p. 187.

Italian slow cooker book

Top with parsley and you have the flag of Ireland…just saying.

Leftover can be reheated and topped with a little cheese, whatever little cheese you happen to have on hand. Or mixed with some beaten eggs and maybe a slice of bacon to make a world class frittata.

Better on a Thanksgiving table then the usual smushed and smashed – it really is 2 great tastes that taste great together! And with the slow cooker, how easy and no worries about how to fit it into the oven.

If you cook the squash alone, with the oil and the rosemary, which would be an almost ready sauce for pasta, especially if you use wine instead of the water….

Michele Scicolone (click on her name to get to her website) has written several slow cooker books, but I haven’t finished this one yet, in part because I keep cooking from it over and over, going back to an old favorite, and then finding a potential new favorite.

When words are not enough.....

When words are not enough…..

 

 

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Filed under Books, Irish, Italian, Recipe, squash

Summer, Squashed

Zucchini

Zucchini

So far this summer I’ve had fresh zucchini, fresh patty pan, fresh acorn but no fresh summer, squash.

patty or petit pan squashes

patty or petit pan squashes

Acorn squash - called 'vine apples' in 17th century England

Acorn squash – called ‘vine apples’ in 17th century England

 

What is summer without summer squash? Just in time, I was gifted 5# (and when did this become ‘hashtag’ and not ‘pound’? Or is it both?)

Mine are all yellow, and somewhat larger

Mine are all yellow, and somewhat larger

Thank you, Olivia Brownlee. Olivia also sings “The Cookin’ Tune” click and love.

Back to squash, what to do, what to do?

Salad Days, Soup Nights, when Autumn is new and Winter is still far.

First the salad…..

End of Summer Cool and Hot

Squash

5 T olive oil

4 garlic cloves, peeled

2 # small yellow summer squash, sliced into 1/3 inch rounds (or one 2# Summer Squash, cut into quarters and then cut into 1/3 inch triangles)

½ cup minced tender parsley stems

Salt

2 Tablespoons grated orange zest

2-3 teaspoons hot pepper flakes

 

  1. Heat a 12 inch skillet over medium heat until hot. This is done in 2 batches to keep it all from becoming too soupy. Add 2 Tablespoons of the oil then add the garlic and sauté for one minute.
  2. Add half the squash and half the parsley, season with salt. You want it to soften but not brown.
  3. Transfer to a large bowl and add 1 Tablespoon of the orange rind, and 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes. Stir together.
  4. Add 2 Tablespoon oil to the pan and heat until hot, add the rest of the squash and parsley, season with salt and cook until softened but not brown.
  5. Add to the bowl with the first batch, toss in the rest of the orange rind, and add 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes. Taste and adjust salt and red pepper. Add the last tablespoon of olive oil.
  6. Let stand for at least 10 minutes or up to an hour. May be refrigerated for up to 3 days (says him, not at my house, it doesn’t linger here that long) .

Mario Batali Molto Gusto.p.37Molto Mario

and then for the Soup Nights

END OF SUMMER HOT OR COOL SOUP

1 # brown lentils

1 large onion

1 large celery rib with leaves OR 1 smallish fennel bulb

2 medium summer squash (2#) (or zukes or patty pans)

A quart  baggie of juice left over from canning tomatoes with water to total 6 cups OR

2 large tomatoes and

6 Cups water

optional add ins – 1 or 2 carrots or 1 or 2 small turnips or maybe a potato…whatever’s lonely in the bin

1 cup ditalini, tubetti, or elbows

  1. Combine veggies and lentils in slow cooker and cook on low 7 hours.
  2. Add pasta and salt and cook on high for 30 minutes
  3. Serve hot with cheese – Parmigiano or Romano , you know what you like

AND the cool and the next day when the pasta absorbs the liquid and it’s not really soup anymore,: Frittata base!

Michele Scicolone The Italian Slow Cooker p.32. She calls it Sicilian Lentil, Vegetable and Pasta Soup

Italian slow cooker book

A little orange zest is not amiss, esp if you have any left from the other squash recipe. Or put a little zest in your coffee – it beats the heck out of Pumpkin Pie Spice Everything.

BTW :

b68a29a63204c191f20add1506dca3ac

 

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Filed under Autumn, Books, Recipe, squash, Summer