Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Squash Me Together Something Delicious

One of the best house warming ingredients for your fall cooking is a freshly grown squash. When you are shopping, the key is to find a squash with even color and thick, firm skin. For this fall, here are a couple of my favorite recipes for a healthy beautiful meal, and don’t forget! Squash also provide wonderful centerpieces for your fall table.

Apple-Filled Acorn Squash
3 acorn squash
2 T. margarine or butter, melted
18 oz. can sliced apples
¾ cup brown sugar
1 tsp. lemon juice
¼ tsp. ground ginger
3 T. margarine
Ground cinnamon (optional)

Halve squash lengthwise; remove seeds. Brush with the melted butter or margarine and sprinkle with a little salt. Place cut side down in a large baking pan. Bake at 350 for 35 minutes. Combine apples, brown sugar, lemon juice and ginger. Turn squash, cut side up, in a baking dish. Fill centers with apples mixture. Dot with butter; continue baking 25 minutes, until squash is tender. If desired, sprinkle with ground cinnamon before serving.

Butternut and Apple Harvest Soup
2 Tbsp. Butter
2 Large Leeks (white and pale green parts only), chopped
1 Large Onion, chopped
1 Large Potato, peeled and cubed
2 Cups cubed Butternut squash
1 cup diced carrots
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored, and sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 quart chicken stock
¼ cup dry white wine
½ cup light cream
¼ tsp. ground nutmeg
Salt and pepper to taste
2 Tbsp. chopped chives

Melt butter in large pot over medium heat. Stir in leeks and onions, and cook until onion softens and turns translucent, about 5 minutes. Add potato, squash, carrots, apple, and chicken stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the vegetables are soft, about 20 minutes.

Carefully puree the soup in batches in a blender, or use a stick blender to puree the soup right in the pot. Once the soup has been pureed, return it to the pot and stir in wine and cream. Season with nutmeg, salt, and pepper; simmer gently for 5 minutes. Ladle into bowls and garnish with chopped chives.

I would love to hear your comments and your favorite squash recipes!