Winter’s Finest Veggie: Spaghetti Squash.
Posted by gottabkd on Friday, March 2, 2007
A friend of mine, commented on
her site that “the venison and spaghetti squash, though, was the stand out dish of the evening” during a review she wrote of the restaurant
Côté Sud which is located in San Francisco.
The day I read the review just so happened to be a day I was cooking this strange squash that is normally found only during the winter months up here in Canada. Spaghetti Squash is one of my favourite winter veggies. I use it frequently when substituting any type of pasta for it. It is really easy to “cook”, great on the fibre level, does not leave you feeling “pasta stuffed” and can be used just like noodles.
To cook Spaghetti Squash, cut it in half lengthwise and de-seed it. Here I use a fork to “pull the innards” away from the meat. You can then switch to a spoon to scrape the last hairs off the meat. Once all seeds and any sprouts (don’t eat them as they are very bitter) are removed you can then do one of three things.
Microwave, bake the halves or boil whole.
Microwave: this is the easiest and fastest method. Place the halves in a microwavable dish. Add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of water. Add a lid to the dish to help cook faster. If you don’t have a lid, use a dollar store plate cover or clear plastic wrap like Saran. Cook on high for about 10 minutes, rotating once or twice to cook evenly. Pierce skin with a fork, it should be fork tender and easy to insert.
Bake: Place each of the halves face down on a cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees till fork tender. It will take anywhere from 10 to 60 minutes depending on size.
Boil: Boil the squash whole in a big pot of water. This takes longer as it is hard to keep the squash under water for even cooking. Just keep it rotating so it will cook evenly. It will take about a half hour or so for the skin to soften. Ensure you poke all sides when checking doneness.
Once cooked, whatever method you use, be very careful when handling the cooked product. The skin will be very, very hot. Use a towel to hold the half and with a fork, scrape away the meat of the squash. It will now appear to be “noodle like” just like Angel hair pasta. All the meat should come away from the skin easily, leaving only the skin.
Now your ready to add your favourite pasta sauce or use it plain as a veggie side dish. It can be very tasteless so seasoning with salt, butter and herbs is highly recommended.
Give it a try and you’ll be hooked. Enjoy.
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