Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Fall Squash Challenge - Baby Blue Hubbard and Golden Nugget

With all of the fun activities going on lately I have gotten behind in my squash posts.  Today I have two new varieties to inspire your autumn eating.

Baby Blue Hubbard: This squash really threw me for a loop.  I prepared it right on the heels of declaring my preference for savory squash.  I read that it tended toward the sweet side but figured, if I used savory ingredients, the result would be a savory squash dish.  I had my mind set on making some soup so I put the peeled and cubed squash in a pot with a chopped onion, 4 cups of reduced sodium chicken broth, poultry spices, and salt and pepper.  After the squash cubes softened I stirred them into a puree and gave it a taste.  Wow, it was surprisingly sweet!  I was perplexed.  My intent was for something thinner and herbier than what was in the pot.  After staring into my spice cupboard for a moment I grabbed nutmeg and cardamum. I dashed a bit of each spice into the puree and tasted it again.  The result was something that reminded me of apple sauce.  I served the puree along side some roasted chicken (store cooked) and salad.  The plate looked nothing like the vision I started with but it was tasty, hot, and filling.

If I pick up a Blue Hubbard Squash in the future it will be to make some sort of dessert.  It could be good roasted with apples, nuts, and some spices.  I imagine it would also make a good alternative to pumpkin in a pie or other baked dessert.  I liked this squash, it was easy to prepare and had a nice mild taste if a bit sweeter than I expected. I'm not sure it will be a frequent ingredient in my kitchen but I am very glad I tried it.

Golden Nugget:  Three of these cute little guys came into our house by way of my husband who picked them up on a solo farmers' market trip.  They look like miniature pumpkins and have a similar flavor.  When I cooked them I was looking for something to go with Ginger-Steamed Cod (see below).  I sliced the squash in half and baked all six halves together in my largest glass baking dish with about an inch of water in the bottom and a drizzle of soy sauce on each piece.  They cooked nicely in about 45 minutes and the skin retained enough texture for each half to be its own little bowl to eat from.

I thought they were a nice little squash but I have to revisit my previously stated preference for savory squash. I might make them again, but as a dessert, prepared very much like a baked apple.  I think they would be super delicious baked with a small bit of butter, a pinch of brown sugar or honey, raisins, toasted nuts, and spices, perhaps with a drizzle of cream.  If you are still looking for a new Thanksgiving dessert this might be a good option. If you try it please take a moment to tell me how you prepared them and your thoughts on the result!

Below is the recipe, from Weight Watchers, for the Ginger-Steamed Cod we had with the Golden Nugget Squash.  The fish is easy to make and delicious to eat, I hope you try it soon!

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