Sunday, January 3, 2010

Asian Butternut Squash

No squash-and-goat cheese quesadillas yet. We went for an Asian theme instead: Asian Butternut Squash (from SavvyFoodie, based on Jamie Oliver).

I did not do any of the cooking, so I can't say how easy it was to make, but I can say it was easy enough that it only took one person. I felt only slightly guilty for not helping since I was on vacation and R. worked that day. But I know he likes to cook and he usually goes from day job to night job with no time for cooking so this was actually a treat for him. And for me.

He followed the recipe pretty closely, but we were missing a couple ingredients. Even though I went to the specialty store for Chinese Five Spice, I ended up not getting cilantro or pistachios. I think we had some slivered almonds on it. I just forgot about the cilantro because I did end up at the grocery store after the specialty store. The 5 spice store was not an Asian specialty store; it's actually Italian and where we bought the ladyfingers for the trifle and where we get bread and pasta sometimes. I was asked to either get the individual spices and locate a spice mill (or coffee grinder) or get the mix. Despite a wide selection of spices, the store only offered 1 of the 3 spices needed, and a five-spice blend was not to be found in the spice section. However, I did locate it on the Asian shelf. This particular blend included cinnamon, star anise, fennel, ginger, cloves, white pepper, and licorice root (which is 6, but who's counting).

To accompany the squash, R. made the stir-fried bok choy from SimplyCooking. We had an overflow of cabbage * and considered doing a cabbage-and-apple salad like this one from Vegan Epicurean but did not have miso (a day or two later, we tried to buy some at the nearby gourmet market but got a miso soup mix that substituted fine enough and later in the week we got miso at the Italian market to have on hand for next time).

The Asian squash was delicious and the bok choy was a nice accompaniment. This was a good new squash recipe to add to the rotation. To me, it was almost borderline Indian-tasting, and there's an Indian spice I don't care for but can't yet identify, but this managed to stay on the non-Indian spice side of food. And I really loved it with the raisins. Some rice or even naan (I like that part of Indian food) would have been a good addition. Maybe next time.

* We have so much cabbage I should have called this the Great Cabbage Recipe Blog. The problem is I'm not a big fan of cabbage. The salad was good with the apples and extra dressing. Tonight, we're going squash free with a miso & cabbage soup (also with carrots and green onions). It's very cold here -- not as cold as other places and no snow -- but nearly 20 degrees colder than normal. Cold = soup weather. Tomorrow I will most likely use the remaining butternut squash to make one of the soups again.

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