Posts Tagged ‘cutting squash’

Kitchen Tips Tuesday: Cutting Through Squash

September 22, 2015

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Fall is squash season. Butternut, acorn and spaghetti squash are just a few of the wonderful vegetables from the gourd family. Once roasted, or baked, the flesh becomes tender and delicious. Before cooking, they can be hard as a rock and nearly impossible to cut through. Rather than risk losing a limb while hacking at a roley poley squash with a large, sharp knife, we suggest softening it in the microwave first.

Rinse the outside of the squash to get the dirt off before cutting into it. Pierce the skin of the squash in multiple places with a fork or the tip of a knife.  Microwave it for a couple of minutes, until it is just soft enough to cut through. Don’t leave it in long enough to start cooking; just cook it for enough time to make the flesh a bit more pliable. Although time varies based on the size of the squash and the strength of the microwave, 3-4 minutes is a good estimate. This can also be done in the oven, and will take about 15 minutes to soften. Place it on a baking pan so the juices that release won’t mess up the oven.

Remove it from the microwave, and carefully slice it in half. It will be hot! Scoop out the seeds from the cavity of the squash and discard. Peel or cook according to your recipe and enjoy!

Bonus tip: Try this before carving your Halloween pumpkin. It will make the job much easier and more precise!

Photo: Glasshouse Images

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Kitchen Tips Tuesday: How to Peel Squash

November 19, 2013

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I love winter squash; butternut, acorn and even fresh pumpkin. Peeling and dicing them; not so much. I often feel like I need a machete to slice through them, and fear that I will not come through the cutting process with the same amount of fingers I started with. This tip changed all that, and made the process of cutting hard squash much easier.
Rinse the dirt off of the outside of the squash. Use the tip of a sharp knife to poke a few holes in the squash to allow the steam to escape (and prevent it from exploding) and pop it into the microwave for 1-2 minutes until it is just soft enough to cut. If the squash is still too hard, try another minute. Just don’t leave it in there long enough to start cooking. This will make cutting it open a breeze!

Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and pulp. Cut each half into smaller pieces and slide your knife between the skin and the flesh of the squash to remove the skin. This is easier in longer strips, as opposed to small chunks. Once it is peeled, cut it into smaller pieces, depending on what the recipe dictates.

You should have perfectly peeled squash with minimal waste, and all 10 fingers, when you are done!

photo: Glasshouse Images

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