Friday, February 4, 2011

The Almighty Squash!

  Part 1.....

This is for my sister in law - whom when receiving her mixed bag from the local Organic store said to me, (when she pulled out a extraordinarily large squash), "What do I do with that?!"

Squash is a tricky one because they are foreign to many people. So today while doing my back to school shop, I saw the beautiful little yellow button squash and thought lets see what yummy things I can come up with.

So here are three recipes that came to mind and one I use all the time for Wilco.
                                                 1. Pumpkin and squash soup

1/2 a Japanese pumpkin or any pumpkin that looks and smells the best.

4 yellow squash
1 large onion
3 cloves of garlic
4 sage leaves (I didn't have any this time )
soup ingredients minus the sage
Olive oil and butter
Cut up everything roughly. 
First, in goes the onion and garlic and sage cook until just getting a little colour.
Then add the squash and give it 5 min so it colours a little, then add the pumpkin and cook, stirring all the time till it starts to look like it's cooking (the colour should become a little more intense and it will smell yummy).
Then season well with salt, pepper and a touch of freshly ground nutmeg
Fill with water to just cover (or chicken stock - but I wouldn’t waste my chicken stock on this).
The soup ready to be blitzed

Bring to the boil then simmer for 1/2 an hour or until you can mush the pumpkin.
Check your seasoning for salt - add to your taste.
Remember not to salt if your baby is going to eat this, season to taste after.
Blitz in a blender in batches, (holding a tea towel over the top being careful not to burn yourself) return to pot, add cream 1/2 cup stir.
Serve with bacon crumbs (below), chives, a drizzle of Chili oil (for me) or olive oil for kiddies and good quality bread rubbed with garlic and drizzled with olive oil.
This is one of Jemima's favorite dinners and Wilco's loves it served with brown rice to thicken it a little (actually I quilt like it like that too)!
Bacon crumbs
How to do the crumbs

1 packet of bacon - rind removed and chopped roughly.
Pop into a food processor and blitz till it looks somewhere between crumbs and mince.
In a little oil in your skillet fry the crumbs till separate and golden (consistency of well fried bread crumbs).

My photo of the finished crumbs is  blurry , but you can see what I mean .

Our table tonight looked like this: 
Jemima - pumpkin soup with bacon crumbs and chives - carrot, capsicum and corn.
Frank - carrot, capsicum, corn and rice with bacon crumbs.
Wilco - pumpkin soup with brown rice, bacon crumbs & chives - corn and steamed carrot (eaten on the couch in the nude, playing with his cars)! He is going through a "I'm not sitting in my highchair" phase, so we follow him around while he plays, popping mouthfuls in - the thing's you do!
Wilco's soup with brown rice

Our compromise so Wilco will eat his dinner!
And he did, all up!
Max and I - Soup with all the trimming's - and extra chilli oil for me!
2 x pyrex glass containers of soup for the freezer!

2. Squash and zucchini salad with goat’s cheese

This one involves no cooking what so ever, I use a vegetable peeler to make ribbons from 2 medium zucchini and 2 squash.
Now make your dressing:
1/2 orange juiced (75ml or1/3 cup) in a jar, add salt and pepper to taste, a squeeze of lemon (about 1 tablespoon), 1 teaspoon of maple syrup, 20ml of apple cider vinegar and 75ml of the best olive oil on hand (this dressing will last you a couple of salads, just make sure you keep it in the fridge)
Now dress your zucchini and squash with a little dressing- set aside.
Pick and wash a small bunch of rocket and a handful of mint or basil (I like each one equally - so I would grab which ever looks the best), today I am using mint because we have so much in the garden.
Arrange your rocket, zucchini and squash on a plate, crumble goats cheese - as much or as little as you like and then tear the herb of choice on top and drizzle with a little more dressing.

Serve with fish or chicken cooked in a pan with butter and lemon.
Delicious! Frank ate this last night minus the cheese and loved it!

This is the best baby pasta, I still use it and it's great in chicken soup.
It's made with Quinoa and rice.
I will be using this tomorrow for Wilco's creamy pasta.
                                                           Part 2 - tomorrow. x

©Michelle Schoeps 2013
All photos taken by Michelle Schoeps

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