Monday, November 13, 2006

Me and my butter nuts…

Okay, for those of you googling for creepily pornographic blogs… um… this ain’t one of them. (I said “ain’t”!) This is actually about butternut squash, because Jenn’s been putting recipes back on her blog and I figured I should keep up with the Jenn… ses…

A couple of weeks ago, Vicky and I picked up a package of pre-chopped butternut squash from Costco (where America goes to get obese). We didn’t know what we’d do with it but we wanted to eat healthier and, well, how long can you eat baby carrots, anyway?

(And why do they call them baby carrots? It’s not like they are actually very young carrots. My theory is that they put a regular carrot inside of some kind of grinder and out pops three or four baby ones.)

We found this great recipe for Moroccan Slow Cooker Stew, which called for – you guessed it – butternut squash. It’s very healthy, good for you… and we were figuring it would taste like shit.

Surprise! It didn’t!

We decided to make it again this week. Actually, we decided I’d make it this week.

So, here are the ingredients:

cooking spray
1 small onion, chopped
1 medium garlic clove, minced (but who are we kidding? Go crazy!)
1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 cup baby carrots (it’s not like our fridge wasn’t full of them anyway)
1 cup canned crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup vegetable broth
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
15 oz canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 tsp salt

Preparation is one of those 1, 2, 3 kind of things:

First, wilt the onion and garlic in a pan with a couple sprays of cooking spray (you may know this as “Pam”).

Second, throw that, along with the carrots, tomatoes, broth, cinnamon, cumin, pepper flakes and (oh yeah) the squash into your slow cooker and simmer for six hours.

Third, write me a check for all of your money and mail it to me while adding the chickpeas (rinsed and drained) and salt and letting it cook for about five more minutes.

Don’t forget to give it a few stirs. Also, if you don’t want to buy one of those monster cans of crushed tomatoes (the only way the sell the bastards, it seems), you can crush the tomatoes yourself. Just get some tomatoes (peeled) and crush them with your blender, hand mixer, food processor, or small child. (Paying attention?)

Making this again turned out to be a slight problem. When I took the remaining butternut squash from our fridge, it had obviously gone bad. In its bag, it was coated with a creamy, white film.

(… wait… um… just a sec… maybe I shouldn’t mention “creamy white film” in a blog entry about my butter nuts…)

This is how I came to find out why you don’t often hear about people cooking with butternuts. I had to go to the store and actually buy one! Actually prepare it!

Okay, the thing is, if you can get it pre-chopped in a bag – DO SO!

If you’re thinking about buying one from the store… just a few things:

1) The peel is actually wood bark. And, yes, you have to peel it.

2) Splitting it is probably best done with a chainsaw.

3) They were pretty cheap at the store. After a few hours of chopping, peeling, and getting Band-Aids for the cuts on my hands, arms, and face, I can see why.

Anyway, enjoy!

1 comment:

Jenn from WA said...

LOL! Nice blog. Two questions though: Can you substitute the squash with something better say, er, um, potatoes? Me not a fan of butter nuts. Nor am I a fan of chickpeas, though super secret information about me and my nuts-ness...I LOVE HUMMUS. Yah, you figure it out? If you do, call me and tell I can figure it out.