9/01/2009

Ingredient of the Month - September

First of all - thank you to all of you who voted in my poll for the 'of the Month' item.  The overwhelming majority likes the idea of an 'Ingredient of the Month'.

So - here's how it will work.  At the beginning of each month I pick an ingredient - it could be a fruit, veggie, meat, herb, spice... anything!  Throughout the month I'll blog at least 4 recipes (hopefully 1 per week) that use that ingredient.  And I'd love for you to leave a comment with your favorite recipes that use that ingredient as well - either in my announcement post, or in any subsequent recipes posts!

As well as posting recipes, when I announce the ingredient, I'll also post a bit about the ingredient - and I'll learn along with you. :)  I may also post some little tidbits of information in the recipes along the way.  I'm excited for this!  I think it will be fun and interesting.  

If you have any ingredient suggestions, please leave a comment!  I'll definitely try to use them. :) I'd love to try out ingredients that may not be commonly used in most households.  Those things you buy for one recipe, then have no clue what to do with what's left...

Now, without further ado... the September Ingredient of the Month is...

Butternut Squash
 
Image from harmonyhealthcenter.ca

Fall is on it's way, so I decided that Butternut Squash is a great way to bring in the new season.  :)  I cooked with this for the first time over this past year.  There are tons of uses for Butternut Squash, and I'll try to cover some really different ways to prepare it.

So let's learn a bit about it, shall we?

From Wikipedia...
It's a type of winter squash that has a sweet, nutty taste, similar to pumpkin.  When it's ripe, it turns deep orange, and becomes sweeter and richer.  It can be roasted, toasted, grilled and pureed.  And used as a substitute for pumpkin.

It's a good source of fiber, vitamin C, manganese, magnesium, potassium and Vitamin A.  The seeds of the squash are edible, though not commonly used.  They are good roasted similar to pumpkin seeds.

Storage...
Winter squash keeps well in a cool, dry place.  The key being cool and dry.  However, if you are only using part of a butternut squash, you can keep the rest to use in the future.

To freeze - You can cook it - roast it at 350 until soft - then puree it with a blender (immersion is probably the easiest).  Allow it to fully cool and then place it in a Ziploc bag in the freezer.  From what I've been reading - if you freeze it, future use should involve pureeing it, not using it whole or as chunks.  The consistency won't be right for chunks once it's frozen.

To refrigerate - You can also just wrap any unused squash in plastic wrap, and store it in the refrigerator for about 1 week.

Since I already have my meals planned for this week, I'll have to double up one week in September to get the 4 recipes.  Look for my first recipe next week - possibly Monday!

If you have any questions - leave a comment and I'll do my best to find an answer.  Also, any tips or tricks on the use or storage of butternut squash would also be great.  Thank you!

1 comments:

USA Kiwi (aka Kylee)

I love squash season. I make a killer roasted squash, basil and parmesan risotto. Out of this world!

Looking forward to your recipes.

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