This week, in the Iron Chef Blogger Challenge, we had a choice in our secret ingredient: spaghetti or butternut squash.
I've never used either, but I did previously have an unfortunate run-in with a butternut squash, so I decided to tackle that one again. About a year ago, I picked up a butternut squash at the Farmer's Market. It was so pretty, and I had this recipe where you just half it lengthwise, scoop out the seeds, sprinkle some cinnamon and brown sugar or something, and roast. Sounds fantastic, right?
The only problem is the instruction "just half it lengthwise", as if butternut squash were not built like someone was hiding secret treasure inside them. After some time had passed, the squash rolling around on the counter every time I went to cut it like we were in some sort of slapstick comedy, and me coming dangerously close to slicing my hand open on several occasions, I threw the damn thing away and made something else for dinner.
It was definitely time for a rematch.
This is absolutely the point in my story where I would now proceed to make the greatest butternut squash recipe known to man and emerge a hero. That is not what happened at all. I did make something. The cutting went much better this time, possibly because the squash I used was a bit smaller. The recipe I used was for Candied Butternut Squash, which is squash roasted, then cubed, then cooked longer with honey, nuts, and probably something else that I'm forgetting. But, after the squash was roasted, it wouldn't cube properly, so it was more like a mash. And I thought the ingredients involved were just too much (although there is a definite possibility that my squash was just too small).
All in all, while the squash was not terrible, it was not great either. The picture looked really unappetizing, so I just decided not to post it. I do think there are good uses for butternut squash though. It has a nice texture, and I'd really like to try making ravioli with it.
There are other good blogs out there, some with actual pictures. Carrie at Two Friends Cook opted for the spaghetti squash, which looks pretty good (even though the extent to which it looks like spaghetti still freaks me out a little). There are also some blogs from last week's peanut butter challenge that I didn't link to previously: Becky's Indonesian Peanut Chicken and Sara's Peanut Butter Brownie Cupcakes. I'm definitely planning to save both of these recipes, they look fantastic.
That's it for now, can't wait to see what the next ingredient is, although I won't be doing much cooking this weekend. We're headed to Anza Borrego Desert State Park!