Can we say over do it? I got a little overexcited this weekend about my red kuri squash find and made three different dishes with it. This guy went a long way! At the grocery store there was definitely the sticker shock of it costing $10. But it was well worth it considering it contributed to three different meals – 2 dinners and 1 breakfast. Risotto with red kuri squash and wild mushrooms, baked eggs with taleggio cheese and squash, and spaghetti with roasted beets and squash. All amazingly delicious. Red kuri squash has a beautifully nutty flavor and the color of the squash tints whatever you are cooking, giving it a glorious orange color.
There is a blog I have followed for quite a while (Cannelle et Vanille) and she is always using red kuri squash in her dishes (both savory and sweet). I have never seen it here until last week. I couldn’t wait to see what the buzz was about. And, of course, when looking up recipes, I went straight to that same blog for ideas.
Listen, I wish I could say I came up with these recipes, but with an almost 3 week old baby and an almost 3 year old daughter, I can’t even believe I managed to cook these at all. I think going from 4 hours of sleep a night to 5/6 hours all of a sudden felt luxurious and energizing. I crashed hard last night from the exhaustion of that much cooking but at least I ate some delicious food to make it all worthwhile.
Oh, and to top it all off, I decided yesterday that I really wanted to make a chocolate cream pie. I have never made one before and I’m not sure of why this was my dessert of choice…perhaps some distant memory of loading up my tray at the K & W Cafeteria came to life? I ALMOST made my own crust but thank goodness thought better of that and got a frozen crust from Whole Foods. I mean, seriously, I’m not THAT insane and honestly this pie crust was really yummy. Funny enough the recipe came from King Arthur’s Flour’s website and I didn’t even use their crust recipe. But the filling was soooo good and I happened to have to Scharffen Berger chocolate that lended to a beautifully chocolatey filling. As I always seem to do, I whipped the cream topping about 1 minute too long so it didn’t go on as smoothly as I would have liked.
Now for the recipes! One note about Red Kuri Squash, roasting is the absolute best way to prep this squash. It brings out a nutty flavor that doesn’t come across when you just sauté it. I know this because the risotto was the first dish we made and the squash was sautéed. While still good, if I make this risotto again I will “half roast” the squash to develop that flavor and then finish it off in the risotto. The squash tasted too starchy to me when just sautéed.
*Cooking times in the original recipe for risotto were a bit off, so I adjusted it below to show how it worked out for me.
Red Kuri Squash and Wild Mushroom Risotto
from Cannelle et Vanille
Serves 4 to 6
5 to 6 cups chicken stock
2 Tbs olive oil
1 large shallot, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 leek, washed and sliced
1/2 medium red kuri squash, peeled and diced into 1/2-inch pieces
1 cup thinly sliced wild mushrooms (I buy the pre-packaged mixed wild mushrooms)
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
1/4 cup txakoli or any dry white wine you like (i used AtoZ Chardonnay)
1/2 cup finely grated Idiazabal or Parmesan cheese (I used parm)
2 Tbs finely chopped parsley
Begin by heating the chicken stock over medium heat. Keep it warm until ready to use.
In a stock pot (I use my Le Creuset), heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the shallots, garlic, and leek. Cook until soft but not browned, about 3 minutes.
Add the diced red kuri squash. Stir and cook for 8 to 10 minutes. (or you can roast in the oven on 400 for about 10-15 minutes and add after you have added the mushrooms). Add the mushrooms and cook for another 3 minutes. Season with salt.
Add the rice and stir it well so all the oil and flavors coat the rice. Add the wine and cook for 30 seconds until alcohol evaporates. Add 1 cup of chicken stock and cook stirring constantly until liquid is absorbed. Then proceed by adding another 1/2 cup of stock. Continue to cook the risotto stirring constantly and adding more stock as needed until rice is cooked al dente, about 20-30 minutes.
Off the heat, add the grated parmesan and parsley. Stir to combine and serve immediately.
Baked eggs with Taleggio
original recipe from Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef and then adapted by Cannelle et Vanille
makes 4 servings
This is by far one the best egg dishes I have ever had. I love the additions Aran gave this dish in her adaptation. The apple cider vinaigrette is almost necessary to give it that acidic contrast to the richness of the eggs, cream, and cheese. The sweetness of the squash and crunch of the pumpkin seeds rounds it out.
4 teaspoons unsalted butter
8 tablespoons heavy cream
4 oz taleggio cheese sliced into 4 equal pieces
8 large eggs
4 teaspoons finely chopped thyme
Salt and pepper
Roasted butternut squash (instructions below)
Apple Cider Vinaigrette
Toasted pumpkin seeds
Preheat the oven to 375 and grease 4 1-cup ramekins with 1/2 teaspoon of butter. Bring a small pot of water to boil and reduce the heat to a simmer.
Put one tablespoon of cream at the bottom of each ramekin. Cut each slice of Taleggio in half and put the 2 pieces on top of the cream in each ramekin. Put two eggs on top of the cheese in each ramekin. Top with the thyme and a little salt and pepper. Top each ramekin with another tablespoon of cream and 1/2 tsp of butter.
Place the ramekins in a baking dish and pour the simmering hot water into the dish – enough to fill the dish halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake the eggs in the oven until eggs are cooked and jiggle a bit, 7-10 minutes.
Once done, top with a couple of pieces of squash, a sprinkle of pumpkin seeds, and a drizzle of vinaigrette. The vinaigrette is comprised of a little apple cider vinegar, olive oil, dijon mustard, salt, and pepper.
*to roast squash, cut into 1-2 inch thick half moons (skins on, deseeded). place in baking pan and put a little olive oil, salt, and pepper on it. roast for 20-25 minutes. the skins are perfectly edible when roasted.
Whole wheat spaghetti with roasted red kuri squash and golden beets
Yet another idea I got from Cannelle et Vanille. There is no real recipe here. She had a picture of a pasta that looked appealing so I just added what sounded right to make it taste good. We roasted some golden beets in the oven. Cut up three slices of bacon and cook in a pan until done but not crispy. Remove bacon and wipe out most of the bacon grease. Then we sautéed a clove of smashed garlic in some olive oil so it infused. Take out the garlic, add some cut up leftover roasted squash, some red pepper flakes, fresh thyme, a little vegetable/chicken broth, salt and pepper. Add in the cooked spaghetti, roasted beets, and some pasta water. Once mixed and all warmed through, grate some fresh parm into the pasta before taking it off the heat. Add some fresh thyme and grated parm on top of each serving.