Friday, November 2, 2012

Squash Half-Moons with Butter, Sesame and Salt

We actually made this squash recipe during the hurricane, but since I had a picture of it (unlike the Mexican Chicken Soup or the Lettuce in Sesame Sauce) I decided it deserved its own post.  Plus I didn't want to bury it in the group post because I thought it deserved better.  I know the picture isn't exactly the best picture in the world, but I think I deserve some credit for thinking to take a picture in the first place.  Actually, Alex took these pictures and he got all artsy with them - close-ups galore.  This picture was my favorite of the bunch.  Squash isn't an ideal subject, but we deserve points for trying!  Anyway, this might have been my favorite dish of the hurricane.  I loved the combination of the toasted sesame seeds, the spices (curry powder, garam masala and cinnamon), the butter and the squash.  Given how sweet kabocha squash is naturally you don't need any additional sugar.  It was absolutely wonderful.  The flavors of the spiced butter complimented, rather than obscuring, the sweet flavor and almost sweet potato-like texture of the kabocha squash.  And the toasted sesame seeds provided a really nice complimentary flavor and texture.  This recipe definitely has become one of my favorite squash recipes.

Recipe after the jump!

Squash Half-Moons with Butter, Sesame and Salt
Simple Fresh Southern: Knockout Dishes with Down-Home Flavor

By Matt Lee and Ted Lee
8 tbsp (1 stick) unsalted butter
4 tsp ground cinnamon, garam masala, curry powder, or another blend of wintry spices (we used 2 tsp of garam masala, 1 tsp cinnamon and 1 tsp Madras curry powder)
2 1 1/2 lb acorn or kabocha squash (we used one roughly 3 lb kabocha squash)
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
2 tsp toasted sesame seeds

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. 

Heat the butter in a small skillet over medium heat.  When the froth begins to subside, whisk in the spices.  Remove from the heat.

Cut each squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds.  Then slice each acorn squash half into 3 half-moon slices or cut each kabocha squash half into 6 slices.  You should have 12 wedges total.

Place squash flesh side up on a roasting pan or baking skeet.  Baste with spiced butter, reserving about 2 tbsp of the butter mixture, and season with 1 tsp salt.  Bake until squash beings to brown at the upper corners and squash is tender, about 35 minutes.  Remove squash from the oven and set aside.

Reheat spiced butter and baste squash with reserved butter.  Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds and remaining 1/2 tsp kosher salt.  Serve immediately.

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