Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Kabocha Squash Spread with Homemade Crackers

I recently discovered the wonders of kabocha squash, so the next time I was at the market I picked one up. (Since it was at the HMART, I guess I can cross post to Asian Fling).   Last time the texture when roasted was like a sweet potato, so I had the idea to mash it into something spreadable.  After which I had the idea to make something to spread it on, like homemade crackers. 


This time, the squash was not as dry when roasted. It had the usual wettish feeling of any other squash (but still tasted just as good). Undeterred, I continued with my plan and made a simple spread anyway. This involved mashing the squash with a potato masher and mixing in some flavorings. I've tried it three ways now:

  • Olive oil and pimenton (smoked paprika), for a Spanish theme
  • Sesame oil and sesame seeds, for an Asian theme
  • Plain.
All three were great.  The plain may have even been the best.  The squash has so much flavor, it doesn't need much help.  And you can leave the skins on, since their edible -- it gives the dish a little texture.  I found them good served at room temperature.

As for the crackers, there are many recipes out there, but I found this one from allrecipes.com to be easy and full of whole wheat.  And, it turns out, tasty.  I won't repeat the recipe here....go look at theirs.  But consider this advice.  The first time I made it, I didn't roll it thin enough.  It was fine at the edges, but it was thicker at the center.  They tasted good, but the texture was off.  I compromised by calling them "flat bread".

The second time, I was careful to roll them very thin.  The instructions say to roll them to 1/8".  What's 1/8"?  Can you even attempt to measure it with a ruler?  No.  Just roll it as thin as you think it should be, and make it thinner.  I found I had to do the full recipe in several batches to get them to fit on a baking sheet.  The second time I also added toasted flax seeds.  About a quarter cup of them, half ground and half left whole.  They gave the cracker a complex toasty taste that was a real winner.  I also found that they took more like 30-35 minutes to bake, rather than the 20 in the recipe.

You could easily do the squash with storebought crackers or the crackers with something else entirely.  Both are dishes I will turn to again.

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