This posting has been updated for 2012 – Click here to view the more recent entry
Every recipe I read for preparing spaghetti squash warns that if one intends to cook the squash without cutting it in half, one must never forget to pierce it numerous times with a sharp knife about an inch deep to prevent bursting.
I, personally would LOVE to roll the dice and cook myself up a hot “squash bomb,” and if I was living in my old apartment I would have done it, because the splattering of wet hot spaghetti meat and moist squash skin on my kitchen walls would have actually been an improvement. But I probably won’t make one now that I’m in my new place, where cleaning the refrigerator actually has an effect, the floors aren’t covered with scratches and the smoke alarm doesn’t go off every time I go to boil a hot dog.
The notion of a squash bomb probably wouldn’t be as tempting (and I can’t be the only one who finds it so) if squash itself wasn’t so bland to begin with. Much like working in a bookstore or eating the piece of hard candy you got from your Aunt Helen, squash is easy enough to embrace, yet totally predictable and lacking any amount of oomph. The kick comes in the herbs, sauces and other vegetables you choose to compliment it.
This recipe comes from Smitten Kitchen, adapted from Gourmet. Roasting the squash takes a good hour, but prep time is only about five minutes.
Simple to make… simple to clean… makes a good picture. More than enough to get my attention.
Here’s what you need:
- 1 spaghetti squash – 3.5 – 4 pounds
- 1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 3/4 tablespoon salt
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
Cut the squash in half, lengthwise, and scoop out the seeds (you can roast the seeds just like pumpkin seeds and snack on them later). Place the halves face up (Smitten says down but I disagree) in a well-oiled pan and bake it at 375 for AT LEAST an hour. Obviously, the larger the squash the longer the bake time. The skin will feel slightly soft when pressed. If it doesn’t, keep cooking.
Melt the butter over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring until it just begins to turn golden brown. Stir in the spices and remove from the heat.
Now comes the only real work. Scrape out the meat with a fork, looseing and pulling apart the strands as you go.
Toss with the spiced butter and cilantro and you’re done!
Well, you’re almost done.