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9.4.13

SPAGHETTI SQUASH



I love spaghetti squash. Its available year around and it’s a yummy vegetable. I prefer to cook it in the microwave. It is infinitely faster, and the strands stay a nice even colour, with no browned bits. They are low in calories and just as the name says it, they can substitute spaghetti or mixed in with a small amount of pasta, they give the pasta experience, but with far less calories. They are best when crunchy; if too soft they become mushy. After you bake a few you learn to estimate the time just from the size. They can take anywhere from 4 to 8 minutes to cook. Large ones are harder to cut in half and of course can take up to 8 minutes in the microwave.
 
To avoid the perils of chopping them in half, some people poke them all over with a sharp knife [which I think is perilous enough] and then bake them or microwave them whole. This takes longer to cook, and you need to watch not to get burned when removing the pulp and the seeds. My biggest complaint of course is that the whole squash will collapse and there is a greater chance of overcooking.
 
• Cut the squash open with a sharp chef’s knife lengthwise; not across.
• Remove the seeds and the pulp with a spoon.
• Microwave each half for 4 to 8 minutes.
• Let it rest in the microwave for 5 minutes before serving.
• Or bake at 375 F rind side up for 30 to 40 minutes.
• Just before serving separate the strands by running a fork through lengthwise.
• Sprinkle with salt, dot with butter and top with freshly chopped herbs.

9 comments:

  1. Hum - I made my second spaghetti squash the other day (I'm talking second in my lifetime!), and both Bobby and I agreed that it would probably be our last. I baked it for almost an hour and it was still undercooked. Maybe microwaving it is the way to go. I guess I'm going to have to give it another try. :)

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  2. I also love spaghetti squash Zsuzsa, but I've never microwaved it, so I must say I love it! Fast and infinitely better, what a perfectly healthy side.

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  3. Spaghetti squash looks gorgeous (not for me though; too close to pumpkin in taste...). It makes me think I should cook in the microwave more often. I haven't even tested the "grilling" feature it boasts of... and I've had it for several years.

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  4. Peach Lady, try it in the microwave. Insert a chef's knife into the middle when you cut it in half. The smaller and fresher the squash shorter time it will take to cook. Start out with 4 minutes and keep checking it after each additional minute. Try poking it to see if the strands are separating. When they do it is ready. Use a clean kitchen towel to remove from the microwave, it will be hot. This is an amazing vegetable.

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  5. Eva it so much faster in the microwave.

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  6. Sissi, there is no pumpkin taste. It has a very mild flavour, almost flavourless and takes on the flavour of whatever you serve it with. I haven't posted about this vegetable before because of its blandness, but now that I am cutting back this vegetable has become very important. Intead of eating the creamcheese mashed potatoes last night I had half of a spaghetti squash with my meal.

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  7. Zsuzsa, I was sure I had tasted it... it had the same funny strands, but was more orange...

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  8. I've made baked spaghetti squash a couple of times but my taste buds demanded tomato sauce and lots of cheese to make the results palatable. :(

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  9. Maria, herbs and spices can do the same. Besides we don't eat cooked spaghetti without some type of seasoning either. This vegetable can replace pasta and is a good low cal alternative when served with a tomato based sauce. In fact try mixing it with actual pasta and you will find that the spaghetti squash actually enhances the pasta flavour. Spaghetti squash has a bland flavour but not nearly as bland as pasta.

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I began to post recipes for my family and it turned out to be a work in progress. "zsuzsa is in the kitchen" has over 900 recipes of Hungarian and international recipes. My recipes are organized into a cookbook format. On top of the page click on the cookbook to get access to all my recipes. If I ever figure out how to add a printer friendly gadget I will add it. In the meantime feel free to cut and paste. Happy cooking!

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