19 September, 2012

Sweet Summer Squash Pudding

Remember that huge homegrown summer squash I had? 

Well I didn't use the whole thing in the Chicken Chili.  That would be absurd! 
Which left me thinking... what am I going to do with all this squash?  

I used to work at a restaurant that serves a Sweet Corn Pudding.  Oh my God, it was to die for.  So I wondered if a squash pudding would work.
Guess what? It does.  

Roasting the squash with thyme and garlic really gave it a good flavor- and the chili powder added towards the end gave it an unexpected kick.  

This is a great, simple, yet impressive side dish.  It's easy to make, and will impress your guests (have they ever had Squash pudding?  Heck no they haven't! They'll be thinking.. 'How did you think of this?' 'Who would think to make pudding out of squash?' 'How surprising that pureed squash tastes so good!' 'I wish I could cook like this!')      :))))    

It's okay, take the credit.  I don't mind.
The squash a considerably more delicate flavor than corn pudding- corn is a lot sweeter and has a bit of a stronger flavor that stands up to heavier meats (burgers, steak, etc).  Squash is better served with poultry or fish. 

I served this with pork- tender southern style boneless ribs roasted in the oven for 3 hours.  But I wish I had served it with a firm fish- swordfish, mahi mahi, maybe grouper.  I found it a little too delicate in flavor to be paired with pork.

If you want a thicker pudding, add 2 or 3 tbsp of flour when blending.  

Sweet Summer Squash Pudding

You will need:

3 medium size summer squash, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp half and half (it's what I had in fridge, you can use milk too)
1/2 tsp chili powder
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Fresh thyme sprigs
Salt and pepper to taste

1.  Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

2. In a large bowl, add the diced squash.  Drizzle olive oil over the squash, add the garlic, and add a few shakes of salt and pepper (about 1/8 tsp each). Stir until squash is evenly covered in oil.  

3. Pour the squash into a roasting or baking pan. Cover the squash with the thyme springs.  Don't be shy, layer those sprigs on top! Roast in the oven for about 20 minutes, until squash is cooked through. 

4. Remove from oven.  Let cool a few minutes until easier to handle.  We're going to puree the squash in a blender.  It won't all fit at once.  Add some of the squash (until blender is maybe 1/2 full, and add the half and half, chili powder, and another tbsp olive oil. Puree.  Add more squash. Puree. Continue, until all squash has been added and pureed.

5. Grab a spoon and do a taste test.  Add some salt and pepper.  Serve hot or cold.

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