Monday, October 6, 2008

On Top of Spaghetti...


Spaghetti squash, that is! I bought a spaghetti squash for the first time the other day and nearly killed myself in the process of opening it. I wish I were joking, but the truth is that if I had made one false move, I would've had a very sharp knife permeating my body in any number of places. I started off trying to cut it in half lengthwise with my Wusthof Grand Prix santoku knife (I only tell you the brand so you know that my knives are good, strong, and sharp and should be able to slice through a squash...or so I thought) and could not do more than scratch the surface. I decided to try slicing it widthwise and promptly got my knife stuck, which means that I spent five minutes trying to carefully pry it out without winding up with a knife in my eye. I thought using my thinner Wusthof Grand Prix chef's knife might do the trick. I was wrong. I got the chef's knife wedged in, too. At one point, I considered using the santoku knife to get the chef's knife out, but that was a horrible idea and the smarter side of me vetoed it. It took me a solid 20 minutes to finally cut the thing open, wedging the knife in, then rocking it carefully back and forth until I was finally able to open it widthwise, then cut the halves lengthwise. It was quite a production.

Once I got it open, I baked it, cut side down, on a sprayed cookie sheet for 40 minutes. Then, it took me another 15 minutes to meticulously scrape all the spaghetti out of the rind. At this point, I'm thinking to myself that spaghetti squash had better be pretty darn good after I paid over $6 for it (my mistake, as I thought the Whole Foods sign said $1.99 each and not per pound; Trader Joe's sells them for just over $2 each) and nearly killed myself.

The squash tasted good baked, but I really wanted to try it a little more caramelized. I consulted Veganomicon and found a recipe for Spaghetti Squash Mexicana. I used the recipe as a loose guideline, but I took the easy way out and simply used the beans, corn, hot sauce, and spices from the recipe, plus a 4 ounce can of diced jalapenos. For the squash, I sauteed it in 4 ounces of mild green Ortega taco sauce until it started to caramelize a bit. It turned out to be an incredibly delicious meal; one I looked forward to eating every day for lunch as long as the leftovers lasted.

I'm not sure I'd ever be brave enough to buy another spaghetti squash, but I have a great recipe to repeat if I do!

12 comments:

River said...

Phew! That's a lot of work! Who knew squash could be so dangerous! I would like to try spaghetti squash, but I'm so clumsy that maybe it's not such a good idea.
Knives + me + spaghetti squash = injury

KZ said...

I have difficulty holding them still. I think a vice from depot may be in order!

Bex said...

wow, I'm glad you are ok. I can't remember if I had trouble getting my squash open (I haven't had a spaghetti squash since winter) I find all squash a bit of a pain to open. Maybe just an ax and go at it like chopping wood (might make a mess though)

Veg-a-Nut said...

I learned a long time ago to buy the smallest squash I could find. They are tough little guys to break into. Wow, what a difference in price!

Happy Herbivore! said...

I always cook my sqaushes whole in the micro after I nearly stabbed myself~!

Conquerbysmiling said...

Wow, sounds like alot of work!!! But it looks very appetizing:] I agree, That is a HUGE difference in price!

ChocolateCoveredVegan said...

Yikes! Well I, for one, am VERY glad you survived and are still here!!

aTxVegn said...

The one time I had too much trouble cutting a spaghetti squash, it turned out to be not yet fully ripe and it didn't taste very good - after all that work. I second what Sheree said, buy small ones.

quarrygirl said...

dude veganomicon is the best ever, isn't it!?!?!?!?! btw i love your love of vegan cookbooks. you have inspired me to buy more.

Zoey said...

I used to have trouble with cutting spaghetti squashes too but then I found a video that shows how to make the whole cooking/ cutting situation much easier! You can check it out here:

http://greenlitebites.com/2007/12/15/preparing-spaghetti-squash-video-post/

Now I eat spaghetti squash a lot more frequently. Cutting into those squashes used to be a big pain, but now it is really easy. I hope that link helps!

shellyfish said...

Tu as échappé belle ma frangine! Attention!
I just stab mine multipe times with a fork - gets the agression out you know - and micro that puppy for maybe, dunno, 15 minutes. Then very carefully slice it open (steamy). Much less dangerous (I am always cutting myself...not on purpose...)

Ruby Red Vegan said...

Hahaha, what a story! Some squashes are so easy to cut through, and others are just the most stubborn things! At least you were smart about prying the knives out... When my daddy was little, he actually permanently damaged one of his eyes in a knife accident. True story. He still uses special eye drops for it.
Spaghetti Squash Mexicana sounds awesome, though! The picture looks so yummy!!