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!