Writing, Reading, and Smiling . . . It's Contagious.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

A Spooky Autumn Recipe

Those of you enjoying my new book, Haunted Voices from My Past, know that my garden grows not only an abundance of tasty vegetables but also harbors a roguish ghost. Try my homegrown recipe for a taste of autumn, and, if you're lucky, a sampling of the paranormal.

Seanachaí's Spooky Spaghetti Squash

Serves 2 HUNGRY Ghosthunters

What you'll need...

  • 1 medium-sized spaghetti squash [about 8" long and weighing 5 lbs.]
  • tomatoes
  • green peppers
  • cheddar cheese [the liquefied cheese in a jar]
  • spaghetti sauce [optional]
  • salt, pepper

1. Begin by washing the squash. After drying, cut lengthwise [from stem to opposite end]. You'll need a sturdy knife because spaghetti squash are quite tough when uncooked. They're a bit like a pumpkin or cantaloupe. Make sure you cut away from yourself, and don't worry about removing the stem. Whatever doesn't break off at picking time, stays.

After cutting, the squash can be a little resistant. I usually sneak my thumbs into the cut and pull the halves apart. What will greet you is a mess of innards. Again, it's going to resemble a cantaloupe. Use a large spoon to remove the seeds and membrane in the center. Leave the outer flesh. It will be in a ring just beneath the rind and is usually 1" thick. This is the part you'll eat. Remember, it's just like a cantaloupe.

3. After digging out the innards, you'll have two halves with holes in the center. Fill these holes with diced tomatoes and green peppers. Don't be stingy. Fill the holes completely! Vegetables shrink when cooked because they're mostly water. Also, spaghetti squash has a mild taste resembling that of spaghetti. The addition of green pepper will sweeten the flesh.

4. Top the vegetables with 1 tbsp. of cheddar cheese. Add salt and pepper [as much as you would for spaghetti]. Place both finished halves [faceup] in a microwave-safe baking dish. Fill bottom of dish with 1/8 cup of water [to help steam the vegetables] and cover with plastic wrap. Cut a tiny hole in the center of the plastic to allow steam to escape. For a medium-sized squash, baking time is about 25 min. on high power [adjust cooking time to your microwave's wattage].

5. Squash is done when the rind is papery and the flesh can be pulled away easily. Use a fork and gently pull the flesh from the rind. Notice how the squash comes off the rind in long strands, hence, the name "spaghetti squash."

6. Add another tbsp. of cheddar cheese to the squash, tomatoes, and green peppers. If you prefer tomato sauce over extra cheese, add sauce to taste. Stir ingredients and microwave an additional 3 min.

7. Serve! I enjoy eating my squash directly out of the peeling rather than scraping it into a dish. The peeling, though inedible, serves as an eye-catching, bright yellow bowl. If you choose to eat it this way, put it atop a dish because it's a little too flimsy [and HOT] to stand alone.

8. What to serve with your spaghetti squash? I enjoy a crisp garden salad and breadsticks with mine.

Let me know if you enjoy my ghostly recipe!


As always, I love to hear from you. If you’re in the cyber-neighbourhood, drop me a line. In the meantime, keep writing, reading, and smiling. It’s contagious.


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