Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Squash Medley with Razzmatazz Grapes (No Added Fat)

Our So Many Cooks in the Kitchen show this weekend is on squash, and I wanted to try slightly undercooking squash so that it could have some firmness and be cubed instead of being mushy, and then cooking stovetop with a few other ingredients to create a medley. Here is what I did.

  • Medium acorn squash and medium red kuri squash - or other winter squashes of your preference
  • 3 small-medium red potatoes
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 small onion cut into 3/8" cubes (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1 cup mushroom slices (I used frozen)
  • 3 cloves (not full bulbs!) of garlic, skin intact
  • (optional) 1-2 t coconut aminos or soy sauce
  • 1/4 t garam masala
  • 1/4 t curry powder (or 1/8 t turmeric if you don't have curry powder)
  • 1/2 t garlic powder
  • (optional) 1/2 pint small grapes; we used Razzmatazz, which are maybe 1/4" in diameter but if you use a more typically sized grape, first half or even quarter the grapes
  • 1/4 t salt or to taste
  1. Put 1/2 cup of water into the Instant Pot pressure cooker (or other pressure cooker) and put in a trivet so that ingredients don't touch the sides of the cooker
  2. Rinse the squash and potatoes and put into the pressure cooker along with the three cloves of garlic; cook (on the Instant Pot I use "pressure steam" since the ingredients aren't touching the sides for 8m
  3. When the pressure cooker is done, turn it off and start sauteeing over medium heat for a few minutes the onion in a stainless steel saute pan with no oil
  4. Once the onion starts becoming clear, add the mushroom
  5. Gently released pressure from the Instant Pot, then remove the ingredients
  6. The garlic will be nicely roasted; cut the tips off of each of the cloves and press the opposite ends - like toothpaste, the creamy garlic will come out (and into the pan)
  7. Cut the potato into 5/8" pieces, skin and all (if organic; otherwise, you might want to peel) and add to the pan
  8. Cut each of the squashes into halves and use a spoon to remove the seeds; compost the acorn squash seeds but reserve the red kuri seeds
  9. One thing that's great about red kuri squash is that it is entirely edible, skin and seeds as well as flesh. Cut it into medium-large pieces, maybe 3/4" in size. Also cut the acorn squash into a similar size but leave the skin behind. Add all the cut squash into the pan.
  10. Mix in the spices except for the salt
  11. Continue to cook on medium for a few minutes, stirring occasionally. If the potato or squash was a little undercooked in the pressure cooker (mine wasn't), then cook till you're happy with them. Otherwise, 2 or 3 minutes is enough - the purpose is to have the ingredients all "marry" each other and nicely relish each other's flavors.
  12. Add the coconut aminos and stir; the liquid will help clean up any residue on the pan
  13. After 1/2 a minute, add the grapes, stir, add the salt, and stir a final time (salt can scratch some pans so I prefer to add it late or once plated when stirring)
I served this with brown rice and tomato.


My wife and I loved the dish. My daughter doesn't usually like squash but thought that the main course was reasonable. She said that if she did like squash, she'd say this was one of her favorite recent meals! The grapes added not just nice contrasting color and nutrition, but also the flavor and moistness were nice contrasts to the rest of the cooking, each nicely holding the other up. 

Ideas for the future

I would like to have had time to have separated the red kuri seeds and to have added them to or atop the main course. A little bit of red wine might be good instead of the coconut aminos to deglaze and to add another complementary flavor profile. I also would add more mushroom in the future and might cut the mushroom thickly so it is more pronounced.

Getting back to the basic idea of having firm squash to work with, the butternut squash was a bit "al dente" but the red kuri was almost too soft. I should try this again with a 7-minute cook time.

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