Autumn Has Arrived!

Fall foliage in Central Park is a blink-and-you-miss-it event…don’t miss it this year!

Although some of you reading did not enjoy that announcement and will argue that summer is not officially over, the first few leaves fell to the ground last week with all the rain. There was a cool breeze, and I could just smell autumn in the air! It signals the arrival of sweaters, scarves, and, most importantly, sweet potatoes! In the last two weeks, we’ve gotten potatoes and a couple different varieties of squash. Normally we stick to baked and mashed potatoes, but just realized how tasty sliced oven-roasted potatoes can be…

 

Crispy Oven-Roasted Potatoes

  • 3-6 medium potatoes, 1/2 inch slices
  • 2 Tbsp. butter, melted
  • 1/2 tsp salt and pepper
  • 1/2 tsp paprika, basil, and garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp olive oil

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Mix potato slices around in the salt ‘n spice ‘n butter combination until they are covered. Arrange them in a single layer on a cookie sheet, and bake for fifteen minutes. Flip potato slices over, then bake for an additional ten minutes. They should be crispy on the outside and soft on the inside!

 

Squash is a veggie that has been baked, roasted, and sauteed in this house. Tipnut.com has great basic recipes for all of these methods…

 

 Pan-Fried/Sauteed:

  • Clean and prepare by peeling skin and removing seeds and pulp (young summer squash can be cooked with its skin on but wash well first).
  • Cut into slices or chunks then cook in butter over medium-high heat (uncovered) until pieces are fork tender. Season with salt, pepper or choice of herbs (you can also add thinly sliced onion).
  • Remove from heat and serve.
  • Depending on the variety, cut in half or in pieces large enough for individual servings.

Baked:

  • Scrape out seeds and stringy parts.
  • Place pieces cut side up on large baking pan.
  • On each piece place one teaspoon of butter, one teaspoon of sugar or honey or corn syrup, and a sprinkle of salt. Or try butter, garlic cloves and fresh herbs.
  • Pour a third of a cup of boiling water onto the baking pan. Cover pan with lid or foil.
  • Bake in a moderately hot oven (400°F) for about one hour (remove cover for the last twenty minutes of baking).

Baked and Stuffed: For small varieties, try baking them stuffed!

  • Remove one end (save this piece) and clean out seeds and stringy bits.
  • Fill with a bread and meat stuffing (meat should be cooked first), pack into squash lightly, replace the end piece and tie together with string, wrap each piece with greased paper.
  • Place in a baking pan, add 1/3 cup boiling water to the pan and bake at 400°F for about one hour (time depends on size and age of squash). To serve, cut in slices.

Roasted:

  • Cut in half, remove seeds and stringy bits, then cut again into individual portion sizes.
  • Coat pieces with olive oil then place on a baking sheet with the cut side facing up. Sprinkle with coarse salt and pepper if desired.
  • Roast at 400°F for one hour, turning pieces after thirty minutes or as needed to prevent burning.
  • Once it’s tender, remove from oven, scoop out the flesh and serve.
  • Alternate Method: You can also peel first, remove seeds and stringy bits, then cut into 1/4″ slices (approximately). Proceed as above but heating time will be closer to thirty minutes or so.

 

Also know that you can make a variety of desserts with squash as well! Anything that you normally relate to pumpkins can also be filled with squash: pie, bars, and muffins. Look forward to a variety of sweet potato deliciousness in my next post, including the very popular sweet potato cupcakes!

This image ensures that you will be very excited about my next blog entry.

 

(The free kayaking on the Hudson, by the way, was extremely fun, and I recommend it to everyone. Check it out at www.downtownboathouse.org!)

 

Enjoy!

Lacy

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