So about once a week or once every few days, I spend some time going through all of the pages that are being viewed on the site. It gives me good insight in to what you lovely people are currently coming here for and helps me make decisions about what to share in the future.
What I also look in to is what you’re searching for. Key words, phrases, etc. And from what I’ve gathered in the last few weeks, you search for a lot of really basic things like ‘how to make butternut squash puree’ and ‘pizza sauce’ and a lot of other fundamentals. These weren’t things I had ever really considered posting because for me, these things have always come naturally. I was never instructed on how to do a lot of things in the kitchen because it was like my hands already knew how to do most things. Cooking is instinctive for me. I don’t know why I knew how to cook the moment I decided to start, I just know that I did and, over the years, I’ve gotten better.
I suppose it was a bit naive of me to just start posting recipes and expect you to know how to do the things I need you to do for some recipes. SO I’m starting a Cooking Basics series to help you with those exact things!
Today we’re starting with how to make butternut squash puree because it’s been the top search on the site for the month of October for obvious reasons. I have a lot of recipes on here that use butternut squash puree so hopefully this will encourage you to make all of them! Okay here we go:
Preheat your oven to 425F
Cut the squash lengthwise down the center and scrape out the seeds like so:
Then place face down on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. You can use foil or a silicone baking mat if you wish but my preference is parchment paper. Place on the center rack of your oven and bake for 45-55 minutes. It could take more or less time depending on the size of your squash. You’ll know it’s done when it’s easily pierced with a fork. You want the flesh very soft and easy to scoop from the skin. Like so:
Now, there’s always a bit of a skin that forms on the flesh when baked face down. We don’t want this in our puree. It just doesn’t taste nice and doesn’t blend well. Let your squash cool so you can handle it without burning the shiz outta your hands then remove that skin.
Scoop the flesh in to a blender or food processor. Food processor is best because it’ll work faster with less bother, but a blender will work. You’ll likely need to stop and scrape the sides and such as you go with the blender. It’s no problem, will just take a bit more time.
And, well, there you have it.
Repeat with the rest of the squash. IF your squash is a bit watery, it’s a good idea to either:
A: Blot it with a paper towel then let it drain in a paper towel lined colander for 20-30 minutes
B: What I do… cook it over moderate heat in a pot on the stove, stirring often. This helps the moisture evaporate.
This is only necessary when you’re going to bake with it and it’s usually not a problem with butternut squash. It’s usually more of a thing with pumpkin. If you’re just cooking with it, there’s no need to remove excess moisture.
Aaaand that’s all she wrote.