Inspiried by Megan the Vegan, I stopped by Groceries of the Orient on Sunday. I was originally searching for yuba, which I think I found and didn’t buy, but ended up buying a bunch of other things.
I bought some fried tofu pockets, chayote (to stuff), lychee candy (a must have!), Panko breadcrumbs, spring roll sheets, Fanta and Mangosteen Juice drink (for fun), wonton wrappers (for potstickers), bok choy (to sauté), red bean jelly ice cream treats, taro buns (worth a try), a tofu cutlet, asian pears, and an agar agar Jello-type mix (to test jello shots with agar).
We tried the red bean jelly ice cream treats and they are so different. I'm not used to eating whole beans in my ice cream, that's for sure! Stay tuned how the rest of the purchases turn out.
For dinner Sunday night, we finally used our butternut squash for Sweet Roasted Butternut Squash and Greens Pasta. I think it has been about a year since we last made this. It was so good last time and was great again this time.
Although it has many ingredients and looks intimidating, this recipe is quite easy to make. Instead of half-and-half, I used soymilk; instead of a granny smith apple, I used one of our recently picked apples; and instead of escarole, I used green swiss chard.
Here’s the recipe for it, which is adapted from the Star Tribune newspaper:
Sweet Roasted Butternut and Greens Pasta
3 ½ to 4-lb. butternut squash peeled, seeded, and cut into bite-size chunks
1 medium to large onion, cut into ½-inch chunks
1 large granny smith apple, sliced
2 big handfuls of washed and dried escarole, torn
1/3 c. tightly packed torn fresh basil leaves
16 large torn fresh sage leaves
5 large cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
1/3 c. extra-virgin olive oil
¼ tsp hot red pepper flakes
1 tbsp tightly packed brown sugar
Salt and pepper, to taste
½ c. half and half
1 lb. Italian bow tie pasta, freshly cooked in salted water to tender, but still a little firm, and drained
1 to 1 ½ c. freshly shredded Asiago cheese
Slip a big shallow sheet pan (or 2 smaller ones) into the oven. Preheat oven to 450°.
In a big bowl, toss together squash, onion, greens, basil, sage, garlic, olive oil, red pepper, brown sugar and salt and pepper. Pull out the oven rack with the sheet pan on it. Carefully turn the squash blend onto the sheet. Spread it out and bake 25 minutes, turning twice, or until squash is tender.
Once the squash is tender, turn on the broiler to caramelize it. Watch closely, turning pieces often. Cook about 5 minutes; you want crusty brown edges onto the squash and wilted almost crisp greens.
Scrape everything into a serving bowl. Add the half and half, hot pasta and 1 cup of the cheese. Toss to blend, tasting for salt and pepper and enough cheese. Add apple and adjust seasonings; serve hot.
Peeling winter squash: Tough skin and hard flesh make winter squash annoying to peel. A relatively easy way to sidestep most of the work and the dangerous knife slips is to do the following: With an 8-inch chef’s knife, halve the squash lengthwise. Flip it cut-side down onto your cutting board and cut crosswise into 1-inch slices. Now it’s easy to strip away the peel and seeds. Cut the crescents of squash into small pieces.