Cooking with Winter Squash-Dumplings

Since I have not been going to the store I must work with what I already have. I decided to cook up and freeze one of my winter squashes since I have freezer space.  They keep a long time but it more convenient to have some cooked squash on hand. I used something called a neck pumpkin that was given to me last Fall by Carl Skalak from Blue Pike Farm. Thanks, Carl! It looks like a butternut squash but with a much longer neck. The taste is similar to butternut squash.

Pumpkin can be used interchangeably with winter squash although some pumpkins are sweeter than others. Some pumpkins are more ornamental and best used for decorations.

Washed the squash. Cut the neck into big chunks. Gee, sounds like the scene from a horror movie. I then cut the chunks in half lengthwise and placed them cut side down in a baking dish with about an inch of water in it. Baked it  at 350 until tender- about 45 minutes. Use a fork to test for “doneness”. The end of the squash that contains the seeds was much wider. I cut it in half and scooped out the seeds. Placed it cut side down in baking dish and cooked like the rest of the squash. Once cool enough to handle I scooped out the flesh and ran it through a food mill. A processor would also work. The squash puree was really watery so I placed it in a strainer, over a bowl and put it in the fridge overnight to drain. This morning I froze a few packages of the squash and cooked with the rest. I made a yummy pumpkin bread with dried cherries and decided to make dumplings with the rest. I measured as I went. The result was pretty tasty.  I browned the cooked dumplings in butter but wanted a sauce so I tossed them in a carrot pasta sauce- recipe follows.

Pumpkin (Squash) Dumplings

1 1/2 c. cooked squash or pumpkin

2 eggs

2 T. oil

2 cups flour

1/4 t. grated nutmeg

salt to taste

Combine squash and eggs and beat until smooth. Stir in remaining ingredients until smooth. The result will be a thick batter. Let batter rest 10 minutes. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and drop batter by teaspoonfuls into the water. Dumplings will sink to the bottom and then surface.Allow to cook 3-5 minutes after they start to float. Drain and either brown in butter or toss with your favorite sauce.


Carrot Sauce

 1 T. oil

1 onion, chopped

1 garlic clove, minced

1 lb. carrots, peeled and sliced

2 c. chicken or vegetable stock

Salt and pepper to taste

1/2 c. cream, half and half or evaporated milk

1-T. fresh dill or 1 t. dried

Sauté onion in oil until tender. Add garlic, carrots and stock and cook until carrots are very tender. Much of the liquid should have evaporated by then. Place mixture in blender and add cream or milk, mixing until smooth. Add dill and adjust seasonings, tossing over hot pasta to serve.

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