Monday, November 26, 2012

Peeling and Cutting Butternut Squash

Someone once remarked that the best way to peel a butternut squash is to use a lathe.

The CC fully concurs.

However since most of us don't have a spare lathe sitting around — those of you that do can leave now! — here's how to cut it open in ten easy steps without cutting anything else open.
  1. Slice off the top and bottom so that it can sit flat on a surface.
  2. Put it on its side. Roll it around to see where it is most stable and using the chef's knife, make a length-wise incision. Press down. Let gravity do the work.
  3. You will NOT be able to cut it into a half (most likely, sometimes it works.)
  4. In that case, stand it up vertically. (This is where cutting the top and bottom works.) Now slice down vertically using the above incision as a guide. Again, let gravity do the work.
  5. Congratulations. You have two halves. Start scooping out the stringly innards and the seeds.
  6. Lay down the two flat halves face-down on a surface, and cut downwards with the knife letting gravity do the work.
  7. This is the tricky part. You will have four quarters. They tend to be relatively stable when the triangular sections are facing upwards. Cut gently into eighths using the ridge as a guide again letting gravity do the work.
  8. With a sharp vegetable peeler, cut the outer skin away from each of the eighths. This is straightforward since each one can be easily grasped. It's a lot of boring work but as they say, "Better boring than ER."
  9. Wash, slice and dice.
  10. Be thankful you don't run a restaurant.

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