Monday, November 21, 2011

Spaghetti squash provides
entertainment while cooking

One of the most fun foods to prepare for a dish is a spaghetti squash.
   It’s kind of miraculous the way the insides of a cooked spaghetti squash scrape out in thin strands which look just like the pasta for which it is named.
   The words “that is so cool,” will likely come out of your mouth, as they did from mine, as you scrape out the squash insides in preparation for Spaghetti Squash & Pork Stir-Fry (click for the recipe) from Eating Well magazine.
   Cutting the raw squash isn’t fun, however. It’s rather tough. The best way my husband and I have found to cut open spaghetti and butternut squash is to use a meat cleaver, and hack away at one line until a break can be made through the shell into the flesh. Extreme caution must be used this method, of course!
   This stir-fry dish is satisfying and delicious. The squash strands and pieces of pork are a nice combination. If you don’t tell people what the strands are, people may just think they are some type of Asian noodle!
   The recipe calls for a three-pound squash, but if you can't find one that size and you need to buy one that’s bigger, no problem. I had one that was six pounds, and so I cut it in half, then one of the halves in half again. These are the two halves I placed cut-side down on a baking sheet before putting them in the oven.
   The recipe is easy to make, though the squash does need to bake for one hour.
   A spaghetti squash is cut in half, and the seeds scooped out and discarded. The halves are placed, cut side down, on a baking sheet, and baked until tender, about one hour, then left to cool for 10 minutes. The flesh is scraped out with a fork into a bowl (the fun part), and the shell is discarded.
   A pork tenderloin is cut into thin rounds, and each round into matchsticks.
   A large wok (or frying pan or skillet) is heated, then sesame oil, scallions (green onions or spring onions), garlic, fresh ginger, salt, pork and squash threads are added and cooked. Soy sauce, rice vinegar and Asian red chile sauce (we used sriracha, but half the amount – ½ teaspoon instead of one teaspoon) are added and the whole mixture is cooked until it’s aromatic.

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