Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Mastering the art of cooking a Spaghetti Squash

A few months ago I saw a recipe on Eating Well claiming that spaghetti squash was the perfect alternative to pasta. WHAT? I had never heard this before. I had been introduced to a lot of different squashes via my aforementioned chef friend below and she taught me tons of yummy ways to incorporate and substitute squash to make dishes healthy and fantastic. But Spaghetti squash for pasta??? (a disclaimer to mention she does in fact do this as well, however she can't teach me every squash recipe in one season!)

My first attempt at making this dish proved mixed. The ingredients in the rest of the recipe made it very tasty, however the consistency of the squash was anything but pasta-like. I followed the directions on the bottom of the recipe to a tee, and still came out with a mush of squash. Now one would assume that the use of the adjective "mush" when referring to a squash is a good thing. Not so much with the spaghetti squash.

After having an unused pork tenderloin in the freeze for a week, I decided to attempt this dish again. I spent my lunch hour googling "how to cook a spaghetti squash that is not mushy" to hopefully improve the errors of my are the changes I made. One, I made sure to pierce the outside of the squash about five times on each side. I also had read numerous times that it is better to under cook the squash than over cook. AH HA, I have come to believe that was my mistake last time! The recipe reads to cook the squash for at least an hour, mine was done in approx. 40 mins. Perfectly Pasta-like. The key, I read, was to check the outside of the squash to see if it was soft to the touch, if so then turn it over and attempt shredding to test the consistency.

The flavors in this meal is Asian inspired and definitely creates a unique and tasty substitute for a normal high calorie noodle stir-fry. Although you may not have a few of the ingredients in your cupboard, believe me when I say that you will definitely use them again and again to make some delicious Spaghetti Squash & Pork Stir-fry!