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Thread: How do you peel a butternut squash?

  1. #1
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    Question How do you peel a butternut squash?

    I made the Fall Minestrone from the 10/03 issue for dinner last night, and it calls for butternut squash. I have another recipe later this week for supper club that also uses butternut squash, so last night, I just used the part that I needed.

    I have always had trouble peeling this kind of squash. I really like to eat it, but having to peel it is something that makes me not buy it, if that makes any sense.

    I've tried a paring knife, I've tried a vegetable peeler...neither really works all that great. Is there something else I can try?

    Thanks!
    “When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed
    door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.”

    Helen Keller (1880–1968)

  2. #2
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    Pierce a couple of holes (with a knife or a fork, if you can get it in) and then microwave for 5-10 minutes on high to soften a bit. Then cut in half, scoop out the seeds, and the peel should be easier to remove.

    HTH,
    Sarah
    Lacey: So now that Superman is done at the Iron Fortress, is he going to spin his web of justice and return to the Batcave?
    Brent: You don't read many comic books, do you?
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  3. #3
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    I have had the hardest time with butternuts, which makes me not always want to use them. But they are too good to let that interfere!

    I just recently got a new OXO peeler and that worked wonders for me. Before that I had used a knife and which did not work well.

    I will try Sarah's way as well, which will probably be even easier.

  4. #4
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    Maybe it depends on the peeler? Remember when AB did that show (I think it was about eggplant) and recommended owning two styles? I, of course, pitched my icky old peeler from the hardware store and bought the two he recommended - now I peel my butternut squash with the more squat one, the horizontal one. That method works pretty well for me.

  5. #5
    I cut the squash in half and place one-half, cut side-down, on the cutting board. I use a Y-shaped peeler to peel that half, then I do the other half. I find that cutting the squash in half to create a flat bottom makes it much less awkward to peel.

    If you have trouble cutting a raw squash (I sometimes do), I bet Sarah's suggestion would work well- microwave, then cut in half.

  6. #6
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    I hear you...

    Lara,

    I know what you mean. Peeling squash was something that could turn me off making squash recipes too. Now I cut them in half and prebake in the oven for about 30 minutes first and then the peel is very easy to remove. Sarah's microwave suggestion is, of course, even faster!

    Natasha
    "If you're not chasing after miracles, what's the point?" The movie Saint Ralph

    "What it all comes down to
    Is that everything's gonna be fine fine fine
    I've got one hand in my pocket
    And the other one is giving a high five" - Alanis Morisette, Hand in My Pocket

  7. #7
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    Does doing that "pre-cooking" actually cook the squash? My recipe called for the squash to be uncooked when it went into the soup. Maybe its not cooking it enough to make a difference.

    I need to look for one of these "Y" shaped peelers that Stephanie mentions.

    Thanks, everyone! I have the other part of my squash to use this weekend, so I will give some of these ideas a try.
    “When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed
    door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.”

    Helen Keller (1880–1968)

  8. #8
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    Hi Lara,

    Every time I have prebaked the squash, it did cook considerably, yes. The recipes were things like soup recipes, which (like your recipe called for uncooked squash. I just revised the cooking time accordingly (to take into account the baking) and have never had a problem with the flavours not melding or anything, or with the squash being overcooked. Good luck!

    Natasha
    "If you're not chasing after miracles, what's the point?" The movie Saint Ralph

    "What it all comes down to
    Is that everything's gonna be fine fine fine
    I've got one hand in my pocket
    And the other one is giving a high five" - Alanis Morisette, Hand in My Pocket

  9. #9
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    The peelers that Williams and Sonoma sells for $3.00 works perfectly. I think the point is having a sharp one. I peeled a small one last week in seconds.

    Good luck....
    "...having dogs forces us to keep living in places that are right for us. And I think of all the things I might have given up had my dogs not shown me what was important in my life: fresh air, a garden, an eleven-thousand foot mountain in my backyard." - Pam Houston "The Bad Dogs of Park City"

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  10. #10
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    With a soup recipe (or really any recipe with sqash), the squash is going to cook down in the rest of the process anyways. It may knock a little time off the cooking, but there's so much water in squash that it shouldn't really matter. The pumpkin I used last weekend in the soup I made was like that: started but not fully cooked. The end product was delicious!!

    Sarah

    Edited to add: Natasha, great minds think alike!
    Lacey: So now that Superman is done at the Iron Fortress, is he going to spin his web of justice and return to the Batcave?
    Brent: You don't read many comic books, do you?
    -Corner Gas

  11. #11
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    Originally posted by gertdog
    ....I use a Y-shaped peeler to peel that half, then I do the other half....
    "Y-shaped"? So it's not actually called "the squat one, the horizontal one" ? That's the type I was thinking of.
    I'm going to try laying it flat next time - good idea, Stephanie.

  12. #12
    Originally posted by Canice


    "Y-shaped"? So it's not actually called "the squat one, the horizontal one" ? That's the type I was thinking of.
    As far as I know "Y-shaped" isn't the official name either- I either made that up or heard it somewhere...

  13. #13
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    Because I have way too much time on my hands (I gotta get a real job) I Googled Y-shaped peeler...many hits! Guess that's the name.

  14. #14
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    I use the Y shape Kuhn Rikon peeler that I bought at WS to peel butternut squash. FYI, that peeler is made in Switzerland! The peel comes off easily in ribbons. First I slice the top and bottom off and then start peeling. It only takes about 5 minutes.

  15. #15
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    Stephanie, is this the peeler you're talking about?



    Hmm, maybe I will need to make a trek to this weekend to find one of these peelers that people say make things so easy.
    “When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed
    door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.”

    Helen Keller (1880–1968)

  16. #16
    Yep, I think that's a Y-peeler!

    That one looks like an Oxo Good Grips- mine is made by Kuhn-Rikon (the one Miranda mentioned) and has a blue plastic handle. This page has a picture of the one I have.

  17. #17
    Unless I need it intact in halves or quarters (in which case I am usually not peeling it, but roasting it with the skin still on), I cut off the neck, right at the part where the bulbous region begins. This way, you have one portion that is cylindrical and easy to peel using an ordinary vegetable peeler, and a roundish portion that you can peel much in the same way as an apple. This works pretty well for me.

  18. #18
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    I eat the skin!!!

    No one else seems to have mentioned this so I will.....I just eat the skin. I've only done this with a roasted squash, but the skin becomes thin and has a nice texture. I never peel anymore!!

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