Saturday, October 15, 2016

Heuhaufen Spaghetti Squash with Sour Cherry Crème

     A German Style Spaghetti Squash Haystack!
     Much of German cuisine is tastefully rich, yet comfortable at the same time.  The flavors provide relaxing comfort at the dinner table.  Many German vegetable recipes have an interesting combination of savory, sweet, sour and comfortable warm spice flavors.  Various levels of butter and pork fat also contribute to the appeal.  A combination of these German flavors is nice for a light delicate tasting autumn vegetable like Spaghetti Squash.
     Regardless of the size of spaghetti squash, the cooking method remains the same and the cooking goal remains the same.  The goal is to only bake a whole spaghetti squash for just enough time to allow the moisture inside the spaghetti squash to lightly steam the spaghetti shaped strands of squash marrow.  The strands of spaghetti squash should still be fairly crisp after baking, but not crisp enough to easily break.  Overcooked spaghetti squash is about as interesting to eat as a bowl full of mushy overcooked noodles.  "Al dente" or "blanched" are two good culinary terms to keep in mind when baking a whole spaghetti squash.
     The Sour Cherry Crème is nice garnish for the sweet savory German style Spaghetti Squash.  It is optional and only a small amount is needed.  I just happened to have a few reconstituted sour cherries on hand, so I put them to use in a garnishing sauce.  The small amount of Sour Cherry Crème does add a nice touch.
     Boiled eggs that have a semi hard cooked yolk are common in fine dining.  A boiling time of 8 to 9 minutes will produce a semi soft egg yolk.

     Spaghetti Squash:
     One small spaghetti squash yields 3 to 4 portions.
     The size of a spaghetti squash can affect the baking time.  For the most part, a baking time of 20 to 25 minutes is sufficient for any spaghetti squash that is smaller than a football.  For any size larger about 5 or 10 minutes of extra baking time may be needed.
     Step 1:  Use a metal skewer to pierce 2 small holes on 1 whole spaghetti squash, to create steam vents. 
     Step 2:  Place the whole spaghetti squash on a rack in a 350ºF oven.
     Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, till the spaghetti squash shell feels piping hot when touched.
     Step 3:  Remove the spaghetti squash from the oven.
     Allow the spaghetti squash to cool to room temperature.
     Step 4:  Cut the spaghetti squash in half across the middle.  
     *Do not cut spaghetti squash end to end, or the spaghetti strands will be cut into short pieces!  Long strands of al dente spaghetti squash is the goal.
     Use a spoon to scoop out the small amount of seeds and loose pulp from the middle of the squash.
     Step 5:  Starting from the center layer, gently use a fork to loosen, pry and pull the long strands of the spaghetti squash out of the shell.
     Step 6:  Chill the prepared spaghetti squash till it is needed.  
     *The spaghetti squash can refrigerated in a sealed container for a few days. 

     Boiled Egg:
     Always start boiled eggs in cold salted water.  The boiling time starts when the water first comes to a boil.  8 to 9 minutes will produce a semi soft yolk like the one in the photos.
     Cook 1 hard boiled egg.  
     Cool the egg under cold running water and peel the egg.  

     Sour Cherry Crème:
     This recipe yields 2 garnish portions.  (About 3 tablespoons.)
     Step 1:  Soak 8 to 10 dried sour cherries in water, till they start to become soft.
     Drain the water off of the sour cherries.
     Step 2:  Heat a small sauce pot over low heat.
     Add the semi soft sour cherries.
     Add just enough water to cover the sour cherries.
     Simmer till the water evaporates and the cherries become tender.
     Step 3:  Add 1/3 cup of cream.
     Add 1/2 tablespoon of sugar.
     Add 1 tiny pinch of nutmeg.
     Step 4:  Gently simmer and reduce the sauce, till it is a medium thin sauce consistency that coats a spoon.
     Keep the sour cherry crème warm on a stove top.

     Heuhaufen Spaghetti Squash:
     This recipe yields 1 portion.
     Step 1:  Heat a wide sauté pan over medium/medium low heat.
     Add 1 teaspoon of unsalted butter.
     Add 2 slices of smoked bacon that is small chopped.
     Sauté till the bacon just starts to become a golden color.
     Step 2:  Drain all but 1 tablespoon of grease out of the pan.
     Return the pan to medium/medium low heat.
     Step 3:  Add 3 tablespoon of diced onion.
     Add 1 tablespoon of diced celery.
     Add 1 tablespoon of diced carrot.
     Add 1 tablespoon of diced sweet red bell pepper.
     Add 1 small apple that is cut into small bite size pieces.
     Sauté till the onions turn clear in color and the vegetables start to become tender.
     Step 4:  Add 1 1/2 cups of light chicken broth.
     Add 3 tablespoons of sugar.
     Add 2 spice cloves.
     Add 1 pinch of nutmeg.
     Add 1 small pinch of allspice.
     Add 1 small pinch of cinnamon.
     Add 1 pinch of marjoram.
     Add 1 pinch of sea salt and black pepper.
     Simmer and reduce the liquid, till about 1/2 cup of liquid remains.
     Step 5:  Remove the 2 spice cloves.
     Add 1/2 tablespoon of unsalted butter while stirring.
     Step 6:  Add 1 1/2 cups (1 large handful) of prepared spaghetti squash strands.
     Simmer and toss the ingredients together, till the spaghetti squash becomes hot.
     Keep the spaghetti squash warm over very low heat.

     Heuhaufen Spaghetti Squash with Sour Cherry Crème:
     This recipe yields 1 portion.
     Spaghetti Squash is best when it is served shortly after it is cooked.
     Step 1:  Mound a tall haystack of the German style spaghetti squash on the center of a plate.
     Step 2:  Garnish the plate with 1 hard boiled egg that is cut in half.
     Spoon 1 1/2 tablespoons of the Sour Cherry Crème on top of the haystack as a garnish.
     Garnish the haystack with an Italian Parsley leaf.

     This is a nice Spaghetti Squash recipe for Oktoberfest! 

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