Quick, quick… I need to post a holiday snack for Thanksgiving day celebrations. I’m sure there will be plenty of squash used in various forms and it’s inevitable you’ll be left with a bunch of it. What to do with it?… Ta daaa! Well, that was a no-brainer. My favorite squash of all is Kabocha squash because it has an exceptional naturally sweet flavor, even sweeter than butternut squash, and a pleasing texture somewhere between a pumpkin and a sweet potato. And the color. Ah the color! The golden orange flesh of Kabocha squash has enough warmth to bring out the holiday spirit out of a cranky old horse.
Here’s what I did. I steamed the Kabocha squash until soft and turned it into a puree and mixed it with pumpkin pie spices, added a little beer, evaporated milk, yeast, sugar and flour and let the dough rest for a while. I preheated some oil to 350′F and dropped spoonfuls of the batter until puffed and golden. Powdered sugar, et voila. Difficult? No. Dangerous? Yes.
Now, if you feel like it you could serve those pumpkin nuggets with an Orange Flower Crème Anglaise as a dipping sauce. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!
Kabocha Squash Beignets
- Serves 6
For the Kabocha Squash Beignets :
- 1 Kabocha squash
- 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
- 1/3 cup evaporated milk
- 1/3 cup Golden ale
- 1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
- pinch of ground cardamom
- pinch of salt
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 3/4 cup flour
- Canola oil for frying
- Powdered sugar
For the Kabocha Beignets:
- Cut the Kabocha squash into quarters, scoop out the seeds and pulp and discard. Place the quarters in a steamer and steam until soft, about 30 minutes. Remove from the steamer and let cool. Scoop out the flesh from the skin, mash with a fork and measure 1 1/4 cup. Save the rest of another use.
- Sprinkle the yeast over ¼ cup warm water (110′F) and let it sit until foamy.
- In the bowl of a Kitchenaid add the Kabocha squash, evaporated milk, golden ale, spices, salt and mix with the paddle attachment until smooth. Add the sugar and mix until blended. Add the foamy yeast and then the flour in a few additions and mix until smooth. Cover the bowl and let it rest in a warm place for 45 minutes.
- Heat canola oil to 350′F (3 inches deep) in a deep, heavy bottom saucepan.
- Drop 7 or 8 spoonfuls of the batter into the oil and fry for 3 minutes, about a minute and a half on each side.
- Drain the beignets on paper towels and sprinkle with powdered sugar.
- Serve warm with orange flower creme anglaise.