Despite first impressions, Sunset magazine is not a periodical for the AARP set. It portrays Life In The West in laid-back, DIY, horticultural light, which is most often filtered through a hazy, dreamy lens. Our good friends (and current SF denizens) Christmas-gifted us with The Sunset Cookbook, a collection of their best recipes. And while Malcolm dropped in head first I was a bit more circumspect. I am no Horace Greeley follower, I am firmly rooted in the Northeast. After a few grudging weeks I always come around, and when I started flipping through the pacific pages I did find a few things that were appealing. I’ve never before had my hands inside the wormy wonder of spaghetti squash, but I must say, it was super satisfying to scoop out ribbons of gourd flesh with a spoon. Here’s what happened:
Spaghetti Squash with Jalapeno Cream
adapted from Sunset magazine
- 1 spaghetti squash
- 2 cups milk
- 3 jalapenos, seeds removed, chopped
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup jack cheese
Step 1: Cracking the squash. I don’t know if I am inept or if this was a particularly chaste specimen, but it refused to open; I felt like King Arthur when I finally extracted my knife from the gourd. Bake face down on a buttered baking sheet at 375 for thirty-five minutes. Meanwhile, on the stove, add the jalapeno pieces into milk, heating until tiny bubble form around the perimeter of the pot. Remove from heat and let steep for fifteen minutes once this bubbling has occured, then strain and discard peppers, set milk aside. In the same pot over medium heat, melt butter, whisking in salt and flour, then the milk, for at least five minutes, until it is smooth and slick. When the squash is cool enough to handle (but not too cold to hold) strip it of its flesh, scraping with a large spoon, and desposit the spaghetti-textured stuff into a large bowl. Stir in the liquid and add a dash of nutmeg and black pepper. Transfer to a buttered baking dish, top with grated cheese and bake for thirty minutes.
Projected Results: totally rad and yummy to the the max. Do try this at home, even if your home is somewhere East of Eden.
Actual Results: nice, but left me longing for a really good baked macaroni and cheese. Reheats beautifully.