Cooking Hint of the Day - Cutting Winter Squashgreenspun.com : LUSENET : Cooking & Crafts : One Thread
CUTTING WINTER SQUASH:
Recipes for winter squash usually begin with the instruction, "Cut the squash in half." However, squash vary tremendously in size, shape, and skin toughness - compare hubbards, spaghettis, turbans, and delicatas - and cutting them can be a perplexing and dangerous task. Luckily, heat can soften a squash and alleviate some of the difficulty. Using a pairing knife or metal skewer, pierce the skin in three or four places, and cook the squash in a microwave set on high, then proceed with recipe. It will take 5 to 15 minutes to soften depending on the squash’s size and hardness. After cooling, remove the stem and lay the squash on its most stable side. Holding it with one hand, pierce the center with a medium or large knife. Then pull through and down the squash until one half is cut through cleanly. Turn the squash and repeat the process on the uncut half. The squash can then be seeded and cooked further. Squash too large for the microwave can be baked in the oven until their skin softens. No two squash are the same, soft or hard, and attempting to cut even a small squash in half with one stroke can be dangerous. Remember, safety first.
-- Karen (email@example.com), March 15, 2002