mike kostyo

I know food.

sweet and sour garlic squash

A short intro this week. And pardon the length between posts, as it is finals time and nevermind there is no room for excuses in food blogging. This semester I am taking Survey of the History of Food and my final paper is about the creation of the chef as symbol during the rise of haute cuisine. Paper name dropping! I think that is a thing that graduate students like to do (besides talk about being a graduate student): drop the name of their paper because it makes them sound like fancy scholars and hopefully all of these thousands of dollars in loans are worth it and the person they are speaking with will be like, "Oh my, I don't even understand what that title means, they must be very smart." Of course, the paper title is purposely long and over-the-top for this reason. "Oh, hahaha, just a little paper I'm writing, about gender semiotics in 17th-century Balinese kitchens." Hahaha, oh you know. So boring. Just something I'm doing in my spare time. Let me think of some long words and then tell you about the paper.

So, anyways, I also have to think of some type of product of cultural tourism that could be created for my other class and write a paper about it. It should be food-related, like a food festival or tour or something like that. I have an idea, about something you and I can do together, a fun project, not an idea for my paper, but that's where your part comes in: you should think of an idea for my paper and give it to me and in return I will give you a recipe for sweet and sour garlic squash. What a very fair exchange. If anything you are really making out like a bandit in this deal.

So, this recipe is from Mario Batali. I still have a few pumpkins and squashes and the like sitting about the apartment that were serving as Thanksgiving decorations but nervously awaiting the Christmas season when they would have to make way Christmas lights and get hacked to pieces for a nice soup or something. I'm thinking of writing children's books. So I had this festival squash and I was tired of squash soup and all that and wanted something different, something brighter and more interesting, so this was perfect. I'm not quite sold on festival squashes as they seem kind of mealy, but I think this recipe would be excellent with a sugar pumpkin or butternut squash. 

Enjoy! You can send me that idea anytime before midnight tonight. Thanks!

sweet and sour squash

adapted from mario batali's molto italiano (and reprinted at the food network)

+ 1/4 cup olive oil
+ 1 pound sugar pumpkin, butternut squash, acorn squash or other squash, rind and seeds removed, cut into 1-inch cubes
+ 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced (not chopped)
+ 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
+ 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
+ 3 tablespoons honey
+ 1 tablespoon fresh, chopped parsley, sage or mint 

In a large saute pan, heat the 1/4 cup of olive oil until it is just smoking hot. You want the pan to be very hot because you want to sear the outside of the squash and get it nice and caramelized. Add the 1 pound of pumpkin and 4 cloves of sliced garlic and cook until it is a nice golden brown on the outside, about 5 minutes.

Add the 1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes, 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar and 3 tablespoons honey and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has transformed into a thick, sticky glaze and the pumpkin is tender and caramelized - about 8 to 10 minutes.

Remove from the heat, sprinkle with the herb of your choice and serve.

makes about 4 servings