Looking for something fun to do with all that winter squash that is in season at the Farmer’s Market? Instead of the traditional soups, mash, or breads and cakes, why not make this delicious side dish – an easy way to sneak extra vitamin C and A into even the pickiest eaters, these ‘fries’ are crisp, well-seasoned, and can be made lower in fat, if you roast them! Serve with cinnamon-spiced honey or maple syrup dipping sauces for a perfect fall treat. Save the seeds and season and toast them along side the fries for salad garnishes or a snack.
1 3-4 pound butternut squash, cleaned, seeded, peeled, and cut into fries (see below)
2+ cups of Better Batter Gluten Free Seasoned Flour
vegetable oil, for frying, or cooking spray and a parchment paper lined cookie sheet for roasting
Please make sure your knives are VERY sharp before proceeding with this recipe, as it makes the process much easier and safer!
Peel the squash:
With your sharp knife, slice a small slice off the bottom of the squash, about 1/8 inch thick. This creates a stable bottom for you. Also slice off a small slice from the top of the squash, to remove the stem and to give you a flat surface to ‘cut down’ on. Hold the prepared squash in your non dominant hand. With a very sharp vegetable peeler, peel off the rind of the squash (you should be able to see where the rind ends and flesh begins on the cut surfaces of the squash). You want to do this in long strokes, working from the top of the squash to the bottom of the squash, and rotating the squash slightly, as you go, to get the whole surface peeled.
Cut and seed the squash:
Place the peeled squash on a solid cutting surface. Using a very sharp knife, make one long cut down the very center of the squash to break it in half. Squash can be very hard, so you may need to gently tap the knife with a rubber mallet to work the blade down the flesh. Separate the two halves.
Take a spoon and spoon out the seeds – these are edible once toasted and quite delicious, so save, if desired.
Cut the squash just above where the bulb begins to narrow. This should give you 4 pieces, about 4-5 inches long. Cut these into 1/2 inch slabs. Turn the slabs on their side and cut each slab into 1/2 inch ‘fries’
Season the fries:
Place seasoned flour in a large zip-top bag or paper bag. Add the fries and shake well to coat. Set aside as you heat up the oil or oven.
Cook the fries:
To fry: Place 1 inch of vegetable oil in a heavy cast iron skillet and heat over medium high heat, until the oil reaches 350 degrees. Working in small batches, shake off the excess flour from the fries and fry, one handful at a time, until browned and crisp. Drain on paper towels and keep warm in a heated oven until all fries are finished. Serve immediately.
To roast: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place a sheet of parchment paper on a cookie sheet. spray the cookie sheet with a bit of cooking spray or oil. Shake off the excess flour from the fries and lay in a single file layer on the sheet. Spray generously with cooking spray or cooking oil. Place in oven and cook for 20-30 minutes, or until the fries are browned and crisp. Serve immediately.