It’s been over a week since Thanksgiving and my refrigerator is still packed. Most of it’s not leftovers from the meal, but more of the extra things I bought just in case. Just in case something didn’t work out and I’d need a do-over. Just in case I needed options. Just in case I underestimated appetites (ha!).
Surveying my stores, I clearly overdid dairy. I also still have a respectable squash collection. And I had some mushrooms about to enter the use-it-or-lose-it zone. So, there you have it, my first meal for the 2011-2012 Dark Days Eat Local Challenge is Spaghetti Squash Alfredo with cultivated wild mushrooms.
I decided to go with the microwave method of cooking the squash instead of the longer methods of baking or boiling. I cut the squash in half lengthwise, placed it in a baking dish with about a half of an inch of water, and covered it with plastic wrap. I microwaved it for about 10 minutes in total. I used a fork to liberate the squash strands that resemble spaghetti, hence the name.
I made the sauce using this Alfredo sauce recipe. I used Pleasant Valley cheese from Sankow’s Beaver Brook, an aged sheep’s milk cheese, which has a flavor similar to Pecorino Romano. It’s not exactly Parmigiano-Reggiano, but it’s a relatively minor taste adjustment to keep the meal local.
I pan sautéed the mushrooms following Julia Child’s Champignons sautés au beurre recipe. This is my first time using mushrooms in this dish. Initially, I was thinking they’d make a great side dish. At the last moment, I threw caution to the wind, and added them on top.
Spaghetti squash doesn’t have much flavor of it’s own, so the richness of the Alfredo sauce really brought it to life. It did have a nice mild crunch which is something you don’t usually get with fettuccine. The mushrooms made the flavors interesting, in a good way.
- spaghetti squash: Sport Hill Farm
- butter and heavy cream: Smyth’s Trinity Farm
- egg: Greyledge Farm
- Pleasant Valley cheese: Sankow’s Beaver Brook
- macrolepiota rachodes mushrooms (shaggy parasol): Holbrook Farm, where John is growing these wild mushrooms in a hoop house.
For dessert, black raspberry ice cream with whipped cream because I still had a lot of heavy cream (and ice cream) and I wanted to play with my new
What a cool thing! Easy to use and fast too. I was really impressed with this gadget. (No, I’m not affiliated with them!)
- ice cream: Ferris Acres Creamery
- heavy cream: Smyth’s Trinity Farm
- confectioner’s sugar and vanilla: not local