I may not know where I’ll be on Thanksgiving this year, but I do know what I’ll be making to share.
Imagine my surprise--after my lengthy lamentation about the lack of true kabocha at the farmer’s market–to stumble upon the real thing at Winn Dixie.
Of course, it was mislabeled.*
*For a song and dance about actual buttercup squash–and to see the ‘cup’ or ‘cap’ that distinguishes it from kabocha–please investigate my Winter Squash Riso-faux .
But enough squash snobbery (for now).
I took this miraculous find as a sign to completely abandon the recipe I was going to show you for the second week of K is for Kabocha in Heather ‘s Meatless Mondays A-Zchallenge , and instead make something MUCH more delicious. Heather’s self-proclaimed fail reminded me in appearance (somewhat) of the time I made a very lovely Baked Garam Kabocha Pudding , in honor of learning about National Indian Pudding Day (November 13th).
Except, I didn’t actually research what Indian pudding was.
I was probably too busy devouring kabocha skin.
See, I was thinking Indian…like India…like the country…NOT like the misnamed group of indigenous people who populated our continent before Colombus arrived and decided he had reached the land of savory (and profitable) spices.
Turns out Indian Pudding is a sweet (rather ugly until you put ice cream on it) dessert made from eggs and cornmeal, and traditionally flavored with molasses and spices.
While I did put in the cornmeal flour* and the molasses…
*Thank you, Lindsey , for this very expensive masa harina.
…but nothing about the rest of it could be considered traditional.
I made it vegan by using silken tofu…
…and my new favorite mixing agent: soaked raw cashews.
Desserts are all well and good, of course–especially when ice cream is potentially involved–but as I have mentioned , I hate to mask the flavor of really good winter squash with anything…even sugar.
So I took a savory turn, just by adding a wee bit of salt and some onion that I’d sliced and quickly softened in the microwave. The result? As addictive as if it WERE infused with sugar and spice (and everything nice).
I managed not to eat it all just like that, and even decorated the top with some sliced local apples and more softened onion.
I let it cook at 300 degrees for about 45 or so minutes…
…just until I couldn’t wait any longer to eat it.
[Or the top was crackling. Whichever comes first for you.] Turns out that when I went to link back to the first week of K is for Kabocha, I discovered Serena and Sandy both made custards/puddings, so I actually kind of sort of finally followed the Meatless Monday A-Z rules for once!
Now the only question that remains is:
Who’s inviting me to Thanksgiving? Kabocha Indian Cornmeal Pudding (Vegan)
3 cups roasted kabocha
1/2 cup raw cashew pieces, soaked at least 1 hour, then drained
1/2 block silken tofu [6 oz.]
3/4 cup sliced sweet onion
1/4 cup masa harina [or finely ground cornmeal]
2 Tbsp. molasses
salt (to taste)
sliced apples, for garnish (optional)
Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
Put onions in a microwave-safe bowl. Cover with water and cook one minute to soften.
Combine kabocha, cashews, tofu, and onion in a food processor.
Process until smooth.
Add masa harina and molasses to food process. Blend.
Salt to taste.
Scoop squash mixture into a casserole dish.
Bake pudding for 45 minutes, or until top is browned and beginning to crackle.