Stuffed Blue Crab, Bento Box, and Stuffed Sugar Pumpkin
Well this was going to be my admission but I missed the deadline. Oh Well! I figured that since I went through all this work I would post it anyways. Hope you enjoy it!
For my submission I have chosen to do an appetizer, an Entrée, and a Dessert. Squash. For most people this is a seasonal (from an American perspective) vegetable. Personally I love squash and was thrilled when it was named the secret ingredient. I have been living in New England for a while and what better place to go into a Squash competition.
For my App I did a Butternut Squash stuffed Blue Crab in a nest of deep fried Spaghetti Squash surrounded by a Crab and Butternut Squash cream sauce.
My Entrée took me a lot of thought. I wanted to do a Bento Box in a Squash theme! So I thought deeply about the affects of each of the Genus Cucurbita. With so many to choose from it was even more difficult for me, but advantageous to my Bento Box idea. So here it is. In the lower left, is a Pickled Hot and Sour Squash Coleslaw. Above that is Fried Butternut Squash Dumpling covered in Panko Crumbs and topped with a Ponzu Reduction and Japanese Mayo garnished with decorative Radish Garnish. In the middle are Grated Wasabi, Pickled Ginger, and a Plumb from a bottle of Choya Umeshu. This section is for palate refreshment, and I found these figs a perfect accompaniment to this special ingredient. In the upper right hand corner is a Spaghetti and Acorn Squash with Fresh Ginger and Lemon Grass stuffed Fried Wonton. Below that is my Squash California Roll. I used Baked Spaghetti squash instead of crab and Well Baked Acorn Squash for the Avocado. The Cucumber I left as is, because it was close (Kind of) to Cucurbita and good for my dish. I did this roll inside out with crushed pumpkin seeds rather than sesame.
For my Dessert I took mini sugar pumpkins and stuffed them with a Butternut Squash Marzipan and baked them, garnished with baked Pumpkin Seeds.
- 1 Crab in a Nest
- 2 Japanese Style Squash Bento Box
- 3 Acorn Squash Marzipan Stuffed Pumpkins
Crab in a Nest
- 4 Boiled Blue Crabs
- one to be stuffed
- the other three/w meat taken for the stuffing
- 1 whole Baked Spaghetti Squash
For the sauce:
- Meatless Claws and legs of 2 of the crabs
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 0.5 cup butternut squash
- 1 medium yellow onion
- 1 red pepper sliced
- 0.5 tsp. Minced Garlic
- 2 Bay Leaves
For the Stuffing:
- 1 cup Panko Crumbs
- 2 tbls. Butter
- Meat of three crabs
- 1 Medium Onion Diced
- 8 Sprigs Fresh Thyme
- 2 Bay Leaves
- 1/3 cup Diced Butternut Squash
For the Nest:
- One Spaghetti Squash, Baked
- Deep frying oil
Add everything save the bread crumbs and meat to a sauté pan and sauté till the onions are translucent. Take off the heat and add all ingredients. And proceed to your crab.
Start stuffing the crab by prying the top off your favorite crab and tear out everything inside till it is clean and rinse out the top shell very well. Be careful with the legs on these little guys they are delicate. Stuff the crabs body and head with the Butternut stuffing. And put in the oven at 350 for about 12 min.
Begin the sauce by sautéing the onions, peppers, squash, bay leaves, and broken shells of the other three crabs. Sauté until the onions and peppers are soft. Then add your cream and simmer until the sauce is thick. (maybe 15 min) Then strain and hold for the plating.
To begin plating, first make your nest. Then spoon the sauce in around that. Then place your crab on fresh out of the oven. The sauce had the starting flavor that cream and shellfish sauce normally does, but the end of the flavor was all the butternut squash. When we got in to our second bight it coated out mouths. The sauce went really well with both the deepfried squash and the stuffing. The squash lended it self very well to the crab stuffing as well.
Japanese Style Squash Bento Box
Fried Butternut Squash Dumpling
- 1 cup Baked Butternut
- 0.5 tsp hoisin
- Sushi Rice
- Flour, egg and Panko for breading
- 90% reduced Ponzu
- Japanese Mayo
Spagehtti and Acorn Squash Fried Wonton
- 0.5 cup Baked Acorn Squash
- 0.5 cup Baked Spaghetti Squash
- 1 tsp fine chopped Fresh Ginger
- 1.5 tsp fine chopped Fresh Lemon Grass
- Wonton wrappers
- 1 beaten egg
Pickled Squash salad
- 0.5 cup Spaghetti Squash
- 0.5 cup Acorn Squash diced
- 0.5 cup Butternut squash diced
- 2 tbls Japanese Mayo
- 1 tsp Rice (or any) Vinegar
- 1 tbls Red Chili Sauce
- 1 dash crushed red pepper
Squash California Roll
- For the Crab- Spaghetti Squash
- For the Avo- Acorn Squash
- Nori wrap
- Sushi Rice
- Pickled Plumb form Umeshu wine Jar
- Pickled Ginger
- Grated Wasabi
For the dumpling I simply mashed the squash, hoison, and rice together and added rice till it would hold its own form.
Then I breaded and deep fried them.
For the sauces on the top of them I reduced some Ponzu sauce down 90% and put it in to a ziplock, cut a corner and dribbled it on top of the dumplings. Similarly I added the Mayo.
Spaghetti and Acorn Squash Fried Wonton: Add all ingredients save the wrappers and egg and beat well.
Egg the outer rim of your wrapper with about 1 tbls of filling for each wrapper. Fold the wapper over and give it a good press around the edges.
Pull the bottom corners back around the bottom of the triangle you have made to come put with your wonton.
Deep fry until Golden Brown and Delicious and you are set.
Squash California Roll: Start off your roll with the rice on top of a sushi mat and the Nori (which has been moistened) on top of that with about 1.5 inches of the Nori off the rice. Place the cucumber and squashes at the tip of the Nori without the rice under it.
Roll these very tightly and continue on to roll with the rice using the mat to make it ever tighter.
I baked off some of the pumpkin seeds for garnish. So I took some of those and chopped them up to garnish the inside out roll rather than sesame seeds.
When plating the roll remember to use a very wet and very sharp knife and if it looks like you are beginning to smash it then relax and go a bit slower. Be delicate.
Pickled Squash salad: Add all ingredients save dash of crushed pepper (which is the garnish) mix and let set in the fridge for at least an hour.
Place all portions of the dish in as shown. Each portion of the dish was surprisingly full of squash flavor and character. Each very different and unusual to this style of cuisine.
Acorn Squash Marzipan Stuffed Pumpkins
- 1 cup blanched Ground Almond
- 2 cups sugar
- 2/3 cup Acorn Squash
- 1 tbls Disaronno or other Amaretto
- Pumpkins with no seeds or membrane
- Save the seeds and bake them off
Cut the top off you pumpkins and scoop out the guts. Place them in the oven at 375 for 12 min with a dash of cinnamon and allspice in side them
Add all other ingredients and cook over medium heat till the mix is like very stiff oatmeal.
Then stuff the pumpkins and continue to bake them for 5 min. This is how the should look when you are done.
Put the seeds on the bottom of your plate and the pumpkin on top. This was a very sweet, and fun to eat dish. Acorn and pumpkin are present in the open and rich almond.