Monday, September 14, 2015

How to Cook Squash in the Cuomo Style

From Martino's Art of Cooking, p.72 in the 2005 Jeremy Parzen translation:
Give the squash a good washing, and then cook in meat broth, or in water, and add the necessary amount of onion. When it seems to be done, remove and pass through a slotted spoon or crush well, and cook in a pot with fatty broth and a little verjuice. Make yellow with saffron; and when it is done, remove from heat and let cool for a little while. Then take the necessary amount of egg yolks and beat them with a little aged cheese and mix with the squash, stirring continuously with a spoon so that it does not stick. Then serve in bowls, topped with sweet spices.

My Redaction:

4 acorn or other squash, approximately 1.75 lbs. each
3 cups beef broth
1/2 cup verjuice or wine vinegar
1/2 large onion, coarsely chopped
5 egg yolks
1 cup grated parmesan
2 T lard
Pinch of saffron (optional)

Halve the squash and scoop out the innards, then peel and cut into approximately finger-sized pieces.* Place in a large pot with onion and 2 cups broth, and as much additional water as necessary to jut cover the squash. Bring to a low boil and cook until the squash is easily pulverized, as much as two hours. Remove the squash into a bowl and crush with a potato masher; do not worry about getting every bit of liquid out of the squash. Once turned to a puree, return the squash to a pot with lard, verjuice, saffron if you like, and remaining 1 cup broth and boil until loose liquid is not evident, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, let stand for 5 minutes. Beat egg holds and cheese together. Temper the egg mixture by gradually stirring in an amount of squash equal to the eggs and cheese, then stir the tempered mixture into the squash. Salt to taste and serve with a pinch of nutmeg on each bowl. Makes ten servings.

*(If you use ridged squash as I did you may find it easiest to cut them first and then peel them. I cut along each valley of the outside surface, so that I only had to peel convex shapes. Your technique will surely vary with type of squash.)


What type of squash Martino means is highly ambiguous, as is often the case with this ingredient. Because of the long wet cooking process, I decided that a harder late-season squash had the right characteristics. Martino's original un-tempered mixing process will surely work, but I think the modern cook will find tempering less finicky, and the result is the same.

Verjuice has a pleasantly distinctive flavor, but if you have none on hand then substituting vinegar will work fine.

No comments:

Post a Comment