The autumn harvest has arrived which means it’s time to sous vide a few gorgeous gourds. I recently experimented with butternut squash with the addition of a few different ingredients in my SousVide Supreme, and the flavor was out of this world! I added a glug of olive oil to one cooking pouch, a pat of butter in another and only squash in the last pouch. Guess which one I prefer? The butternut squash on its own, delicious and packed with a punch of sweetness . Although, the others were tasty, they just weren’t as flavorful as the solo squash.
SousVide Supreme’s method of cooking not only enhances the natural flavor of ingredients, but it also retains all of those lovely nutrients that are naturally found in vegetables, without risk of their steaming away or leaching out into boiling water. And lucky for us this squash is high in Vitamin C and provides significant amounts of Vitamin B6, potassium, folate and dietary fiber. The tangerine hue is indicative of high levels of beta-carotene and other carotenoids.
Once you sous vide winter squash, there is no going back! Simply cut one large squash into uniform pieces and cook at 190F/87C for one hour. Put it all into a food processor or mash it by hand until smooth. Vacuum seal and chill part of the batch for later use. If you aren’t planning on using it within the next couple of days store it in the freezer for future soups, breads and sformati!
Sformato (an Italian dish that is a cross between a soufflé and flan) is one of my favorite dishes to create with the autumnal harvest. It’s a decadent treat that my family enjoys eating garnished with our favorite sauces and served with a salad. SousVide Supreme makes it incredibly easy to bake sformati in individual small ramekins.
Yields 6 servings
For the Sous Vide Squash:
1 small butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and diced into 1 inch ( 2.5 cm)
For the Squash Sformato:
2 cups (480 ml/454 g) Sous Vide cooked, pureed butternut squash
1 tablespoon (14 g) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for ramekins
¼ cup (60 ml) heavy cream
1 ounce (28 g) grated parmesan
2 eggs, divided
1/8 teaspoon (0.6 ml) sea salt
For the squash:
1) Fill and preheat the SousVide Supreme to 190F/87C.
2) Put the prepared raw squash into cooking pouches and vacuum seal in a single layer.
3) Cook in the water oven for one hour.
4) Remove and puree in a food processor until smooth.
5) Measure out 1 pound (454 g) for the Squash Sformato and put into a bowl, keeping warm for the Squash Sformato recipe below. Chill and freeze the remaining puree for a later use.
For the Squash Sformato:
1) Adjust the water level of the SousVide Supreme for baking as follows:
a) Elevate the bottom perforated grill about 1 inch (2.5 cm) on a non-rusting baking rack or baking platform.
b) Fill 6 ramekins ¾ full with water and set them onto the rack.
c) Adjust the water level by adding or removing water to bring the water level to within ½ inch (1.25 cm) of the rim of the ramekins.
d) Remove the ramekins and dump out the water. Dry the ramekins; brush each with melted butter and set aside.
2) Preheat the water oven to 195 F/90.5C.
3) Take the warm pureed squash and stir in the butter, heavy cream, parmesan, egg yolks and salt, set aside.
4) Using an electric mixer or by hand, whip the egg whites until stiff peak.
5) Fold one third of the whipped egg whites into the squash mixture at a time. Making sure not to over stir and deflate the mixture.
6) Spoon the batter into the prepared ramekins.
7) Set the ramekins into the water oven on the raised grill, taking great care not to get water into the batter.
8) Tent a square of aluminum foil over the ramekins to divert drips from the lid.
9) Bake for 1 ½ hours to 2 hours.
10) Remove the sformati and let cool on a rack for a few minutes, until you can easily touch the ramekin without burning your fingers.
11) Using an offset spatula, loosen the sformato, flip the ramekin over onto your serving plate swiftly and tap the bottom of the ramekin gently to release. Serve with your favorite sauce.