Apple Cider Braised Kobacha Squash and Shefzilla Marinated Steamed Fish

by kara on October 18, 2010

I made this dinner last week after work.  It’s doable on a weeknight, if you allow yourself time to prep and can multitask.  It’s even more doable if there are two cooking; one to grill and the other to cook the squash.  I would make it again in a heartbeat-especially the fish.

I am in over my head with squash from our CSA box.  We got a red kobacha squash and I didn’t have a clue what to do with it.  I searched on the Internet, and found this recipe Not Eating Out in NY .  I made a few modifications; and have to be honest that this was way more time consuming than I thought it would be.  Apparently my knives are dull and cutting through the kobacha was one challenging task.  But, the end result was worth it.  It was sweet and savory dish all in one.  On the plus side, it makes lots of leftovers.  I wouldn’t recommend peeling the squash beforehand, or it will turn out mushy.

Apple Cider Braised Kabocha Squash
1 kabocha squash, seeds removed and sliced into thing wedges
1 onion, sliced
1 large clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup chopped apricots
2 cups apple cider
3 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. butter
pinch of red chili flakes
salt and pepper to taste

Slice and trim squash pieces.  Add squash to hot pan (med-high) with 2 Tbsp. olive oil.  Cook squash 2 minutes each side, seasoned with salt and pepper,  until browned.  Transfer to plate.
In same pan, heat 1 Tbsp. olive oil and cook onions until caramelized, about 5-10 minutes.  Add garlic, chili flakes, apricots, and squash.  Add the apple cider, cover, and simmer at least 10-15 minutes until most of liquid is cooked off.  Add more salt, pepper as needed.  Add butter, stir, and serve.

Shefzilla Marinated and Steamed Fish
I was devastated when Chef Stewart Woodman’s restaurant, Heidi’s Minneapolis, burned down this last spring and have been anxiously awaiting the re-opening of the new Heidi’s in Uptown.  In the meantime, I’ve been following his blog,,  and pre-ordered his cookbook, Shefzilla: Conquering Haute Cuisine at Home that came out earlier this month.   The cookbook has already gotten quite a few honorable mentions here Heavy Table, here Star Tribune, and here  Dear Dara Blog, Minnesota Monthly .   Go buy this cookbook.  Give it as a Christmas gift.  The pictures are awesome and it  is written from the heart.

I decided to pair the kobacha squash with Shefzilla’s recipe for marinated and steamed fish (entire recipe is Marinated and Steamed Tilapia with Rosemary Pilaf), however, I used Cod instead of Tilapia.  It’s what I had on hand.  I skipped on making the rice pilaf, so it’s on my list to try next time.  The fish turned out just lovely- light and flavorful.  A perfect pairing for the squash.

Marinated Cod (or other white fish)
adapted from Shefzilla, Stewart Woodman
2 Tbsp. olive oil
Zest and 1 1/2 teaspoons juice from 1 lemon
Zest and 2 Tbsp. juice from 1 orange
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 to 2 lbs. fish

1. Whisk together olive oil, zests and juices, thyme, and salt in a medium bowl.  Add fish and marinate, refrigerated, for 15 minutes.  Preheat grill.
2.  Remove fish from marinade and place on aluminum foil.  Fold up sides of foil to create a bowl and pour in marinade.  Seal package by rolling together opposite sides of foil.
3.  Place fish on hot grill: cover and cook for 10 minutes.  Remove from grill and serve immediately.


{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Anonymous October 19, 2010 at 3:35 pm

Hi Kara,
If you use a delicata squash it's much easier to peel and it has a wonderfully sweet taste. I top mine with some fresh chopped sage, yum!

Leah October 25, 2010 at 12:49 pm

I, too, am overwhelmed by squash, our freezer is full. Honestly, not sure how much more squash I can eat, but this looks like just the thing that might get the last five acorn squashes off of our counter!

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