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Brooks Tropicals
Side Dish

BROWN BUTTERED CALABAZA WITH STAR TOPPING

Brown buttered calabaza with star topping

Baked calabaza is the ultimate fall comfort food. Add a starfruit topping and, in a snap, a party has arrived at the dinner table.

INGREDIENTS:

2 lbs calabaza (your grocery store may slice into 2 lbs half or wedge for your purchase)
3 tbs unsalted butter
fresh ginger
2 tbs brown sugar
3 tbs molasses
½ tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground clove
1 Florida starfruit

Yield: 4
Prep time: 15 minutes plus 45 minutes of baking

Cooking with calabaza

DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a 9 x 13” baking dish with aluminum foil overlapping the dish all away around.
2. Wash the calabaza. Place it on a flat surface and with a sharp knife split into 4 wedges. Discard the seeds and stringing seed cavity. Arrange in a single layer on the foil in the baking dish, skin side down.
3. Scrap the ginger’s flaky skin off. Grate finely or put in a food processor and pulse until chopped fine.
4. In a small skillet, over medium heat add the fresh ginger and butter. Melt the butter and heat it until it turns light brown. Remove from the heat and add the brown sugar, molasses, salt, pepper, cinnamon, and ground cloves. With a pastry brush, brush the orange flesh of the calabaza with the butter mixture. Place the skillet with the ginger sugar syrup to the side for now.
5. Pull up the sides of the aluminum foil around the calabaza. Cover with another sheet of aluminum foil. Pinch top to bottom. Seal tightly. Add 1” of water to the bottom of the baking dish. Bake 45 minutes. If you can easily insert a paring knife into the flesh, it’s done. Remove from the oven.
6. Over medium heat, return the skillet with the brown sugar syrup back on the heat.
7. Using a veggie peeler, trim the ribs of the starfruit. Slice into star slices. Add the slices to the skillet. Sautee for 3 to 4 minutes.
8. For the calabaza, carefully peel back the foil. Place the calabaza wedge on a serving platter. Add the brown sugar syrup studded with starfruit on top of the calabaza.
9. Serve warm.


Peeling the skin off of calabaza before it’s cooked is not easy. After it’s cooked it’s a breeze. Your dinner guests can easily enjoy every spoonful of warm unpeeled calabaza just out of the oven. Served hot or cold, peeled or unpeeled, this dish is a fall favorite. The starfruit topping gives it additional zing.



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