Sweet Dumpling Squash Grilled Cheese
There is no doubt in my mind that Cabot knows how to promote their cheeses. Not only do they send new, free cheese on a regular basis, which is awesome in of itself, they also send little extras that make their package even more amazing. Recently, Cabot sent a package highlighting their new Farmers’ Legacy Collection, including Farmhouse Reserve, White Oak and Alpine style Cheddars. It also included a couple other gifts…
Yes, that is a photography book highlighting Cabot’s farms and farmers, a Cabot cloth grocery bag, a bottle opener, a notepad and pie crust mix. Great non-cheese content to say the least. The packs of cheese were even better. Well at least the White Oak Cheddar was. (I haven’t “sampled” the other two varieties just yet.) With the cheese having been decided, I needed to choose on the main ingredient. Inspired by Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams use of buttercup pumpkins in their new pumpkin ice cream flavor, I decided to go the squash route and head to Whole Foods…
- Organic Sweet Dumpling Squash
- Seasoned w/cinnamon, cinnamon sugar, nutmeg, brown sugar, cracked sea salt & rosemary
- Farmers’ Legacy Collection White Oak Cheddar
- Italian Bread
the cheese: farmers’ legacy collection white oak cheddar
Subtle caramel sweetness with delicate hints of the duskiness of wine aging casks. Traditional only if you know the best of British cheddars, honoring balance, sharpness and a smooth milky texture. Crafted similarly to Cabot’s 2013 American Cheese Society Winner, Clothbound Cheddar, without the cave aging process.
Honestly, I do not know if I could individually taste the “caramel sweetness” or “hints of duskiness of wine aging casks” but that didn’t matter. This was one of the best Cheddar cheeses I have ever tasted. The smooth and creamy texture paired perfectly with the subtle nuttiness and amazing Cheddar bite. I shredded the cheese while I was roasting the squash and I couldn’t stop from munching on this delicious cheese. The flavor and texture simply combined to make an absolutely phenomenal Cheddar cheese.
the main ingredient: sweet dumpling squash
I know very little about the squash/pumpkin family. Yes, I have made a grilled cheese featuring delicata squash previously, but beyond that, I only know that there seems to be an endless variety. Below is the “Squash Variety” sign featured at my local Whole Foods, highlighting the many types of squash available. I highlighted the squash I used, the Sweet Dumpling squash, in the right hand column.
The squash’s small size seemed perfect for use in my grilled cheese creation and provided the perfect amount of “flesh” for one serving.
Sweet dumpling squash are similar in shape to the acorn squash, but have ivory skin with dark green stripes. The flesh is very sweet, and tender when roasted or baked. The shape of sweet dumpling squash makes them good for stuffing. Like other winter squashes, sweet dumpling squash stores well in a cool, dry environment for long periods. All winter squash are high in vitamins and minerals and good source of beta carotene and iron. Sweet dumpling squash can be peeled, but their shape makes them easier to roast whole and stuff, or scoop out the soft flesh. (Early Morning Farm)
the seasoning & roasting
There were two options when it came to seasoning and roasting this Sweet Dumpling Squash. I could go the “mashed potato” route and season it simply with some salt, pepper and possibly milk/cream and then mash it as you would a potato. Or, I could go the sweet route, highlighted by seasoning it with cinnamon and nutmeg. Although I love mashed potatoes and was intrigued to try roasted and mashed Sweet Dumpling Squash, I feel like I have gone down that road too many times. Therefore, I chose to go the sweet route, seasoning the squash with cinnamon, cinnamon sugar, nutmeg, brown sugar, cracked sea salt & rosemary. I might have over seasoned and made the dish too sweet, so be careful when you are tempted to add just a little more cinnamon or nutmeg.
I roasted the squash in the oven at 350*F for approximately 50 minutes. I set the timer for 30 minutes and then checked it every 10 minutes until it was tender. Then, using a spoon, I scooped out the flesh into a bowl, mixing until all of the seasonings/spices were well distributed.
the grilled cheese:
sweet dumpling squash grilled cheese: A-/B+
The aroma of the halved organic sweet dumpling squash was so fresh and powerful. I was very impressed. This sweet dumpling squash grilled cheese was definitely good and the sweet flavor of the squash, seasoned with cinnamon and nutmeg among other items, was definitely yummy.
There were some issues with the grilled cheese, though, hence the A-/B+ grade. While seasoning the squash, I may have over seasoned it, making it too sweet and in turn, too strong. The texture of Cabot’s delicious White Oak Cheddar was evident within the sandwich but, unfortunately, I feel as though the delicious flavor was overpowered by the seasoned squash and in turn left me wanting more.
With a more toned down Sweet Dumpling Squash, and the amazing White Oak Cheddar, this grilled cheese could have been even better than it was.