Friday, September 30, 2005

Butternut 101: Fancy Roasted Butternut Squash

I usually prepare this if I am roasting a chicken, as it will take just as long to cook.

Preheat Oven: 350

1 Butternut Squash
1 Apple, peeled1 tsp Cinnamon (or allspice, or clove, or even Chinese Five Spice Powder)
Pam oil spray
2 Tbsp. Butter
2 Tbsp. Maple Syrup (or Sugar Free version)
Optional: Raisins, Craisins, Orange peel, candied ginger, candied pecans
Tin Foil

  1. Scrub squash and apples with dish soap and a scrubby. Rinse thoroughly. This removes the dirt and waxes on both.
  2. Halve the squash lengthwise and remove seeds, forming a hollow.
  3. Core and halve apples, and slice thin, keeping each apple half as a half moon.
  4. Spray squash, inside and out with Pam.
  5. Sprinkle Cinnamon (or spice of your choice) and drizzle a little maple syrup on the inside of squash.
  6. Add raisins or Craisins or dried fruit of your choosing in hollow.
  7. Place 1 Tbsp. of butter in hollow.
  8. Place apple halves, round side up, inside the seed hollow area.
  9. Sprinkle with more spice and drizzle with more maple syrup. Top with crushed candied pecans or orange zest, or nothing!
  10. Spritz a little Pam on top.
  11. Wrap each squash half in tin foil and place on a baking sheet.
  12. Bake approximately 45 minutes to an hour, depending on thickness of squash. A fork should be able to pierce the flesh without effort.

The cool thing about this is, the stuffed squash can be served "as is" or:

  • The squash and apple etc can be run thru a food processor or food mill, to create a "mousse" (consistency like mashed potatoes), or
  • It can be pureed and added to a can of chicken (or veggie) stock to create a savory sweet autumnal soup, topping it with caramelized onions.

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