Squash n’ Sauce

((Sorry, does squash n’ sauce sound gross?  I really mean two separate dishes.)) 

Two-for-one today!

  1. Super simple, irresistible, maple roasted butternut squash
  2. Fresh cranberry sauce

I’m battling butternut once again!  We’ve made friends since our first adventures together.  Now I can’t get enough.

This is my favorite way to eat it.

I  love the crispy outside and the creamy inside.

This is a salty-sweet flavor burst with a decidedly autumnal spin.

I love to roast one up just to have on hand for for snacking, or to throw in salad or soup.

To get crispy perfection, find a way to raise the squash off of the baking sheet.  I use a cooling rack that does just fine in the oven.  Make sure you leave plenty of space between pieces, too; if the squash is too close together it’ll steam instead of roast.  Give it some room to breathe!  Like this:

Roasted butternut squash is awesome all the time, but it can be an especially nice Thanksgiving side dish.  This combination of salty-sweet squash, sweet-tart dried cranberries and toasty pecans makes me swoon.

I could eat a squash a day like this…I’m totally addicted.

Speaking of cranberries…

Hey guy.  You’re cute.

Cranberry sauce, I’m sorry I never fully appreciated your potential.

Can we just discuss this beast for a second?

Gorgeous!

Gorgeous and…intense.  They’re bitter, insanely tart…it’s hard to believe they get delicious.  Oh, but they do!  They really, really do.  It’s not even difficult.  Not one bit.

This is my first time on the sauce so I kept it pure and simple.  Cranberries, sugar, orange juice and water.  Throw ’em in a pot.

You can cook them as long as you like.  I would recommend at least letting them cook until they burst.  Biting into a whole fresh cranberry doesn’t appeal to me at all; it’s like concentrated bitterness.  As they cook they take on the orange juice, water and sugar until they explode into a juicy, ruby mess of awesome.

In other words…once they pop the fun don’t stop 😉

You can even puree the whole mess…it’s entirely up to you!

Not just for turkey!  I discovered that this stuff is delicious on sandwiches of all kinds.

(That guy is egg, avocado, tomato and cranberry sauce. Don’t knock it til you try it.  Oh, and bacon if you roll that way =)

All on a homemade English muffin.  Recipe coming soon!)

For more awesome things to do with leftover sauce:  check this out!  Lots of good ideas!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Enjoy!

❤ Ellen

Maple Roasted Butternut Squash

EVERYTHING IS TO TASTE! Use however much you want.  Seriously.  I’ll give you rough estimates but PLEASE adapt to your own taste.  You may like it saltier or sweeter than I do, or maybe you hate thyme.  Choose your own adventure.

1 medium utternut squash
at least 1 tablespoon maple syrup
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon thyme
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup pecans (toasted)

1.  Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. While the oven heats, peel your butternut squash and cut into slices or cubes (whichever you prefer).  Put the pecans in to toast while you prepare the squash for roasting.  Seriously, check them every 5 minutes.  The SECOND they start to smell toasty, taste toasty and brown slightly take them out.  They’ll burn quickly!  Set aside to cool.

2.  Place the squash in a large bowl and toss with at least enough maple syrup to coat evenly.  Add the salt, pepper and thyme and toss to coat. (Yes, pepper and maple syrup are delicious together.)

3. Arrange on a wire rack with a sheet pan underneath, (to catch drippings), leaving space between the pieces of squash.  Roasting time will depend on the size of your squash pieces.  It will probably take at least 20 minutes.  Let it go until it starts to brown and you can easily pierce it with a fork.

4.  Toss with cranberries and pecans in a serving dish.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve immediately

Cranberry Sauce

Recipe a conglomeration of quite a few recipes I found…adjusted to taste

1 12 oz. bag of fresh cranberries
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup orange juice
1 cup water

1. Put the cranberries, sugars, juice and water in a medium sauce pan over medium heat.  Stir until the sugars dissolve.

2.  Let the mixture cook down until the berries start to pop (best part-about 5 minutes after the sugar dissolves).  Turn the heat down to low and let simmer until it reaches the desired consistency.  The longer it cooks, the thicker it’ll be.  If you don’t want any chunks at all, puree in a food processor, or in a blender in batches.

*Now do what you want. Add nuts, add vanilla, add orange or lemon zest, add salt and pepper, add apples, pomegranates and pears or nothing at all.  This is a base for you adjust to your taste.  Happy cooking!

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2 Comments

Filed under Sides, Uncategorized

2 responses to “Squash n’ Sauce

  1. Erika

    Is the foil wrapped cereal box making a comeback!? Or have we upgraded to circle cookie cutters?

    • Haha we upgraded to cookie cutters. Different recipe too! I haven’t forgotten, though, and I will never underestimate the power of foil and a cereal box in the kitchen

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