|Simple Comfort Food|
Recipe adapted from Recipes from the Root Cellar
I hope you have had as quiet and contemplative a month as I have. After lots of socializing and baking during the holiday season, I’ve been quite lazy. True that I started a weight-lifting program and have been reading a lot. But in the kitchen, less has been more. Hence this super-simple recipe for an elegant winter side dish that requires few ingredients and little effort. If you’re really lazy, like I am, you can spread the prep over two days by cooking the squash one night and whipping it up the next. Vary the ingredients as you like, and don’t even measure if you’re really lazy (fewer dishes to wash). A splash of this, a dollop of that will do the trick.
|Whip in Cream and Maple Syrup|
I’ve scaled down the quantities of butter, maple syrup, and milk; these quantities seem adequately delicious. Depending upon your squash and your taste, you might scale up to the original recipe quantities in parentheses ( ). Instead of butternut, you may substitute buttercup, red kuri, or baby blue Hubbard squash.
large butternut squash, ~3 lbs.
2 tbsp. (4-6 tbsp.) butter
2 tbsp. (4-6 tbsp.) maple syrup or honey
2 tbsp. (3-4 tbsp.) half-and-half or light cream
salt and fresh ground pepper
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Cut squash in half and scrape out seeds. Place cut-side down in a baking dish. Add about 1 inch of water. Bake for 60 – 90 minutes, until completely tender. Skin will be golden brown on top.
Remove squash halves to plate to cool, skin side down. When cool enough to handle, scrape out flesh into a mixing bowl. If you are not serving the squash immediately, let it cool and refrigerate. Reheat in microwave before continuing.
Add butter and mash with fork or masher until butter melts. Beat in maple syrup and half-and-half with electric mixer or immersion blender to desired texture (or continue to use masher, then whip with fork).