Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Recipes from My Wonderful Friend

     Apparently, people are reading my blog because today I received three emails from a friend, M., containing recipes and information on butternut squash.   Heinen's has all local winter squash on sale for .69 per lb.  Go get some!  Here are her recipes - I can't wait to try them!

Butternut Squash & Spinach Au Gratin

Bottom Layer2 lbs butternut squash
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 tbsp. butter, melted

Middle Layer16 cups fresh spinach (you can also use frozen - easier but not as tasty!)
1 cup half & half (I use ½ cup whipping cream & ½ cup milk)
1 tablespoon corn starch

Top Layer
1 cup of mozzarella cheese (prefer a mix of asiago/mozzarella/parmesan)
½ cup of cream freesia (¼ cup sour cream & ¼ cup whipping cream)

Peel outer skin of squash with peeler or knife. Discard skin. Halve squash lengthwise and cut into slices (not too thin). Place slices in bowl with salt, pepper and melted butter. Toss well. Spoon mixture into buttered 9-inch baking dish. Bake, covered, at 425 degrees for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare middle spinach layer. If using fresh spinach, bring 1 inch water to a boil in a 6- to 8-quart pot over high heat. Add spinach, a few handfuls at a time, and cook, turning with tongs, until wilted, 3 to 5 minutes. Drain in a colander and rinse under cold water. Thoroughly squeeze cooked fresh or thawed frozen spinach in small handfuls to remove excess moisture, then coarsely chop and transfer to a bowl.

Over medium heat, stir together 1 cup of half & half and 1 tablespoon of cornstarch. Remove from heat and add spinach. Pour spinach mixture evenly over squash in baking dish.

Now to make the cream freesia, combine ¼ cup sour cream and ¼ cup whipping cream. Set aside for about 20 minutes. Then mix in 1 cup of mozzarella cheese. Pour evenly over spinach layer.

Bake uncovered at 475 degrees for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

So yummy and sorta healthy!!!
Makes 8 to 10 servings.

Caramelized Butternut Squash

2 medium butternut squash (4-5 lbs. total)
6 T. unsalted butter, melted
¼ c. light brown sugar, packed
1 ½ t. kosher salt
½ t. freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Cut off and discard ends of each butternut squash.  Peel the squash, cut them in half lengthwise, and remove the seeds.  Cut the squash into 1¼ to 1½ inch cubes and place them on a baking sheet.  Add the melted butter, brown sugar, salt and pepper.  With clean hands, toss all the ingredients together and spread in a single layer on the baking sheet.  Roast for 45 to 55 minutes, until the squash is tender and the glaze begins to carmalize.  While roasting, turn the squash a few times with a spatula, to be sure it browns evenly.  Taste for seasonings and serve hot.

Thanks, M.!

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