Saturday, September 25, 2010

El Paso & Baked Butternut Squash

So much has been going on in my life lately. Some of you may know that we've been in limbo for about 6 months as to where we will be living by the end of the year. We just learned this week for sure where that will be. We are moving to El Paso, TX. (You know the song -- "Out here in the West Texas town of El Paso, I fell in love with a Mexican girl." -- until this week that was about ALL I knew about El Paso.)

Though this wouldn't have been my first choice, I've spoken with a few people this week who live there and love it... and I am getting really excited. That and it's nice to just KNOW what's happening. That said it's hard to consider starting over; I've met great people here in Colorado, like my job, and like my routine (is liking my routine a sign that I'm growing up? gasp!!). 

As a result of knowing that we were leaving soon, the Army has given my husband lots of time off. I am still working, and will do so right up until I leave. K will go down about a week before I do. The end result is that K has had lots of down time and more than he can fill doing school work and planning his brewery (still a dream, if it materializes, you will be among the first to know.)

He's been cooking a lot lately. Granted, I'm convinced that one day I'll come home and he'll have turned into a giant bowl of mac and cheese and Lucy the Wonderdog will be completely confused running around him barking. But he's also been doing a lot of real cooking. It's so wonderful to come home some nights, sit down for a few minutes to decompress, and have dinner set down right in front of me. I found a good one!

Wednesday this week, he made a delicious butternut squash -- the first squash I've had in years. He was very careful to take pictures and was all set for me to add it to the blog.

"Are you going to post it now?"

"I'll post it after Friday, Hon."

"But here's the camera with pictures."

"I just posted my Friday potluck."

"But it's only Wednesday."

"I know." big sigh. Then I turned around three times and curled up in a ball. 

Wait no, that was Lucy. I simply went to bed, worn out and with a satisfied tummy.

The butternut squash was great the first night, and I took it for lunch each of the next two days, and it aged well, getting progressively better each day.

K gave me the site where he found his recipe.  But then he told me that it wasn't really how he made the squash. And proceeded to tell me all the differences.

I opened one eye and my computer and pasted the recipe into a new blog post for safe keeping. And there it has remained until this beautiful Saturday, when Lucy woke me up with a lick to the elbow and a tail wag letting me know "It. Is. Time. To. Go. Out. NOW." 

"And by the way, It's MORNING!!! YAY!" wag, wag, wag. whine. bounce!

I love my dog. She's the greatest. I just don't always share her enthusiasm for morning.

I digress though.

Here is K's version of Baked Butternut Squash with a Twist 
(original recipe here). 

He actually didn't change a whole lot, reducing the amount of butter and salt, and substituting cinnamon for cardamom.

1 large butternut squash (about 1 1/2 pounds)
dash of fresh ground sea salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon freshly-grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3 tablespoons firmly-packed brown sugar
4 tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon freshly-squeezed lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a shallow baking dish.
Using a large knife, carefully cut the butternut squash into two halves lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds and any fibrous-strings. Wrap the halves in plastic wrap and microwave for approximately 5 minutes. This will partially cook the squash making it easier to peel and quicker to bake.

Peel the skin off both halves of the squash, after allowing it to cool to the touch. Dice the squash into 1-inch pieces and place in a bowl.

In a small bowl, mix the brown sugar and melted butter together until the sugar is dissolved; stir in the lemon juice. Mix together with squash pieces then pour into baking dish. Sprinkle the salt, pepper, lemon zest, and cinnamon evenly over the squash pieces.

Bake approximately 20 to 30 minutes or until lightly browned across the top and the squash pierces easily with a fork.

4 servings. The original recipe from by Cynthia Pineda said serves 4 people. With a husband who is 6'6" and who according to my very unscientific eyeballing method may still be growing, this more realistically makes 4 servings (not serves 4 people). 

I made a Caesar salad to go along with this by tossing shredded romaine and tomato chunks into a bowl, adding fresh-squeezed lemon juice and a handful of fresh-grated parmesan. I didn't get pics of the salad though. Shame on me. Will do a post on my full version of homemade Caesar salad dressing soon (actually my dad's recipe, but I like it a lot!).

I'm linking this post to Show & Tell Saturday (showing off my hubby!)


Related Posts with Thumbnails