Winter Squash Side Dish (to Go With AAB's Duck Legs w/ Port and Cherries)?
You guys were such an incredible help with my last post that I'm hitting you up again (I swear I do share my own suggestions, just on the Manhattan board ;) )....
For those of you who have been following, I'm making the All About Braising's Duck Legs with Port and Cherries this weekend for a friend's birthday. MS suggests a winter squash side, so now, I need a recipe......
this is the single most requested recipe i make; adapted from one in Chocolatier magazine 17 years ago.
BUTTERNUT SQUASH GRATIN
X1 serves 6-8 peo.
2 lbs Butternut Squash,Peeled
1 1⁄2 C Heavy Cream
1⁄2 C Half & Half
2 Bay Leaves
3 sprigs Fresh Thyme
1/8 tsp Ground Thyme
1/8 tsp Ground Mace
1 3/4 tsp Kosher Salt
1⁄2 tsp Pepper
3 T Butter
1 med Yellow Onion
1 tsp Minced Garlic
1/4 C Finely ground or grated Parmesan Cheese
Slice squash in 1/4" slices. In large heavy bottomed sauce pan combine the squash, cream, half and half, bay leaves, thyme, mace and 1 tsp of salt and 1/4 tsp of the pepper. Simmer over moderate heat, stirring lightly to distribute the liquid, until squash is tender and has absorbed most of the liquid, approximately 30 minutes. Meanwhile slice the onions 3/8" thick. Melt half the butter in large skillet and saute onions until they turn deep golden brown. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. season with the remaining salt and pepper. In an oiled medium gratin dish or other shallow oven proof dish, layer the squash mixture and onions. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and dot with the remaining butter. Preheat oven to 425 degrees and bake for 15 minutes or until browned lightly and bubbling.
NOTE: doing X4 and more, use less liquid or will get too soupy.
X5 uses 1-2 cups less liquid
this can be made in advance and reheated OR kept uncooked in the frig and brought to room temp if possible before baking until hot and bubbly. also freezes very well, after being baked.
Will you post in the appropriate AAB thread? I would love to read about this dish, and I hope to keep cooking from the book and reporting to the threads. I like your mashed potato idea, I love both squash and duck with cherries but together - that would be perhaps a little sweet. Maybe she's on to something great, maybe not. The gratin idea might work if it enhances the savoury flavour of the squash.
Bake some squash -- carnival cut in 1/2, seeds scooped out, tucking sage and garlic S&P in cavity underneath hollowed out squash hollowed out side down on baking sheet with some water. (Alternately, peel and cube butternut squash & roast with unpeeled quartered onion and a couple unpeeled garlic cloves.
Heat up some milk and butter. When squash is done, scoop out, put through food mill (or food processor) mixing in warmed butter and milk.
I think fresh sage, and shallots lightly fried in butter and then mixed with raw squash cubes (1") and baked at 400 until crusty but soft inside (1/2 hr.). salt & fresh ground pep. Simple, delicious, autumnal, a nice contrast with the sweet/savory duck. I think I'd like a thin sliced cucumber salad with fresh dill vinagrette to make it a threesome. And, since this meal is feeling sort of olde Vienna to me, I'd like to be see it served with thick sliced seeded rye bread and unsalted butter.