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Dec 23, 2012 01:41 PM

Butternut squash last minute dish for Xmas Eve. Please help. So confused.

We have very little stuff in the house, and I do NOT want to be on the road or in grocery stores tomorrow. I guess I will venture forth to the local Highway Robbery store (expensive but convenient), if necessary.

We got a last minute invite for Xmas Eve dinner. 4-6 people. Long story short, we need to/should attend. Their menu is stuffed chicken, creamy tortellini casserole. Since we have butternut squash, I suggested that we bring sliced roasted butternut squash. But perhaps puree? Soup?

Now that I think about it, maybe the soup?

I think I have enough shooter glasses for 4-6. If I make soup, what garnishes? If I do sauteed slices, what garnishes?

I'm just having a blank on the eve of the eve. Please help me. Thank you.

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  1. I think it would be easier to transport the squash as a cooked side dish. I like to just slice them in half, remove the seeds, and then bake them with butter, salt, pepper, and some maple syrup; then mash them up a bit at the end, but leave them in their shells. If it's easier to transport them, scoop them out of the shells and bring in a dish. That's what I would do. Have fun.

    2 Replies
    1. re: lafarrell

      Soup is adding a course which they are not anticipating and which might screw up timing. I think sliced roasted squash is better than pureed since the menu is already kind of gooey.

      1. re: magiesmom

        I agree with roasting, for the textural consideration.

        I jotted down a (non-roasted) recipe from Lidia Bastianich's PBS show that would be good if there is no salad. Boil cider vinegar with sugar and salt until reduced to a thin syrup. Then add sliced garlic and olive oil and simmer. Meanwhile, peel, seed, and slice squash 1/2" thick. Fry slices in olive oil till golden brown and fork tender. Drain on paper towels, salt. Arrange a cooled layer in a lasagna pan or other wide dish, sprinkle with thinly sliced basil, dress with some of the hot dressing. Repeat till all is used up. Chill overnight, serve at room temp as a salad or vegetable course.

        I would not hesitate to substitute dry basil or another dried or fresh herb.

    2. Is stuffed chicken and Tortellini the “total” menu?
      Do they have apps, salads, deserts planned?
      Is this an italian theme menu?
      Are there other vegetable dishes or vegetables included in the tortellini dish?
      How is this being served? buffet style/plated?
      What are the hosts plan to bring color to the plates (chicken tortellini are kind of plain brown even spinach tortellini in a cream sauce is rather bland.)?

      There are so many variables that giving an educated answer is pretty hard.

      First thing I would do is call the hosts and ask what they would like you to do with the squash (soup, other app, veg) If it’s a veg do they want a purred veg or whole, then you will get an idea of what to do.

      For butternut squash shooters you can garnish with pancetta, goat cheese and chives
      For roasted squash, garnish with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar, black pepper and oregano.

      1. I like baked butternut halves with butter and light brown sugar. They take a while to cook, but you can do most of that that beforehand and ask for 10-15 minutes of shared oven time beforehand so your hosts can coordinate plating.

        1. Cook it for an hour. sliced and seeded......scrape it all out........add a cple of eggs some brown sugar or maple syrup....2 TBS milk...2 TBS with some nutmeg............Bake at 400 for 20 mins then 300 for 20 more

          Makes a nice hot...but it does re-warm easily

          1 Reply
          1. Thanks for the suggestions. This is a totally last minute meal thrown together by the hostess. We're down to 4 people, so I'm going with the soup because that can be kind of an app. I'll take my champagne flutes and ice tea spoons. She usually serves family style, so believe me a soup shooter will not cause any timing issues. I'm saving all your ideas to try another day. Thank you and Happy Holidays!