Sunday, October 21, 2007

A Freebie


OK, guys, I'm not counting this as an official Fearless post, because I didn't document it with pics, and I didn't technically have a judge, but I made it and it was really good so I thought I'd post the recipe anyway.

Sorry about falling behind on the real deal posts - work has been crazy. Additonally, my camera is buried somewhere in the cavern that is my room, and finding it would require an actual cleaning. As much as I would love to, I am not yet in the position to devote ALL my time to the blog. One day, though.... So look out for a legit post soon - hopefully sometime this week.

Last night I made whole wheat pasta with a butternut squash cream sauce. It's something I had been mulling over for awhile, and it came out better than I expected. It was really rich, so I didn't eat the epic portion that I would with most other pasta dishes, and the delicious squashiness of it was super good. (My autumn squash kick continues - I even had squash for brunch! More on that later.)



INGREDIENTS FOR SAUCE:

2 T. light butter
2-3 T. flour
1 c. chicken stock
1 small container whipping cream (I think it was about a cup and a half)
1 medium butternut squash, quartered and roasted
salt to taste

OTHER INGREDIENTS:

1 package whole wheat gemelli or other spiral pasta
1 zucchini, sliced and halved
1/2 lb. mild Italian sausage, browned

STEP 1:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Quarter the butternut squash and scoop out the seeds. In a shallow rimmed baking pan, put about 1/4-1/2 inch water. Place the squash, peel-side up, in the water, and bake until the skin is beginning to char and the flesh is very soft (easily mashed with a fork).

STEP 2:

Boil some water and cook the pasta until al dente. Drain.

STEP 3:

In a skillet, break up the sausage, and brown it until it is cooked through. Set aside.

STEP 4:

Slice the zucchini into 1/2-inch slices, then halve the slices. In the same pan as you cooked the sausage in, sautee the zucchini until tender.

STEP 5:

Remove the butternut squash from the oven and let cool. Peel the flesh from the skin and discard the skin. Break into small pieces.

STEP 6:

Melt the butter in a saucepan, and stir in the flour until a roux forms. Pour in the chicken stock and the cream, and whisk until the roux is incorporated into the liquid. Add some salt to taste. Stir in the butternut squash chunks and bring it to a low boil. (Once it was all mized, I used an electric hand-mixer to get it really smooth. It would be even better if you threw it in the blender or used an immersion blender. or you could always just whisk it by hand.)

STEP 7:

Combine all ingredients in a large pot and pour the sauce over it. Stir to combine.


I topped this off with a little parmesan cheese and it was awesome. It's the perfect fall comfort food.



About my other foray into the world of squash this weekend, I ate at Deleece, on Irving Park and Southport, which has been voted the best brunch spot in the city (and is right by where I live!). It was seasonal, creative, healthy brunch food with a creative, gourmet twist. I had acorn squash stuffed with spinach and mushrooms and topped with two poached eggs. It was great. It was the best of dinner and breakfast melded into a hearty, delicious meal. Definitely check it out - I will absolutely be back for dinner in the future - I'll let you know how it is. In the meantime, check out their website.



Deleece's (female!) head chef also just opened Sola, another restaurant which has gotten some favorable buzz as of late. That's also on my list of places to check out. Click here to check it out online.



Enjoy the Fall weather, and as always, thanks for reading!

2 comments:

Laura said...

you are my culinary hero. i'll get around to making you a cape as soon as i learn how to sew.

Elizabeth said...

Maybe you could sew me an apron instead! I promise I'll run around and make it fly out behind me like a cape.

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