I saw them from across the crowded farm stand; their voluptuous shape and ghostly pale skin drew me right in. Butternut squash, where have you been all these months, oh how I've missed you. I lured them into my basket with the promise of being turned into something delectable; I didn't even have to offer them any candy.
At the risk of seeming like a "Class A Narcissist", I have to say, "The Shepherd's Pie I made with my butternut squash came out awesome"! But who the hell am I kidding, I'm on the internet all the time saying I'm freaking awesome, so I guess I'm gonna have to wear that title too. My swollen head just isn't large enough for all these crowns. I'll work on my little problem, I promise.
Speaking of awesome, I wanted to thank Chef Dennis for Dorie Greenspan's book, "Around my French Table". I made her Hachis Parmentier (please don't make me pronounce that, I hardly speak proper English as it is). Hot Dog Dude loved it, but being the mean wife I am, I took it upon myself that he needed a healthier version, to save him from himself. I'm just an absolute Witch I tell you. Chef D recently moved, so if you don't have his new address, go say Hi and tell him the Queen sent you.
Butternut Squash Topping
1 medium sized butternut squash (2-3 pounds)
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
1/4 cup heavy cream
1) Heat oven to 425 degrees F.
2) Slice the butternut squash in half and scoop out seeds. Place two halves on a baking sheet lined with parchment, cut side up.
3) Place in the oven and bake for 1 hour or until squash is tender when a knife is inserted. Let cool.
4) Scoop flesh out of the butternut squash and place in a food processor with butter, cream, salt and pepper. Pulse the mixture until smooth. Or you could do this by hand since the squash will be nice and soft.
Tip for getting ahead in the kitchen:
I will make the squash and process it the night before and place it in the fridge. That way when I make the Shepherd's Pie the next day I'll save an hour.
Ground Turkey and Vegetable Filling
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 leek, thinly sliced, use only the white (or about 1 cup)
2 carrots, peeled and chopped 1/2"
2 stalks celery, chopped 1/2"
1 1/4 pounds ground turkey
1/2 tsp. fresh rosemary, chopped
1 1/2 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
Pinch freshly ground nutmeg
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 cup low-sodium chicken stock
1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs
1) In a large skillet add olive oil, leeks, carrots and celery and cook on medium low for 10 minutes until softened.
2) Turn heat up a little and add ground turkey, rosemary, thyme, nutmeg and salt and pepper and cook until turkey is browned.
3) Add flour and chicken stock and cook for a couple of minutes until thickened.
4) Place meat and vegetable mixture in a casserole dish and top with butternut squash topping. Sprinkle with bread crumbs.
5) Bake in 375 degree F oven for 30-35 minutes until top is nicely browned.
Come on over dinner is ready.
Some quick news updates:
YBR is going on right now over at Spicie Foodie, can't wait to go check out all the great dishes, I always find something new I missed.
Gerry at Foodness Gracious is having an online bake sale to raise money for Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. He needs some bakers and of course buyers. My kids are out of school for the next two weeks, so I'm hoping to be doing things with them. I will have to be a buyer, so bake me something good to bid on.