Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Mashed Butternut Squash with Crispy Bacon and Shallot ~ The Perfect Autumn Side Dish!
This adorable side dish is perfectly delicious for autumn!
Obviously, you do not have to do the whole "pumpkin ramekin" thing (I just thought it was cute) as the recipe concept would be just as awesome ....scooped on to a plate like mashed potatoes ...in casserole form OR used as a bottom layer or "bed" to roasted chicken or pork!
The kids should LOVE it too! I hope you give it a try! :)
Mashed Butternut Squash with Crispy Bacon and Shallot
20 oz. Butternut Squash, cut into cubes
6 slices bacon
1 large shallot, sliced very thin
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese (optional)
Salt and Pepper to taste
Fried (or fresh) Sage leaves for garnish (optional)
Preheat oven to 400.
Prepare a roasting pan by lining it with aluminum foil, set aside.
In a heavy pot, cook up bacon until crispy. *Turn off the heat. Set aside the bacon and place all of the grease (minus about one tablespoon) into a very small sauce pan/pot. (You only have to reserve the grease in a small pan if you want to fry up a few sage leaves in the grease to get them crispy - be careful not to burn them as they won't taste good, but if fried in bacon grease for just a few minutes...until crispy...the sage leaves are delicious!!!! You could skip this step and just use a fresh sage leaf for garnish instead.)
In the same large pot you cooked the bacon in, add your sliced shallot and allow it to sizzle up a bit in the bacon grease you left in the pot. *The pot should be hot enough to cook up the shallot to a desired slightly crispy texture without having to turn the heat back on - but if not - turn the heat back on for a few minutes until the shallot is finished - just be careful not to burn it. Remove shallot from the pan and set aside.
Now, if you haven't already done so, turn the heat back on to medium-high and add the butter. When melted add your butternut squash and stir all around...coating the squash w/the butter. After about 4-5 minutes, add the squash to your prepared pan lined with aluminum foil.
Place the pan in the oven and cook until squash is tender, 15-20 minutes. Once finished, add the cooked squash back to the large heavy pot and mash. Add your bacon (crumbling it in), shallot and cheese (if you're using) and stir until well mixed in. Salt and pepper to taste.
Spoon into ramekins pressing down with the spoon to make a smooth surface. Make pumpkin lines with toothpick, paring knife or any sharp utensil. If it's still hot, go ahead and eat...or reheat in the oven when ready to eat/serve. Place fried sage leaf on top to represent pumpkin stem before serving.