Domestic I am not. In fact, I'm pretty sure my husband is more domestic than me. I like to have a collection of favorite recipes and tricks for cooking when mealtime in imminent. On most days the grill is my best friend. Last night I decided to grill some shrimp -- it's always good, fast, and popular at my house. Once skewered and seasoned, it literally takes 6 minutes to be on the table. I had some tomatoes ready to slice so I knew I could manage the dinner hour...but what to make as the real side dish? I had just seen an article in Southern Living on easy side dishes so I actually put the idea to work as more than reading material. I purchased an acorn squash at the grocery store on Sunday because they were so pretty. I substituted it for the recipe below and it is a new addition to my standard everyday favorites.
Dave came into the kitchen while I was working on peeling and cutting the squash and I could tell he had that "she's going to make an unwieldy squash monstrosity for dinner" look on his face. (To his credit he did lend a hand helping peel the thing.) With Fall in the air (HOORAY!) I cannot recommend this recipe enough. It is possible to substitute within the recipe -- I used acorn squash instead of butternut and toasted almonds instead of pecans -- but the balance of sweet and savory is perfect. The kids even liked it and best of all, it is easy.
Glazed Butternut Squash
From Southen Living (October, 2006)
Prep: 15 min., Cook: 30 min.
3 pounds butternut squash, peeled*
1/2 cup apple cider*
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup chopped toasted pecans
1 tablespoon chopped fresh or 1 tsp. dried sage
1. Cut squash in half lengthwise; remove and discard seeds. Cut each half into 4 wedges; cut wedges into 2-inch pieces.
2. Stir together squash, 1/2 cup apple cider, and next 5 ingredients in a 12-inch, deep-sided, nonstick skillet over medium-high heat; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer, gently stirring occasionally, 25 minutes. Uncover and cook 5 minutes or until liquid thickens and squash is tender. Gently stir in pecans and sage until well combined.
*3 lb. sweet potatoes may be substituted for butternut squash and 1/2 cup apple juice may be substituted for apple cider.
Yield: Makes 4 servings