Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Martha would be proud

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


Caroline said...

Ann, That sounds like a wonderful recipe that would fit perfectly here. And if your kids ate it I know mine would. Though mine are extremely picky and only eat certain kind of noodles and pasta. I will definitely give it a try. I am making a tropical chicken for dinner tonight a recipe from taste of home. I am proud of you, I am not a domestic diva either, but it is good to try and succeed every now and again, it gives me confidence to continue on

4xLucky said...

Ann - I love squash. This is my favourite time of year! Here's a really easy recipe that I often make, any type of hard squash will work (i.e. not spaghetti squash):
Peel 1 squash & cut into cubes
Cut 1 red pepper into cubes
Put both in a glass lasagna dish & toss with crushed garlic, rosemary, and a little olive oil. Add cubes of sharp cheese (old cheddar - so old it's white - that kind).
Bake uncovered at 350 until the squash is tender. YUMMY!!!

Ann said...

Thanks Caroline. I think I may want some of your recipes. That chicken dish sounds good.

Sarah, that squash recipe sounds great. Would you ideally use something like butternut or could you use plain yellow squash? I suppose that might be too soft. Here in the south we make a yellow squash casserole as a standard at potluck dinners.

I'm always interested in how other people survive the dinner hour. It has gotten more and more busy for us.

Caroline said...

Let me know which ones you want. I have a really good meatloaf recipe that everyone loves even Tommy. When I have time I will email you some of my personal favorites that work well here.