November 15, 2010

Hot Pepper Butternut Squash


Ingredients:
1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cubed
2 jalapenos, minced
1 shallot, minced
3 tablespoons minced fresh thyme
1 tablespoon yellow mustard seed
1 teaspoon pepper sherry
1 teaspoon minced ginger
1/2 cup chicken stock or water
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

for the seeds:
seeds from the squash
1/4 cup sea salt
1 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
olive oil


Directions:
Preheat oven to 350. Saute the shallot, peppers and squash until the shallot is translucent. Add the remaining ingredients. Cover and simmer until the squash is fork tender.

Meanwhile: Place the butternut seeds in a large pot. Fill halfway with water. Add salt. Bring to a boil. Boil for 10 minutes. Drain. Sprinkle lightly with olive oil, then the spices. Stir to evenly distribute spice. Place in a single layer on a parchment lined cookie sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Stir the seeds then bake for an additional 5 minutes or until they no longer look wet are instead toasted and crunchy looking.

Sprinkle the seeds over the squash and serve.



My thoughts:
Butternut squash is perhaps the most popular of the winter squashes to make at home. It is easy to make it the same way over and over again but I wanted to try something completely different than the usual. Rather than giving into the natural sweetness, I went with contrasting flavors that were inspired by Caribbean cuisine. It was a big hit with everyone.

I love roasted butternut squash seeds (possibly even more than pumpkin!) because they puff up a bit and have a great "pop" when you bite down on them. They make a great garnish.

Tips: Make it easy on yourself and cube and peel the butternut squash the day before you want to use it. You can roast the seeds ahead of time too.

Keep an eye on the squash as it cooks and add more water if needed, the sugars in the squash can caramelize quickly which can turn into the cubes sticking to the pan.



3 comments:

  1. I've never seen boiling seeds before roasting them. I know you wrote you prefer the squash seeds to pumpkin, but do you think this method would work with Pumpkin seeds too?

    ReplyDelete
  2. It's so nice to see a recipe that doesn't use butternut squash in the same old way. Sometimes we need contrasting flavors and I'm always up for anything spicy!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Jen
    I use the same method for pumpkin seeds.

    ReplyDelete

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