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Day 8: Squash and Apple au Gratin

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After last night / this afternoon’s disappointing meal, I was hoping for something wonderful tonight.  I scrolled through my Pumpkin Everything board and didn’t see anything that really spoke to me.  With some pumpkin puree, a butternut squash, and a carnival squash at home, I wondered what I could do to make my taste buds happy.  Then I pulled up my OneNote recipe notebook to look up some potential Thanksgiving recipe and I found a treasure trove of forgotten pumpkin recipes!  And this was born tonight’s dinner.

The only thing I didn’t like about the dish was the texture difference between the squash and the apples, but that’s because I have weird texture issues.  I used Jonathan apples which are good for baking and therefore became mushy.  I think I’d rather use a harder apple or pear to match the squash’s texture after baking.

Ingredients:
3 strips bacon, well cooked and crumbled
1 medium butternut squash, cubed
4 small – medium apples
1/2 small sweet onion
1/4 cup flour
cinnamon
nutmeg
crushed red pepper (if you like a sweet/spicy combination)
italian seasoning
salt
pepper
cloves
1 cup sharp cheddar, shredded
grated parmesan cheese
crumbled goat cheese
2 cups chicken broth

Squash and Apple Au Gratin

Directions:
1.preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Fry up 3 strips of bacon until crispy.  Or if I’m being honest, I cooked 4 strips squash ate one. Because, bacon.  Save the bacon grease to use for later.  And leave a little in the pan if you’re cooking up something, like chicken, to accompany the squash.
3. Cut up squash, apples, and onions.  Place in a plastic bag and add flour, spices (to your own taste.  I used about 1 tbsp cinnamon, 1 tsp nutmeg, 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp black pepper, 1 tsp Italian seasoning, 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper, and a dash of cloves) and shake well.
4. Place 1/2 of the squash mix into a baking dish (I used a 9 x 11 pan).  Add 1/2 of the cheddar and sprinkle parmesan to your taste.
5. Pour the chicken broth over the mixture.
6. Add the rest of the squash mix.  Cover with the rest of the cheddar cheese, add parmesan and goat cheese to taste.  Top with bacon crumbles.
7. Bake for 40-45 minutes until squash is soft.
8. When squash is done it will appear a bit watery but let it cool and the cheese will help that liquid solidify into yum!

I paired this with a boneless chicken breast seasoned with Goya’s Adobe and sauteed in leftover bacon fat yummmm. The salty was a good complement to the sweet squash.

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