~ Color Me Fall: An Autumn Butternut Squash Puree~
Fall begins precisely at 4:44 PM this afternoon and I've got to say, "I love the Fall." I'm one of those lucky people that lives in the Northeastern USA where we get to participate in four distinct seasons, with each one requiring a "sort of" different lifestyle. Fall: I love the clean, crisp "sweater weather", and, watching the leaves change in color from bright green to yellow-y golds and oranges. I especially love the transition from all of the fresh vegetables and grilled foods of Summer to the deep, nutty flavor of roasted vegetables and slow-cooked comfort foods!
The only vegetables we have left from our Summer garden are butternut squash and pumpkins. If stored in a cool, dry place, these will keep for about 6 months, so, I don't have to be in a hurry to scurry around and find a way to use or preserve them. In fact, I prefer to keep them "hanging around", so I can make some of my favorite casseroles and desserts for the Thanksgiving holiday!
That being said, I adore butternut squash as a side-dish, and, I just couldn't resist steaming the biggest one I had on Friday so I could make my butternut squash puree tonight -- to celebrate our first Sunday dinner of Fall tonight. My detailed instructions for ~ How to: Steam a Butternut Squash in the Crockpot ~ can be found in Categories 4, 15 and 20, or by clicking on the Related Article link below!
In a nutshell: This saves you the agony of peeling and chopping a rock-hard butternut squash, and, by not doing that, none of the vitamins or minerals get leached out of it while cooking. Depending upon the size of your crockpot and the squash, 3-4 hours later the squash will cut like butter and will produce 3-5 cups of glorious smashed squash for making the puree. I got 5 cups of this yummy stuff on Friday!
Color me Fall: Velvety Smooth, Silky, Butternut Squash Puree!
1 stick salted butter, at room temperature, very soft
3/4 cup heavy or whipping cream
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
freshly ground sea salt and peppercorn blend, for topping
~ Step 1. In a small saucepan, place the cream, maple syrup, ground cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, sea salt and white pepper. Over medium heat, stirring constantly, heat until steaming. Do not simmer or boil. Remove from heat and transfer to a 1-cup measuring container.
~ Step 2. Place the warm squash in the workbowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Add the butter. Using a series of 25-30 on-off pulses, process until the butter is thoroughly incorporated.
Serve one of two ways:
#1. Transfer to a serving dish. Cover and gently reheat in the microwave for a few moments, until steaming, and serve as a side-dish to poultry, or: #2. Transfer to a serving dish and serve at room temperature as a dip for veggies.
#1. Serve steaming hot as a decadent side-dish to poultry:
Special Equipment List: 1-quart saucepan; large spoon; 1-cup measuring container; food processor
"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti
(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2013)