Butternut Squash Gratin Recipe
This recipe is fancy enough to serve at the Thanksgiving table but would also work for a more humble occasion. Most of the work goes into prepping the squash, but it's worth the effort. From 'A Kitchen in France' by Mimi Thorrison.
3 tablespoons (1 1/2 ounces) unsalted butter, plus more for the baking dish
1 large onion, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
1 1/2 pounds (about 1 large) butternut squash, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded, and thinly sliced between 1/8 and 1/4 inch thick
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup (120 milliliters) heavy cream
3/4 cup (45 grams) fresh bread crumbs
3/4 cup (75 grams) grated Comté cheese
A few fresh chives, finely chopped (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Butter a 10-inch (25-centimeter) baking dish.
In a large sauté pan or Dutch oven, heat 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until softened and translucent, 4 minutes. Add the butternut squash slices and nutmeg and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly tender, 5 to 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Transfer the squash mixture to the baking dish. Smother with the cream, sprinkle with the bread crumbs, scatter with the cheese on top, and dot with the remaining 1 tablespoon butter.
Bake until the surface is golden and bubbly and the butternut squash is tender, 30 to 40 minutes. Serve immediately, sprinkled with the chives, if desired.
Winter Squash Waffles
If you've got leftover mashed squash here's a great way to use them up.
2+1/2 cups All-Purpose Flour
1/4 cup Sugar
1 Tablespoon Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon*
2 cups Milk**
1 cup mashed or pureed Winter Squash
4 Tablespoons (1/2 stick) melted Butter
In a large bowl, mix Flour, Sugar, Baking Powder, Salt, and Cinnamon.
In a second bowl, whisk together Eggs, Milk, Winter Squash, and the Melted Butter. Using a fork, combine the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients until batter has just a few lumps left.
Bake in a preheated waffle iron according to the manufacturer’s directions, until waffles are golden-brown.
* Instead of just cinnamon, a mix of nutmeg or allspice, ginger, and cloves will give these butternut, kaboucha or pumpkin waffles a hint of pumpkin pie. A splash of vanilla extract can also make this a real treat!
**Substituting freshly pressed apple juice for milk in acorn squash waffles works great. The flavors of apple, cinnamon, and squash compliment each other very well.
Potato & Celeriac Mashers
This beats plain old mashed potatoes any day. This is how I usually prepare my mashed potatoes and my kids don't even know about the extra nutrition they're getting from the celeriac.
4-6 potatoes, baked or boiled
1 celeriac, peeled and cubed
2 cloves garlic, peeled and mashed
1/4 c butter (to taste)
1/4 c creme fraiche or sour cream
salt and pepper
Cover celeriac pieces with cold water, bring to a boil until tender, about 30 minutes, drain water. Cut up butter and place in bottom of a large bowl. Add cooked potatoes, cooked celeriac, garlic and mash all together. Add the cream to desired consistency. If you want it really smooth mix with a hand held mixer. Season to taste.
Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Here's another recipe for mashed potatoes - this one with a garlicy twist!
1 bulb garlic, intact
Salt and pepper
6 large russett potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tsp. salt, plus more as needed
1 cup milk, plus more as needed
Minced chives, for garnish (optional)
Preheat the oven to 375? F. Use a sharp knife to slice off the top end so that the bulb remains intact and all of the cloves are exposed. Place on a piece of aluminum foil. Drizzle lightly with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Fold the foil around the bulb so that it is completely covered and bake until the cloves are tender, about 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool at least 10 minutes before handling. When cool enough to handle, squeeze the bulb so that the softened cloves fall out. Discard the peels. Use the tines of a fork to mash the roasted garlic into a paste. Set aside.
Place the chopped potatoes in a large stockpot and cover with water. Cover and bring to a boil. Continue to cook uncovered until the potatoes are fork-tender, about 15-18 minutes. Drain well.
Return the potatoes to the warm pot. Add in the butter, salt, milk, and the roasted garlic paste. With an electric mixer, beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, adding more milk as needed. Avoid over-beating. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired. Garnish with minced chives. Serve warm.
Mashed Sweet Potatoes
This is Martha Stewart's recipe, the all-around crowd-pleaser. There will not be any leftovers.
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks
1/2 cup half-and-half
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons light-brown sugar (or maple sugar)
Coarse salt and ground pepper
Boil sweet potatoes until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain, and return to saucepan. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, bring half-and-half, butter, and brown sugar to a simmer, stirring to combine; remove from heat. Add to drained sweet potatoes, and mash just until smooth; season with salt and pepper.
Swiss Chard and Sweet Potato Gratin
This gratin recipe comes from the Smitten Kitchen blog, and is of course, fabulous. Make sure to squeeze out all the water from the chard before cooking.
1/4 cup (1/2 stick or 2 ounces) butter
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 bunch chard, leaves and stems separated and both cut into 1-inch pieces
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
2 cups heavy cream or whole milk
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons flour
2 pounds medium red-skinned sweet potatoes (yams), peeled and cut into 1/8-inch thick rounds
1 tablespoon minced fresh Italian parsley
1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
Fine sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 1/4 cups (about 5 ounces) coarsely grated Gruyére cheese
Prep greens: Cook onion in 2 tablespoons butter in a wide 8-quart heavy pot over moderately low heat, stirring, until softened. Add chard stems, pinch of nutmeg, and salt and pepper to taste and cook, stirring, until vegetables are tender but not browned, about 8 minutes. Increase heat to moderately high and add chard leaves by large handfuls, stirring, until all greens are wilted. Season with salt and pepper then transfer greens to a colander to drain well and press out liquid with back of a large spoon.
Make sauce: Combine cream or milk and garlic in small saucepan; bring to simmer; keep warm. Melt two tablespoons butter in a medium heavy saucepan over moderate heat and stir in flour. Cook roux, whisking, one minute, then slowly whisk in warm cream/milk and boil, whisking, one minute. Season sauce with salt and pepper.
Assemble gratin: Preheat oven to 400°F. Butter deep 9×13 baking dish. Spread half of sweet potatoes in the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, a quarter of the herbs and a 1/4 cup of the cheese. Distribute half of the greens mixture over the cheese, then sprinkle salt, pepper, a quarter of the herbs and 1/4 cup of the cheese over it. Pour half of bechamel sauce over the first two layers then continue with the remaining sweet potatoes, more salt, pepper, herbs and cheese and then the remaining greens, salt, pepper and herbs. Pour the remaining sauce over the top of the gratin, pressing the vegetables slightly to ensure that they are as submerged as possible. Sprinkle with the last 1/4 cup of cheese.
Bake gratin for about 1 hour until golden and bubbly, and most of the liquid is absorbed. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
Do ahead: You can make the entire gratin but not bake it up to a day in advance and keep it in the fridge. You can also make and bake the gratin and reheat it. Gratins reheat well, but they take almost as much time to gently heat through as they do to bake in the first place, especially deep ones like this.
Honey Yeast Rolls
2¼ tsp. instant yeast
1 cup warm water (105-115? F)
¼ cup honey
3 tbsp. canola oil
1¼ tsp. salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
3½-4 cups bread flour
2 tbsp. butter, melted
2 tbsp. honey
In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the yeast and warm water. Add the honey, oil, salt, and egg and mix well. Add 3 cups of the flour and mix until the dough comes together in a sticky mass. With the mixer on low speed, incorporate the remaining ½ to 1 cup of flour a few tablespoons at a time. Continue kneading on low speed for about 8 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic.
Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl, turn once to coat, and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm, draft-free spot until doubled in bulk, about 2 hours.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for 30 seconds. Cover with a towel and let rest for 10 minutes. Punch the dough down and divide into 10-12 equal size pieces. Shape each piece into a smooth ball and place into a round, lightly greased 9- or 10-inch round baking dish, spacing evenly.* Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free spot for 20-30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 400? F. Mix together the melted butter and honey, and brush the tops of the rolls with the mixture. Sprinkle lightly with coarse salt. Bake for 15-20 minutes until the tops are golden brown. Cover loosely with foil and continue to bake about 10 minutes more, or until the the center of the rolls registers 190? F on an instant-read thermometer. Let cool slightly before serving.
*To make the rolls a day in advance, prepare the dough as above through to shaping. Cover with plastic wrap and transfer to the freezer. Leave there to stop the rise, 2-4 hours. Transfer the baking dish to the refrigerator and leave overnight. The rolls will begin to rise again slowly while refrigerated and will eventually puff up and into each other. The following day, about 18-24 hours after the dough was prepared, bake as directed above. You may need to add 2-3 minutes to the baking time, but monitoring the internal temperature is the most reliable way to check for doneness.
Celeriac and Apple Soup with Blue Cheese Toasts
This recipe, adapted from Eating Well Nov/Dec 2014, is a winner. I'll be making this as soon as I'm tired of eating leftovers!
1 head celeriac
2 medium Granny-Smith apples, peeled and cored
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 tsp salt, divided
1 edium onion, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
2 tsp chopped fresh thyme (or 1 tsp dried)
2 tsp finely chopped garlic
1 medium russet potato, peeled and chopped
4 cups low-sodium veggie broth
2 cups water
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground pepper
8 slices baguette (1/4 inch)
1 clove garlic, peeled and halved
8 tsp blue cheese
Position rack in center of oven; preheat to 450.
Cut one end off celerica to create a flat surface to keep it steady, then cut off the skin, following the contour of the root. (Or use a vegetable peeler and peel around the root at least 3 times to ensure all the fibrous skin has been removed). Cut into 1/2 inch pieces. Cut apples into 1-inch wedges. Toss the celeriac and apples in a large bowl with 2 tbsp oil and 1/4 tsp salt until well coated. Spread out on a baking sheet. Roast, stirring once or twice, until lightly browned and tender, 35-40 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat the remaining 1 tbsp oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add onion, carrot and thyme; cook, stirring, until the vegetables are softened but have not colored, about 5 minutes. Add chopped garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add potato, broth, water, nutmeg, pepper and the remaining 3/4 tsp salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to maintain a gentle simmer, cover and cook until the vegetables smash easily when pressed against the side of the pot, 35 to 40 minutes. Add the celeriac mixture to the pot. Blend the soup with an immersion blender until smooth. (Or transfer the soup to a blender and puree until smooth)
To prepare toasts: About 15 minutes before you're ready to serve, preheat oven to 400.
Place baguette slices on a baking sheet and bake until toasted, 6 to 8 minutes. Rub them with the garlic, then top with cheese. Return to the oven and bake until the cheese is melted, 5 to 7 minutes.
Serve the soup topped with a cheese toast.
Roasted Beet and Horseradish Relish
This recipe, also from Eating Well, would be awesome served with a German feast or as a sandwich topper.
4 medium beets, scrubbed
2 ounces fresh horseradish root, peeled, or 1/3 cup prepared horseradish
3/4 tsp salt
Preheat the oven to 375F. Wrap beets in foil. Roast until a paring knife inserted into the center comes out easil, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Unwrap the beets; when cool enough to handle but still warm, slip the skins off with your fingers.
Shred the beets through the large holes on a box grater. Shred fresh horseradish (if using) through the fine holes on the grater. Combine the beets, horseradish and salt in a medium bowl. Serve at room temperature.