Monday, January 13, 2014

Mashed Butternut Squash

I realize the title of this recipe may not sound all that appealing, but I promise it tastes delicious! I made this as a side dish at our Christmas dinner, and it was a bit hit with everyone. But it's not just for a holiday meal, you can easily make this recipe any night of the week. I perused the internet to find a squash dish to make, and came across this one. With a few small tweaks, it worked perfectly for us!

The finished product. Yum!

Sautéed apples and onions. Not so photogenic, but smells amazing!

Mashed Butternut Squash (serves 8-10, approx 1 hour to make)
- 4lbs of Butternut Squash (this is about 2 medium-sized squash)
- 2T Unsalted Butter
- 2 Apples, cored and diced
- 1 Yellow Onion, diced
- Salt
- 1 Clove of Garlic, minced
- 1/2t Cinnamon
- 1/2t Coriander
- 1/2t Cumin
- 1/8t Cayenne Pepper

- Set the oven temperature to 375.
- Rinse and dry the outside of the squash, then cut in half lengthwise. Scrape out the seeds. Line a baking sheet in tin foil, and place the squash cut side down. Bake under the squash is tender, keeping in mind that the neck will take longer than the bulb. It should take 35-45 minutes, depending on the size.
- Meanwhile, in a large pot over medium-low heat, melt the butter. Add the apples and onions with a dash of salt. Cover, and cook until onions are soft, about 5 minutes.
- Remove the cover and continue to sauté until the onions turn golden brown, about 10 minutes longer. Add the garlic and spices and stir to combine. When fragrant, about 30 seconds, remove from heat and set aside.
- When squash is done, scrape it out of the skin and add it to the pot. Use a large spoon or potato masher to mix and mash it all up.
- Serve and enjoy!

What's your favorite way to enjoy squash? Tell us in the comments!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Mushroom, Onion & Goat Cheese Frittata

After a whirlwind tour of spending one or two nights with various family members over the holidays, C and I recently (finally) had a relaxing morning to ourselves in our own apartment. It was HEAVEN to have a full night's sleep in our own bed again! Because we were in and out so often these past two weeks, we had some things in our fridge/pantry that needed to get eaten before they went bad. Enter...the frittata!

Frittatas may look fancy, but they are like soup in that you can throw leftover bits and pieces into them and have a delicious final product as a meal! Frittata is great for breakfast with a side of pasture-raised bacon, or for lunch and/or dinner with an organic side salad or greens. The frittata I make serves about 6 people, so we have leftovers for the next couple of days. You can reheat a slice, or just eat it cold or at room temperature.

Here are my step-by-step photos...the recipe is written out at the bottom of this post.

Sautéing the onions.
Next up: Sautéing the mushrooms!
Mix it all together with the eggs and pour into the pan.
Added the goat cheese and walnuts, waiting for the edges to set.
Out of the oven, with two slices cut out for breakfast. Yum!
I'm going to do my best to write this recipe for you, as I didn't measure anything. To be honest, the amounts aren't really that important here. Use however much looks good to you, and it will most likely still taste good! Besides burning the whole thing during the final step, there isn't much you can do to mess up a frittata. Happy eating! :-)

Mushroom, Onion & Goat Cheese Frittata (serves 4-6, about 40 minutes)
- Butter (or ghee) for the pan
- 1 Onion, sliced
- Approx. 2 Cups of Mushrooms, sliced
- Thyme, fresh is great but dried also works
- 8 Pasture-Raised Eggs (Remember, you're not eating the whole thing in one sitting!)
- Soft Goat Cheese, such as Chèvre
- 1/4 Cup of Walnuts, broken in half

- Select a frying pan to use. The larger the pan, the shallower the frittata and therefore the faster it will cook. A smaller pan will result in a deeper frittata, which I think makes a nicer presentation. Do not use a non-stick pan, as the whole thing needs to go in the oven.
- Turn on the broiler in your oven. You want this hot for the final step!
- On medium heat, melt some butter in the pan and sauté the onions until they just begin to brown.
- Put the onions aside on a plate, and put the pan back on the heat. 
- Add a little more butter to the pan, and sauté the mushrooms until they release their water and begin to brown. Add the thyme. When they're done, set them aside with the onions.
- Let the pan (and the onions/mushrooms) cool a bit.
- Crack the eggs into a large bowl and beat them until mixed. Add some salt and pepper, if desired.
- Add the onions and mushrooms into the bowl with the eggs, and mix together gently. You can also use up leftover greens by mixing them into the egg mixture too - things like kale, spinach, chard all work really well!
- With the pan back on medium-low heat, add some butter and make sure to melt some on the sides of the pan. Pour the egg mixture into the pan - DO NOT mix!
- Sprinkle some pieces of goat cheese around the frittata.
- Add the walnuts as a topping.
- Continue to cook on the stove until the edges become firm. Do not mix!
- When the edges of  are firm, put the whole pan in the oven under the broiler. It will only be in here about 2 minutes or so. Keep a close eye so you don't burn the walnuts (like I did here)!

Slice the remaining frittata and put it in a glass container for easy leftovers!
 Have you enjoyed a frittata before? Either homemade or at a restaurant. 
Write in the comments what was in it to inspire us when we make our next one!