Monday, December 26, 2011

Sweet and Spicy Butternut Squash

Recently I was blessed with an abundance of butternut squash (the most heavenly squash in the world). Every fall, like clockwork, I get an insatiable appetite for all things butternutty. Last fall, it was my recipe for roasted rosemary and balsamic vinegar squash. This year, it's my Sweet and Spicy Butternut Squash. You can have it for breakfast or have it for dinner (this recipe really is a winner). I like it so much, my skin is starting to have a slightly orange hue. How Jersey Shore of me.

One whole butternut squash
Olive oil
Coconut oil (optional)
Butter from grass fed cows (Kerrygold)
Massive amount of cinnamon
Chili powder
Cayenne pepper
Sea salt

Santa and Mrs. Claus, supervising

Santa loves nutmeg

Mrs. Claus is more of an olive oil lady

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Line cookie sheet with aluminum foil. Cut butternut squash in half width wise then length wise so that there are 4 large pieces left.  Spoon out seeds and discard. With a heavy duty vegetable peeler or knife, peel the annoyingly thick skin of the squash. Proceed to cut the squash into approximately one inch cubes. You can also take the easy way out and buy pre cubed squash, but what's the fun in that? Spread the cubed squash evenly on the cookie sheet. 

Sprinkle with a lot of cinnamon (I'm not really into measuring my ingredients). Sprinkle with some chili powder, a small amount of cayenne pepper, a lot of sea salt, and pepper to taste. Add a few pinches of allspice and nutmeg. Finish your seasoning extravaganza with a sprinkle of paprika. Of note: The main flavoring is cinnamon, the other spices play more of a supporting role in this dish. 

Santa approves

Drizzle with olive oil. Spread 4-5 pats of butter throughout pan. And if you have it, add twoish tablespoons of coconut oil (makes it a little crisp, yum).  Toss the squash with your hands so that the spices and oil cover evenly. Re-spread the squash out on the pan. Bake for 25 minutes. Taste a piece of squash, if still firm, cook for 5 more minutes. Sometimes, I'll get a hankering for a more French fry like consistency… to achieve this, skip the olive oil, just use coconut oil, and at the end of the cooking process, switch your oven to broil for 4-5 minutes for a nice crispy treat.

 Let cool a bit and add more salt if you would like. Hide a serving or two in the back of your fridge, because your husband will eat it all. Enjoy!