30 October 2015

Recipes for Halloween

I'm just kidding...I hate Halloween.  I mean, the little kids who come around to the door begging for food are funny when they can't see through their masks, and I enjoy giving them Mike & Ikes while drinking beer all afternoon, so I guess I do like this holiday.  But I never liked wearing a costume, not even as a little kid, and I know that makes me a social untouchable.  And I don't get the appeal of making foods that look like eyeballs or brains or whatever spaghetti and peeled grapes is supposed to be.  So I'm just going to share some of my favorite recipes for winter squash, because that's fall-like, and it's delicious.

You can use butternut, acorn, or whatever hard squash you find on sale at the store.  They're all pretty similar and interchangeable in these particular preparations.



Creamy Butternut Squash and Parsnip Soup

Serves 4

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
salt and black pepper
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 parsnips, chopped
1 butternut squash (about 1 1/2 pounds), cut into 1-inch pieces
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
plain yogurt and lime zest, for serving

Heat the oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Add the onion, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the broth, parsnips, squash, and 1 cup water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until the squash is tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Working in batches, puree in a blender until smooth. Stir in the lime juice.

Serve topped with the yogurt, lime zest, and pepper.


Butternut Squash and Barley Risotto

Serves 4

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1onion, chopped
salt and black pepper
1/2 cup dry white wine
6 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1 cup pearl barley
1 butternut squash (about 1 1/2 pounds), cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 cup grated Parmesan (2 ounces), plus more, shaved, for serving

Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the wine and cook until syrupy, 5 to 7 minutes.

Add the broth and barley and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until almost tender, 24 to 26 minutes. Add the squash and cook, stirring occasionally, until the barley and squash are tender, 25 to 35 minutes more (adding more liquid if the risotto becomes too thick before the barley and squash are tender). Stir in the Parmesan.

Serve topped with additional shaved Parmesan.


Butternut Squash and Kale Lasagna

Serves 4

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for the foil
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 cups whole milk
salt and black pepper
1 butternut squash (about 1 1/2 pounds), thinly sliced
4 cups torn kale leaves (from 1 small bunch)
6 no-cook lasagna noodles
1 1/2cups grated Gruyère (6 ounces)

Heat oven to 350° F. Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the flour and cook, whisking, until foamy, 30 seconds. Whisk in the milk, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened, 8 to 10 minutes.

Spread a third of the milk mixture in the bottom an 8-by-8-inch baking dish. Top with a third of the noodles, half the kale, and half the squash. Repeat, ending with the remaining lasagna noodles and milk mixture. Top with the Gruyère.

Cover the dish with buttered foil and bake until the filling is bubbling and the noodles are tender, 55 to 60 minutes. Uncover and broil until the top is golden brown, 2 to 4 minutes more. Let rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Happy friggin' Halloween, muthahs.