Seared Pork and Apples With Chipotle and Caramelized Onion Squash and Brussels Sprouts

10 11 2014

Here’s a hearty and healthy fall dinner loaded with flavor. The smokey chipotle and caramelized onions add a unique flavor to butternut squash, which pairs well with sweet apples and seared pork. To make this on a weeknight, roast the squash over the weekend and store covered in the fridge until ready to use.

Seared Pork and Apples With Chipotle Squash

The following serves 2 (compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat):

  • 1 small butternut squash
  • Olive oil
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • 2 double-cut boneless pork chops
  • Kosher salt
  • Granulated garlic
  • Smoked paprika
  • 2 small apples, diced
  • 1/4 cup onion, diced
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup apple cider
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Baby Brussels sprouts, rough end trimmed
  • Low-sodium chicken stock
  • 1 chipotle in adobo
  • Fresh parsley, chopped

To save yourself time, roast the squash in advance and store covered in the fridge. To roast, preheat oven to 350. Cut squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds and stringing flesh with a spoon. Drizzle with a little olive oil and season with salt to taste. Roast on a baking sheet for 45-60 minutes, until you’re able to easily scoop out the flesh to turn into a puree. Remove from the oven and set aside until cool enough to handle. Scoop out the flesh, discarding the skin, and either store covered in the fridge, or move onto the next steps.

Preheat, or turn oven up to 400 degrees.

Heat a Tbsp or so of olive oil in a medium saute pan over medium-high heat. Add sliced onions and cook, untouched, until they start to brown on the bottom. Stir, and lower heat to medium-low and continue to cook and brown. After about 10 minutes, season with salt to taste and lower heat to low. Continue to cook until dark brown and caramelized, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, toss baby Brussels sprouts with a little olive oil and salt to taste on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake at 400 for 15 minutes, or until well browned.

Meanwhile, season pork with salt, granulated garlic and smoked paprika to taste on both sides. Heat some olive oil in a cast iron skillet over high heat until very hot. Add pork and sear until browned, about 3 minutes. Flip and brown the other side another 2-3 minutes. Remove pork to a plate. Lower heat to medium-low, make sure to give the pan time to lower temp. Add apples and diced onions and cook for a minute or so, scrapping up any brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Season with salt to taste and a pinch of cayenne pepper. Deglaze pan with apple cider and cook for a minute. Add a splash of balsamic vinegar and bring to a bubble, stirring to combine. Nestle the pork back in the pan, cover with a lid and bake in the oven for about 10 minutes to finish cooking the pork. Remove from oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, add the squash to a food processor along with 1/2 cup chicken stock, the chipotle in adobo, half of the caramelized onions and salt to taste. Puree until smooth. Add the pureed squash to the pan with the rest of the caramelized onions, stir to combine and heat through over medium-low heat. Add a little apple cider until you reach your desired consistency. Mix well, taste and adjust salt if needed.

To serve, dish out the Brussels sprouts and pureed squash, top with pork. Add a layer of apples and sauce over the pork and garnish with chopped parsley.

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Butternut Squash Penne With Bacon, Corn and Sauteed Broccoli Greens

6 10 2014

I can’t help but feel like I knocked dinner out of the park tonight with this luscious, Alfredo-like pasta dish that’s healthy to boot! I didn’t use cream, butter or flour – but still achieved the rich and silky consistency we’ve all come to love from Alfredo, thanks to roasted butternut squash puree. I recommend making the puree over the weekend (it’s super easy, just will take an hour or so)…this way you can whip this meal faster during a busy weeknight.

Butternut Squash Penne With Bacon, Corn and Sauteed Broccoli Greens

The following serves 4-6 (adapted from Cuisine at Home):

  • 1 butternut squash, cut in half lengthwise and seeds removed
  • Olive oil
  • 8 strips of bacon, diced
  • Chopped broccoli greens from 1-2 heads of broccoli (alternatively, you could also use kale, about 1.5 cups worth or so)
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Kosher salt
  • 13 oz whole wheat penne or fettuccine pasta
  • 2 ears of sweet corn, kernels cut off the cobs
  • 1/2 cup minced shallots
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup dry Marsala
  • 1/2 cup milk (I used skim, while the original recipe called for heavy cream – use what you have)
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup toasted chopped nuts like walnuts or hazelnuts
  • Grated parmesan
  • Chopped fresh parsley
  • Fresh ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 400. Line a baking sheet or casserole dish with foil. Lightly coat the squash halves with olive oil on both sides. Place squash, flesh side down on pan. Add 1 cup of water to the pan. Bake squash until tender, about 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool. Scoop flesh from the squash and puree in a Vitamix or blender, discard the skin. At this point you can cover and store the puree in the fridge until you’re ready to make this meal.

In a large non-stick skillet, cook bacon until crisp and remove to a paper towel lined plate. Discard most of the bacon grease, but leave a little in your skillet. Add the broccoli greens or kale and saute until wilted a few minutes. Season with salt to taste and a pinch of red pepper flakes. Remove to paper towel lined plate.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and season liberally with salt. Boil pasta in salted water according to package directions, cooking to al dente. During the last 2 minutes of cooking, add the corn kernels. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water, then strain pasta and corn.

To the skillet you used to cook the bacon and greens in, add a Tbsp or so of olive oil and heat over medium-high. Add shallots and cool until soft, a couple of minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Deglaze skillet with Marsala and cook until nearly evaporated.

Stir in squash puree (about 2 cups worth, but no worries if you have a little less – the sauce will still be great). Next add the milk and broth, stir to combine and season with salt to taste.

Stir in the pasta and corn, along with 1/4 – 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta water. Add a little at first, then more as needed to reach your desired sauce consistency. Toss the pasta and corn with the sauce over heat for a minute or two. Add sautéed greens and most of the bacon, reserving a little for garnish, and toss well. If your sauce seems a little loose, remove from the heat and allow it to sit for a few minutes which will thicken it up.

To serve, dish out the pasta and garnish with toasted nuts, parmesan, parsley and black pepper to taste.





Butternut Squash Stuffed With Leftover Spicy Sausage Bread Pudding

18 01 2014

I recently made a savory bread pudding with spicy sausage (see link below for recipe), and had leftovers. Best way I could think to re-purpose the meal was to stuff it in a roasted veggie, like butternut squash. Leftovers never go to waste in my house, I always find a way to create another meal!

Butternut Squash Stuffed With Leftover Spicy Sausage Bread Pudding

Butternut Squash Stuffed With Leftover Spicy Sausage Bread Pudding

The following serves 2 (compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat):

Preheat oven to 350.

Cut butternut squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds and membranes. Spray a baking sheet with non-stick spray and place squash cut-side down. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the center of the squash is soft enough to scoop out. Remove from oven and let rest until cool enough to handle.

Scoop out the inside of the roasted butternut squash into a bowl – leave some of the inside along the shell in order to hold the filling. Mix the inside of the squash with the leftover bread pudding and stuff the mixture back into the shells. Top with cheese and return to the oven and bake, until the bread pudding is heated through and the cheese is melted.





Penne with Roasted Butternut Squash, Prosciutto, and Sage

16 02 2012

This simple, hearty pasta recipe is packed with flavor. The crisp prosciutto pairs well with the sweet, tender butternut squash. And since it’s relatively quick to make, this is a great weeknight meal!

Penne with Roasted Butternut Squash, Prosciutto, and Sage

The following serves 4 (compliments of Scott Conant):

  • 1 medium (about 2 and 1/4 pounds) butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 3 cups)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Coarse salt
  • 3/4 pound penne pasta
  • 3 ounces prosciutto thinly sliced and finely chopped (the original recipe called for pancetta which I’m sure would be delicious)
  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced crosswise (I substituted red onion, finely chopped)
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper, flakes
  • 10 fresh sage leaves, coarsely chopped or torn
  • 1/2 cup finely grated pecorino Romano cheese, plus more for serving
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place butternut squash on a rimmed baking sheet and toss with 1 tablespoon of olive oil; season with salt. Transfer to oven and roast until squash is browned and tender, about 15 – 20  minutes.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Generously salt the water and return to a boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente, according to package directions. Drain pasta, reserving 1/2 cup cooking liquid. Set pasta and reserved cooking liquid aside.
Meanwhile, heat remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add prosciutto or pancetta and cook until just crisp, 4 to 5 minutes. Add shallots, crushed red pepper, and sage. Cook until shallots are soft, 4 to 5 minutes. Add penne and squash and toss gently, adding reserved pasta cooking liquid as necessary to moisten.
Add cheese and black pepper and cook, tossing gently, until pasta and squash are heated through. I finished
with about a Tbsp cubed cold butter, tossing everything together until melted. Serve immediately with more grated cheese, if desired.