Monday, October 19, 2009

Roasted Butternut Squash with Moroccan Spices: Back in Orange

EDITOR’S NOTE #1: Hi, sweet readers! We’re back! Thank you for being so patient during our absence. We’ll have a post on site improvements tomorrow. In the meantime, let’s get rolling with a brand spankin’ new recipe, brought to you by the fine folks at Kalyn’s Kitchen. (Meaning: Kalyn.)

EDITOR’S NOTE #2: Today on Serious Eats, I wrote of Giada DeLaurentiis’ Spinach and Cannellini Bean Dip. Without exaggeration, I’d give up a kidney for a pita of this stuff. (Nope, no exaggeration there.) It’s only one Weight Watchers point per 1/3rd cup, making it way lighter than hummus. Giada wins.

Ladies and gentlemen, it gives me great pleasure to re-emerge from a month of sloth and pondering with a recipe so fine, you won’t eat anything for the rest of the season. But first, a few things I discovered during four weeks of blog-free existence:

1) She deserved some kind of award before, but after seeing Jane Lynch on Glee, I’m pretty sure she deserves her own country.

2) This is the single best chocolate chip cookie recipe in existence. And if uninterrupted by sanity or others, I will eat an entire batch in a single sitting.

3) Employers don’t knock on your door and offer you jobs. Apparently, you have to go to them. And even then, they might not be so keen on giving you one. What’s that all about? (*weeps*)

4) Related point: when you have no workjob, the public health option suddenly seems like the greatest idea since maple bacon. Folks, if you help pass this thing, I’ll send you a cookie from bulletpoint #2 and/or a package of maple bacon.

5) Parks and Recreation is getting so good! Amy Poehler really has Leslie down now, and Chris Pratt and Nick Offerman are just plain hilarious. I’m super happy that one’s working out.

6) But The Office still wins. Case in point, compliments of Dwight K. Schrute: “R is among the most threatening of sounds. That’s why it’s called ‘murder’ instead of ‘mukduk’.”

7) Wow. I’m watching a lot more TV now.

8) Writer’s block? No problem! Put Black Eyed Peas’ “Boom Boom Pow” on repeat, and don’t stop it until you have a few paragraphs typed out. If you can resist amputating your own ears with a #2 pencil, your productivity will increase tenfold.

9) Watching an hour of Barefoot Contessa per day is not conducive to fitting into one’s wedding dress. Ina, we gotta talk. (Call me!)

10) Oh, yeah. A lot more TV.

Anyway, it’s been an educational month. Mayhaps the best part, however, has been the cooking. I was a tiny bit burned out last time we spoke/read/wrote/communicated via pixels, but lately, it’s been good times in the CHG kitchen. I’m in such a felicitous mood culinarily, someone could sneak a jar of mayo into my fridge, and I’d only maim him instead of full-on mukduk.

Kalyn’s Roasted Butternut Squash with Moroccan Spices is one of the reasons for this rejuvenation. Warm and sweet with a very subtle spiciness, it’s a nice twist on regular roasted squash. You can smell it cooking in every corner of your house, and each bite evokes autumn in the best possible way. (Meaning: cool weather, gorgeous colors, and cinnamon-y smells. Not: rotting leaves and local delinquents toilet papering your house.) At 113 calories a serving, that's a good deal.

If you fear for your limbs when butchering a butternut squash, go ahead and buy it pre-chunked. It’s slightly more expensive, but still less costly than a hospital trip. Just make sure the cubes are patted down for moisture before you mix it with the oil and spices.

And that’s that. It’s good to be back, everybody. Here’s to tomorrow.


If you like this recipe, you might also like:

Roasted Butternut Squash with Moroccan Spices
Makes 4 side servings.
Adapted ever-so-slightly from Kalyn’s Kitchen and Fine Cooking.

4-5 cups butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes (about one 2-lb squash)
4 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Spice Mix (makes enough for 1 or 2 batches of roasted veggies):
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. ground coriander
1/4 tsp. chile powder
1/4 tsp. sweet paprika
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ground allspice
1/8 tsp. ground ginger
1/16 tsp. cayenne pepper
pinch of ground cloves

1) Preheat oven to 450ºF. Line a roasting pan with tin foil and spray with cooking spray.

2) Peel butternut squash (or cut off skin if you don’t have a decent peeler) and chop off ends. Scrape out seeds, and cut squash into 3/4- or 1-inch cubes.

3) Toss squash well with olive oil, salt, pepper, and spice mix, making sure everything is pretty evenly distributed. You can double the spice mix if you like, too, especially if you’re using older spices. (I did this with half the batch and it came out well.)

4) Spread squash out on pan, and roast anywhere from 30 – 50 minutes, or until sides are brownish and squash is soft. (Mine only went for 30, but I cut the pieces a little smaller.)

5) Season with kosher salt and serve hot.

Approximate Calories, Fat, Fiber, and Price Per Serving
113 calories, 4.7 g fat, 3.3 g fiber, $0.45

4-5 cups butternut squash: 284 calories, 0.6 g fat, 12.6 g fiber, $1.52
4 teaspoons olive oil: 158 calories, 17.9 g fat, 0 g fiber, $0.15
1/2 tsp. kosher salt: negligible calories, fat, and fiber: $0.01
Freshly ground black pepper: negligible calories, fat, and fiber: $0.01
1 tsp. ground cumin: negligible calories, fat, and fiber: $0.02
1/2 tsp. ground coriander: negligible calories, fat, and fiber: $0.01
1/4 tsp. chile powder: 2 calories, 0.1 g fat, 0.2 g fiber, $0.01
1/4 tsp. sweet paprika: 2 calories, 0.1 g fat, 0.2 g fiber, $0.01
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon: 2 calories, 0 g fat, 0.3 g fiber, $0.01
1/8 tsp. ground allspice: 1 calories, 0 g fat, 0 g fiber, $0.02
1/8 tsp. ground ginger: 1 calories, 0 g fat, 0 g fiber, $0.01
1/16 tsp. cayenne pepper: negligible calories, fat, and fiber: $0.01
pinch of ground cloves: negligible calories, fat, and fiber: $0.01
TOTAL: 450 calories, 18.7 g fat, 13.3 g fiber, $1.80
PER SERVING (TOTAL/4): 113 calories, 4.7 g fat, 3.3 g fiber, $0.45

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kristen said...

Re: maiming yourself cutting butternut squash. Nuke that sucker for a minute or two until you can cut it without needing an axe. Much easier.

Krista said...

Dear lord does that look good. I am picking up a butternut squash tonight to try it.

Glad you are back!

Kalyn said...

Cool! So glad you liked that recipe. One of my favorites too. Love your photo, the squash is positively glowing.

Evelyn said...

Another way to preserve your limbs while butchering a butternut squash is to cook it whole in the oven for about 10 minutes before butchering. It's much easier to peel and chop that way.

Kristine said...

Ditto on what Evelyn said. Although I was told to stab it a few times first. Not sure if that's an old wive's tale or not. Either way, much easier to cut.

Jess said...

+1 on Jane Lynch!!!

Ambitious said...

Welcome back!

Would you say that cookie is better than the jacques torres recipe? he recommends leaving it in the fridge overnight, making the cookie ingredients even more integrated!

I also agree with baking the squash first so that you can cut off the peel easily :)

Ashley said...

looks great! glad your back.

brannyboilsover said...

Lucky for me I Just bought butternut squash. Can't wait to try this out.

Sarah said...

Yay, so glad to see you're back! I made your roasted butternut squash soup (from the other blog you write for) and OH MY GOSH was it delicious! I added some cinnamon and nutmeg and thought I'd died and gone to heaven. Thanks so much!

Lake said...

I've always wondered if other squashes could be used in sub of butternut. I particularly like buttercup. Is there any reason you know of why most recipes use butternut?

Kris said...

Heating it up! Excellent, you guys! Next time, I'm nuking that sucker.

Lake, I figure butternut is cheap, plentiful, and huge, which makes it better for bulk recipes?

MS said...

Welcome back!

I wonder if this delish-looking recipe would work for the acorn squash I've been staring down in my dining room.

Anonymous said...

So great to have you back!!! Looking forward to all these awesome improvements. Thanks for all the hard work and great recipes!!

Anonymous said...

Ooh, that squash looks lovely. But really, I'm commenting to say... I love that you're a Gleek too! Sue Sylvester is beyond awesome.

Ms Meghan said...

Another delicious way to flavor roasted butternut squash is a very generous dose of chili powder, lime juice, salt and a little oil. YUM.

Karen Datko said...

The spinach and bean dip sounds like something I could live off of for the remainder of my days -- and I expect to have many. I CANNOT wait to make that this weekend. Thank you very much.

chap said...

I made this tonight with the second half of the squash I used for the butternut apple bake (found this recipe from that one, actually). The butternut apple bake was tasty and popular but this one is totally phenomenal. Definitely a top contender for my new favorite recipe.

Anonymous said...

love the spices in this recipe, could u also use sweet potato with them. Nic

Anonymous said...

I made this the last time with a half of a butternut squash (leftover from another recipe) and a cut up parsnip. It was delicious! The spices are so wonderful that I think any root vegetable would work. Thanks for a great recipe!