I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Mine was more relaxed and tasty than even I imagined it could be. I got to Skype with family far away, and I texted and talked to many of the people who really matter to me. One of my guests was too sick to attend the meal, and it felt like a weird black hole in the proceedings, but we managed to carry on. At least I was able to send leftovers to help with the healing.
All of my dishes were as good as I had hoped. I cooked the rib roast using this method. I’m not going to go on and on about how amazing the beef was, but I think I can safely say the first bite was close to nirvana…a perfect medium–rare, fork tender, and, despite its simplicity, very rich. The green beans and the stuffing were just different enough to get some attention but not so far flung from the Thanksgiving intent that anyone was distracted.
The one dish I had not really thought through turned out to be an absolute star, and I thought I would share it with you today.
I knew I wanted to use butternut squash as a nice addition to the feast, but everything I first thought about seemed so normal and mundane. I also like a bit of heat somewhere in any meal I serve, so I decided to roast the squash with a chipotle-honey glaze for a nice sweet heat kick in the middle of all the rich extravagance. And it didn’t hurt that I threw in a fair amount of fresh garlic.
It was fast and simple, and I’m thinking you might have a butternut squash sitting on your counter that you did not manage to use, so treat yourself and round out some of those leftovers!
I peeled the squash, cut it down to size, scooped out the seeds, and cut it into manageable slices. Then I lined the pan with a piece of parchment to make clean up easier and tossed the squash pieces with olive oil, salt, and pepper.
I dropped 4 chipotle peppers with some of the adobo sauce into my blender. I peeled and smashed 6 cloves of garlic and added that, along with some local honey, to the blender. I zapped that together and then poured the resulting glaze over the squash and tossed with my hands to make sure everything as well coated. I arranged the slices in an even layer and promptly washed my hands before the chipotle left a reminder of heat on my fingers.
I popped the pan in a hot oven for 25 minutes and then turned the squash pieces over to allow an even roast on both sides. After another 25 minutes, I pulled the pan from the oven and drizzled it with a little bit of extra honey. I placed it under the broiler and kept an eye on it to avoid burning the glaze.
The result was perfectly tender with a smoky heat and a bit of sticky sweetness. I think it made a nice statement in the middle of all that pomp and circumstance on the plate.
By the way, UPS delivered my first real copies of the book today! I know I made the announcement that the book was going to be available, but having an actual copy in my hands is very exciting!
- 2 butternut squash
- 4 chipotle peppers
- 2 Tbsp. adobo sauce from the peppers
- ¼ cup plus 2 Tbsp. honey
- 6 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
- 2 tsp. kosher salt
- 2 tsp. black pepper
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- Oven 375 degrees
- Peel squash, cut in half the long way, and use a spoon to remove the seeds.
- Slice the squash into ½ inch slices.
- Line a roasting pan with parchment paper.
- In the pan, toss the squash slices with the oil, salt, and pepper making sure the parchment paper is well coated with the olive oil in the process.
- Add 4 chipotle peppers and 2 Tbsp. of the adobo sauce to a blender.
- Peel and smash the garlic and add to the blender along with the ¼ cup honey.
- Blend until everything is combined and the garlic is very finely chopped.
- Pour the glaze over the squash pieces and toss with your hands to make sure everything is coated well.
- Arrange the squash in one even layer on the pan and wash your hands immediately!
- Place pan in the oven and cook for 25 minutes.
- Turn the squash pieces over, cook for another 25 minutes, and then remove from the oven.
- Turn on the broiler, drizzle about 2 Tbsp. honey over the cooked squash and place the pan under the broiler.
- Broil for about 4 minutes, but watch closely to avoid burning.