Chrysta 10 min. 15 min.

Years ago, Butternut Squash Puree was one of those things I loved to eat,  but relegated it meals enjoyed at a restaurant.  To me, the idea of roasting the squash for 30 minutes before I could even prepare my dish was 30 minutes I’d rather spend making my entire meal.

Then I discovered the ease of cooking said squash in the microwave oven and I’ve been pureeing it up ever since!

This Butternut Squash Puree starts with a quick cooking in a microwave oven (cutting roasting time by two-thirds)  and is then finished in a blender.  All of this in  about 15 minutes!

The result is a delicious smooth, almost sauce-like accompaniment that is perfect with fish, chicken, or pork.  And, it couldn’t be easier thanks to the use of the microwave.  If you want to have a Mashed Butternut Squash, this recipe works too!  All you need to do is omit step #10.

This recipe plays up the sweeter side of Butternut Squash because we paired it with a Malibu-spiced Red Snapper on an episode of Dishing On Movies.  The contrast of the sweet-ish puree with the spicy fish was a match made in heaven Malibu. If you want more of a savory dish, you could omit the sugar and cinnamon and add your own spices like cumin.

Ingredients

1 small butternut squash (mine was 1.5 lbs and yielded 1 cup of puree).

3 tablespoons of butter

2 tbsp of milk

1 ½ tbsp of brown sugar

2 pinches (about 1/8 tsp) of ground cinnamon

salt and white pepper* to taste (you can use black pepper.  White pepper gives us the kick w/o seeing the black specks in our final puree).

Directions

1. Wash the outside of the squash.

2.  Using a sharp knife, slice squash in half and remove the seeds.

3.  Place the squash cut-side-down onto a microwave safe dish.

4.  Using a fork, pierce the skin of the squash (about 5 times on each half).  This will allow steam to release.

5.  Microwave for 7 minutes.

6.  Remove squash from the microwave.  Be careful, it will be very hot.  If the meat doesn’t release from the skin very easily, continue to microwave in          1-minute increments.  This squash took a total of 11 minutes to get tender.

7.  Let the squash sit for 5 minutes to cool down so that you can handle it.  It will be VERY hot when it’s first removed from the oven.

8.  Using a spoon, scoop out the tender squash meat and place in a bowl.  Add butter, milk, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Stir or mash together.

9.  At this step, you could eat this butternut squash as a sort of rustic mash.  If you’d like the kind of puree that you see in the video, that has the texture        the allows for a fancy “plating” of your dish using the puree and the back of a spoon, follow step 10.

10.  Place your squash mash into a blender or food processor, and pulse for about 8 seconds, or until you see that it’s a smooth texture.

11.  Taste and season to your preference.  You could add cumin, cayenne pepper, or any spice you like. Or you could leave it as it.

Remember this butternut squash puree can be used as a “sauce” for pasta or rice and can also double as a baby food (but omit the milk, butter, sugar and spices for baby.  Instead, use a little apple juice to facilitate the puree)

If you wanna learn how to make the Malibu-spiced Red Snapper, take a look at this week’s #IronMan3 inspired episode of Dishing on Movies