Thursday, September 27, 2012

Cooking sans Catastrophe: Roasted Butternut Squash filled with [Pom]-soaked Fruit

So I think this might be my indirect attempt to embrace fall. Yes, I know. Gasp! I do talk a lot of smack about Summer being the best season of the year. Which, it still is. But the deep dark secret is... I love fall. Ssssh! Don't tell anyone. First Starbucks fall flavors, now butternut squash. Here we go.

I have also come into the habit of attempting the things I see in the innumerable amount of magazines I get for free. The cover in question today is Better Homes and Gardens. Their October issue features this lovely recipe (the original,  that is. There was tweaking.)

Here is what their "Roasted Butternut Squash filled with Port-soaked Fruit" is supposed to look like:
You are welcome to pass judgement at the end of the post. :P

Let's begin with the ingredients. I'll show you mine, then list the actual ingredients from the article, including my own alterations and notes in italics.

"Preparation Time: 15 min
Cook Time: 18 Minutes
Roast Time: 33 minutes
Oven temperature: 425 F
Stand: 10 minutes

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1 1/2 pound butternut squash, halved lengthwise and seeded (Ours was actually over two pounds. They are, in fact, on sale at Earthfare for $1.29/lb)
  • tablespoon olive oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups port wine or pomegranate juice (As you can see, I bought a 16 oz bottle of Pom)
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup dried apricots, chopped (At Peden's request, we used dried mango. My thoughts ont he subject to follow.)
  • 1/2 cup dried tart cherries, chopped (We already had cranberries at the house, so we used them instead.)
  • 1/2 cup salted whole almonds, chopped (Again, we already something else, int his case cashews, at the house.)
  • Aged white cheddar cheese or Gruyere cheese, shaved 
  • Toasted baguette slices"

Yeah, I like to only buy what I need. So the difference in the ingredient, I think, did actually make a slight difference in the overall meal, but that will be discussed as we go along.

"Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Coat a large baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Rub squash halves with oil then sprinkle cut side with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Place squash, cut side down on prepared baking sheet. Roast until easily pierced with the tip of a sharp knife, 33 to 35 minutes. Transfer to a platter, cut side up."

I let Peden do the oiling up, since I had a bandaid on my finger. :P But he did such a good job.

One of them is not very happy about the plan...

"Meanwhile, in a large saucepan combine the port wine, vinegar, sugar, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Bring mixture to boiling over medium-high heat and cook, uncovered, 4 minutes."

This part definitely made me want to cackle. I mean, who doesn't feel like they're working over a cauldron when the stuff you're boiling looks like this?

"Add the apricots and cherries. Remove from heat; let stand 10 minutes. Remove fruit from saucepan with a slotted spoon; set aside. Return saucepan to the stove over medium-high heat. Bring port mixture to boiling; cook until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon and reduced to about 1/2 cup; about 14 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in the fruit mixture and nuts. Season to taste with salt and ground black pepper."

 So pretty. After the fruit soaked for a while and I took it out, I put the pot back on to boil like it says. I boiled it 15 minutes, like it said. However I probably wasn't patient enough to let it thicken as much as the recipe says, because it never really thickened. But it was still rpetty good when we sprinkled it over the finished product.

"Spoon fruit mixture into squash. Place any remaning mixture in a serving bowl.To serve, place shaved cheese on baguette slices. Spoon on squash and fruit mixture. Makes 6 servings."

Instead of fancy baguette slices and aged cheddar, we instead toasted "poor-man's bread," or as we call it at my house, bread. :P With some provalogne on top, it was quite tasty.

 Of course, by this time the squash was out of the oven, and we were probably just waiting on that juicy stuff to thicken. When they came out of the over, the squash still did not look pleased.

But they certainly looked yummy.

Here is the final product, all plated up and perty.

Eh. Not quite like the picture. But, regardless, we ventured into the living room to sit down and enjoy our tasty adventure.

Did I mention...
Dinner AND A SHOW! This is relatively irrelevant, but I love this movie, and it had actually just arrived in the mail that day.

My lovely guinea pig husband tried it first. He liked it and pretty much devoured it down to the skin.

I'm sure he wished I would stop taking pictures of him. P:

So over all:

Personally, I think the mango might have been too sweet and the cashews didn't provide quite the same crunch as almond would have. Peden suggested baking the squash until the fruit is ready, mixing the squash and the fruit, and baking some more, like a twice baked potato. This is an idea. The squash was aweseom, and you should totally pick some up from your local Earthfare. :P And say hi to my guinea pig while you're there.

Any one is welcome to try the recipe and let me know how theirs turns out. I'm totally open to trying this one again. :)

Recipe can be found on the Better Homes and Gardens websight:


  1. eh. I"ll leave this one to you, but kudos to you for trying something new :)

  2. Yeah, it was definitely different. But i thought I'd get creative. I loved the squash. I think i might try butternut squash soup someday. P:

  3. Savvy...this looks great! The original recipe sounds killer, and your versions kicks it up and sounds incredible too. Love the frowns on the squash haha.

  4. yeah i would like to try it with apricots just because thats what I like but it was pretty good. and it came out relatively close to the original, which is shocking for a recipe in a magazine :P