Saturday, November 21, 2009

Oh how you fill me up butternut squash and don't let me down or mess me around

I got together this week with some buddies I've had since the beginning of college. We call ourselves "The Blobby" after many nights of debauchery and very little studying in and around the Blanton Lobby, a study lounge in our residence hall. We celebrated Thanksgiving a week early with a potluck that sent us in such a dizzy food coma: sweet potatoes, green been casserole, pumpkin pie, pecan pie, deviled eggs, sangria, turkey, pumpkin mousse, steak, and more!

I brought a new dish I'd never made before: Scalloped Butternut Squash and Yukon Gold Potatoes. I followed a recipe I found on Epicurious with a few alterations. As a "starving" college student in love with food, I hardly have all the necessary kitchen tools I wish I had. (Thank God it's the season of giving. I have a tendency to accumulate cooking supplies around this time of the year). Anyway, I most certainly lacked a potato slicer so you can imagine the pain and suffering I went through in thinly slicing raw butternut squash by hand!

Thin slices is really the key to a successful scalloped dish. You want to achieve a tender bite, not too mushy or too firm.

Butter the pan well so you don't struggle in serving.
I decided to mix up the recipe and use half potato and half butternut squash. I think it really helped in preventing that heavy Oh God I ate too much feeling for my friends.
I enjoyed this recipe because of its buttery goodness, and do I need to mention how much I like thyme? I would, however, have perhaps used another cheese. The grated block of mild cheddar didn't melt into a creamy sauce associated with scalloped potatoes, but rather gave the consistency of cheese on a slice of pizza. The recipe suggests discarding the fresh thyme used to flavor the cream, but I recommend pulling off the leaves and sprinkling them on the top layer of squash just to give a little contrast.

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