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.


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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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