Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Butternut squash napoleon with red beans

Me: Mmmm, vegetable-based dinner

H: yeah, with lots of butter

I was trying to think of something to make tonight with the massive amount of cooked butternut squash I have on hand. I had a build-up of two large squash from the winter farm share sitting on the counter, so over the weekend I cooked them — cut in half, cut-side down on a baking sheet with a rim and about 1/4" of water, covered tightly with foil, at 375 degrees for an hour and a half until completely tender. Scoop the flesh out of the skins, line a colander with a clean dish cloth, and drain with a weighted plate on top for a couple of hours to get rid of excess liquid.

I thought about experimenting with empanadas, but making and rolling out pastry dough seemed a little much for a weeknight, so instead I eventually hit upon the idea of making a napoleon with biscuit dough.

For biscuits
1 1/2 c. white flour
1/2 c. wheat flour
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
5 TBSP butter, cold
3/4 c. milk

Preheat oven to 450.

Whisk the flours, baking powder and salt together. Cut butter into small pieces, then cut into flour with two knives or a pastry blender until it resembles coarse meal, with pea-sized chunks of butter. Add milk and press together into a rough dough.

Because I wanted to split these for serving, I rolled them out twice the size I wanted (about 6" x 12") and then folded in half, then cut into four large (3" x 3") biscuits.

Place biscuits on an ungreased baking sheet and cook for 12 minutes.

1-2 cups cooked butternut squash
1 small onion, chopped fairly small
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
olive oil
red pepper flakes

Heat olive oil in saucepan, add onion and cook until just browned, seasoning as it cooks with red pepper, salt and pepper. Add garlic and cook for 20-30 seconds, then add squash puree. Turn heat to lowest setting and cook until heated through, seasoning to taste with salt and a generous amount of black pepper.

For serving
1 cup red beans (roughly)

Once biscuits are nicely browned, remove from oven and split in half. On the bottom half, layer a good spoonful of butternut squash filling, top with red beans and salsa, then with the top of the biscuit.

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