|Roasted Butternut Squash with Curry and White Raisins|
Your hands and the five digits that extend from each one are as vital a tool as any in the kitchen. Just a few quick tosses and that sheet of squash had a sheen slicker than a well-greased Jheri curl, and every square inch of those orange cubes was thoroughly covered in seasoning. My hands, oily and flecked with grainy condiments had done their duty and they had done it well.
Would mixing the squash with a spoon really have made a huge difference to the final product? Not exactly. But by using my hands I added a little bit of love to the dish. That love, my friends, has got to be the number one secret ingredient in making everything taste better.
Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty. Get in there and bond with your food; squish it in between your palms and let it fall between your fingers. Utensils can be so impersonal at times. Besides, when something looks so sexy it can be hard to keep your hands off. By literally becoming closer to your food and getting acquainted on a more intimate level, you’ll feel all the more proud when the final product comes out awesome. It might be greasy or sticky, but so what? Wash your hands.
The main component of a dish, usually a protein, might be the star of an entrée course but the sides are what help it shine; they complete a meal and make it more exciting. This roasted butternut squash with curry and white raisins is incredibly simple and tasty. The curry gives it a deep flavor that is perfectly suited to accompany cold weather dishes. This would go great with pork or even on its own as a crostini topping for an appetizer.
Roasted Butternut Squash with Curry and White Raisins:
- 1 large butternut squash, diced
- Olive oil, salt and pepper to season for roasting
- ½ cup white raisins
- 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
- ½ tsp curry powder
- 2 Tablespoons diced pancetta
- 1 shallot, diced
- A drizzle of extra virgin olive oil to finish
• Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. On a sheet tray, spread out butternut squash and season with salt, pepper, and a drizzle of regular olive oil; mix all together. Put in the oven until the squash is tender and starts to brown, about 30 minutes.
• While the squash is roasting, sauté pancetta. Once some of the fat has rendered from the pancetta, add the diced shallot and cook until pancetta is slightly crispy and shallot is translucent.
• In a bowl, mix roasted squash, sautéed pancetta and shallots, and all other ingredients together; finish with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Serve as a side dish with pork or as a crostini topping.