I am constantly experimenting in the kitchen. Moving to the farm only enhanced such experiments, and I want to share new recipes that I create here, with you all. This summer, we baked, pureed, and froze a lot of butternut squash. Aside from yummy spice cakes and other baked sweets, butternut squash is also a great accompaniment to savory dishes, from stir-fry to casserole. Below is a casserole I created where butternut squash is the harmonious star of the dish. It is delicious and quite easy to make.
Here’s what you’ll need:
1 chub Jimmy Dean Sage Breakfast Sausage
2 roasted gypsy peppers, diced
3-4 cups butternut squash puree
6-8 slices of bakery-style jalapeño cheese bread
1/2 red onion, diced
Salt/pepper (about 1/2 Tbsp ea.)
1/4-1/2 c. savory bread crumbs
I started by cutting the bread slices into cubes and toasting them on low heat while browning a chub of Jimmy Dean’s sage sausage in a skillet on the stove. ( It’s my favorite breakfast pan sausage, so as time goes on and I share more of my recipes, you will note that I enjoy cooking with JD’s sage sausage.) The bread serves as a binder in the dish, and adds a nice surprise burst of warm heat.
After the sausage is broken up pretty well and almost completely browned, I added the diced roasted gypsy peppers. You could roast a red, yellow or orange bell pepper, if you cannot get your hands on a delicious gypsy pepper.
In a separate bowl, you can fold the toasted jalepeno croutons (what they have become, through toasting) into your butternut squash puree. Add the diced red onions, salt and pepper and continue to fold until everything is evenly coated with the puree. You can use a white or yellow onion, if you do not have red onions on hand, but I prefer the flavor of the red onion in dishes like this. The red onion counterbalances the sweetness of the butternut squash, taming it into a nice savory bite.
After the sausage/gypsy pepper mix is thoroughly browned, drain any excess grease with a strainer, and then add the strained meat mix into the puree mix and stir until nice and mixed. Pour mix into a greased rectangular casserole dish, cover evenly with thin layer of bread crumbs, spray with coconut oil spray (or olive oil spray), and bake at 375F for 45-55 minutes.
If you notice the top is browning too fast, place a sheet of foil over the dish to protect the top.
Let dish cool for 5-10 minutes, cut and serve. Great with a side of purple hull peas.
I hope you have the opportunity to enjoy this delicious dish with the ones you love, very soon!
Until next time, this is the Crazy Chicken Lady, signing OFF!!
Vaya con dios