Wednesday, November 05, 2008

What a difference 4 years makes

Four years ago, Dan made curried red lentils for dinner - a dish we both really, really like. We had the news on and were watching the returns for a while. We each ate about 5 bites of dinner. And we didn't eat red lentils again for at least a year.

Last night, after running a fruitless errand and picking up a bottle of pink champagne (in honor of Leah and Simon, who understandably chose Martinelli's instead), I prepared a meal of, well, stuff. I modified a recipe from the Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook and it turned out amazingly good. When it was done, I ate every bite of my portion with great gusto as the returns came in on the teevee. This is a quintessential fall dish, and one I'm sure I'll be making again several times.

MLE's squash, pear, and carmelized onion thingy

1 smallish squash, maybe 1 to 1.5 pounds (I used a delicata, but I'm sure a butternut squash would work too)
1 large pear (I used comice because it worked so well in the pear tart I made over the weekend, recipe to follow)
2 small candy onions (you could use one medium sized regular yellow onion)
dollop of olive oil
1 cup cooked chicken, cut/torn into pieces (Dan roasted a chicken on Sunday night so I used chicken leftover from this) (Leave this out if you want the dish to be veg. friendly)
salt and pepper
garlic powder

2 slices dried bread, turned into crumbs (we save our bread ends to use for breadcrumbs)
generous amount of grated parmesan (maybe 1/4 cup?)
1 tbsp butter, melted
salt and pepper

Slice onions into thin rings and then cut rings in half. Carmelize onions in a skillet over low heat with some olive oil. This will take a while. Turn the heat up under the onions when they've all turned translucent. They will start to smell Really Good. Peel and seed squash and cut into 1/2 inch slices. Peel and core pear and cut into thin slices. Layer squash, pear, and chicken in bottom of 8x8 glass pan (mine went, from bottom to top: squash, pear, squash pear with chicken kind of mixed in). Add some salt and pepper and garlic powder. Top with carmelized onions. Cover pan with aluminium foil and bake at 350F for about 35 minutes.

When the stuff in the pan is steamy and seems pretty soft, remove from the oven. Combine bread crumbs, parmesan, and seasonings and mix in melted butter. Sprinkle over top of pan. Put it back in the oven, uncovered for another 15 minutes.


ps. Great minds think alike.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That does indeed sound quite yummy, I actually roasted a butternut squash this afternoon too, but mine is destined for a dessert bar. This year is gonna be a good one for so many different reasons.