Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Butternut Squash Gratin *With Video Tutorial- How To Prep A Butternut Squash*

There are several fall staples in my house, and butternut squash gratin is one of them. Warm, caramelized squash braised in cream and chicken broth, topped with toasty bread crumbs and sharp parmesan...just describing it makes me want to dish up another helping!
butternut squash gratin butternut squash casserole recipe
 When fall arrives, I am always so excited to start cooking with all of the wonderful winter squashes out there. And let me tell you, butternut is my favorite amongst all of them.

I remember the first time I attempted to cook a recipe that called for butternut squash. I brought it home from the grocery store, gathered all of my remaining ingredients, then was completely dumbfounded as to what in the world I was supposed to do with the thing to get it peeled and broken down into little pieces. 

Of course, this was back when I was pronouncing creme' fraiche, "cream frachay". LOL.
butternut squash gratin recipe butternut squash casserole
For this reason, I thought it might be helpful to show y'all a real easy way to prep these amazing little winter beauties.
You'll do it once and breeze right through it every time after that, I promise.
If you don't need instruction on how to prep a butternut squash, just continue on for the recipe.

This gratin is a little different than other gratins I've made in the past. Once prepped, the squash is braised in chicken broth and cream before being topped with a combination of bread crumbs and cheese and heading off to the oven to bake through and crisp up. 
The gratin comes out warm and caramelized, with a slight sweetness from the squash and slight saltiness from the parmesan topping. 
I served mine alongside roasted chicken breasts (with the skin, of course!), but me and the hubs agreed it'd be amazing served with a nice piece of red meat. You decide and let me know!
butternut squash cheese bread crumbs

Butternut Squash Gratin
serves 4 as a side dish

3 Tbsp unsalted butter, divided
1 small yellow onion, diced
2 Tbsp chopped, fresh sage, divided
2 lb butternut squash, diced into 1 inch pieces
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1/2 cup shredded gruyere cheese (2 oz)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in the bottom of a cast iron skillet set over medium heat. Place onion in pan and sauté until starting to soften, about 5 minutes. Add sage and garlic and sauté for one additional minute. Stir in butternut squash, nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently for 3 minutes.
Add chicken broth and cook until it is mostly reduced, about 5 minutes. Stir in heavy cream and cook until starting to thicken, about 3 more minutes.
Melt remaining 1 tablespoon butter. Combine bread crumbs and parmesan in a small bowl. Pour melted butter over bread crumb mixture and stir until well combined. Scatter topping over squash and top with shredded cheese.
Place in the preheated oven and bake for 30-35 minutes, until golden brown.
Allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving.

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