Friday, November 26, 2010

Thanksgiving Surprise- "The Cransquash"

Luca's photo of The Cransquash, November 2010.
A few days ago, my friend Luca Loffredo wished me a Happy Thanksgiving with a most welcome holiday gift-- a recipe for "The Cransquash."  Luca is not only a great photographer (he took the photo of me you see on this page) but a fantastic chef with an illustrious career in some of the finest restaurants in San Francisco and Los Angeles.  I was so excited to receive a new recipe from Luca that I decided to publish it... as I head off to buy dried cranberries to try it myself.  If you make "The Cransquash", let me know how you like it.



The Cransquash
By Luca Loffredo

Ingredients:
  • 1.5 Pound Butternut squash peeled and cut into cubes
  • 2 Small onions, sliced julienne
  • 2 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 Cup dry white wine
  • 1/4 Cup packed parsley leaves
  • 1/2 Cup or more dried cranberries
  • 1 Cup of vegetable broth (or chicken, but it must be a very light broth)
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • A drizzle of Balsamic syrup (optional)
Directions:
  • After you hassled to peel the butternut squash, remove the seeds and cut into one-inch cubes.
  • Slice the onions julienne style (thin sliver lengthwise, just follow the natural lines of the onions).
  • Set a large saucepan with 2 tablespoons olive oil and onions over high heat. Sauté until soft and lightly translucent.
  • Add half of the butternut squash.  Stir and add the white wine, being careful to watch for the alcohol to flame up.
  • Deglaze until the wine is reduced to two thirds of it’s volume.
  • Add the remaining squash and the parsley leaves along with 1 cup broth.
  • Cover the pan and cook at medium heat until the butternut squash starts to soften. Stir frequently and check to make sure the mixture stays wet.  If you run out of broth, add hot water.
  • Once the squash is tender but not falling apart, increase the heat and remove the lid from the pan.
  • Add the cranberries, season with salt and pepper to taste and stir to combine ingredients.
  • Remove pan from heat and served garnished with more fresh parsley and a drizzle of balsamic syrup.
Note:
If you have leftover Cransquash, you can use it for a delicious homey pasta dish.  Just sauté a few slices of garlic with a bit of chili flakes.  Add the squash mixture and enough broth or water to cover the mixture. Bring to boil and add Fusilli pasta or broken spaghetti. Cook it until al “dente”, if necessary add more hot water. Serve with grated Parmigiano cheese.




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