Monday, January 17, 2011

squash and leeks with blue cheese

I think that the real centerpiece of tonight's meal was the simple dish described in the title.

This was easy to make. First I cut up and steamed a largish butternut squash in our trusty double boiler with the steam insert. I steamed it thoroughly, but it need only be mashable. Then I let this cool for a while.

Later, I removed the peel, which explains why it helps to leave it to cool for a while.

Then I sautéed 3 or 4 leeks (whites and as much of the greens as were good to eat) in a small amount of butter. These went in with the squash and the lot was mashed with a wooden spoon until the leeks were fairly evenly spread. Then these mixed veggies were formed into a smallish casserole. Next the wooden spoon was used to cut some troughs in the mixture. Use some kind of pattern to do this – presentation is everything, don't you know!? Into these troughs I crumbled some inexpensive blue cheese. It sure helps to cook when your partner in crime has the forethought to stock the refrigerator with blue cheese. (At least I hope that's what she did!)

In any case, this went into the oven at about 375°F for roughly 30 minutes, and it was delicious.

What to eat with this?

We roasted a garlic which we split between the two of us.

I also half-boiled 4 or 5 medium-sized carrots, then lightly sautéed them with a minced clove of garlic, 2 dried figs, chopped small, and 2 slices of pancetta. I pre-fried the pancetta a bit so that it was crisp by the time the other veggies were done. Ria loved these, eating every bit.

It is rare that I make an all-veggie meal, but here it is (minus the pancetta, that is). This meal had roasted mushrooms instead of a meat, which worked well. Just take some white mushrooms, pop out the stems, stuff them with butter and garlic, or some ricotta. The stems can be minced finely, and added to the stuffing.

Bon appetit! – Kenneth

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