Wednesday, 29 August 2007

Satisfying A Craving

Last night I was having a rummage in the kitchen, looking for something hassle-free and quick to make for dinner. As my eyes settled on a large butternut squash No cheese in the fridge (with apologies to Nick Park)sitting idly in the veg rack, I instantly thought about great big chunky roasted pieces of squash, thrown together with crumblings of goat's cheese while still piping hot - the two melting into each other in gluttonous harmony. We'd only just bought a chunk of chèvre blanc on our last supermarket trip, so it had to be in the fridge... But then I remembered that ever since the day I introduced medjool dates with goat's cheese to my family a year ago, inspired by a Peter Gordon salad recipe, my dad has been addicted to the combination. And yes, the fridge revealed that he had indeed scoffed all of the dry white fromage de chèvre. Not a crumb left.

But then, gazing pensively at the squash in my hand, I had a sudden flash of inspiration. I remembered a post by Haalo way back in May in which she described stuffing a gem squash with a spinachy béchamel sauce. I loved the idea at the time, but last night I wasn't so much in a roux-making mood as in a craving melted cheese and bacon kinda mood. I'm sure you know exactly what I mean. So sticking with the idea of stuffing my squash, I had a quick hunt around the fridge and pulled out some unsmoked best back bacon, chorizo, Boursin, Blue Shropshire cheese and sour cream. I crumbled the cheeses into a bowl and bound them with enough of the sour cream to make a thick sauce. I then cut the bacon and chorizo into lardons and fried them in a non-stick pan (I find the amber oil exuded by the chorizo ample to provide adequate lubrication). I stirred the lardons into the cheese and sour cream mixture, together with the vibrant chorizo oil from the pan. There was no need to add extra salt because of the bacon, but as always I added a generous grinding of black pepper. After giving it a quick taste, I'll ashamedly admit that it was the best I could do not to eat it all there and then. Believe me, if you make this you will understand.

As per Haalo's recipe I cut my squash in half lengthways, scooped out the seeds, oiled and seasoned the flesh and roasted it for about 20 minutes in a medium oven. When it was starting to look edible and the flesh had softened and coloured a bit, I spooned my mixture into the convenient and perfectly-sized hole left when extracting the seeds and put the squash back into the oven for a further five minutes.

Roasted butternut squash stuffed with cheese, bacon, chorizo and sour cream

Here it is in all its glory, just before I devoured the lot. Roasted butternut squash erupting with all the creamy, sour, salty, spicy and tangy goodness you could possibly want. One of the most satisfying meals I've had in a long time. Not quite as pretty as Haalo's version, but then I've never understood how she manages to be so artistic with the camera at the same time as cooking such obviously genuine food...

1 comment:

Amanda said...

Thinking like a six year old I'd ask that you make this for us and then magically transpose it into our home so it just appears on the table, say in about 40 minutes?
This sounds great and I do hope that when you leave the UK for work you'll still be able to write on your blog regularly. We'd miss you otherwise.


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