Butternut Squash

I wasted no time in using up the rest of the squash I cut up, yesterday.

I found a recipe on the NY Times cooking pages for a butternut squash and mushroom wellington that sounded interesting, but I wasn’t doing puff pastry, tonight. I thought the idea could be reworked into something that could be served atop polenta – and then I thought that the polenta could be a butternut squash and polenta polenta – using up all of the squash in the ‘fridge. I’m brilliant like that, sometimes…

Fortunately, this was one of those rare moments when the brilliance actually worked.

The polenta was really simple. I finely-shredded about 2 cups of the squash and put it into a pot with 2 cups of water and a bit of salt. I brought it to the boil and then took it off the heat and covered it – letting it just sit and steam in the pot for about 30 minutes. I don’t think the sitting was really necessary, but I had the time to kill…

I brought it back to the boil, added a half-cup of polenta and a pat of butter and cooked it until the polenta was done. Follow your package instructions – I use a fairly coarse polenta so it takes a while. That was it.

Meanwhile, I cubed a pork chop and seasoned it with smoked paprika, garlic powder, thyme, salt, and pepper. I did a quick browning in a skillet, removed it, and added the cubed squash. I browned them fairly well and then added sliced mushrooms and cooked them down a bit.

Next into the pan went about a half-cup of white wine. I cooked it down, stirred the pork back in, along with some chopped parsley. I covered the pan and put it in the oven at 350°F for about 30 minutes.

To serve, I added crumbled feta on top.

The polenta was really good – it had that deep polenta flavor, but it also spoke strongly of the squash. it was a really good mix of the two flavors. The pork, squash, and mushrooms were the perfect accompaniment. It was rich, meaty, and the flavors blended perfectly. The cubed squash accented the polenta and squash. The cheese on top added a new flavor and texture. The pork and the mushrooms were an excellent combination, as well.

Not bad for a throw-together!