If you have two loaves of bread sell one and buy flowers. For although the bread will nourish your body, the flowers will nourish your soul.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

In a Rut

i often find myself in a cooking rut, rotating the same tried and true recipes. so i've been trying to expand my horizons...finding new recipes...using ingredients i've never used before....
i always use frozen brussels sprouts and cook them according to directions. last week i sauteed fresh brussels sprouts and garlic in olive oil and butter. wow. a whole new world.

a few days ago i treated myself to this special issue of victoria magazine. "bliss" is a pretty good description. sigh....

in it i found a recipe for butternut squash and fennel mash. i've been especially looking for vegetable recipes so this caught my attention. 

 photo from victoria holiday bliss magazine 2011

also, i've never used either ingredient before. so i stopped on the way home and bought the fennel and squash and made it for dinner yesterday. it is really good!  so if you want to try something a little different, here's the recipe.

butternut squash and fennel mash
from victoria holiday bliss magazine, 2011

8 slices bacon
3 T. butter
1 clove garlic, minced
1 head fennel, trimmed and chopped
1 small butternut squash (about 2 pounds), peeled, seeded, and chopped
3 tsp. coarse salt
2 tsp. ground black pepper
1/2 C. milk
1/2 C. heavy whipping cream
garnish: crumbled bacon and fresh thyme leaves

1. in a large dutch oven over medium-high heat, cook bacon for 8-10 minutes, turning frequently, until browned. remove bacon, reserving 3 tablespoons grease. cool bacon completely; crumble and set aside.
2. add butter to reserved bacon grease. add garlic, and cook over medium-high heat for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring constantly. add fennel, squash, salt, and pepper. cover with 1 inch water. bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer over medium-high heat for about 15 to 20 minutes, or until tender.
3. drain in a large colander; return squash and fennel to pot. stir over medium heat for about 2 to 3 minutes, or until dry. add milk and cream; mash with a potato masher until creamy, or desired consistency is reached. garnish with reserved crumbled bacon and fresh thyme leaves, if desired.
(makes 6-8 servings)

i followed the recipe exactly and it turned out perfectly. this is definitely something i would make again. 
i served it with steamed haddock and a side salad.