So I just found out that my Grandma has been reading my posts. Hi Grandma!
Since I’ve been learning more about cooking in the past year, I decided to make some regional specialties. In one my first tutoring sessions, I told my Spanish prof that I am a foodie. She brought me a little recipe book from the local supermarket chain “Lider.” The book is so great because it highlights typical Chilean dishes like Pastel de Choclo (a casserole with ground, cooked corn, olives, hard boiled eggs, and meat or eggplant), and Guiso de Zapallo, which is a casserole with butternut squash and fresh basil. E. and I don’t usually make casseroles because they can be so unhealthy and cheese centered. I decided to make this guiso as a change of pace.
This recipe has been altered to make it as healthy as possible. It originally called for a half cup milk and a half cup cream. I used one cup skim overall. You are welcome to use the cream if you’d like a rich final product.
Baked Squash Casserole | Guiso de zapallo gratinado al horno
adapted from the Lider recipe promotion from January or February 2009
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp unsalted butter
2 green onions, finely chopped
1 large butternut squash (or 800 grams), peeled and cubed (without seeds)
1/2 cup white wine
2 tbsp of fresh basil, rinsed
salt and pepper
4 eggs, beaten
1 cup milk or orig. soy milk
1 small container light cream cheese (I recommend using Tofutti cream cheese.)
1/4 cup parmesan cheese for topping if desired
1. Set oven at 375 F. In a medium soup pot, heat the olive oil and butter at medium heat. Add the chopped green onion and cook while stirring, about five minutes or until it becomes golden. Add the diced butternut squash and cook, stirring, for five minutes. Add the white wine and fresh basil. You might want to monitor the basil since it shrinks so much. Add more if you see fit.
2. Wait until the mixture boils, reduce heat, and cook another five minutes. Season with salt and pepper and perhaps some red pepper if you like some heat. Set aside this mixture.
3. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs (or egg substitute), the milk, and a couple tablespoons of parmesan cheese (if desired). Set aside.
4. Butter the bottom of a medium-to-large sized casserole dish. Fill the dish with the squash and basil mixture.
5. Cut the cream cheese or Tofutti cream cheese into small chunks. Prudently distribute the chunks in the squash mixture. You don’t have to use the entire cream cheese block if you think it’s too much. It’s just to make the casserole a bit more creamy.
6. Season again if desired with more pepper and/or cayenne pepper. Pour the reserved egg and milk mixture on top.
7. Sprinkle the parmesan cheese on top if you would like. Bake at medium temperature until the top of the casserole is bubbly and golden. Serve immediately. Sprinkle with Chilean merquen if possible.
E. brought me back some gourmet goodies from his last business trip, including basmati rice, lime pickle chutney, spinach soup, and a strange Indian soup brick called Punjabi Wadi. I’m a lucky gal.
My friend Ricki just released her new cookbook entitled Sweet Freedom. It’s available in PDF or book formats. Be sure to take a look. The recipes don’t use wheat flour, refined sugar, eggs or dairy. They look fabulous and delicious.