Monday, September 10, 2012

'Locro-style' butternut squash with fresh rosemary...yum!

So 'locro' is my all-time favorite Peruvian veggie stew made with butternut squash, potatoes, queso fresco, cream and spices. A bit sweet, a bit savory, 100% delicious. So tonight there was a piece of butternut squash looming in the bottom-most drawer of the fridge saying "cook me now or you will regret it!" So I complied, mostly because I love the texture of squash, plus I figured it would be a nice accompaniment to pan-fried tilapia and brown rice. I used my basic knowledge from cooking locro in the past, but this time I winged it and used what I had on hand. The result was nothing less than amazing. Here's what I used:

- a piece of butternut squash, peeled and cubed small
- a small onion, diced
- generous minced garlic (1 tablespoon or so)
- shredded parmesan cheese (1-2 tablespoons)
- 2% milk
- salt, pepper, cumin, thyme
- here's the kicker: fresh rosemary!

All you do is sauté the onion and garlic in olive oil and a bit of butter, stirring for a couple of minutes seasoning with salt, pepper, thyme (very little), and cumin. Incorporate the cubed squash and continue to sauté on medium heat for 3 more minutes, then drop the temp to low and cover with a tight-fitting lid. As the squash breaks down, it will release a bit of liquid and steam until it gets soft, but not mushy. This will take about 8 to 10 minutes. Uncover pan, use a fork to partially mash down squash. Add a healthy splash of milk, parmesan, thyme, fresh rosemary (crush in you hand first to release the oils and flavor) and a bit more salt to counteract the sweetness to taste. Stir and remove pan from heat.

Serve with rice and a protein. I did fish though a grilled skirt steak would also work!
Enjoy :)

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