Butternut Squash – Baked with Apple & Cheese

11-SquashApple-100

Butternut Squash with Apple and Cheese

This dish has always been a hit; a great holiday dish — Tasty, slightly tangy, comfort food.  Layers of Squash (tossed with onion), Apple, and Cheeses.  It’s quite versatile and very ‘forgiving’; can add a few herbs, crumbled bacon, even dried cranberries. Can be made ahead, baked ahead.

Ingredients / Prep:

1 Butternut Squash (about 3 lb.)
Olive Oil and/or Butter
1 med/lg Onion — Sliced or Chopped
2 cloves Garlic — Peeled, minced
3/4 cup Bread Crumbs (coarse is fine)
3 tart Apples — Peeled, cored, thinly sliced
3 tbsp. Flour
1 cup Chicken Stock or Broth
Plenty sharp White Cheddar Cheese — Grated

Instructions / Assembly:

Preheat oven to 350 — Butter baking dish.

Prepare squash — Cut and peel:  Cut squash in half lengthwise; scoop out seeds and strings.  Slice into discs; cut off peel.  Cut each disc into small cubes.  Note — Once peeled, can use a food-processor to easily make slices instead of cubes.

Heat oil or butter in heavy large skillet over medium heat — Add onions and saute 6 to 8 minutes. Reduce heat and add minced garlic — Saute another minute. In medium/large bowl toss sauteed onion with squash cubes/slices and (most) bread crumbs.

In another bowl, toss apple slices with flour.

Arrange half of squash-with-onion in bottom of prepared dish. Sprinkle small amount of grated cheese.  Then, arrange with apple slices; sprinkle a bit more grated cheese. Arrange remaining squash-with-onion.

Pour chicken broth evenly over all — Add a bit more grated cheese, then a final sprinkle of bread crumbs (helps keep the foil from ‘sticking’).   Cover with foil and bake till squash is tender (about 45 minutes). Uncover and sprinkle with remaining grated cheese (plenty) — Bake another 15-20 minutes to cook off excess moisture and melt/brown cheese.

Optional Ingredients or Garnish:

– Sauteed Bacon — Crumbled
– Fresh Thyme and or Rosemary
– Dried Cranberries (soaked in Cider or water)