So I got this combination of ingredients into my head and couldn't stop thinking about all the ways I could use them. Pasta, pizza, tarts - the list goes on. I decided to caramelize a big batch of onions, roast a big squash, and use them all week in a few different dishes.
First off, I peeled and cut up a large (4 lb) butternut squash and laid the cubes out on a baking sheet. I drizzled them with olive oil and seasoned with salt, pepper, and a little nutmeg. Then I roasted them at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes. I used some right away, and stored the rest in an airtight container in the fridge.
For the onions, I bought one of those bags that has about 5 onions in it, sliced them all, and threw them in a large pan with olive oil. After they turned translucent and soft, I turned the heat down from med-hi to med-lo and let them caramelize. This will take anywhere from 20 minutes to 45 minutes. About halfway through, I added a few sprigs of thyme. Once they were really brown, I added a splash of sherry to de-glaze the pan and removed the thyme stems. Again, I used some right away, and stored the rest in an airtight container in the fridge.
The first dish I made was buttery pappardelle noodles with roasted butternut squash, caramelized onions, and goat cheese. So much yum.
I felt bad for my husband because he does not share my enthusiasm for butternut squash,. I wanted to make sure he got some "man food" in this week, soI decided to make a steak. After cooking the steak, I de-glazed the pan with sherry, added in some butter, and then added some of the caramelized onions to warm through. Then I topped with steaks with that mixture. As a side, I made pasta with a butternut and goat cheese alfredo with butter, garlic, cream, butternut squash, cream, goat cheese, and Parmesan. Sweet, creamy, and decadent.
The last dish I made was a roasted butternut squash, caramelized onion, and goat cheese galette inspired by my absolute favorite galette.
I topped my rolled out whole wheat dough with a layer of caramelized onions, then goat cheese, butternut squash, and shredded mozzarella.
Baked and beautiful - yum.
Would you get tired of making a week's worth of food from the same set of ingredients?
Roasted Butternut Squash
Preheat the oven to 450 deg F. Peel, de-seed, and cube the squash. Place the cubes on a sheet pan, drizzle with olive oil, and season with salt, pepper, and a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg. Toss to combine, then spread out in a single layer. Roast until the squash is tender and browned, stirring occasionally, 20-25 minutes.
Slice onions (however many you want, I used 5) thinly. Coat a large pan with olive oil and heat over medium high. Add the onions and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low or medium low and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown. This will take another 20-40 minutes. Optional - Halfway through, add a few sprigs of thyme to pan. Optional - When the onions are finished, add a splash of sherry to the pan and de-glaze.
Buttery Pappardelle with Roasted Butternut Squash, Caramelized Onions, and Goat Cheese
inspired by Food 52
1 cup roasted butternut squash
1 lb pappardelle pasta (or other wide noodle)
8 oz goat cheese
5 tbsp butter
2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1 cup caramelized onions
Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water for 1-2 minutes less than package directions (unless directions say al dente). Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta waster, and return to the pot.
While the pasta is cooking, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Pour over the pasta, then add 1/2 of the goat cheese and toss until coated, adding the reserved pasta water as needed. Add the roasted butternut squash and caramelized onions, and toss gently until combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and top with the remaining goat cheese.
Steak with Caramelized Onions
Well Dined Original - This method (minus the onions) is how I always make steak. It is absolutely delicious.
2 steaks of choice (I use boneless sirloin, which is frequently on sale)
2-4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
seasoning salt (I use Lawry's)
fresh cracked black pepper
1/2 cup caramelized onions
1 hour before you want to start cooking, take the steaks out of the fridge and place on a plate. Rub both sides of the steaks with the garlic and sprinkle liberally with kosher salt. Leave out at room temperature for 1 hour, turning over once after 30 min. Don't worry, nobody is going to get sick from doing this and it makes the steaks tender and delicious. Rinse thoroughly with cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Season LIGHTLY with seasoning salt (they have already absorbed salt) and with a regular amount of black pepper. Rub both sides with olive oil (I use a hand pump mister).
Meanwhile - place a heavy, oven-safe skillet (cast iron is best) in a cold oven, then turn on to 500 deg F.
Remove the pan (carefully, with a mitt) from the oven and place onto a burner at high heat. Apply a light layer of olive oil (I use the mister, again). Carefully lay the steaks into the pan and do not touch them for 2 minutes. Flip the steaks and do not touch them again for another 2 minutes. Remove the pan from the burner (again, be careful - don't forget the handle is hot) and return to the oven. Cook for 2 minutes (for medium rare), flip, cook for another 2 minutes, then remove from the oven. Remove the steaks to a plate to rest. De-glaze the pan with a splash or two of sherry (you shouldn't need to turn the burner on again, it will be plenty hot), then add a large pat of butter and stir to incorporate. Add the caramelized onions and allow to heat through. Top the steaks with the caramelized onions and any sauce that is left.
Butternut Squash and Goat Cheese Alfredo
inspired by Closet Kitchen
1/2 lb pasta of choice (long, thin noodles are best)
1 tbsp butter
1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
1 heavy cream
1/2 cup roasted butternut squash
4 oz goat cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water for 1-2 minutes less than package directions (unless directions say al dente). Drain, reserving 1 cup of the pasta waster, and return to the pot.
Meanwhile, melt the butter in a pan over medium heat, add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the cream, squash, goat cheese, and Parmesan and simmer until the cheese has melted. Transfer to a blender and puree, adding pasta water as needed to obtain the desired consistency.
Pour over the pasta, toss to combine, and season with salt and pepper.
Roasted Butternut Squash, Caramelized Onion, and Goat Cheese Galette
inspired by this galette
Crust: (or you can use an unbaked, prepared crust)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup cold lard (non-hydrogenated if available)*
1/2 cup cold butter, chopped
3-4 tbsp ice cold water
*you can substitute vegetable shortening here if you wish, but I highly recommend the lard!
For the filling:
1 cup caramelized onions
1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese
1 1/2 cups roasted butternut squash
1/4 cup shredded mozzarella, fontina, or Gruyere
Make the crust: mix together flours and salt to combine. Add scoops of lard and chunks of butter and cut together with a pastry knife until butter pieces are no larger than small peas. Add minimum amount of water and mix together. If dough remains crumbly and doesn’t come together, add another tablespoon of water. Add as little as is required to enable the dough to be rolled into a ball. Form the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for 20-30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Roll out disk of dough.
Assemble galette: Spread onions over the dough, leaving a 1 1/2-inch border. Layer the goat cheese on top, then the squash, then the shredded cheese. Fold the border of the dough over the filling, pleating the edge to make it fit. The center will be open.
Bake until golden brown, 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from the oven, let stand for 5 minutes, then cut into wedges and serve hot, warm, or at room temperature.