Recipe by Eric Romero | Photography by Greg Lindstrom
W ith the days getting cooler and the nights shorter, fall begins to introduce itself, and with autumn comes squash season. In markets, we will see fall varietals of the versatile vegetable, and in gardens, squash will ripen and become a commonplace gift among friends, neighbors, and coworkers.

At Oso Foods, we like to use simple ingredients to make awesome dishes. Here are a few ways to make butternut squash great. This hard-skinned gourd stands well on its own, or it brings a sweet nuttiness to many dishes. These dishes have been prepared with ingredients that are all locally available at your supermarket or farmers market.

To prepare a butternut squash, you must slice off the stem and bottom ends so that both ends are flat. Slice the squash in half, right where the thinner end begins to widen around the middle. Turn each half so that a flat end rests against the cutting board. Use a sharp serrated peeler or paring knife to peel off the skin in downward strokes. Dice the squash, then place it in a bowl with 3 tsp. of oil, 1 tsp. of kosher salt, and ½ tsp. of coarse ground pepper. Bake for 30-35 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Squash will be done, but not mushy. One butternut squash will produce 4 to 8 cups, depending on size.

Butternut Squash Risotto with Balsamic Glaze and Prosciutto Crisp Serves 2
Balsamic glaze
2 cups balsamic vinegar

Bring to boil on medium heat, then turn down heat to a low simmer and reduce by half. Glaze should coat and stick to metal spoon.

Prosciutto crisp
Thinly slice prosciutto and bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for approximately 7-10 minutes. Check to make sure it’s crispy but not burnt.

Risotto
1 cup Arborio rice
2 tsp. olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, minced
2 Tbs. garlic, minced
½ cup white wine (Chardonnay or Pinot Gris)
4 cups chicken stock
1 cup butternut squash
1 Tbs. thyme, finely chopped
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
One sage leaf, fried until crisp

Heat a stockpot to medium heat. Add olive oil. Then add white onion and sweat, and add garlic until fragrant. Add rice and sauté until translucent, stirring constantly to assure it doesn’t burn on the bottom of the pan. Once translucent, deglaze with white wine. Turn simmer down to medium low and add 1 cup of stock. As the liquid starts to reduce, keep adding stock two ladles at a time. Keep simmering until the stock is gone and risotto is a creamy texture – about 20 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste. Add in Parmesan cheese and let it melt into risotto, saving a little to sprinkle on top.

Heat a separate sauté pan to medium heat. Add butternut squash and sauté until golden brown. Add thyme and stir into risotto. Once all the ingredients are incorporated, your risotto is ready for plating.

Dress plate with balsamic glaze, place risotto on top of glaze in a mound, and dress with prosciutto crisp and sage leaf.

 

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Gouda and Prosciutto Waffle with Squash Butter Serves 4
Squash butter
In a food processor with whip attachment, add ¼ cup butternut squash, ½ stick of salted butter, and ¼ cup maple syrup. Whip on highest setting until squash is mashed and well incorporated into mixture. This butter is an excellent spread for muffins, toast, or pancakes.

Prosciutto and Gouda Waffles
2 oz. prosciutto, sliced and chopped
½ medium red onion, minced
2 tsp. garlic, minced
3 oz. smoked gouda, chopped in quarter-inch cubes
2 tsp. olive oil
4 cups prepared waffle batter

In a medium sauté pan over high heat, add oil, red onion, garlic and prosciutto, stirring constantly until onion is soft and semi-translucent. Take off heat and let ingredients cool. Once cooled, incorporate cheese, prosciutto mixture and waffle together. Prepare waffles as normal. Dress with squash butter, maple syrup and prosciutto crisps (see directions on previous recipe).

 

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Butternut Squash and Corn Consommé Serves 4
Ingredients
3 cups whole kernel corn (2 ears)
3 cups roasted butternut squash
1 cup queso fresco (diced) (this Mexican cheese is a light-flavored fresh cheese similar to feta, with half the salt content)
1 medium white onion, minced
1 fire-roasted tomato, skin off and diced
2 tsp. minced garlic
4 cups vegetable stock
1 Tbs. vegetable oil

Directions
Heat oil in a medium stockpot over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, and corn to pot, stirring occasionally until onion is translucent. Next, add butternut squash, vegetable stock, and fire-roasted tomato. Stir occasionally until consommé has reached a simmer. Take off heat; add queso fresco and stir in the cheese. Salt to taste.

Oso Foods, better known as Oso’s, is a food company specializing in fresh, simple foods, smoked meats, and authentic Mexican offerings. Erico Romero is chef and owner, Sarah Bergford is business manager and number one motivator, and Drew Parks is sous chef. Oso’s has always taken pride in the preparation of fresh, scratch-made items served at catered events, local markets and other events, and our seasonal restaurant in the Historic Tamarack Lodge. For more information, please feel free to find us at www.osocatering.com.