MAPLE AND ORANGE GLAZED HASSELBACK BUTTERNUT SQUASH

Maple and Orange Hasselback Butternut Squash
INGREDIENTS

  • 1 medium to large butternut squash
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons fresh squeezed orange juice
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp Dijon or  whole grain mustard
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped marjoram
  • Sprinkle of salt and pepper


INSTRUCTIONS

  • Preheat your oven to 425°F

  • Adjust the oven rack to the top third position.
  • Cut the butternut squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds and pulp and discard.

  • Remove the tough outer skin as well as the thin whitish layer beneath it.  Try using a vegetable peeler to complete this task. Once done, the orange flesh should be completely exposed.

  • On the roasting pan, place both squash halves cut side down.

  • Place in oven and bake for 20 minutes.

  • While the squash is in the oven, combine the maple syrup, orange juice, olive oil, Dijon mustard, chopped herbs, salt and pepper in a small bowl and mix well with a small whisk until completely combined.
  • Remove from the oven and let the squash cool until you can safely handle it with your bare hands.  This roughly takes about 5-10 minutes.

  • Move one squash half to a cutting board and place the handle of a wooden spoon (or other wooden utensil) on either side of the squash. The wooden tools will serve as guards to prevent the blade from going all the way as you slice through the squash.

  • Grab a sharp knife and carefully cut very thin slits in the squash, starting at the narrow end. DO NOT cut all the way through the squash. Return the sliced squash to the baking sheet and repeat with the second half.

  • Coat the squash halves with about 1/3 of the syrup mixture by brushing the mixture over the squash halves, paying special attention to getting the mixture down in between the slits.

  • Add 1/4 cup of water to the bottom of the pan and return to oven for 15 minutes.

  • While in the oven, constantly check on the squash to ensure that the syrup at the bottom of the pan doesn't burn.  Remember, if needed, you can always add a small amounts of water, a few tablespoons at a time. Make sure not to add too much water.

  • After 15 minutes, remove the squash from the oven and brush with more of the syrup mixture.  Also, brush with some of the liquid at the bottom of the pan (pan juice) to boost this dish's flavor and color.

  • Add another 1/4 cup water to bottom of the pan and return to the oven for another 15 minutes.

  • Remove the squash from the oven and brush with some of the pan juices.

  • If you would like to add the chopped pecans, now is the time.  Add them to the remaining syrup glaze and stir to combine. Spoon the pecan syrup glaze mixture over the top of the squash, dividing it equally between both halves.

  • Add another 1/4 cup water to bottom of the roasting pan and return it to the oven for the last 5 minutes, or until the squash is golden and tender.

  • Remove from oven; spoon some of the pan juices over the squash, sprinkle with a little bit of fresh herbs and a pinch of salt.

  • Move your masterpiece carefully over to a serving plate and ENJOY.

NOTES: 

This dish is sure to wow your family and friends so don't be surprised when they are taking pictures and coming back for seconds !  This recipe was greatly inspired by The Healthy Foodie's Honey Glazed Hasselback Butternut Squash.

Maple and Orange Hasselback Butternut Squash

Tired of Thanksgiving Turkey Sandwiches…Try Turkey Crostinis!

Turkey Crostini
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
  • Olive Oil
  • Baguette
  • Spreadable Goat Cheese (Or Cream Cheese)
  • Roasted Turkey
  • Chef Sandra's Cranberry Orange Jam (Or another cranberry topping)
  • Garnish
Instructions
  1. Brush olive oil on both sides of the baguette.
  2. Toast it at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes.
  3. Then put spreadable goat cheese on the baguette. You can also use cream cheese.
  4. Next add some of your roasted Turkey.
  5. Top with Chef Sandra's cranberry orange jam or some other cranberry topping.
  6. Lastly, garnish the top.
 

Fresh From The Gardens in Martha’s Vineyard

Dancing at Lola’s, letting the sea breeze whip through my hair, sitting on the porch enjoying fresh seafood…ahhh Martha’s Vineyard.

Recently I spent two weeks at the Massachusetts island that sits south of Cape Cod. The island has everything from beaches to farmland. The great thing is that it is only accessible by boat or air so you are preparing to completely de-stress while you are sitting on the ferry or peering through the window of the plane. There are so many amazing things about MV, that’s Martha’s Vineyard if you didn’t know. :o) So many, that I had to narrow my growing MV Favorites list down to 5 things.

 

Meeting New People
MV brings so many people together every year. Every time, I get that much closer to my travelling buddies and add new friends to the circle. This year I had a chance to provide boutique catering services for a dinner party. In that group of friends and family were people from everywhere, in the US and outside of the US. Even a simple stroll down the street will yield amazing conversations and the opportunity to interact with yet another new friend!

 

 

 


Breathtaking Scenery

Hydrangeas as big as your head!! The flowers and well manicured lawns are immaculate. They provide the touch of elegance that compliments the ornate homes with sprawling porches. Porch life is definitely a thing on the island. You eat, socialize and some even sleep on their porches. It is also a good way to strike up the occasional conversation with the folks passing by. Altogether its picturesque scene steeped so deeply in history looks as though you've walked straight into an oil painting.

 

 

 

Shopping
I love to shop...usually for great food but in this case I will make an exception. The shopping in the area boasts unique items that can only be found in Martha's Vineyard. One such store/brand is The Black Dog. The Black Dog brand has history dating back to 1932. Visit their website to learn about the journey.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Polar Bear Experience

A trip to Martha's Vineyard would not be complete without a dip in the Inkwell to join the Polar Bears for an experience to remember. Women and men of all ages and color gather every morning between July 4 and Labor Day to continue to carry on a more than 50 year tradition.  Read more about that experience in a Vineyard Gazette article.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great restaurants and eateries
Of course I have to share a bit about the great places to grab a bite. There were so many wonderful stops with history and delicious dishes!

Linda Jeans and the Healthy Start
Ice cream shops
Ben & Bills
Mad Martha’s
Lambert’s Cove in West Tisbury
Seafood Shanty
Lobsterville Bar & Grill
- Favorite lobster roll
Hot buttered with truffle fries

 

 

Fresh seafood and produce
As a chef, I value the freshness of the ingredients that I use in not only my clients meals but also my own. With this in mind, having the ability to shop for fresh food from Alley’s Farm Stand in Tisbury explore and grab fresh vegetables and fruit then on to Net Result for seafood just caught the same morning it was purchased put the icing on this proverbial cake.

 

 

 

 

 

 

National Strawberry Month

Every year, I look forward to strawberry season so I can stock my pantry and condiment supply with a variety of strawberry jams. Since its National Strawberry month, we wanted to share with you some of the things we like to do with our strawberries and also share a couple of quick tips.

Strawberry season is short here in Texas so I decided to head back out to my favorite spot to pick strawberries, which is at Good Earth Organic Farm.  The strawberries at Good Earth Organic Farm are plump, juicy, and sweet. This was my third year returning to pick some beautiful sun-ripened berries and I was not disappointed. After spending an afternoon picking those yummy red jewels, I am ready to get into the kitchen to make all types of things from jams and vinaigrette to refreshing smoothies.
Maybe you too have amassed a bunch of strawberries from one of those U-pick or roadside stands or picked up a supply from one of your local farmer's markets and now have more strawberries than you know what to do with.  Here's a few tips on making your strawberries last so you can enjoy them for more than a few days!

 

 

Quick Tips

Strawberries are extremely delicate so you should put them up as quickly as possible and if if you are making jams and preserving them, for the freshest quality, you should try to can them within a couple of days of picking or purchasing them.
If you don't can, freezing strawberries is the simplest way to preserve them quickly.  You can then enjoy them in smoothies, desserts or in baking. Please note, frozen strawberries should be used within 6 months.
Don't soak your strawberries in water.  They will loose their flavor and you will wash away some good nutrients.
It is optional to sprinkle a little sugar before freezing. I don't add any sugar to my berries.

How to Freeze Strawberries

Remove the tops of the strawberries after rinsing.
Freeze them whole.
Whole strawberries are great to have on hand for your favorite smoothie recipe or to add to your favorite strawberry dessert.
Rinse them gently, spread them evenly on a baking sheet so they can freeze without touching each other and place the baking tray in your freezer until they are frozen solid.
Place them in an airtight container or you can also use zip lock freezer bags (not storage bags).  Be sure to put a date on your container.
 
Hope you enjoy strawberry season as much as I do!!