Maybe we’re a little stuck on ourselves. Or maybe we’ve just grown accustomed to our roles within our extended family (and poor Jamie being trapped behind the stove for every major feast and minor holiday). But we like to think that it’s our job to jazz up the Thanksgiving buffet every year with fancy recipes and culinary trends flown in directly from the Big Apple.
The most important family meal of the year would be a big snoozer without us, right? Then, Brooke’s mom called.
“Honey, this is going to be a true Gulf Coast Thanksgiving. Little Roger’s grilling a sack full of Apalachicola oysters and Cousin Steven, why,” she pauses, surely pressing her left hand to her chest, “he’s just outdone himself!”
“What are you saying?” Brooke prods, with her usual impatience.
“Steven got his hands on some alligator! Fresh fried alligator tail to go with our turkey. But what am I going to do about wine pairings? I’m just not sure about my un-oaked Chardonnay and gator…”
Okay, Cousin Steven wins this year.
But the alligator tail and the turkey meat still need us (thank goodness). They’re both mildly flavored meats that deserve hearty, well-seasoned sides like our Butternut Squash & Chorizo Sautee.
We begin by slowly sautéing the onions, garlic and jalapeno with the chorizo. The cured sausage, full of smoky Spanish paprika, renders its fat and then cooks along with the cubes of butternut squash, allowing the veggie hash to reach its full flavor potential.
But after making batch after batch of our new, favorite vegetable side dish, we found that sautéing the butternut squash with the rest of the dish left the little orange cubes more mushy than tender. So we decided to roast the squash separately in the oven, while the chorizo and vegetables cook on top of the stove.
The result? Perfect, lightly browned and tender nuggets of squash, tossed and perfectly coated with spicy, smoky and sweet chorizo mixture. Best of all, when you wake up from your turkey (or gator) coma at midnight, it is just as good cold and straight from the fridge.
Butternut Squash & Chorizo Saute
1 butternut squash, cut into chunks (4-5 cups)
4 cloves garlic, smashed
4 branches fresh thyme
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons olive oil
8-10 ounces chorizo, chopped (about 1 cup)
1 small onions, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
2 jalapeno peppers, minced
preheat oven to 400
Combine the dhopped butternut squash, garlic, thyme salt and 2 tablespoons olive oil in a bowl. Toss well to season and spread the squash into a single layer on a baking pan. Place on the center rack of the oven and cook until tender and lightly browned, about 20 minutes.
Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large sauté over medium heat. Add the chorizo and sauté until lightly browned and the fat is rendered. Add the onions, jalapeno and peppers to the pan and cook, stirring often until the onions are tender. Add the roasted squash to the sauté pan and toss well to coat. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper and serve. The hash may be reheated in the oven before serving if necessary.