Sunday, November 13, 2011

Butternut Nests

My daughter used to like butternut squash a lot, but lately she won't touch the stuff. So I thought maybe, just maybe, if I put the squash in these cute little nests and drizzled honey over the top (which I know she loves), she would rethink her position. Of course what actually happened was she ate around it and left a little pile of squash on her plate (the same way my dog always managed to find her car sick pill inside the cheese and leave it behind in her bowl). Oh well, at least I made a fun new side dish that looks nice for Thanksgiving (even if I won't be serving it this year).

Yield: 12 side dishes

1/4 lb. kataifi (shredded phyllo dough), thawed
6 tablespoons unsalted butter or coconut oil, melted and cooled slightly
1/2 cup sliced almonds (2 oz.), coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons unsalted butter or coconut oil
1 large shallot, chopped
1 medium butternut squash
1 teaspoon dried rosemary, ground or finely crumbled
2 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger
1/2 cup water, plus more if needed
1/4 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 (14 oz.) can unsweetened coconut milk (full fat, not light), refrigerated overnight
honey for drizzling

Kataifi Nests:
1.         Preheat oven to 375° F. Set aside a standard size 12-cup muffin tin (grease if not nonstick).

2.         Gently pull apart strands of kataifi into a large bowl, then toss with butter or oil and almonds until well coated. Divide kataifi among 12 muffin cups and press into bottoms and halfway up sides of the muffin cups, creating nests.

3.         Bake until the outsides are golden, about 12-15 minutes (check by gently lifting one nest up with a small knife). Cool completely in the tin on a rack. (Can be made one day ahead and kept in muffin tin, covered tightly with plastic wrap, at room temperature.)

Squash Filling:
4.         Peel the squash, cut in half lengthwise and remove the seeds. Cut into 1/2-inch pieces.

5.         In a large heavy pot, melt the butter or coconut oil over medium heat. Add the shallot and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes. Add the squash, rosemary and ginger and cook for another 2 minutes.

6.         Add the water and salt and simmer, covered, for 8 minutes. Remove the lid and simmer until the water has evaporated and the squash is tender, about another 8-10 minutes (add a little more water if the squash needs to cook longer). Season with salt and pepper to taste. (Can be made one day ahead; cover and refrigerate.)

7.         Open the chilled can of coconut milk, being careful not to shake the can and keep it right side up. Scoop out the thick layer of coconut cream at the top of the can (do not to scoop any coconut water from underneath) and place in a small bowl; mix until smooth.

8.         Using a sharp knife, remove kataifi nests from the muffin tin and gently place on plates.

9.         Just before serving, fill each nest with squash. Top with a dollop of coconut cream and drizzle with honey.

inspired by Kataifi with Candied Pumpkin and Yogurt from
kataifi mixed with butter and almonds
making kataifi nests
peeling the squash
scooping out the squash seeds
cutting the squash
cooking the shallots
adding the squash, rosemary and ginger
broth added
squash cooked and tender
baked kataifi nest
coconut cream

You can actually whip the coconut cream with an
electric beater until light and fluffy. You can also
whip in a little sugar, cinnamon or vanilla
extract for a great vegan topping for desserts.

You can also use the coconut water
for drinking, smoothies or soup.
kataifi nest filled with butternut squash, topped
with coconut cream and drizzled with honey



BarelyKnitTogether said...

These look soooo yummy! I had no idea you could whip coconut cream like that.

Judie Cleland said...

This looks so yummy. Dare I try these for my 23 guests?

Eric said...

Mmmm that looks good Susan!

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