Sunday, October 21, 2012

As Autumn as it gets

If a perfect summer day includes a beach, ice cream, and hot shirtless dudes, today was the Autumn equivalent. It started off with brunch at a friend's house: pumpkin apple cinnamon muffins, pumpkin pancakes, and tofu scramble with Field Roast apple sage sausages.

After we ate, we headed out to Afton Apple Orchards. It was slim pickings (literally), as most of the apples we found were past their prime. We opted out of jumping the hayride out to the "good" trees, so we picked out pumpkins instead. After that, we headed inside to buy fresh cider.

Tonight I came up with a delicious Autumn side, but I'm eating it for dinner by itself. I've never tried delicata squash before, and I'm now adding it to my favorites. This came together really quickly, and will make an appearance at Thanksgiving.

Delicata with cider cream sauce

Roasted Delicata Squash with Cider Cream Sauce
serves 6 as a side

1 cup apple cider
1 cup cashew cream or soy creamer
1 tbsp dijon mustard
1/4 tsp chipotle or cayenne powder
1 delicata squash, washed
2 tbsp olive oil, divided
1 small onion, sliced into thin half moons
salt & pepper
6 strips tempeh bacon (I used the Turtle Island Smoky Maple ones, because they are the BOMB)
2 tbsp chopped walnuts
1 tbsp maple syrup
dash cayenne

First, make the sauce. In a small saucepan, bring the cider to a boil and reduce by almost half (about 15 minutes). Whisk in the cream, mustard, and chipotle powder. Keep stirring, lowering heat slightly. Keep an eye on it, stirring frequently, until the whole thing is reduced to about a cup.

Preheat oven to 375°

Cut the ends off the squash. Cut in half lengthwise, and scoop out the guts and seeds. Then cut into 1/2 inch slices, widthwise. Toss the squash slices with 1 tbsp of the olive oil, 1/2 tsp salt, and generous twists of pepper. Lay the slices on a baking sheet covered in parchment. Roast for 15 minutes. Flip the slices and roast an additional 15, or until they are tender (you can eat the skin!).

In a medium skillet, heat the other tbsp oil. Cook the onion and tempeh until the onion starts to turn brown. Throw in the walnuts and maple syrup. Toss to coat. Cook for about three more minutes. Serve over squash with the cider cream sauce.