Butternut with Bacon, Tomatillo, and Chipotle

Butternut with Bacon, Tomatillo, and Chipotle

Nov 4, 2016 | Fall, Recipes, Winter

I’m a Rick Bayless fan; I love that he seems so genuine, I love that he loves to cook and eat, I love that he balances his life with a daily yoga practice (he is pretty impressive,) mostly I love when he takes foods that we are used to and adds Mexican ingredients to create new and exciting flavors.  I made this recipe a couple of times last year, once as written, but then once with green tomatoes subbed in for the tomatillos.  Both were excellent, but if you want to throw a little southern spin on it, then I would use the green tomatoes.  This would be great for an every day meal, but I also think it would work wonderfully for Thanksgiving.

Ingredients

  • 3 garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • 4medium (about 8 ounces)tomatillos, husked, or green tomatoes,rinsed and cut in half across the equator
  • 1 to 2canned chipotle chiles en adobo
  • 1/2of a small (2-pound) butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch chunks (about 3 cups of chunks)
  • 2 to 4ounces (2 to 4 thick strips) bacon, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces
  • Salt
  • About 1tablespoongrated Mexican queso añejo or other garnishing cheese such as Romano or Parmesan

Directions

Set a large (10-inch) skillet (nonstick or lined with foil) over medium-high heat and lay in the garlic and tomatillos (cut side down). When the tomatillos are well browned and soft, 5 to 6 minutes, flip everything over and brown the other side. (The garlic should be soft.) Cool, then peel the garlic.

In a blender, combine the garlic, tomatillos, chipotles and 1 cup water. Blend to a coarse puree.

Scoop the butternut pieces into a microwave-safe bowl, cover with plastic wrap, poke a few holes in the top and microwave on high for 4 minutes. Meanwhile, in a large (10-inch) skillet set over medium, cook the bacon, stirring occasionally, until crispy, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the butternut and tomatillo sauce to the pan, raise the heat to medium-high and bring the sauce to a brisk simmer. Cook until the butternut is fork-tender and the sauce has reduced by about half its volume, about 15 minutes. Taste and season with salt (it will need only about ¼ teaspoon because of the bacon’s saltiness). Scrape into a serving bowl and finish with a generous sprinkling of the queso.