What do you do when you have 4 cute little butternut squashes? Experiment.
I’ve never cooked butternut squash my entire life, since we don’t have them here in Manila. I try to eat local, but when the occasional uncommon thing pops up in the market, it’s too interesting to pass up. Plus, I’ve been gathering quite a lot of butternut squash recipes. For my first experiment I chose Juli’s Apple and Butternut Squash Hash because it looked easy (didn’t have much time) and because I’ve been looking forward to trying out one of her many appetizing Paleo concoctions. Her blog is a great resource for people on the Paleo diet but don’t want gross/boring food. Mine is an improvised version since I didn’t have some of the ingredients on stock. Plus, I was craving for crispy fried egg.
What does a butternut squash taste like? It’s too early to tell. Hard to tell with this dish, since the squash is shredded and infused with apple flavors. So far, it tastes less oily compared to the local kalabasa squash. One of these days I’ll try the local squash in this dish since it actually might work.
Thanks to this dish, I unearthed a food processor from somewhere in the pantry. When shredded and cooked, the squash has a color that looks a lot like cheddar. The texture of the shredded stuff reminded me of noodles. Since granny apples were used, there’s a sweet and tangy taste to the hash. I like sweet and tangy, but if you want it less tangy, try gala apples. And if you just want sweet, try fuji apples. It’s a sweet base, but coupled with salty bacon and the fried egg, it balances out.
Butternut Squash and Apple Hash
you’ll need: (good for 2 hungry people, or 3-4 people if this is a side)
- 1 small to medium butternut squash
- 1 granny smith apple
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 5 strips of bacon (I used turkey bacon because I forgot to buy bacon! At least we know the halal version turned out well. Will try with BACON bacon soon.)
- 1 organic egg
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper for seasoning
- Cook the bacon on a heavy-bottomed, wide skillet/pan until crispy, and the bacon fat is rendered.
- While the bacon is cooking, peel the butternut squash then shred in a food processor. You may or may not peel the apple depending on what your prefer. I peeled mine. (but next time I’ll try keeping the skin on) If you don’t have a food processor, you can try slicing them by hand.
- Remove the bacon from the pan and set aside. When it cools, cut/crumble up for later. Set aside a bit of the bacon fat for cooking the eggs later.
- Saute the onion and garlic in the bacon fat.
- Once the onion is pretty translucent, add in the shredded squash and apple. Add a several turns of freshly ground black pepper and a sprinkle of salt. Mix everything in the pan. Cover with a lid for about 6-8 minutes. Mix from time to time to make sure nothing gets burnt.
- Taste and check if butternut is tender. If it is, add in the bacon and mix thoroughly.
- Divide mixture in the serving bowls.
- Heat bacon fat (or a neutral oil if you’ve run out of bacon fat) in the same pan until it smokes (for a nice and crispy sunny side up egg) and fry the egg.
- Top the mixture with a fried egg and serve.