It has been an absolutely exhausting week, and I am one of the more fortunate people to have weathered the storm. There are still countless people without power, unable to get to work, and stuck at home. I never thought I would miss the subway as much as I do, but it really makes the city run and without it, I feel completely lost. Kind of crazy, right? Especially considering the subway is pretty gross and has enough problems on its own…but what I wouldn’t give to squeeze myself into a crowded, smelly subway car and ride it into the office in under 30 minutes. When I trekked into work yesterday, it took me over 2 hours. Today, I couldn’t even find a cab because of the gas shortage and the bus lines are so insane that by the time I got into midtown, I would have to turn around and start heading back into Brooklyn. SIGH. I really, really hope that things are up and running next week. The only upside to this whole mess is that I’ve been walking everywhere. I’m lucky enough to live on the same block as my subway stop; I don’t even have to cross the street to get underground. Now that I can’t get on the subway at all, though, Kramer and I have been walking all around the neighborhood, just to get out of the house. I’ve seen more of Brooklyn on foot this week than I ever have. People think that New Yorkers walk a lot, and we do, but not having the option of taking the train and being forced to walk has turned out to be pretty enjoyable, as long as I’m not stressed about trying to find a cab or car service. It’s incredible how truly walkable our neighborhood is, and thankfully, we have access to everything we could possibly need. Last night, we even walked to the movie theater to see Seven Psychopaths. We usually take the train, but honestly, it didn’t even take much longer than usual and the walk was enjoyable. I’m hoping that we don’t get into old habits and start taking advantage of our proximity to so many great bars, restaurants, and other businesses. I may be stuck in Brooklyn, but at least I’m trying to make the best of it!
I’ve been asked pretty frequently for some new butternut squash recipes, and who am I to deny the good people of the interwebs? I made this butternut squash and potato hash last weekend, before the storm hit, and it was so good, Kramer and I were picking bits of it off the baking sheet as I finished cooking. The squash and potatoes are roasted simply with olive oil, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes, then tossed in a sweet and savory sauce of fresh autumn apples, caramelized shallots, and just a pinch of brown sugar. Of course, I had to include some bacon, because, well, I had some, and that’s really the only reason you need! You can easily omit the bacon, though, for a delicious vegetarian side dish, but to be honest, this was so rich and hearty that you could really eat it all on its own. Sprinkle the bacon on top with some chives or scallions for a pretty presentation, and you’ve got yourself a brand new way to enjoy one of fall’s most popular root vegetables.
While those roast, cook your bacon until crisp, remove it from the pan, and then add in your shallot. Cook over medium heat until softened and slightly caramelized, then add in the diced apple, chicken stock, brown sugar, mustard, and salt. Bring the mixture to a simmer, add your water, and simmer 10 minutes or so, until slightly thickened.
- 1 butternut squash, rind removed and cubed
- 2-3 large potatoes (or about 15 small new potatoes), cubed
- 3-4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 6 slices of bacon, 1-inch pieces
- ½ tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 shallot, thinly sliced
- ½ cup water
- ¼ cup chicken stock
- 1 apple, peeled and finely cubed
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Toss your squash and potatoes with your olive oil, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Place on a baking sheet and roast for 30 minutes or so, until the squash and potatoes are tender.
- While the vegetables roast, melt your butter and cook your bacon in a medium sized skillet over medium-high heat until crisp. Remove the bacon from the pan with a slotted spatula and place on a plate lined with a paper towel. Drain all but 2 tablespoons of bacon fat from the pan, and add in your shallot. Cook over medium heat until caramelized and softened, about 5 minutes.
- Add the water, stock, apple, brown sugar, and salt to the pan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring every so often, then taste, and adjust seasonings as necessary. Toss the roasted squash and potatoes with the sauce and serve hot.