Butternut squash steaks with port wine/portobella/sage sauce and Hash browns with pistachios

Butternut steaks

Butternut steaks

Malcolm is home sick from school, and I’m not feeling 100% myself. We’re having such a nice day! We had a lot of big plans, but we’re not doing any of them. Mostly, we’re sitting on the couch, glad to be together, and reminiscing about the time Clio sneezed 6 times in a row.

I thought this was such a nice meal. It started as a mistake, almost, so it’s an example of taking a culinary wrong turn and finding yourself on an even better road! I had the idea of roasting “steaks” of butternut squash. I thought I’d try marinating them. I know they wouldn’t absorb as much marinade as, say, eggplant or mushrooms, but I thought they might absorb some. So I cut them about 1/3 to 1/2 inch thick. Then I made a marinade of rosemary, sage, garlic, port wine, balsamic and olive oil. I let them sit for more than an hour, turning them once. They did take on some of the color and flavor! Then I had the bright idea of trying to dip them in egg and bread them, in the manner that I make eggplant. This didn’t work at all! I think if I’d steamed them first, they would have absorbed more of the marinade, and been better able to hold onto their crust. As it was, the crust turned crispy and delicious, and then came right off the steaks. Did I panic? I did not. I scraped the crust (made from bread crumbs and pistachio kernels) right off of the steaks, and I mixed it in with my mashed potatoes! I’d been planning to make hash browns with some leftover mashed potatoes, because Malcolm likes them. I didn’t know he did, but he told me at the reader’s breakfast at school he ate all of his hash browns, and Isaac’s and some other friends, too!! It’s funny when you learn something new about someone you know so well! They’re a bit like croquettes, I guess with the crumbs and nuts added in. I suppose if you put some cheese in, you’d have a meal! Anyway…the butternut steaks roasted up nicely without the breading – they were soft on the inside, and just browned and a little crispy and caramelized on the outside. And I used the marinade sauce, combined with some roasted mushrooms, to make a sort of gravy for the steaks. Everything was very nice together – a real meat and potatoes meal!

Leftovers tacos

Leftovers tacos

The next day, after work, I combined leftover hash browns, leftover mushroom sauce, and diced leftover roasted squash with black beans to make a filling for tacos. We ate it with warm tortillas, crisp romaine lettuce, basmati rice and some grated extra sharp cheddar. Also very delicious!! It was so good it would be worth making from scratch! It would make a good filling for a savory pie!

Here’s The Joe Morello Quintet ft. Art Pepper with Pepper Steak
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