Winter Squash and Hazelnut Ragout

Temps des Fêtes 2007
food and drink

BY: Lucy Waverman

Andrea uses 3 different kinds of squash for an interesting texture but you could use your favourite kind.

1 cup (250 mL) diced smoked bacon
1 tbsp (15 mL) unsalted butter
1 cup (250 mL) onion, diced
2 acorn squash, diced into ½-inch (1-cm) cubes
2 cups (500 mL) spaghetti squash, diced into ½-inch (1-cm) cubes
3 cups (750 mL) butternut squash, diced into ½-inch (1-cm) cubes
⅔ cup (150 mL) chicken stock
⅓ cup (75 mL) coarsely chopped, toasted hazelnuts
2 tbsp (25 mL) chopped chives
Salt and freshly ground pepper

1. Place a large skillet over medium heat. Add double smoked bacon and slowly render off all fat, about 5 minutes. Remove bacon from pan and reserve. Drain fat from pan, reserving 1 tsp (5 mL) in the skillet.

2. Add butter and onions to bacon fat and sauté until onions are golden, about 5 minutes. Add assorted squash and turn heat to high (if pan is not hot enough, squash will begin to break down). Cook squash for 6 minutes or until al dente and add reserved bacon. Deglaze with chicken stock and continue to cook until chicken stock has reduced and the squash is tender, about 5 minutes longer. Add more stock if skillet becomes too dry.

3.    Add chopped hazelnuts and chives just before serving. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serves 8

Sweet and Sour Red Cabbage

¼ cup (50 mL) unsalted butter
2 cups (500 mL) chopped onions
3 medium shallots, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
10 cups (2.5 L) shredded red cabbage (about 1 medium cabbage)
1½ cups (625 mL) cider vinegar
3 cups (750 mL) cranberry juice
1 cup (250 mL) granulated sugar
1 cinnamon stick
Salt and freshly ground pepper

1. Heat butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add onions, shallots and garlic and sauté until caramelized, about 5 to 10 minutes. Add shredded cabbage and sauté until slightly wilted, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add vinegar to deglaze the pan, loosening any browned bits on the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Stir in cranberry juice, sugar and cinnamon stick. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

2. Turn heat to high and bring to boil, stirring constantly to prevent sugar from burning. Reduce heat and simmer vigorously for about 15 to 25 minutes or until liquid is reduced by three-quarters. Re-season if needed. Reheat when needed.

Serves 8

Date and Molasses Glaze

1 tbsp (15 mL) butter
2 small shallots, minced
2 tbsp (25 mL) roasted garlic
1 cup (250 mL) red wine
¼ cup (50 mL) molasses
1 cup (250 mL) pitted dates, chopped
½ cup (125 mL) chicken stock
1 sprig thyme
½ tsp (2 mL) cinnamon
1 tbsp (15 mL) vegetable oil
2 pork tenderloins, cleaned of all silver skin and excess fat
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper.

1. Heat butter in a large nonstick sauce pan over medium heat. When butter sizzles, add shallots and roasted garlic and cook until transparent. Add red wine and molasses and cook until reduced by half. Add dates, chicken stock, thyme and cinnamon and simmer for 5 to 7 minutes or until dates are plump and only about 1 cup (250 mL) of liquid remains. Pour mixture into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Strain through a fine strainer if preferred.

2. Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).

3. Heat vegetable oil in a heavy ovenproof skillet over high heat. Season pork on all sides with salt and pepper. Sear tenderloins until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Place pan in oven and roast for 5 to 7 minutes or until just pink inside. Remove from oven and turn oven setting to broil.

4. Coat pork evenly with reserved glaze on all sides. Place skillet under broiler and broil until glaze is caramelized, about 2 to 4 more minutes, turning once.

5. Remove from the oven and let rest for at least 5 minutes. Slice pork and serve with Sweet and Sour Red Cabbage and Double Smoked Bacon, Winter Squash and Hazelnut Ragout.

Serves 8

What to Serve