After roasting butternut squash yesterday to flavor a fromage blanc spread, I came up with a another dish where this method would be applicable. I mixed the roasted butternut squash into a simple potato mash. The subtle sweetness, the color; everything about this side dish screams Thanksgiving.
If you're planning a potato feast for Thanksgiving, I strongly suggest (shameless plug) that you try recipes from my first cookbook, Haute Potato. You'll find all sorts of dishes ranging from luxurious lobster chowder, delicious samosas to gourmet potato desserts. If you order it on Amazon or Barnes and Noble now, it should arrive before the holiday!
Servings: 6 servings
2 small butternut squash
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses (or any dark molasses)
4 Yukon Gold potatoes
½ cup cream-top milk (see tips), warm
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, diced
2 teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon black pepper, coarsely ground
1 tablespoon curly parsley (optional)
Prepping the butternut squash:
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Trim, peel and cut the butternut squash into cubes. Remove the seeds and the strings (if any). Place the cubes of butternut squash on a greased baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with 2 teaspoons salt and black pepper. Roast for about 25 minutes, open the oven, drizzle with pomegranate molasses and continue roasting for 10 more minutes. Mash the butternut squash and set aside.
Cooking the potatoes:
Peel the potatoes and dice them into 2½-inch chunks. It's preferable not to cut them too small as they might fall apart. Place the potatoes in a small pot. Add about 2-3 cups of water (add more water if it evaporates too quickly, depending on the heat). Bring the water to a boil and then reduce the heat to medium-high. Cook for about 15 minutes. The potatoes should be fork-tender but still firm. Remove from the pot. Transfer to a platter. Let them cool a little.
Once the potatoes are cool enough to handle and have dried thoroughly, return them to the pot over low heat for a few minutes (to ensure there is as little liquid as possible). Turn off the heat. Transfer to a food mill and mash the potatoes. You could use a potato masher or a tamis (see tips). Add the mashed roasted butternut squash, butter, stirring vigorously, using a wooden spoon. Add the warm cream-top milk until you reach the desired thickness.
Optional: For an extra refined purée, pass it through a tamis (see tips) and discard any fibrous butternut squash. You might add more milk if you like the purée thinner. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.
If you re-heat the potato mash, it's preferable to use a double boiler. For an easy double boiler, place the mashed potatoes in a heat-proof bowl over a larger-sized saucepan filled with simmering water. I always like to add a little kitchen towel underneath the bowl. That way the bowl won't jiggle and there won't be any water splashed in the mashed potatoes.
You can find pomegranate molasses in any Middle-Eastern market. If not, you could use regular dark molasses.
The secret to incredibly smooth purée is to pass it through a tamis (which is French a stainless steel frame with large-mesh screen) using a silicone scraper.
I used Strauss brand cream top milk. It's the cream that naturally floats to the top in organic milk because it is non-homogenized. You could substitute whole milk or half and half if you don't have any.