We’re going to focus on some good Thanksgiving food leading up to our national food holiday, seems like good timing, right? Everyone loves Thanksgiving after all – a time to celebrate with friends and give thanks for what we have. Of course the best part of Thanksgiving for me has always been the food no matter what. This first Thanksgiving post incorporates a really tasty mash which brings together some interesting flavors that really work well together.
We owe part of this recipe to our good friend Katharine of From My Table (who used to post to TFD) – she’s the one who recommended the excellent new cookbook “The Flavor Bible” which has been inspiring us to try some cool new flavor combination ideas – we totally recommend it, it’s an excellent book. The flavors for this recipe were somewhat drawn out of the charts of this book – which you’ll quickly see are totally unique and really helpful. We combined traditional butternut squash with allspice, ginger, mango, garlic, leeks and coconut milk. We also added some chickpeas and what came out was nothing but delicious. Especially when paired with a nicely cooked lamb steak (or turkey leg).
The finishing touches on this mash was the pork. We decided to go a little unconventional and cook the veg with some pork fat we rendered out from pancetta, then added the Italian bacon back on top of the mash when served. The product was somewhat sweet, but ultimately savory with the bacon and chickpeas mixed in. Bottom line: you’ll be happy making this dish to serve along with your other Thanksgiving spread – it’s can’t miss and the flavors will dance in your mouth.
Preheat the oven to 375 F. This method should be somewhat straight forward. Start out by taking a large mixing bowl and combining the butternut squash, (most of) the allspice and a little olive oil. Mix them together and spread the squash out onto a medium baking sheet so that all of the squash pieces are even on the sheet. Season over the top with salt and place in the preheated oven for 30-40 minutes or until the squash is cooked through, but still a little firm.
Halfway though the squash cooking process, put a heavy bottomed deep pan or pot over medium heat and add a small amount of olive oil. Add the pancetta and brown it until it’s basically cooked through and its fat has been rendered out. Remove the pancetta and add the onion and leeks to the pot. Soften the vegetables for 5-7 minutes but don’t let them brown. Next add the chickpeas, garlic, ginger and mango and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper.
Next add a little chicken stock and scrape the bottom of the pot to get up those little bits of pancetta that were left. When the squash is finished cooking, remove it from the oven and add it into the pot and mix together.
** At this point, you could simply add in 1-2 cups of stock, puree and you’d have an awesome soup!!
Add in the coconut milk and transfer the mixture to a food processor and puree it into the desired consistency. Serve the mash and top with the pancetta pieces. This dish goes great with lamb (see the pics – served with a lamb steak) or the Thanksgiving bird! Enjoy -
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