1 large butternut squash, approximately 3-3 1/2 pounds
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1/2 cup bread crumbs
2 cups sharp cheddar cheese
2 T butter, softened
White or black pepper to taste
1/2 cup cream
Paprika to taste
Spoon Mage™ Note:
To prep the squash, sharpen your best knife. Peel the skin using any sharp peeler. The skin is thin and easy to peel.
Cut off the stem end. Then slice off the large bulb end of the squash – exposing the seeds and threads. Scoop those out with a large spoon and consign to the compost bin.
Carefully cut round slices working from the large end to the stem end. The slices should be about 1/4 inch thick, but don’t fuss it too much. Cut the rounds in half. When you assemble the casserole, some may be cut into smaller pieces to fit them into the dish.
If you squash is too large for the dish, just cut the peeled remains into one inch pieces, lay them out on a tray in a single layer, and place it in a freezer. Check every hour or so until you find that each piece is frozen. Then pour the chunks into a freezer bag. They’ll make a wonderful addition to soups or pasta and you won’t have to work as hard!
Preheat the oven to 375°F
Rub a 2 quart casserole with a small bit of the softened butter (reserving the rest for adding to layers) or spray the dish using your favorite non-stick spray.
Layer half of the squash in the casserole, cutting pieces as necessary to make them fit together like a puzzle and fill in any gaps.
Sprinkle with half of the onion, half of the bread crumbs, half of the cheese, sprinkle with pepper, and dot with half the butter.
Repeat the order with the remaining ingredients – squash, onion, bread crumbs, cheese, pepper, and butter.
Lightly sprinkle the top with paprika.
Drizzle the casserole with cream – or about 1/3 cup of whole milk if you just cannot stand the idea of cream, but do give the cream a try.
Cover with a lid and bake in a 375°F oven for about an hour. Test the squash for tenderness with a fork. If the squashes are not tender, re-cover and bake a little longer. Thick slices will take a little longer to cook.
Remove from the oven and allow the casserole to “set” uncovered for about 10 minute and then serve.
Absolutely delicious when served the next day.