Butternut Squash Dip
So, I have a kind of crazy week next week and this dip will play a part in it.
Betsy and I have a few friends that are getting married in Boulder next weekend and through an interesting turn of events, I’m going to be catering their wedding!
Yes. You read that correctly. I will be feeding 100ish people with delicious Macheesmo food.
I’m mildly nervous about it because A) I’m not a caterer and B) I’m not a caterer, but I think it’s going to be fantastic.
We decided on a menu that’s going to be very doable for me to make (think upscale BBQ) and I’m going to have a few helping hands.
What’s the worst thing that happens? I ruin two people’s special day? Probably not the first time!
I plan on writing more about the wedding and the menu that I came up with after the event, but I was very excited that you guys voted for a butternut squash dish in last week’s poll because it gave me the chance to test a dip that will be on the menu next week!
Butternut Squash Dip
Yield: 1.5 quart dish
3 cups butternut squash flesh
1 cup heavy cream
8 ounces Gruyere (or swiss) cheese, grated
1 Teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 Tablespoon hot sauce (opt.)
Salt and pepper
Butter (for the dish)
Pita chips (for serving)
1) Slice butternut squash in half and bake at 350 degrees for an hour. let cool slightly before handling.
2) Scoop out seeds from squash and measure out flesh. Add to other ingredients and mix well.
3) Add dip to a buttered casserole dish and top with Panko.
4) Bake at 400 degrees for 30-40 minutes.
5) For pita chips, cut pita into sixths and split each sixth in half. Toss with a drizzle of olive oil and kosher salt. Bake at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes and stir once halfway through.
6) Serve dip with the chips!
A whole butternut squash is kind of a daunting thing. It seems kind of impenetrable.
I’ve found that the best way to get into it is just to attack it from the top. Take your largest knife and carefully stab it right in the center. Push the knife down as far as you can.
Then just kind of push the knife down and it should easily slice open half of the gourd. This is a safe and fast way to slice this guy open rather than sawing away at it for hours.
Repeat the process on the other side and the squash should pop open and reveal some delicious orange flesh.
Add these two halves to a baking sheet and bake them at 350 degrees for about an hour. They should soften up a lot, but you don’t want them to get completely soggy.
These were mine after an hour of baking. You’ll want to let them cool for a few minutes before trying to handle them!
Mixing the Dip
It’s important that you actually measure your squash when you mix it in with your other ingredients. Butternut squash can vary hugely in size so don’t just toss in the whole thing and call it good. It’ll mess up the ratio.
But the flesh is pretty easy to scoop out so just measure it along with all your other ingredients. Stir this together and you’ll be in business.
Once you get the dip mixed together well, add it to a baking dish that has been buttered. If you don’t butter your dish, the dip will stick pretty badly to the edges.
I love the color on this stuff.
While you could just bake it like this, I decided to add a crispy topping to the dip.
I did make a small mistake though (which I swear I will not make during the actual wedding). I accidentally used Italian Panko instead of just regular Panko.
Don’t make this mistake. Just use the normal stuff.
Bake this at 400 degrees for about 30-40 minutes. The Panko should brown a bit and the dip should be hot and delicious.
Pita Pita Pita
You can definitely buy pita chips, but I’m a big fan of making them. I find that they are sturdier and more flavorful. Just chop up a few pitas into sixth and then separate the two layers.
Add them to a baking sheet and drizzle on some olive oil and kosher salt.
Mix them all together and bake them for about 10-12 minutes at 400 degrees. Check them halfway through and stir the chips to make sure they are being cooked evenly.
You’re finished chips should be lightly browned and crispy.
It’s not rocket science at this point.
The chip goes in the dip.
I feel great about this dip. The flavor is really nice and it goes well with crispy chips. Plus it’s pretty low maintenance and easy to make in bulk which makes it a winner for my wedding day menu.
This time next week I’ll be prepping this dip for a hundred hungry wedding guests.