I insistently keep trying to enjoy autumn, even if the weather won't let me. In the high 70's now in late October, we're well on our way to breaking the record for hottest October ever. But I guess upstate it's cooled down enough to grow the pumpkins and squash that make this season so yummy. Our first course last night was hearty and delicious enough to be a whole meal - a Butternut Squash and Carmelized Onion Galette. I found this recipe on the fantastic food blog Smitten Kitchen while I was searching around the internet for any comments or attempts at the Pumpkin Bread Pudding recipe in this month's Gourmet magazine.
The only thing I did differently from her recipe was to substitute a bit of the flour for whole wheat flour, adding a bit of nutty flavor and some fiber to our lives. I ended up needing quite a bit more flour than the recipe called for, perhaps because I had to use reduced fat sour cream (it's what I had on hand) and it made things a bit wetter than regular sour cream would have. In any case, I simply kept adding flour until the dough was dry enough to handle easily. I suspect the end result was a slightly less crumbly and flaky dough, but it was still delicious.
What really made this recipe was the carmelized onions. The sweetness was a perfect pairing with the squash and the fontina cheese, and the touch of cayenne set it off wonderfully. This would be a fantastic Thanksgiving starter.
So for dessert, I focused on squash's cousin -- pumpkin. The recipe in Gourmet is a must try. Ten times easier than making a pumpkin pie, but every bit as satisfying. I used Challah bread and added chopped pecans. I think next time I might reduce the sugar a bit, and add a drizzle of maple syrup over top. Also an excellent Thanksgiving dessert.