November 4th, 2010

Butternut Rancheros

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Serves 6

Sink your fork into a slice of Charbroiled Butternut Squash, and then scoop up some saucy black beans in a spicy ranchero sauce. It is not unlike a little bite of autumn heaven in Mexico. If Mexico had the kind of autumn that New England does. But instead of wrapping your head around that, just wrap your tastebuds around this recipe. Ooh, and you can serve with guacamole, too. For perfect timing, just start the squash recipe before starting the ranchero sauce. And remember to be careful when handling jalapenos! Don’t touch the seeds and definitely don’t touch your eyes after handling.

1 recipe Charbroiled Butternut Squash

2 teaspoons cumin seeds
2 teaspoons coriander seeds
2 tablespoons oil
1  yellow onion, diced medium
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 15 oz can tomato sauce
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp maple syrup or agave
2 15 oz cans black beans, drained and rinsed

Sliced scallions to serve

Preheat a large heavy bottomed pan, preferably cast iron, over medium heat. Dry toast the seeds in the pan for about 2 minutes, stirring frequently, until they’re fragrant and a few shades darker, just be careful not to burn. Raise the heat to medium high, add the oil and saute the onion, peppers and garlic for about 10 minutes, until onions are browned. Add the tomato sauce, salt and syrup and cook for about 5 minutes.

Transfer to the blender or food processor and blend until smooth. If using a blender, intermittently lift the lid to let steam escape so that it doesn’t build up and explode and kill you.

Return sauce to the pan and add beans. Cook over medium heat until heated through, about 5 minutes.

To plate:

If you’ve got some large shallow bowls they would be perfect to use here. Pour a layer of saucy beans in the bowl and top off with 2 or 3 slices of squash. Garnish with scallions.

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