Butternut squash is not for want of supporting roles this time of year: its orange-colored flesh and unmistakable seasonal flavor sings of crisp Fall evenings. This recipe allows the squash to shine and take a starring role. The "bricks" - whose name is owed to the squash segments' size and shape - receive a brief bath in ginger and sweet miso to par-cook them before the oven, where they then take on an autumnal coat of maple, orange and bourbon. - olin77 —olin77
Test Kitchen Notes
The bourbon-spiked glaze is very flavorful and well-balanced and the cooking method results in perfectly-cooked, golden brown lacquered squash. The additions of crispy prosciutto, sage and orange zest at the end lend a welcome freshness. - Maddy —The Editors
For the glaze: in a medium sized saucepan, heat the oil and bacon over medium-low heat for about ten minutes, or until the fat from the bacon has rendered. Remove the bacon and set aside for another use. Add the garlic and all but 2 tablespoons of the chopped ginger and sweat until translucent and fragrant. Pour in the bourbon and boil for a few minutes to cook out the alcohol.
Add the juice, molasses, maple syrup, and honey. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat; add the orange zest and a pinch of salt, and simmer for ten minutes. Strain the glazing liquid, return to the saucepan, and continue to simmer until reduced by about half.
In a medium sized saucepan, bring 3 cups of water, 2 tablespoons of the chopped ginger and the miso paste to a boil (you will have to whisk the miso around a bit to get it to incorporate). Add the bricks and cook for 3 – 5 minutes, or until just tender enough to allow a knife to be inserted in to the flesh. Remove bricks and allow to cool for several minutes.
Liberally brush glaze on all sides of the bricks and arrange on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Once arranged, brush a bit more glaze on the top of each, ensuring that they are well coated. Sprinkle with sea salt and roast in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes, being careful not to burn. The top surface of the bricks should be caramelized, just starting to brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes. To serve, make a casual stack of bricks and sprinkle with finely diced sage and freshly grated orange zest.
For the prosciutto chips, tear prosciutto slices into roughly 3” diameter pieces and arrange on a canola oil greased, parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for about ten minutes, being careful not to burn the edges of the meat. (These can be done at the same time as the squash, at 420, and will just take a minute or so less time.) Remove the pieces and allow to cool on a baking rack (when done, they should be crispy in texture).