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Mexican squash and corn cream

butternut squash pureeDo try this one – it’s seriously good and has worked its way up to being a frequent star alongside my roast dinners. This silky, sweet puree works unbelievably well as an accompaniment, especially with poultry – I hope some of you will try it with your Christmas turkey. It’s rich and packed with flavour; and like many recipes which utilise creamed corn, it’s a favourite with children. It also works as a great quick main dish (and is lovely if you’re entertaining vegetarians – try it over rice with an interesting salad).

Butternut squash originates in Mexico, and it has an affinity for other Mexican ingredients like the corn, the coriander and the chillies. I’ve used crème fraîche here to loosen the mixture – an authentic Mexican dish might use crema, the thick, Mexican, sour cream, but really the difference between the two products is minuscule. If you can’t find smoky ground chipotle chillies where you are, just substitute your favourite crushed, dried chillies or chilli powder.

To serve two as a main dish or about four (depending on greed) as a side dish, you’ll need:

1 butternut squash
1 can creamed corn
3 heaped tablespoons crème fraîche
1 tablespoon salted butter
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¾ teaspoon ground chipotle chilli
1 large handful roughly chopped coriander

Peel the squash (you’ll find a serrated knife the best tool for this job – that peel is tough), remove the seeds and stringy pith, and chop the flesh into pieces about an inch square. Cover with water and simmer for 15 minutes until the pieces of squash are tender and soft when poked with a knife.

Drain the water off and return the squash pieces to the pan. Add the corn, butter and crème fraîche to the pan and mash with a potato masher off the heat until smooth. Season with the salt, pepper and chillies – you’ll find this dish will require quite a lot of salt for maximum flavour because of the natural sweetness of the vegetables.

Return the pan to a low heat and bring to a gentle simmer. Remove from the heat again and stir in the coarsely chopped coriander. Serve immediately.

This squash and corn cream freezes well.

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Related posts:

  1. Roast Poblano crema
  2. Chilli con carne
  3. Roasted butternut squash and red pepper soup with garlic parmesan croutons
  4. Mexican pickled red onions
  5. Sausage, squash, sage and lemon risotto

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