Ham & Olive
Roasted butternut squash, shallots, celery, grilled olives and smokey ham, tossed with Caesar croutons, fresh herbs, toasted pine-nuts, then baked golden and finished with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
2 cups cubed, Butternut squash
1 1/2 cups medium dice, shallots. Don't separate layers when measuring.
1 1/4 cups thinly sliced, celery
1 tablespoon freshly minced, garlic
1/2 cup dry, Marsala wine
1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped, fresh thyme
2 teaspoons finely chopped, fresh rosemary
1/4 cup chopped, fresh Italian parsley
2 cups chicken stock
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 pound Caesar croutons
1 cup small dice, smoked ham
1- 6.4 ounce jar Castellino grilled olives, (or similar) oil drained and olives sliced into 3rds. Chop any peppers in jar and add also.
1/3 cup lightly toasted pine-nuts
4 large eggs, whisked
Salt & pepper
Good quality Parmesan cheese
Note: Stuffing can also be baked in a baking pan instead of muffin tins.
Preheat oven to 400F.
Spread the Butternut squash cubes out onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and season with salt. Place in the center of oven and cook until just fork-tender. About 15-20 minutes. Don't overcook or will be mushy. Remove from oven and let cool.
Heat 3-4 tablespoons of butter in a skillet, over medium temperature. Add shallots and celery, season with salt and cook until shallots are translucent. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute. Push the vegetables up to the side of the pan and add the Marsala wine. Let the wine reduce to about half and then stir into the sautéed vegetables. Add all of the herbs, chicken stock and butter and then remove from heat to cool.
Note: Make sure the stock is cooled before adding the eggs.
Add the Caesar croutons to a large mixing bowl. Pour the stock with sautéed vegetables over the top, season with salt & pepper and mix well. Add the butternut squash, smoked ham, olives, pine nuts, whisked eggs and mix well. Let sit for 10-15 minutes to absorb all of the liquids.
Butter your muffin tins liberally and fill with the stuffing mixture, compacting lightly. Tall muffins will make about 16 and shorter muffins will make 1 1/2 dozen. Baking time will vary too. Bake at 350F 15-20 minutes or until golden brown on top. The internal temperature should be 160F. Let cool some and remove from tins while still warm. Grate Parmesan cheese over the tops and serve.