Ham & Olive
Roasted butternut squash, shallots, celery, grilled olives and smokey ham, tossed with Caesar croutons, fresh herbs, toasted pine-nuts and drizzled with lots of butter and chicken broth. Then baked golden and finished with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
2 cups cubed, Butternut squash
1 pound Caesar croutons
2 cups chicken broth
4 ounces (1 stick) butter, melted
1 1/2 cups medium dice, shallots. Don't separate layers when measuring.
1 1/4 cups thinly sliced, celery
Cut the stalks in half lengthwise then slice width-wise.
4 teaspoons freshly minced garlic
1/2 cup dry Marsala wine
1 cup small dice, ham
1/3 cup lightly toasted pine-nuts
1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped, fresh thyme
2 teaspoons finely chopped, fresh rosemary
1/4 cup chopped, fresh Italian parsley. Don't compact.
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.
4 large eggs, whisked
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 and let cool.
Add the Caesar croutons to a rectangular 10"x13" baking dish, or use a large bowl if you don't have one. Spread the croutons out and evenly drizzle the 2 cups of broth all over them, followed with the melted butter. Let soak while preparing sautéed vegetables.
Heat 2 tablespoons of butter in a skillet, over medium temperature. Add shallots, cook 3 minutes, then add the celery, season lightly with salt and cook until shallots are translucent. Add the garlic and cook 1-2 minutes, but don't brown. Push the vegetables up to the side of the pan and add the Marsala wine. Let the wine simmer to reduce to about two tablespoons and then stir in the vegetables. Remove pan from heat and let cool.
Sprinkle 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon of salt evenly over the moistened croutons and then fresh cracked pepper, to-taste. Add all of the ingredients evenly over the top (except the eggs) of moistened croutons and toss gently, using an extra long spatula (fish spatula). Lastly, drizzle the eggs evenly over, and continue using the spatula, going under and lifting up, then turning over the mixture. Do this gently several times until there is no more eggy areas. Taste for salt & pepper and add more if needed. Be careful not to over-season.
Butter your muffin tins liberally (non-stick is great), and using a large spoon, fill to desired height/fullness, compacting lightly. Tall muffins will make about 16 servings and lower muffins will make about 1 1/2 dozen. Baking time will vary too. For taller muffins, set your rack on the 3rd setting from bottom and bake 20-22 minutes, until golden brown on top. Once cooled, sprinkle freshly, finely grated Parmesan on tops.