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Roasted Butternut Squash with Creamy Pasilla Sauce

This sauce is rich and delicate at the same time. Absolutely beautiful and indulgent. It looks like a mole or a curry but is made with fewer ingredients than either of them and is packed with so much flavour. You can taste the fruitiness from the dried chillies, the smokiness from the chipotle, the creamy nuttiness from the peanuts. It’s all there playing along. We have used this same beautiful sauce over enchiladas but the potential goes beyond that and we just had to try it as a centrepiece as we did here. The smooth richness of the sauce combined with the sweetness from the roasted butternut squash makes it an equally stunning and delicious meal to enjoy. 

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Roasted Butternut Squash

-1 medium butternut squash

-Olive oil

-Salt and pepper

-¼ cup water

1 Set oven to 190°C

2 Cut the butternut squash in half, lengthwise and scoop out the seeds.

3 Brush olive oil, enough to coat it but not too much. One or two spoonfuls should do. Sprinkle with sea salt and black pepper.

4 In a large baking tray, lined with baking paper, place the butternut squash halves facing down and add the water to the bottom of the pan. 

5 Bake for 40-45 minutes. Close to the end, check if the butternut is nice and golden. If not, turn them facing up and let it bake for another 10 minutes until nice and golden. 

6 Let the butternut rest for a few minutes. Set aside.

 

Creamy Pasilla Sauce

-2 Pasilla chillies

-1 Ancho chilli

-2 cups hot water

-3 Chipotle Peppers La Costeña

¼ cup salted peanuts

-¼ white onion

-2 garlic cloves

-½ cup cream

-1 tsp powder vegetable seasoning

-1 Tbsp salt

-½ tsp white vinegar

-½ tsp sugar

-1 Tbsp vegetable oil

1 Remove the stem and seeds from the pasilla and ancho chillies. Use a pair of scissors to cut along the sides and remove them. Soak them in the 2 cups of hot water for at least 10 minutes to soften them.

2 Place the garlic, onion and peanuts on a pan without oil and toast them. Move constantly so they don’t burn. Remove the garlic and peanuts as soon as they start to toast. 

3 In a blender, place the soaked chillies, the onion, garlic, peanuts, cream, white vinegar, sugar, chipotles and about ½ cup of the hot water you used to soak the chillies. Blend until smooth. Add a little bit more water if the sauce is too thick. You shouldn’t need to add more than one cup of water in total. This sauce should have the consistency of curry. 

4 In the same pan where you toasted the peanuts, garlic and onion, add the vegetable oil and once it’s hot, add the sauce and cook for 15 minutes on medium-low heat. Adjust seasoning here and add more salt if needed. Reserve the sauce.

Notes

- You can remove the seeds from the chipotle peppers to keep the spicy level low, however, because of the peanuts and the cream, this sauce is barely spicy as it is. 
- If you use unsalted peanuts, adjust the salt to your taste.
- This sauce is so indulgent. It looks like a mole, like a thick curry and it’s full of complex flavours but the taste is delicate and creamy. Absolutely beautiful. 
- The sauce could be fantastic over chicken and rice or with chicken enchiladas. 

 

Black Rice Salad

-1 cup black rice cooked according to packaging instructions

-2 cups kale, roughly chopped

-1 large shallot, thinly sliced

-½ cup chickpeas, drained and dried.

-Extra virgin olive oil

-Salt and pepper

-Red wine vinegar

1 Set oven to 180°C

2 While the rice is cooking, toss the kale in a light drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper. Arrange in a baking tray and place in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes. Depending on your oven, they may need to come out sooner or later. The kale needs to be just lightly roasted, it burns quite easily. Remove from the oven and set aside.

3 Arrange the shallot slices and chickpeas in the same baking tray and toss them in a light drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and let them cool.

4 Once the black rice is cooked, let it cool and add a light drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt and pepper. Mix well and once is right for you, add the kale, chickpeas and shallot. 

Notes

- The rice doesn’t need to be overly dressed since the Creamy Pasilla Sauce is so tasty. You want the textures and natural flavours from the Black Rice Salad to complement the creamy richness of the sauce and the sweetness from the butternut squash. 

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Enjoy!

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