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Tofurky, Butternut Squash, and Hedgehog Potatoes!

September 30, 2010

Last night we enjoyed the wonders of Tofurky.  It’s not for Thanksgiving anymore!  We actually had this baby hiding in our freezer for a few weeks.  A butternut squash has been living on our kitchen counter for quite some time as well, so I thought it might be time to celebrate the commencement of autumn–and four days off, bitches!–with a (small) feast.

How did I do it?  I preheated the oven to 350.  After carefully removing the casing and being somewhat shocked by how much “meat” came off with the plastic, I placed the roast in a glass baking dish and rubbed Earth Balance all over it, just like Martha Stewart would do.   Sprinkling the roast with sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper made me feel extra chef-y.

Following the instructions on the package, I prepared a basting liquid using soy sauce (?), olive oil, and ground sage.  Doesn’t sage make everything taste Thanksgiving-y?  I think it’s my favorite autumnal herb.  Yeah, I said that.

Meanwhile, I made some hedgehog potatoes.  I got the idea for these cute spuds from the same place everyone in the food-blogosphere got it: 100 Cookbooks‘ blogging goddess Heidi Swanson’s Super Natural Cooking. But did I have the purple potatoes her recipe calls for?  Or (yummy) harissa?  Or mint?  Hahahahahaaaaa fuck no!  I consider myself extremely lucky to have found four decent-sized russet potatoes that didn’t look ready to reproduce at any second.

I combined about 1/4 cup olive oil, about 2 tbs. herbs de Provence (marjoram, savory, thyme, rosemary, basil, fennel, and lavender flowers), 2 minced cloves of garlic, about 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, and a bit of salt to make a zesty glaze for the potatoes.

I sliced the potatoes crosswise about 80% of the way down, about 1/4 inch thick.  After slicing each potato, I added the seasoned olive oil, trying to get some of the herbs and garlic between each slice.  The spuds looked and smelled great before they were even cooked!

Then I put the potatoes in the same dish with the Tofurky, covered it all tightly with foil, and baked everything in the pre-heated oven.

Round 1 of baking lasted 30 minutes; meanwhile I peeled and cubed butternut squash–which was more difficult than I thought it would be–and drizzled it with olive oil, salt and pepper in another glass baking dish.

Once the 30 minutes was up, I removed the foil from the Tofurkey and potatoes, basted the roast with the salty liquid I made earlier, and popped it back in the oven alongside the squash, raising the oven temp to 375.

40 more minutes, and voila!

Don’t tell anyone, but I ended up adding some maple syrup to the butternut squash–it was just too plain otherwise.  The Tofurky was crisp on the bottom, and firm everywhere else.  It carved easily, and had a wonderful chewy texture.  The recommended basting liquid made the “meat” a bit salty for my taste, but it was still yummy.  The wild-rice stuffing was a nice touch, and I wish there was more.  I also wish that other types of Tofurky stuffing were available–chestnut?  Mushroom?  Cornbread?

The potatoes could have been crisper on the outside; maybe next time I should broil them for a few minutes?  But it was certainly a nice change of pace from plain old baked or mashed.  Anytime I find a new way to make potatoes I get so excited.  A little too excited, really.

Now I get to enjoy the best part about Thanksgiving: leftovers…

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