New Year’s Eve was spent at home with my husband. With teens who weren’t fully sure of their evening plans with their dates, it seemed best for us to be home for the night. Both of us enjoy cooking, so staying home and making our own feast was an enjoyable option. My husband made sausage and cranberry filled endive; I made roasted grapes and walnut (to be served atop crackers and goat cheese) and bacon wrapped butternut squash.
The squash and bacon combination was a great pairing of favorites: bacon for my husband and the squash for me. I even found that the appetizers could be made to favor each of us. For my husband, I used smaller cubes of squash and larger pieces of bacon, and for myself I did the opposite. The only thing to keep in mind when making my version is that you can’t make the cube so big that the bacon won’t wrap fully around it.
As the bacon and squash were baking, I was thinking that a brushing of maple syrup would add a delightful bit of sweetness to finish this appetizer. Of course, we didn’t have any maple syrup on hand. Instead I sprinkled each cube with a tiny amount of brown sugar and then used our brulée torch to melt the sugar. That little bit of sugar really rounded out the snack quite nicely.
Bacon Wrapped Butternut Squash
1/2 butternut squash, peeled & seeds removed
4-8 slices bacon
2 Tb. maple syrup*
Preheat oven to 450.
Cut squash into 3/4 to 1 inch cubes.
For those that prefer more bacon, use 8 strips and cut into thirds width-wise. For those who prefer less bacon, cut 4 strips in half length-wise and then thirds width-wise. Wrap 1 piece of bacon around 1 piece of squash. Place bacon on rimmed baking tray, with side that has ends of bacon meeting on the bottom. Repeat with remaining squash pieces.
Bake for 10 minutes; flip and bake for an additional 10 minutes. Depending on how crispy you like your bacon, it may be done or may need another 5 minutes. Remove from baking tray and brush top of bacon with maple syrup.
Makes 24 appetizers.
*If you don’t have maple syrup, you can sprinkle a small amount of brown sugar on the bacon. Place coated appetizers under a broiler or brulée with a kitchen torch.