After I finished testing this recipe, I made it again and again over the next three days. It was absolutely addictive. The butter and brown sugar glaze creates a subtle sweetness, while the cranberries and ham add a beautiful contrast of tart and savory. There are simply not enough meals in a day.
Craisin Ham Butternut Squash Recipe
|WHAT YOU NEED||WHAT TO DO||WHY|
||Evenly butter the interior of a half sheet pan; set aside. Center an oven rack; preheat to 400°F Convection (verify with an oven thermometer). Meanwhile…||Butter adds essential flavor to this dish. Internal oven thermostats are often improperly calibrated.|
||Spread prepared squash in a single layer with shoulder room on the sheet pan, allowing plenty of shoulder space.||Shoulder room promotes the Maillard (my YARD) reaction (browning), which adds rich flavor.|
||Sprinkle garlic, cranberries, and ham amongst the squash. Keep garlic away from pan edges to avoid burning.||Large pieces of garlic are less likely to burn during roasting but are still susceptible at the edges.|
||Sprinkle evenly over everything on the sheet pan. It seems like a lot of salt, but without it, the flavor will be a little flat. Bake until squash is glistening and fork tender (~18 minutes). Toss before serving to redistribute moisture. Serve hot.||Brown sugar adheres to squash better than maple syrup, honey, or agave nectar, but they substitute brown sugar, if necessary.|
Additional Testing Notes: Acorn squash has inferior color and texture. Pumpkins have inferior taste and texture. Sweet potatoes are not quite as sweet or nutty.