For this recipe, we’re taking the ever humble squash and giving it some sophistication that’ll give it the attention it really deserves.
I do love squash for the unique sweetness that it has, and even more for its velvety-smooth texture. I find that it pairs perfectly well with most grilled or roast dishes from meat, to poultry, and fish.
As simple as its name suggests, we’re simply cooking our squash together with the smoky flavors of paprika and bacon. We’re adding a splash of liquid smoke as well, to reinforce that smoky profile.
I’ve also added some brown sugar to further enhance the natural sweetness of the squash, and some vanilla extract to make everything sweetly aromatic.
Finally, a light seasoning of salt and pepper should round all those flavors up.
Toss everything in a bowl until the pieces of squash are evenly coated. You can even do this straight inside a sous vide bag, simply shaking all those ingredients together.
It would be worth noting at this point that chopping your squash as uniformly-sized as possible would be crucial for even cooking. Your cuts need not necessarily have to be cubes. Going for other cuts such as batons or wedges wouldn’t really matter. I suggest going for cuts that would aesthetically enhance your final dish or shapes that would encourage the kids into eating their veggies.
From here, it would essentially be up to your circulator to do all the cooking. Just seal everything in a bag, trying to keep everything in a single layer, again for everything to cook evenly.
An hour at 183F would be just enough to get the squash fully cooked and tender without breaking apart.
It would also be a good idea to do this in large batches as you’ll most likely have more squash than you’ll need for a single meal. The sugar in this dish would help it keep for a few days in your refrigerator.
A sprinkle of chopped parsley would help freshen those sweet and smoky flavors on top of making the dish more visually appealing. Thyme would be another excellent herb to garnish this dish for its warm, citrusy notes.
Despite how firm those cubes of squash look, they all mash easily with the lightest press of a fork.
Sweet, smoky, slightly salty, and really fragrant. The kids are definitely eating up their vegetables tonight!