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Butternut Squash Fries

Related Ingredients
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Tasting Notes

Swap out your everyday fried potatoes for these lightly battered butternut squash fries.

The simple batter ensures that they’ll be extra crispy. Since the butternut squash becomes extra-sweet when fried, Michael balances the sweetness by sprinkling salt and cayenne pepper over the finished products.

Tips & Techniques

  1. Plan ahead. Set aside enough time to cut your squash right before you are going to fry it. This ensures that the inside will cook evenly and the squash won’t lose flavor.
  2. Give ‘em room. When plunging your battered fries into the hot oil, be sure to avoid overcrowding your pot. Cooking too many at once will result in soggy fries.
  3. Stay organized. Season your fries in batches as they come out of the fryer, and then transfer the seasoned fries to another plate. This will ensure that you are not double-seasoning any fries as new batches come out of the fryer.

Toolbox

This tool is one we find especially helpful when making this dish

  1. Sharp knife. Cutting a butternut squash into quarter-inch fries will challenge your knife skills. To make things easier, be sure to sharpen your knife – or have it sharpened professionally – before you begin.

The list below includes all the equipment you’ll want to make this dish.

  • High-sided pot (sautoir)
  • Slotted spoon or spider
  • Small rack over a sheet pan
  • Sharp knife
  • Large bowl
  • Medium bowl or small sheet pan
  • Fork or whisk


Ingredients
  • 3 cups canola or grapeseed oil
  • 3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 small to medium butternut squash
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups plus 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups water
Method
  1. Heat oil to 375°F in a small stock pot or high-sided sauté pan. In a small bowl, mix 3 tablespoons salt with the cayenne pepper. Reserve.
  2. Peel the butternut squash and cut in half where the long part meets the round part. Cut the round part in half and remove the seeds using a spoon.
  3. Cut each round into ¼ inch thick half-moon shapes. Cut the long part into ¼ inch slices and then each slice into ¼ inch sticks.
  4. Place 2 cups of the flour in a large bowl along with 1 teaspoon of salt. Whisk the egg in a small bowl with water. As you stream the water and egg mixture into the flour, continuously whisk ingredients together. Your batter should be a little loose, it is a thinner batter.
  5. Place the remaining 1 cup flour in a bowl or on a small sheet pan.
  6. Dip the pieces of squash a few at a time into the flour, coating all the way around. Shake off excess flour and then dip into the batter. Let excess batter drip off and place the pieces in the fryer 6-8 at a time. Note: it is important not to overcrowd the pan. You may have to raise or lower the heat to maintain an oil temperature of 375°F.
  7. Fry the pieces for 4-5 minutes or until they begin to turn golden brown. Remove from the oil using a spider or mesh strainer and place on a baking sheet lined with a rack. Season with the cayenne salt.  Serve with Chipotle Aïoli. Note: the fries can be reheated in a 450°F oven if necessary.

Here is a great way to turn this dish into a meal

Chimichurri flank steak & butternut squash fries

Serve the butternut squash fries alongside a seared flank steak. Dress up the flank steak with a simple chimichurri-inspired sauce to balance the sweetness of the butternut squash – just buzz a combination of tomatillos, jalapeños, garlic, onions, cumin and cilantro in your food processor, and drizzle the mixture over the cooked meat.

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