Target Health Blog

Curried Butternut Squash, Cream Sherry and Gruyere

November 26, 2018

Target Healthy Eating

After experimenting a great many times, I finally got this recipe to work, in time for Thanksgiving dinner with our wonderful family. Readers didn't get it in time to consider using for T-Day, but if you like it, use it for December holiday dinners. It is absolutely delicious! ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.
The partially caramelized butternut squash and the earthiness of the mushrooms are two great flavors. In addition, all of my favorite spices are a tremendous addition, along with the cream sherry and the gruyere. Everyone who has eaten this recipe with us, have commented on how good it is. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.
We know this goes well with roast turkey; however, in addition to all poultry, it would pair well with fish or any seafood and probably with lamb. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


1 red onion, chopped

3 garlic cloves ground in mortar and pestle with 3 anchovy fillets

3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 large butternut squash, peeled, diced 1/2-inch cubes

1 pinch black pepper

2 small or 1 large jalape?o, seeded, then well chopped

2 or 3 scallions, chopped (same some for garnish)

3 shallots, finely chopped

1 Tablespoon black mustard seeds

1 teaspoon cumin seeds or ground cumin

1 pint box baby spinach

22 garlic cloves, sliced

1 teaspoon ground coriander

2 inches ginger root, grated

1 teaspoon turmeric

1 teaspoon cardamom

1 to 2 pounds mix of mushrooms (cremini, button, shiitake, chanterelle, etc)

1/2 cup basmati or jasmine rice, rinsed twice, drained

1 cup coconut milk

1 cup chicken stock or broth

1 cup cream sherry

Zest of 1 lime

2 Tablespoons lime juice

1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

1 cup Panko mixed with 1 cup Gruyere (grated) & 1 cup Cheddar (grated)

Cilantro sprigs, for garnish

Take note of the jalapeno; along with the grated fresh ginger root, my recipe has a certain kick, without being hot at all. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


I've been using this idea for such a long time, I've forgotten if I thought of it, or if I read about it in someone else's recipe. What (I think) is unique to me is discovering that I can eliminate salt from my recipes completely, and use mashed anchovies as a salt substitute. Even more intriguing is when ground with fresh garlic cloves in a mortar & pestle (above), the garlic subdues the anchovies and the anchovies do likewise to the garlic. Common sense tells you when to use these two ingredients and when not to. These days, I use them often in recipes you might not dream you would find them. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.
Chopping garlic, shallots, red onion, jalapeno, all terrific ingredients in this recipe. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.
Chopping fresh cilantro. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.
Grating the fresh ginger root (after peeling it). ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.
Grating cheese; not too much, just enough to make a difference. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.
Cheese is ready to add. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.


1.     Do all your cutting, chopping, grinding, grating, etc.

2.     Get out a large skillet and heat the oil (medium flame)

3.     When nice and hot, add the squash cubes in one layer. Add the 1 pinch of black pepper and cook until squash gets slightly brown. When edges are brown, turn the squash and brown more of the cubes. When you've turned all the squash to brown on all surfaces, take squash out of the pan with a slotted spoon, put into a bowl and set aside.

Cutting pieces of butternut squash. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.
Starting to cook the squash over medium flame, in hot oil in baking dish. I like using a nice baking dish instead of a skillet, so it's easy to take it from stovetop to oven to table. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.
Here, instead of salt, we've added the ground garlic and anchovies, along with other spices. The brownish thing in the top right, is an olive wood spatula, great for cooking everything. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

4.     Add shallots to skillet, and cook, stirring for 1 or 2 minutes. Add mustard seeds, cumin seeds and and all seasoning and let sizzle for about 30 to 60 seconds, then add garlic and chopped jalapeno. Combine well and cook just a little longer.

I could have toasted the black mustard seeds at the very start of cooking, but forgot; nothing lost, they're being toasted now. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

5.     Next, you're going to add mushrooms to the same pan; then toss to coat. Cook mushrooms until they soften. Figure 4 to 6 minutes.

Usually, lime zest is added here along with fresh lime juice, but I only had lemons, so used them instead. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

6.     Put squash back into your skillet or baking dish and stir in coconut milk; bring to a simmer. Be sure your flame is medium, then let simmer for about 7 minutes.

Add the chopped cilantro, stir in well, then add the cream sherry. Have your chicken stock or broth handy, if you see that more liquid is needed. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.
Because the rice is going to soak up liquid, at this point, more liquid is better than less. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.
I must tell you, that while adding each ingredient, the aroma is awesomely good. At this point, check your list of ingredients. If you left anything out, which I do sometimes, now is the time to add it and stir it in. No harm done. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.
Finally, just before going into the oven, sprinkle all the cheese over the top. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.
Going into the oven now. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.
Just out of the oven. MMmmmmmm ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.
Garnish with cilantro leaves. Serve to eager family and friends. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.
We served chilled Pouilly-Fuisse and Paul Hobbs cab (Napa) perfect from start to warm lingering finish. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc
After all the guests have gone, full and satisfied. Only remnants remain of the happy day, which curious Dodi, who is now 100 years old, is sniffing. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

From Our Table to Yours

Have a Great Week Everyone!

Bon Appetit!

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