It may be time to put the grill away and bundle up a little bit but, fortunately, Tillamook Cheese tastes just as good when it’s cooked in an oven! I made this dish for a family gathering over a year ago, and my family is still talking about it! In fact, just last week my mother was reminding me that it was time for me to make this very recipe for her again. I hope your family enjoys it just as much as mine did!
Butternut Squash and Cheddar Gratin
¾ cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs) or coarse dry bread crumbs
1¾ cups (7 ounces) shredded Tillamook Medium Cheddar Cheese, divided
1 tablespoon Tillamook Butter, melted
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
3 cups sliced onions
1½ teaspoons salt, divided
½ teaspoon dried thyme
2 teaspoons minced garlic
6 cups (approx 2 ½ pounds) butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into ½ – inch cubes
3 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
½ cup chicken stock
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter a 2 quart (7 x 11 inch) baking dish.
In a small bowl combine bread crumbs, ¾ cup cheese and melted butter. Set aside.
In a medium frying pan heat 2 tablespoons of oil over medium heat. Add onions, ½ teaspoon salt, thyme and black pepper. Cook about 15 minutes until onions are lightly browned. Stir in garlic and cook another minute. Spread mixture evenly in the prepared baking dish. Set aside frying pan for later use.
In a medium bowl toss squash with flour to evenly coat. Stir in remaining teaspoon of salt, parsley and remaining cup of cheese. Spread squash mixture evenly over onions.
Set frying pan over low heat and add chicken stock to deglaze, scraping brown bits from bottom of pan, about 2 minutes. Pour over squash mixture. Cover with lightly buttered foil and bake for 30 minutes.
Remove foil, top with cheese mixture and bake an additional 25 minutes, until bubbly and top is lightly browned. Remove from oven and let rest for 10 minutes before serving.