Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Achiote Roasted Butternut Squash Tacos

 Fall means a lot of things ... football, back to school, fun holidays, pumpkin pancakes, hot chocolate ... and SQUASH.  I have been looking for recipes that incorporate the oh-so-lovely butternut squash and this one seemed to hit the spot for me.
  • 3 1/2 cups butternut squash, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 tbsp ground annatto/achiote seed
  • corn oil
  • 2 tsp cumin, ground
  • 3 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp oregano
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 red onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Black Bean and Corn Salsa
  • fresh cilantro 
  • queso fresco, crumbled
  • 6 corn tacos, warmed


  1. On a flat pan, spread out the squash evenly and toss with the corn oil.
  2. In a bowl, mix the cumin, ground achiote, oregano, and 1 tsp of the smoked paprika.  Rub the spice mixture evenly over the squash. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of the brown sugar, salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Bake in a 375F oven for 30 minutes until soft and browned.
  4. Meanwhile, heat a little corn oil in a saute pan and add the onions.  Add 2 tsp of the smoked paprika and the rest of the brown sugar and stir.  Cook on medium high heat until soft and caramelized, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Dress the tacos with a few tablespoons each of squash, onions, cilantro, black bean salsa and queso fresco. - makes 6 tacos
I didn't have any ground achiote, so I looked up some possible substitutes.   For 1 teaspoon of achiote, use 1/2 teaspoon of tumeric and 1/2 teaspoon of paprika.   Mitchell, said that he could have done without the sweet caramelized onions, but I personally enjoyed them.  I didn't make any black bean/corn salsa to go with these, but I will next time.  I thought the flavors were great, but it lacked a crunch factor that the corn would have given it.

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