Roasted Cauliflower with Cocoa and Paprika
A head of cauliflower
Take a head of cauliflower, get rid of the leafy bits, and slice it about finger width thick. (It's easiest to cut the whole thing in half, remove the stem and leaves, and then slice the halves cross-wise.)
Put it in a big bowl and drizzle it with olive oil. Add a couple hefty pinches of kosher salt and sprinkle it with a fair amount of paprika. You can add a little black pepper, if you like. Toss it all around until everything is well-mixed and the cauliflower is nicely coated with oil and kinda orange from the paprika.
Spread the cauliflower out into a single layer on a baking sheet. Dust it with unsweetened cocoa powder.
Stick it in the oven at 350 degrees until the cauliflower is soft and juicy, about half an hour.
A large-ish butternut squash*
1.5 tbsp oil
3 cloves' worth of chopped garlic
heaping tablespoon of grated ginger
6 small or 3 large shallots, chopped
1 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 cup chicken stock
2 tbsp fish sauce
Peel the squash and cut it into bite-sized pieces.
Heat the oil in a heavy pan. Add the ginger, garlic, and shallots and cook over medium for 3 minutes, stirring regularly.
Add the squash and sprinkle it with the sugar. Cook for 7 or 8 minutes, turning regularly.
Add the chicken stock and fish sauce and bring to a boil. (Deglaze the pan while you're at it.) Then reduce heat and simmer, turning squash regularly, until all the liquid has evaporated. This could take a while, like 20 minutes. Eventually, the liquidy ginger-garlic-etc stuff will go from just being in the same pan as squash to actually coating the pieces.
Sprinkle with lime juice and serve. (With toothpicks, it works as potluck finger food.)
*Yes, the recipe is named and calls for pumpkin (a little 1.5 pounder), but eating pumpkins are hard to come by most of the year and are a big pain to peel, so I use a butternut squash instead. It's just as good, if not better.