Let me guess..The friends, family, co-worker, neighborhood holiday parties are filling your calendar and you’re trying to decide what food to bring. We all want to bring a great dish to the party, but we don’t want to slave over the stove while our friends are laughing and drinking bottles of bubbly in the other room without us! The solution is a dish that you can prep ahead of time, just pop into the oven and serve.
What makes this particular dish even better than simply easy to put together, is the fact that the flavor of brie and cranberries puts you and your fellow party goers instantly in the holiday spirit. Plus in my opinion, you can never go wrong with caramelized onions.
Preheat Oven to 400 degrees
- 2 cups butternut squash, peeled & diced (Isadore Farm)
- 1 yellow onion (Birch Point Farm)
- 3 garlic cloves, minced (Birch Point Farm)
- 2 cup dried cranberries
- 1 bag tortilla chips
- 8 oz Fontina
- 8 oz Brie
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp cayenne
- 2 tsp chili powder
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- 2 tbsp sunflower oil (Grand Traverse Culinary Oils)
- salt & pepper to taste
- 1 cup pure cranberry juice
- 3 tbsp. brown sugar
In a cast iron pan (or sauce pan) put sunflower oil on medium heat and toss butternut squash in the oil, adding the brown sugar and a little salt and pepper. Cover with a lid and stir frequently to prevent burning, until the squash is tender (6-8 minutes). Add in onions, garlic and spices (cayenne, chili powder, red pepper flakes) and stir until onions are translucent. Place contents of the pan into a bowl and set aside.
In the same cast iron pan you cooked the squash in, layer a third of your tortilla chips, a third of the squash, a third of the cheese and a third of the cranberries. Continue in this pattern to fill up the pan and use all your ingredients.
Place the nachos in the oven for 15 minutes or until the cheese is melted and voila!
The addition of homemade cranberry molasses drizzled over the top of the nachos is optional and yet advised. The molasses is so simple to make. Just combine the pure cranberry juice and brown sugar in a pot. Boil the contents and turn to medium heat until much of the liquid is evaporated and the sauce is thick like molasses.
I hope this dish can help you through the annual “what-to-bring” dilemma. If nothing else, I hope it has inspired some creative holiday flavors in your kitchen.
May your days be merry & bright, and may all your Christmases delight!