Help me identify this delicious side dish?

Last year, I think it was around Christmas or Thanksgiving, I had a meal in a nice local restaurant. It was a turkey dinner, so I’m pretty sure it was around the holidays.

In a side ramekin, there was this… stuff. It was orangey brown, a little lighter in color than a pumpkin pie. It was rich, heavier in texture than a pudding, but just as smooth. A hint of sweetness, but it was a savory dish.

I don’t know what it was, but I want it. I want it now!

Does it sound like a squash dish of some sort? I’m pretty ignorant of the various permutations of squash.

Sounds like pureed squash. Butternut squash is a likely candidate–it is thick and creamy in texture like pumpkin. Possibly they added butter and cream. You can sweeten it, but it is fine on it’s own or with some spice like nutmeg or cinnamon.

Another possibility would be sweet potato, prepared in a similar way.

Thanks! Do you have any specific recipes I could maybe follow?

Could be carrot, too. I had some sort of carrot puree/pudding as a sidedish at a local Cajun restaraunt that fits the description and it was surprisingly tasty.

I don’t cook, though, so I’m not help otherwise.

You could call the restaurant (during the slow time of day) and ask them what it was…I’m sure the chef would remember. And maybe he or she would offer to make you some!

I think I would recognize carrot. I think.

This wasn’t as sweet as a cooked carrot.

Of course, it could be a mixture of all sorts of things.

I make a pureed butternut squash recipe that’s divine. The recipe’s from Joy of Cooking and is ridiculously easy. It’s for any winter squash, but I find butternut squash yummy and very easy to work with. I don’t have the book in front of me, but the recipe is basically: peel the squash, cook it (I cut it into chunks and steam it for about 20 minutes; baking it takes too long), mash it. For every 1 cup of pureed squash add (I can’t remember the amounts off the top of my head) nutmeg, brown sugar, ground ginger, and a ton of butter. The ginger is key. She also adds cream or OJ to thin it a bit, but I usually leave that out. It’s in the original version of Joy.

I get repeated requests from family to make this dish. It’s awesome.

I made this for my family one year - they want it every year now. (Laura isn’t my name, it’s the name of the person who made up the recipe.) :slight_smile:

6 C squash meat (hubbard or butternut)
¼ # unsalted butter
½ C heavy cream
2/3 C maple syrup
¼ t cinnamon
3/8 t freshly grated nutmeg
1 t coarse kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
¾ C chopped pecans or walnuts

Cut the peeled and seeded squash into small pieces and cook in boiling water until very softy (about 20 minutes). Drain.

Puree the squash in a food processor or blender, or mash by hand, 2 cups at a time. Return to saucepan and stir in the remaining ingredients. Blend well. Turn into a warm serving dish. Serve very hot.

Another vote for squash, sweet potato or a mixture of the two. Both are Thanksgiving dinner traditions in my family. As a bonus, they’re insanely good for you if you don’t totally overdo the butter and sugar; they’re among the foods highest in vitamin A, and have a good amount of fiber and relatively low calories.

might be a sweet potato pone. my recipe card is at home, but it makes a somewhat custard-y but light dish. i’ll try and dig it out tonight.

i thought it was quite tasty. the recipe was part of a whole collection of cards (complete with storage box) that someone had put up for adoption at our office kitchen. i thought that one alone made the adoption worthwhile.

I’m sure this is not what you had, but I’ll offer the recipe.

Boil some sweet potatoes until they are soft. Peel. Mash with butter, brown sugar, sour cream, salt, pepper, and a dash of brandy. Spread into a baking dish and dot with brown sugar and butter. Bake. Serve with a complete turkey dinner. Eat. Sleep. Wake me when there’s pie.

No, I don’t measure ingredients.

These recipes sound really good. I’ll admit none of them sound like they’d end up with quite the dish I remember, but I’m going to try them all (eventually) anyway.

The ramekin part makes me wonder if it was some kind of custard–pumpkin, squash or sweet potato. Here’s an example recipe:

Just wanna add,since we are talking about sweet potatos,they are wonderful just baked in an oven…no sugar,cinnamon or (ugh)marshmallows…just plain ol’ sweet potatos(with butter)…Yum!

Carrots can be made into a sweet (but not overly sweet) souffle that is fluffy and wonderful. I also make a sweet potato souffle that falls every stinkin’ year but still tastes great. It’s a little fluffier than the regular sweet potato casserole dish but not a light as you describe. I can look for recipes tonight. The carrot one I kind of make off the top of my head.