Chef Ian Thurwacther and his wife Chef Krystal Craig joined forces with Made In to teach us a thing or two about hosting a dinner party at home. (Fun fact: Chef Ian Thurwacther and Chef Krystal Craig are the first
Made In Chef Ambassadors
Even though they’ve garnered a reputation for serving up handmade pasta and elegantly prepared mains at their Austin Texas hot-spot, Intero restaurant, they’ve mastered the art of using simple ingredients and perfectly honed techniques to make dishes like squash taste otherworldly. While preparing for a dinner party at home with friends, Ian taught us how to make his award-worthy squash. When you the technique down like Ian, it’s an easy dish to throw into your dinner party or family dinner rotation.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and grab a stainless steel skillet and get ready for a stove to oven chang- up.
While the oven is heating, take the squash and slice it in half, lengthwise and cut off the ends. Squash can have a tough exterior, so make sure you use a good chef’s knife and have a towel to keep the squash from sliding.
Take your knife and gentle score the squash in diagonal cuts across its meat to help the squash absorb salt and oil for a richer taste. When it’s scored, salt pretty liberally with some kosher salt and let it sit for five minutes to help dry out the squash.
Heat the skillet over medium heat. Once hot, drizzle some olive oil into the pan and move it around to help coat the base of the pan.
Drop the squash in the pan, face down (aka meat against the pan).
Press the squash into the pan so that it makes complete contact with the pan and can start developing a tasty caramelized Millard reaction on the meat.
Leave the squash cooking, face side down, for the next 2-3 minutes. Don’t flip it!
At this point, the oven should be 350 degrees. Transfer the pan from the stove top to the oven and cook for 10 minutes - maybe more if your squash is bigger.
When the squash is done, use a fork to pierce through the skin. If it pierces easily, and the squash is soft, it’s done! If it’s tough or hard to pierce, keep cooking!
Plate squash “meat” side up so can admire the caramel crisp! Top with pesto, toasted almonds to together the sweet, salty, and savory flavors!
Want to see it play out in (almost) real-time with Ian himself? Watch his technique video below.