Lunchbreak: The Commons Club chef Rick Gresh makes chips n dip

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Rick Gresh

The Commons Club at Virgin Hotels Chicago
203 N. Wabash
(312) 940-4400

Chips N Dip
Makes 4 Dips

1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded
1 shallot, minced
2 chili, fresno, or tsien tsien, chopped fine
1/2 cup bacon, diced
2 cups vegetable stock
2 Tbs olive oil
1/2 cup crème fraiche
4 Tbs cilantro, rough chopped
spice-toasted pumpkin seeds, as garnish
salt and pepper, as needed
tortilla chips

Medium dice 2 cups of butternut squash.  Cut the rest of the squash into 1-inch pieces. Render the bacon until almost crispy, remove bacon, reserve for later use and leave bacon fat in the pan. Add the shallot and sweat until translucent.  Add the chili and large diced squash and the vegetable stock. Bring to a simmer and cook until tender.  Using a whisk puree the softened squash, reduce the moisture out of it over low heat stirring often to a mashed potato consistency, keep warm. In a separate pan in a small amount of olive oil saute the butternut squash until tender. Add the diced squash and 3/4 of the crispy bacon to the puree and fold together.  Adjust seasoning.  Divide the squash into bowls.  Top with remaining crispy bacon, pumpkin seeds, drizzle the cream fraiche on top.  Top with cilantro, serve with tortilla chips.

Pumpkin Seeds

1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp salt
1 Tbs olive oil

Combine everything together. Spread out evenly onto a sheet pan and toast in a 350F oven for approximately five minutes, until toasted.  Set aside to cool