Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Acorn Squash

Oh, Acorn Squash. Where have you been all my life? I know I've loved your cousin, Butternut, for many years. But you, oh, you! You're peppery and sweet, fragrant and tasty! And so easy to prepare. I am thinking up all kinds of meals that can feature you, you delicious fall fruit, you!

Okay. Enough of the musings on Acorn Squash. I just couldn't help myself.

I hope you will trot on out and pick up some Acorn Squash today. It is so good, an excellent accompaniment to pork (which I had it with---baked pork chops that had been brined in a cider brine and were glazed with a cider balsamic sauce), chicken, or even on its own stuffed with sausage, wild rice and other veggies. Yum!

Here is how I prepared the acorn squash the other day, with great success:

Start by cutting the squash in two after it has been cleaned on the outside (you don't want to bring any germs or dirt inside when you slice it through).  Ooh! Don't forget to preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

Then, scoop out the "innards" of the squash---all the seeds and membranes---using a spoon.

Now, set the squash halves in a muffin tin. See how well the muffin tin holds them? I'm a clever little monkey, no?!?

In a small bowl, mix together 1-2 tablespoons of softened butter, 2-3 TB of brown sugar, and 1 or 2 TB of maple syrup. Add to that a pinch of kosher salt and a few cranks of freshly ground pepper to taste.

Now slather that magic butter on the insides of the squash.

Bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes to 1 hour.

And then, eat the squashy deliciousness right out of the squash halves. Mix in the buttery syrupy sugary puddle and serve in a separate dish. You'll love it!

Acorn Squash
Serves 1-4 people, depending on who they are and how much good sense they possess.

1 acorn squash, washed and halved
2 TB. softened unsalted butter
2-3 TB. brown sugar, packed
1-2 TB. maple syrup (not Mrs. Butterworth's...the real deal only!)
kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Scoop out the insides of squash halves, including all seeds and membranes. Place squash halves in a muffin tin to stabilize for baking. In a small bowl, mix together remaining ingredients. Slather on the insides of the squash halves. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour in a 400 degree oven until tender. Serve as squash halves, or scoop out insides and mash gently to serve. Enjoy!

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