Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Fall Recipes: Acorn Squash

I love acorn squash and thought I would share a few tips and recipes in honor of the Canadian Thanksgiving which is on Monday, October 10. Our Canadian friends tend to fix the same type of traditional foods that we do for our American Thanksgiving. Acorn is the perfect squash to serve for a holiday meal or a Sunday dinner. It's easy to cook, and goes well with any main dish.

If the squash is larger in size it should be cut in half with a very sharp knife. Place the squash on a cutting board that has been placed on top of a towel. This will help keep it from slipping. Remove the seeds and loose pulp, then place it in a baking dish cut side down. Bake the squash at 350 degrees F. for about 30 minutes or until it tests tender using a fork.

Acorn squash can be cooked then mashed and used in any recipe that calls for pumpkin, including pies and bread. There are quite a few types of acorn squash, and they can all be used the same, regardless of color, etc.

Stuffed Acorn Squash
The Farm Journal, 1968

3 medium acorn squash
1 1/2 cups soft bread crumbs
1 cup grated sharp cheese
1/4 cup softened butter or margarine
3 tbsp. chopped green pepper
2 tbsp. chopped onion
1 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper

Split squash, remove seeds. Place cut side down in baking pan. Bake in hot oven (400 degrees F.) for 45 minutes until tender.

Remove from oven. When cool enough to handle, scoop out pulp, leaving shells 1/4 inch thick. Mash pulp; add remaining ingredients. Pile lightly into shells and bake at 350 degrees F. until lightly browned-- about 30 minutes. Makes 6 servings.

This is from the 20th Century Cookbook, published in 1905. They lump winter squash into one category, but that would include acorn, hubbard, butternut etc. The text is directly from the book:

Baked Winter Squash: Boil or steam, mash and let get cold, then beat up light with 1 tablespoon melted butter, 2 raw eggs, 3 tablespoons milk; pepper and salt to taste. Put in buttered bake dish, sift dry crumbs over the top and bake in a quick oven. (note: quick oven would be 250-300 degrees F.)

Baked Squash L'Elegante: Boil or steam. Drain and put in a baking dish, put over them bits of butter, pepper and salt, sprinkle thickly with sugar, and bake in the oven a nice brown.

Stuffed Acorn Squash
McCall's Cook Book, 1963

2 medium acorn squash
1/2 pound sausage meat, sliced
2 tbsp. finely chopped onion
3/4 cup finely chopped pared apple
1/4 tsp. dried oregano leaves

Preheat oven 375 degrees F. Scrub squash. Cut in half crosswise, scoop out seed and stringy portion. Sprinkle squash with salt. Place, cut side down, in shallow baking pan. Add hot water to measure 1/2 inch. Bake, uncovered, 30 minutes or until tender. Meanwhile, in medium skillet, saute sausage meat until browned, breaking it into small chunks with fork as it browns.

Remove sausage from skillet; set aside. Drain all except 2 tbsp. drippings from skillet. Add onion, saute until golden. Return sausage with the remaining ingredients to skillet, tossing lightly. Fill squash halves with mixture, bake uncovered 30 minutes.

Notes: I'm not sure what sausage they used originally for this but I use breakfast sausage. Rather than slice and break into chunks as mentioned, I put the ground sausage in the pan and break it up with a wooden spoon as it cooks. I doubt I have 2 tbsp. of drippings left when it's done but it works with less to saute the onion.

Try this Roasted Butternut Squash Soup recipe from OFL:


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