Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Easy Roasted Acorn Squash

On a note completely unrelated to the contents of this post: This blog's Facebook page finally has enough people "liking" it that I could assign it an actual username!  This is pretty exciting for me.  Ahh, the little things in life...  At any rate, if you use Facebook and get some enjoyment/amusement out of reading this blog, please swing by http://www.facebook.com/HeyWhoCutTheCheese and "like" the page if you haven't already.  Thanks!

Now, to the recipe.  I love squash.  Butternut, spaghetti, acorn, pumpkin (hello?! my family had to plead with me to stop making pumpkin-based recipes)...  you name it; I'll likely eat it.  In addition to them being pretty delicious, it's nice to be able to eat foods that are in season.  Not that I adhere to this principle really strictly, but it's still nice.

Recipes like this can be found all over the place, but you can use this recipe as a template if you'd like.  I don't really use any strict measurements, so feel free to play with it until you arrive at something you like.

You'll need:

1 acorn squash, halved with seeds and guts scooped out
~1 butter
~1-2 tbs brown sugar
maple syrup

Start by preheating your oven to 400 degrees F.

This is an acorn squash.

It can be prepared in a variety of ways, but I find that peeling it can be a little tedious, so I always just slice it in half.  

Scrape out the seeds and discard them.  Or keep them and roast them like you would pumpkin seeds.  

Score the flesh of the squash with a knife, being careful to not cut the whole way through.  Spread some butter on each of the halves of squash.  I like to take a stick of butter and just rub the end of that stick onto the squash, using the wax paper wrapper as a handle.  Sprinkle some brown sugar and give each half a drizzle of maple syrup.  Finish the whole thing with a small sprinkling of salt.

Set the squash, cut sides up, in a baking dish with ~1/2 inch of water in the bottom.  The water will help to prevent the squash from drying out while baking.

Slide the dish into your preheated oven and bake for 1 hour - 1 hour and 15 minutes.  Check it after 1 hour, though.  The squash should be very soft and the tops starting to brown.  

Let it cool for a little bit before digging in.  You can spoon some of the syrupy liquid in the base of the squash over the other exposed areas.  It can be served as is in its own built in "bowl".

Acorn squash are sweet on their own, and this sweetness is accentuated by the sugar-butter-maple syrup mixture.  I usually portion out 1/2 a squash per person as a side dish, although I could easily eat an entire squash by myself.  It's that good.  Enjoy!

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