Acorn Squash – not just for decorating

[ 0 ] November 4, 2013 |

By My Chef Lara

I love the fall for its leaves but especially for its food! There is nothing like the warm smells of slow roasting beef brisket or fabulous soups and the best accompaniment to almost any fall food is squash!

Acorn SquashWe are all very familiar with butternut squash but I have found that people are a little bit stymied by acorn squash. Many people use it for decorating their fall tables but acorn squash is a fabulous cooking squash and it is now exactly in season.

Below are some tips regarding this wonderful gourd:

  • In Season: Acorn squash is at its peak in the fall, from early October through December, though many supermarkets carry it year-round.
  • What to Look For: With its ridged, dark-green skin, sweet yellow-orange flesh, and handy size, acorn squash is one of the most popular winter squashes. Choose acorn squash that is heavy for its size, with a hard skin free of blemishes.
  • How to Store: The squash’s sturdy exterior allows it to be stored at room temperature for up to one month, or longer if kept in a cool, dark place.

Below I have given you two recipes. One is a soup recipe because “soup is good food”, and the second is a quick and easy way to prepare squash as a side dish.  Experiment with acorn squash and enjoy the fall season!

Also — Please come to My Chef Lara’s 2nd Annual Soup Night Celebration. It is a free event on Nov. 16th which helps to raise money for the RI Food Bank. Bring a bowl, a spoon and a friend!

Roasted Acorn Squash Soup with Horseradish and Apples

ml911i4_1199_roasted_acorn_squash_soup_hd copy 2Sweet, mellow acorn squash gets zing from horseradish and Granny Smith apples. This soup is also delicious when made with roasted beets or carrots in place of the squash.

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 acorn squash (about 3 pounds total)
  • 3 1/2 cups Homemade Chicken Stock, or canned low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth, skimmed of fat
  • 1 1/2 cups apple cider
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated horseradish
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Granny Smith apples (about 1 pound)
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • Olive-oil cooking spray

DIRECTIONS

1.  Heat oven to 450 degrees. Cut acorn squash in half lengthwise, scoop out seeds, and place, cut side down, on a baking sheet coated with olive-oil cooking spray. Roast until tender, about 45 minutes.

2.  Combine chicken stock, apple cider, 1 teaspoon horseradish, salt, and pepper in a medium saucepan, and bring to a simmer. Scoop squash flesh out of skins, and place in the bowl of a food processor. Add 1 cup hot stock mixture, and puree until smooth. Stir squash mixture into pan with remaining stock, and keep soup warm.

3.  Peel and core apples, and cut into 1/4-inch dice. Transfer to a small bowl, add lemon juice and remaining 2 teaspoons horseradish, and toss to combine. Heat a medium sautepan coated with olive-oil cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add apple mixture, and saute until golden brown. Serve soup garnished with sauteed apple mixture and chopped parsley.

Source: Martha Stewart

Chili-Roasted Acorn Squash

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A hot oven and chili powder turn up the heat on sweet wedges of acorn squash. Leave the skin intact; once roasted, it becomes soft and tasty.

Get the Chili-Roasted Acorn Squash Recipe

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 acorn squash (1 1/2 pounds each), halved lengthwise, seeds removed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper

DIRECTIONS

1.   Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Cut each squash half into several wedges, then halve wedges crosswise.

2.  On a large rimmed baking sheet, toss squash with oil and chili powder; season with salt and pepper, and toss again. Roast until tender and starting to brown, 20 to 25 minutes, tossing halfway through.

Source: Martha Stewart

My Chef Lara cooks fabulous food which can be frozen and reheated at your convenience. All we need is your stove, sink and freezer – we take care of everything else. Cooking classes and parties also available to be booked. Come see our services at www.mycheflara.com

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