Sunday, October 11, 2009

Unintended Benefits: Stuffed Acorn Squash

When Molly moved in across the way, I wasn't entirely sure what the balance of seeing each other would be, just that it was going to be awesome to have my best friend of the last ten years living in a separate apartment across the hall from mine. We hadn't lived in the same city (or country half the time) since high school so having her so close had some obvious pro's.

I love living alone but once and awhile you just want someone else to help kill the leftover wine, eat some of the salmon/pie/pancakes etc. Who better for that challenge? Since moving to Wicked Park, I've gradually recruited several A-team players to the neighborhood but again, the convenience of having Mols across the way has yet to stop feeling like a total coup.
Take for instance a recent evening when we both discovered we'd be home (only happens once every couple weeks). One of the unintended benefits of having a buddy in the house is that we get twice the options. We both take stock of what we've got in our pantries, crispers and freezers and can typically concoct a delicious dinner with shared dirty dishes. We actually both hate dishes enough that we bring our own to each other's apartments. That's a buddy.

I started my list with one thing I love (squash, specifically acorn) and one thing I have an abundance of (apples). Preheated the oven to 400 then set about making a stuffing for two acorn halves that had been gutted of their seeds.

What we've got here is 3 Tablespoons of butter with 1 Tablespoon of brown sugar cut in with a pastry cutter (you could also just dice finely and toss them together). From there, I added a diced apple that had been peeled and cored on my magic machine and a handful of sliced almonds. Then I inexplicably nuked it for 20 seconds. I think to make it easier to get a uniform stuffing (seen above). For other unknown reasons, I sprinkled a little flour over the top- maybe intuition? Maybe but more than likely I was just getting carried away with my own spontaneity. I'm lucky it turned out this time but please refrain from throwing a dash of coriander into apple pie. Trust.

To be completely over the top, I drizzled a little maple syrup over the top. Which is how this came to be known as dessert to Molly's delicious pasta bake dinner. These went into the 400F oven for 45 minutes. Yes, that sounds like awhile but again, trust. Trying to eat undercooked squash with all that goodness wiling away inside it is futile and sad. Think Sisyphus and his boulder. 45 minutes and not a second less.

Because after 45 minutes. you have this glistening golden flesh with crisp apples and almonds heaving forth from the center. As you can see here, I got so excited that I went in for a bite before remembering to snap a shot. Whoops. Glad I did though because it erased any lingering doubt that the photos were taken in vain. Delicious. It tasted bright and the apples were steamed from the inside of the squash but crisp on the outside.

We eventually exchanged our dinner forks for spoons. Because why waste it?

As an added note, I was inspired/amused by the divine Kristen at FlexyFare who loved on her acorn squash last week for "Hug-A-Carb" month in which we are enticed to hug an unsuspecting carbohydrate.

" I went all the way to second base with my carb. Watch out, acorn squashes of the world! I admired it, then hugged it." -FF

Got a few giggles out of that one.


nicoleantoinette said...

I've been in squash lover overload at the Union Square Greenmarket here in NYC lately. Fall is really the best food season.

Shannalee said...

Love this. Crossing my fingers there will be another acorn squash or two in my last CSA box this weekend, so I can try this out!