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SQUASH-O-RAMA

Mea culpa. I’ve been a wee bit negligent in posting recipes for Fall. In order to make up for my laxness, I’ve collected two of my favorite hard-shell squash recipes that just shout “Yeah! I’m what you want when the weather turns crisp!” Or, something like that.

Photo courtesy of: thecitrusguy.blogspot.com
Photo courtesy of:
thecitrusguy.blogspot.com

Both recipes are originally from Southern Living magazine (November 2001).

The first recipe is Acorn Squash with Pear Stuffing. I’ve never been a big fan of acorn squash. It’s just bland. My mom would either add a ton of brown sugar to it or stuff it with a rice mixture. Both o.k., but my tastebuds weren’t ever that thrilled. This recipe, however, offers just the right balance of sweetness and heartiness. The pear stuffing with nutmeg and ginger blend impeccably with the squash and the orange juice syrup adds a lovely acidity. Serve with roasted chicken or a slow roasted pork loin slathered with olive oil and Goya Adobo seasoning.

Acorn Squash with Pear Stuffing

INGREDIENTS:

2 acorn squash
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 small onion, chopped
2 medium pears, peeled and chopped
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
2 tablespoons bourbon
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 1/2 cups orange juice
3/4 cup sugar

WHAT TO DO:

Cut each squash in half lengthwise; remove and discard seeds and membranes. Place squash halves, cut side down, in a 13- x 9-inch baking dish. Add water to depth of 1 inch.

Bake, covered, at 400° for 45 minutes. Drain. Return squash halves to dish, cut side up. Set aside.

Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat; add onion, and cook, stirring occasionally, 20 minutes. Add pear and next 5 ingredients; cook, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes. Spoon mixture into squash halves.

Bake at 350° for 15 to 20 minutes.

Bring orange juice to boil in a small saucepan. Stir in sugar, and boil 10 minutes. Serve over squash.

The second recipe is Squash Puff, made with butternut squash. The original recipe is great; however, I doctored mine up a bit by substituting the heavy cream for fat-free evaporated milk (must keep that trim waistline you know!) and adding some unsweetened homemade applesauce to the mixture. In addition, I baked mine in individual ramekins rather than in one soufflé dish.

SQUASH PUFF

INGREDIENTS:

1 medium butternut squash (about 1 1/2 pounds)
3 large eggs, separated
1 1/4 cups whipping cream (or, 1 1/4 c. fat-free evaporated milk)
1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
1/4 cup maple syrup
3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons slivered almonds
Optional: 1/4 c. unsweetened apple sauce

WHAT TO DO:

Cut squash in half lengthwise; remove and discard seeds and membranes. Place squash halves, cut side down, in a 13- x 9-inch baking dish. Add water to depth of 1 inch.
Bake, covered, at 375° for 30 to 40 minutes. Let cool; scoop out pulp, and mash.

Beat pulp, egg yolks, whipping cream (or evaporated milk), and next 5 ingredients (including apple sauce if you want to add it) at medium speed with an electric mixer until blended. Set mixture aside.

Beat egg whites at high speed until stiff peaks form; gently fold into squash mixture.

Spoon into a lightly greased 2-quart souffle dish. Sprinkle with almonds.

Bake at 350° for 55 minutes or until puffed and golden (Note: If baking in individual ramekins, the baking time is shorter; keep an eye on them after about 20-25 minutes or so). Serve immediately.

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