Part of my frugal fall is eating more seasonally in order to keep my food budget in line. With so many wonderful options it is easier to say goodbye the melons and berries of summer and hello to the fall vegetables like squashes and root vegetables. The prices are just right and the deeps yellows and golds mean they are packed with vitamins that we need during the shorter and colder days that are coming.
While I love them all I will fess up a special love of Acorn Squash and lucky for me my kids love it too so you will see it being eaten at least once a week around here for the next couple of months.
I know a lot of people are a bit intimidated by preparing squash of any sort ( I still struggle with cutting up a Butter Nut) so I thought I share what I do with ours. First off look for squash that is full and the lobes are generally smooth, no "dry skin" wrinkles and it should not rattle when you shake it. Over all it should feel heavy for it's size and the stem should be dry and intact ( not soft or wobbly)
When you bring them home they can sit in a coolish and dry location for a while but I never keep them for more than 2 weeks without a loss of quality. I don't wash them until I am ready to use them and keep an eye for soft spots, that mean rot has set in!
To prepare my Acorn Squash in the most simple way I cut off the stem end to level it and then I cut off the opposite tip end making a level base for each side. I then cut it in half with a very heavy butchers knife and sometimes a wooden mallet! LOVE THIS VIDEO ON CUTTING IT OPEN
After splitting them in half I scoop out the seeds and stray fibers and then lightly salt the bowl area. I then rub them in a bit of oil. The oil you choose can be a neutral oil for a lighter taste or I often use toasted sesame oil for a richer deeper flavor.
Into the oven face down ( bowl down) for 30 minutes at 375ish then flip them over and 2 ish minutes face up until soft and golden brown.
From there anything goes. If we are going simple we just add some butter and eat up. Other times I fill them with chicken or beef curry and serve. And if feeling VERY decadent we pour in some heated cream and then mash it up in place and it makes a creamy squash soup sort of thing...so good!
The price is right... go eat some squash!