There is a chill in the wind, leaves falling from the trees and the temps dip into the low 50′s at night here. We grab sweaters and jackets when we leave the house and it’s dark when we get home. It’s Fall…with Winter fast on her heels.
Thankfully God has brightened our chilly Fall days and Winter nights with glorious beautiful squash….Acorn and Kabocha we will spotlight today, but there are many others. Speghetti, Butternut, Delicata, Hubbard, Turbin and yes….Pumpkin!, just to name a few.
Until the recent rise in popularity of butternut squash, acorn squash were the most commonly available squash in the U.S. They are a great all-around squash, with moist, sweet, tender flesh. They are good for roasting, baking, steaming, mashing, and sauteeing. Smaller ones are perfect for stuffing and make an excellent vegetarian main course for special occasions like Thanksgiving.
Acorn squash are round, with even groves around the entire squash. They are mostly dark green, with occasional splotches of orange and yellow. The flesh is a slightly yellowish pumpkin orange. They tend to weight between 12 oz. and 2 pounds.
Kabocha squash have a remarkably sweet and tender flesh with a slightly nutty flavor. The peel is really more of a rind and is difficult to cut. The dense, smooth, sweet flesh is so tasty it needs very little fuss in preparation. Roasting it or slicing and baking it with a bit of butter or oil and salt are all this delicious squash needs. The dense flesh also holds its shaped with cooked, even in liquids, which makes it perfect for using as chunks in soups or steamed dishes. It pairs well with ginger and sesame as well.
Kabocha squash are large, round, and squat. They are dark green and mottled, often with bumpy skin and make lovely table decoration until they’re cooked.
We couldn’t end this post without some recipes for the season and to celebrate the wonderful bounty from God!
Baked Acorn Squash
- 2 Acorn Squash, halved lengthwise, seeded and bottoms trimmed to lie flat
- 1/4 C. Heavy Cream
- 8 Springs of Thyme (you may use dried to sprinkle)
- 1/2 C. Grated Parmesan Cheese
- Preheat oven to 375.
- Place squash halves cut side up on a baking sheet and season with salt and pepper.
- Divide cream and thyme among the halves.
- Bake until squash is tender when pierced with the tip of a sharp knife, 35-40 minutes.
- Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and bake until cheese is melted.
Autumn Pork Chops – Crock Pot Alert!
- 6 Thick pork chops
- 2 Medium acorn squash
- 3/4 teaspoon Salt
- 2 tablespoons Margarine, melted
- 3/4 cup Brown sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon Kitchen Bouquet or brownn sauce
- 1 tablespoon Orange juice
- 1/2 teaspoon Orange peel, grated
- Trim excess fat from pork chops.
- Cut each squash into 4 or 5 crosswise slices; remove seeds.
- Arrange 3 chops on bottom of Crock pot.
- Place all squash slices on top; then another layer of three remaining chops.
- Combine salt, butter, sugar, bouquet sauce, orange juice and orange peel.
- Spoon over chops.
- Cover and cook on low 6−8 hours or until done.
- Serve one or two slices of squash with each pork chop.
Autumn Chicken, Rice & Kabocha…Oh My!
- 2 Tbsp oil, divided
- 6 skin-on chicken thighs
- Salt and pepper
- 1 Med. white onion, diced
- 1/2 Lrg. Kabocha Squash, seeded and cut into large chunks (4 Cups)
- 2 Cloves Garlic, minced
- 6 Sprigs Oregano (or can use dried)
- 1 1/2 C. Whole Wheat & Wild Rice
- 1/4 C. Chardonnay wine
- 3 1/2 C. Chicken Broth
- Preheat oven to 375.
- In large heavy pot with tight fitting lid, heat 1 Tbsp oil over high heat.
- Season chicken with salt and pepper.
- Working in batches, cook chicken skin side down till golden brown 6-8 minutes. Flip, cook 1 minute more.
- Transfer to plate, discard fat, wipe pot clean.
- Reduce heat to medium, add remaining oil to pot.
- Add onion and squash and cook till onion is translucent – 8 minutes or so.
- Add garlic and oregano and cook till fragrant.
- Add rice and cook, stirring until opaque.
- Add wine and cook, stirring, till completely evaporated.
- Return chicken to pot, skin side up, add broth, sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Bring to a boil, cover, transfer to oven and cook till liquid is absorbed and rice is tender.
- Approx 25 minutes. Let sit, covered for 10 minutes.
This article can also be viewed at Simply-Living-Simply