Posts Tagged 'Acorn Squash'

Acorn Squash Bisque

Last week’s kitchen equation: Dr. O had sinus surgery and deserved some liquid TLC + two lovely acorn squashes in my refrigerator (the very end of my final CSA delivery!) = a batch of Acorn Squash Bisque.  It’s easy, delicious, and perfect for comforting someone you love (including yourself!).

Acorn Squash Bisque
Prep time: 20 min. | Total time: 35 min.
Serves 4

Ingredients:
2 acorn squashes (3 pounds total)
1 tablespoon butter
1 medium onion, finely chopped
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, plus more for garnish
1 can (14 1/2 ounces) reduced-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup half-and-half

Method:
Place squashes on a paper towel and microwave on high just until tender when pierced with the tip of a paring knife, 8 to 10 minutes.  Remove from the microwave, and halve each squash lengthwise (to speed cooling).  When cool enough to handle, scoop out and discard the seeds.  Scrape out flesh into a bowl; discard skin.  (To prepare in oven, preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Halve squash lengthwise; scoop out and discard seeds.  Place squash, cut side down, on a rimmed baking sheet; cover tightly with aluminum foil.  Roast until almost tender when pierced with a knife, 15 to 25 minutes.  When cool enough to handle, scrape out flesh, discard skin, and proceed with step 2.)

In a large saucepan, heat butter over medium.  Add onion; season with salt and pepper.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 3 to 5 minutes.  Add squash, thyme, broth, and 2 cups water.  Bring to a boil over high heat; reduce to medium, and cook until squash is very tender, 10 to 12 minutes.

Working in batches, puree mixture in a blender until very smooth, about 1 minute. Return to pan; add half-and-half, and season generously with salt and pepper.  Thin bisque, if needed, by adding more water.  Serve garnished with thyme.

Source: Everyday Food, November 2007

My notes:

  • I prepared my squash in the microwave.  Mine were two different sizes, and one of them needed more like 10 – 12 minutes for the flesh to be tender enough to scoop out.  The flesh will still be a lot firmer than you’re used to if you’ve roasted squash before, but it will finish cooking in the broth and water.
  • I used my immersion blender instead of transferring the soup to a regular blender.  (Best tool ever!)
  • I did not need to thin my bisque.

Acorn Squash Bisque

Yum!  This soup was creamy and comforting – just what we needed.  I’ve written before about not being super crazy about acorn squash, but this had such a mild flavor.  If I hadn’t made it myself, I might have thought we were eating potato soup… Perhaps this recipe would be good for pulling a fast one on the squash averse.

Anyway, we loved it, and I’ll certainly make it again.

Recipe link: Acorn Squash Bisque

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Molasses-Glazed Turkey Breast with Acorn Squash

When I first started cooking with meat several years ago, it was like putting my pinkie toe in the shallow end of the swimming pool. Initially, I could hardly stand to handle raw boneless, skinless chicken breast. (My mother still dislikes this!) Then I had to get over putting both hands into a bowl of ground beef or pork to make meatballs. Just 15 months ago, I was squeamish when I had to help with the prep work on some red chile and pork in Las Cruces.

Within the last year or so, though, a switch has flipped and I’ve been trying to expand my meat repertoire. I’ve done pretty well with brisket, pork shoulder, pork tenderloin, and a few steaks, but I’ve never tried a turkey. I figured it would be a bit excessive to cook a whole turkey for two people, so I decided to try a recipe (Molasses-Glazed Turkey Breast and Acorn Squash from the September 2006 issue of Everyday Food) that called for a larger skin-on, boneless turkey breast.

Except I couldn’t find one.

Central Market had packages of boneless, skinless turkey breast with multiple six- to eight- ounce pieces, but that didn’t fit the bill. The only turkey “breast” to be found was essentially a packaged turkey torso, and the smallest one I could find was a little over four pounds.

packaged_turkey.jpg

I decided to go for it.

I made it on Wednesday night when we didn’t have any plans. I knew I would be doing some guesswork on the cooking time since this “breast” weighed double what the recipe called for, and I didn’t want to have to stress about it.

I started out by combining some chili powder, cayenne pepper, and salt to make a spice rub. Then I unwrapped the huge, gleaming white hunk of bird, rubbed it with some olive oil, and then rubbed the spices over and under the skin.

seasoned_turkey.jpg

The recipe said to roast a two-pound breast for 25 minutes; with double the weight, I decided to double the time. In the meantime, I cut two acorn squash into one-inch half moons and mixed up a glaze of molasses, oil, and salt. I arranged the squash on a baking sheet and brushed it with some of the glaze; the rest of the glaze would be used for the turkey.

After 50 minutes had passed, I brushed the first round of glaze on the outside of the turkey and put it back in the oven on the bottom rack. The squash went on the top rack. For the next 35 minutes, I roasted the squash and periodically glazed the turkey (about every 8 minutes).

The turkey breast had a timer “button,” but since I’d never used one before, I really didn’t know what it would look like when the meat was done. I used my digital thermometer fork (lifesaver!) to monitor the meat temperature. When the 35 minutes had passed, the meat had reached 165 F – perfect.

cooked_turkey.jpg

I covered the squash with foil to keep it hot and covered the turkey with foil to let it rest before carving. After 10 minutes, I carved the bird and plated it with the squash and some green beans.

molasses_glazed_turkey.jpg

Whew! I had to work for this one. All in all, this meal was pretty good, but I would want to practice a few more times before attempting it for company. Despite being one of the least picky eaters on the planet, Dr. O isn’t too hot for acorn squash, so I might try a different vegetable next time. Suggestions?

TIPS: Cutting an acorn squash in half is no easy feat. Get a sharp knife, be prepared to use a decent amount of pressure, and watch those fingers. For carving the turkey (or any large piece of meat), an electric knife just makes things so much easier. It also increases the chances of your meat still being hot when it hits the table. Mine is just an inexpensive Hamilton Beach knife from Target.

Recipe link: Molasses-Glazed Turkey Breast with Acorn Squash




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