I know I said I’m working on exams, and I am, but I couldn’t help it, I just had to share this awesome dinner with everyone! There’s finally a touch of autumn in the Houston smog-air and we’ve been enjoying it by jogging in the cool mornings and taking lots of walks with the dog. I can even sit on the patio with a book without fear of being carried off by mosquitoes! As you may have noticed, squash of all kinds are available at the supermarkets this month: acorn, butternut, “decorative,” and pumpkin, to name a few (although how anyone keeps a jack-o-lantern from rotting for an entire month is beyond me. Ya’ll make your jack-o-lanterns on October 25ish, right?) I’ve been on an eat more veggies kick, so I grabbed up some acorn and butternut squash during my last shopping trek. I already have a good recipe for butternut, but haven’t made acorn before. Apparently it’s perfectly good with cheese and butter, maple syrup and brown sugar, baked or microwaved– but I was interested in recipes that called for baking apples in the middle of them.
I was going to make something with apples, maple syrup, and brown sugar, but then today I found recipes where people were stuffing acorn squash with sausage and I couldn’t resist. I ended up cobbling together a stuffing out of 1 batch fresh cornbread, chopped and sauteed 1/2 an onion,1.5 apples and 1 hatch chile pepper (seeds removed), and 3 hot Italian sausages, casing removed, and cooked. I flavored the stuffing with 1/2 a cup of chicken stock, some sage, and some pepper. The idea for this recipe originally came from a recipe by Central Market for Hatch chile pepper stuffing— which is phenomenal. I baked the stuffing at 350 for half an hour, covered.
Acorn squash are a breeze, as are all squash. Once you cut a squash open, (which can be a harrowing experience depending on the size of the squash and the size and sharpness of your chef’s knife) it’s easy to peel and dice or just put cut side down on an oiled baking sheet and bake until done. And one acorn squash makes dinner for two! I baked the cut halves for 20 minutes alone, then turned them over and filled with stuffing and baked them for another 20. This was a filling dinner– I didn’t finish all of mine. It would be easy to make the stuffing separately and then bake and assemble the squash with stuffing on a busy night. I hope you’ll go check out the fall produce and make something awesome soon!