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Acorn and Butternut Squash Recipe
There are so many different varieties of squash. When I was growing up, the only type of squash I knew about was "summer squash," which is what my mom called yellow squash. I actually didn't like it when I was a kid, but now it is one of my favorite foods. The next type of squash I discovered was zucchini, which I loved from the first time I tried it.
A couple of years ago, I discovered several different varieties of winter squash that I know prepare and serve regularly. Acorn squash and butternut squash have become perennial favorites of mine. I was never quite sure how to approach preparing these vegetables, but one day I noticed cooking instructions stuck on them along with the UPC code, so I decided to be brave and give it a try. I liked both types of squash from the very beginning. I experimented with the recipes a little, and have come up with a favorite preparation technique:
Recipe for Acorn or Butternut Squash
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the squash (either variety) on a cutting board and cut it in half lengthwise with a very sharp knife. Use a spoon to scoop out the pulp and seeds in the center of the squash.
Put enough water in a casserole dish to form about 1/4 depth of water. Place the squash face up in the pan. By the way, don't skip the water. I learned the hard way that this is an important step to keep from having a huge mess to clean out of the pan. Bake the squash at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.
Remove the squash from the oven. Allow to cool slightly. Remove the skin from the squash. Put the "meat" of the squash in a square baking dish. Pour a little melted butter over the top and sprinkle with cinnamon and/or brown sugar (or Brown Sugar Twin if you are watching your sugar intake). Return to the oven and bake for another 15 minutes or so.
This side dish is great with just about anything. It is absolutely perfect with ham or turkey. It has become a holiday favorite in my household.
When I make this dish, I usually prepare both butternut squash and acorn squash at the same time. Instead of using separate square baking dishes for each type of squash, I use an 8 1/2 X 11 casserole dish and put the butternut squash on one end and the acorn squash on the other. I end up with one less pan to wash, and the strange-looking dish that is orange on one end and yellow on the other makes a great conversation piece when served at a special event or family gathering.