If I was absolutely forced to choose my favorite fall squash, I'd have to go with Butternut. Not only is it sweet and not at all stringy, but it's by far the easiest to peel and cube. I always go for a thick neck, almost the same size as the cup, if possible. Sure the long, skinny, bendy ones look interesting, but they're hard to butcher! The same can be said for acorn squash. It's pretty much impossible to peel, so cubing it and adding it to a dish is pretty much not going to happen. However, acorn squashes are great bowls for stuffing, which is my favorite way to utilize them.
The acorn squash themselves have a slightly nutty taste, but are still a bit sweet when roasted. Eating the skin is optional, I tend to eat a bit if it makes its way into a forkful. I've seen countless recipes for squash stuffed with quinoa, cous cous and other grains, so I wanted to do something different. I found this recipe on 101 Cookbooks, and decided to make it immediately. Not only was it an interesting acorn squash recipe, but it called for corn, which is one it's way out of season right now, so I feel the need to squeeze in as much as I can.
The dish was simple, but full of flavor. The spice combination made it interesting and warm. The cheddar made it a bit indulgent, but not heavy. The sweet corn balanced well with the earthy squash, and the scallions made the dish pop. Though corn pudding sounds unhealthy and heavy, this dish contained so little that it was not. I halved the filling recipe, but wrote the full version below, and it fit perfectly in my squash. If you make 2 full (4 halves) you should have enough filling for all 4 halves.
Roasted Corn Pudding in Acorn Squash
1 small acorn squash, halved lengthwise (about 2 lbs.)
1 tbsp. butter
1 c. milk
1 egg plus 2 whites (I used only 2 whites)
1 ear of corn, husked and kernels cut off (about 1 c)
1/4 tsp. anise seed, chopped
1/2 c. chopped scallions
Pinch of nutmeg
Pinch of sea salt
1/3 c. grated sharp white cheddar
Preheat the oven to 375*
Rub the flesh of the squash with butter, place cut side up in a roasting pan, slicing a bit off the bottom to stabilize if necessary.
Cover with foil and bake for 40 minutes, or until squash is tender.
In a mixing bowl, combine milk, eggs, corn, anise, half the scallions, nutmeg and salt.
Fill each squash until it's just about full.
Carefully place back in the oven, bake uncovered for 30 minutes, or until pudding is cooked through.
Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top and broil or bake for another few minutes (my roasting pan says do not broil, so I just melted the cheese on top while it baked).
Place on a serving platter and sprinkle with additional scallions.