Thursday, November 3, 2011

Squash of the Week - White Swan Acorn

I needed a quick dinner on Wednesday night so I thought it would be a good opportunity to try cooking a squash in the microwave.  I hadn't fully cooked one in the microwave before but knew it was a possibility and have had feedback from a reader that it worked well for the buttercup squash I recommended a few weeks ago.  Since smaller things cook faster, I grabbed the baby in my bunch, the Swan White Acorn.

My mom served acorn squash from time to time and until recently it was my only reference for eating baked squash.  At the time I didn't really care for it and thus wrote off squash in general.  Her cooking method was fairly standard, halve the squash and bake it with butter and sugar.  I have now discovered that I prefer a savory preparation for most squash, unless it is an ingredient in a recipe.  Give me some salt, pepper, herbs rather than sugar and butter any day.

So Wednesday night I skinned some chicken legs and threw them into the oven to bake in a marinade of soy sauce and yellow mustard.  Then stabbed the Swan White Acorn about twenty times and set it in the microwave on high for five minutes.  After the first five minutes I flipped it over and set it for an other five. (I am pretty sure I could have done four and four and had a better texture.)  After the second round in the microwave I could tell it was cooked through by its squishiness.  I quartered, seeded, and seasoned it with an herb blend and a spritz of olive oil.  The chicken needed a bit longer I set the wedges on a toaster pan and let them sit under the toaster's broiler for a few minutes to get a bit of color.

Here's my review: Those that enjoy acorn squash will enjoy this variety. The flavor was quite mild and light while the meat had a nice golden color and looked appealing.  I didn't mind eating it when it was still hot.  As it cooled I found the texture more cloying, both stringy and gloppy at the same time.  By the last bite of my wedge I was done.  I still don't particularly like acorn squash and this variety was pretty much the same as the standard green ones.  Our son, who usually gobbles down squash with a smile on his face, was not much of a fan either.  He tried to like it but in the end found it a better sculpting material than dinner food.  My husband came to the squash's defense telling me it wasn't so bad.  My counter argument, why bother, we have had several great ones over the past few weeks so we shouldn't settle for one we find mediocre.  Due to its mild flavor, I would still use acorn squash in a soup particularly because it is so readily available in my local supermarkets.

Trying Acorn Squash - In Pictures!

Chicken Marinade:
(I never measure this so play with the quantities to match your taste preference)
Squirt about 2 or three table spoons of yellow mustard into a baking dish
Add around 1/2 a cup of soy sauce, thin with a little water if you like
Swish the mixture with a whisk or a fork to combine
Place your skinned chicken in the pan and bake at 375 degrees until cooked through, turning once or twice while cooking.

Easy Peasy!  We use this method for cooking chicken often.

1 comment:

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