Saturday, October 15, 2016

Acorn Squash with Grapes, Cardamom and Cinnamon. Out of this world.

Acorn Squash is one of my favorite things to make.  It's so easy and so versatile.  I always make it the same way, however that gets old, so I decided to change it up.  It's a big joke in my house when asked, "what's for supper?"  
That question is usually followed by, "Is it one of your concoctions?"  
The answer to that is nearly always, "pretty much."  
My husband doesn't mind my concoctions because he says they're usually pretty good.  Not always, for instance, two weeks ago I decided to try my hand at roasting vegetables.  I didn't really know what to do, but how hard can it be?  I bought some golden beets, carrots, peppers, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and onions.  I called my brother about the beets, he said to boil them first before I baked them.  Good advice. Once I was ready to assemble the vegetables on the pan, I remembered one of the Chefs on Food Network, (the lady with the crazy platinum hair, can't remember her name) say to make sure and salt every new addition of vegetables.  Ok, so I did.  Well, the roasted veggies came out looking great, but tasted awful!!!!!  So salty it was so gross, it all got dumped.  I was very upset with the waste, but nothing could be saved.  Nasty.  So take from that, don't salt every new layer of veggies.  No No No. 
Back to the Acorn Squash.  I have a recipe for acorn squash on the blog, you can find it here.
I usually bake it, then fix up some baked fruit to go in the middle with brown sugar and butter.  It's really good, but, like I said I needed a change.  
Years ago I remember having some wonderful chicken cooked with grapes.  The flavor was absolutely fantastic and the grapes added a very nice taste and texture to the dish.  I thought I'd give my new idea a chance, what's the worst that could happen?  So I made up the acorn squash and along with it, cooked up some chicken with the same grapes, to tie the meal together.  My son, who tends to be on the picky side (wonder where he gets that from? Certainly not me. Insert sarcasm here) loved it.  All of it!  The taste was so delicious, we didn't need to add anything but a little pat of butter.  Really, if you all haven't tried to make Acorn Squash you really need to.  It looks so fancy when you fill it up with fruit, and serve it on the plate with your other food.  A lot of people avoid acorn squash because it looks weird and many recipes call for peeling and cutting.  No thanks.  I like the way my Mom taught me better.  

 Without any further ado here is the recipe. 

1 Acorn Squash
16 grapes 
Sprinkle of Cardamom
1/2 a Cinnamon stick 
2 tsp brown sugar (if you want, we didn't use any and it was wonderful)

Preheat the oven to 350
Cut the acorn squash in half and scoop out the seeds
Prepare a baking sheet with a layer of aluminum foil 
Place a pile of grapes, sprinkle of cardamom and the 1/2 cinnamon stick on top of the grapes

**NOTE: go easy with the cardamom as it can easily and unpleasantly overwhelm the dish
Place the acorn squash over the grapes, making sure the sliced side is touching the foil. 
Pour water in the pan to seal up the edges of the acorn squash (this will keep the squash from burning and drying out.)
Carefully place the baking pan in the oven and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour.  
You can tell the acorn squash is ready, by touching the top of the squash, if it makes a little dent, it's ready.  If it's still hard, leave it in the oven for a few more minutes.  
By leaving the skin on the squash, you've made yourself a bowl. 
When the squash is done, take out of the oven and turn over, add the grapes, a pat of butter and 1 tsp of brown sugar, scrape the squash off the skin, mix and enjoy.

If you try this recipe or, have an acorn squash recipe you like, share with us in the comments.