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Acorn squash without turning the oven on?

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travelmad478 Jul 25, 2012 11:30 AM

Some rogue squash plants appeared in my garden this spring, and I let them grow in the hopes that they would turn out to be patty-pan or zucchini. Sadly, I now find myself with a boatload of acorn squash. All the recipes I can think of (or find on Google) involve baking or roasting it. Short of putting all these squashes in my basement for four months until the weather cools down, what can I do with them that doesn't involve the oven?

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    LVLisa RE: travelmad478 Jul 25, 2012 11:36 AM

    I started steaming squash in the microwave a few years ago, and haven't cooked it in the oven since! Just cut them in half, remove the seeds, place open side down in a shallow dish with a little water in it and cover with plastic wrap (leaving just a small opening for steam to escape). 6-8 minutes (or even less) should be plenty for acorn squash, but it's pretty hard to over cook them.

    I'll do a large squash for about 10 minutes in the microwave while I'm preparing the rest of the meal. It will stay hot in for quite some time - very quick and easy side dish! When it's done, scoop out the flesh and season as you wish.

    1. biondanonima RE: travelmad478 Jul 25, 2012 11:37 AM

      You can cut it into cubes and cook it in stock until tender, then puree for soup (changing the seasonings and other ingredients as you desire). You can also steam-saute it (put it in a pan with some oil and a bit of water, turn on the heat and put on a lid - let it cook until the water is gone and the squash is soft, then allow it to brown a bit in the oil).

      1 Reply
      1. re: biondanonima
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        travelmad478 RE: biondanonima Jul 25, 2012 03:53 PM

        The steam-saute sounds very promising! Thanks! I get very aggravated trying to peel/cube acorn squash, since it generally seems to be a recipe for slicing my hand open, but I like the idea of caramelizing the cut side after steaming.

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        alc RE: travelmad478 Jul 25, 2012 02:58 PM

        "Sadly"??????? Acorn squash is delicious steamed.
        You can steam the whole squash over boiling water until it is soft enough to cut.
        Or you can hack it in half raw and steam the halves.

        You can also use the pressure cooker.
        Steamed squash is delilcious and works especially well in purees with butter or olive oil and some sweetner if needed.

        1. greygarious RE: travelmad478 Jul 25, 2012 04:02 PM

          In my experience, winter squash benefit from storage for at least a couple of months, developing more flavor. I would not be in any rush to cook them. Let them grow to at least 5" diameter, then let them nap in a cool, dark spot till the trees turn colors.

          3 Replies
          1. re: greygarious
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            travelmad478 RE: greygarious Jul 25, 2012 05:09 PM

            Good to know--as long as I know they won't rot, I will be happy to let them percolate in the basement for a few months.

            1. re: travelmad478
              greygarious RE: travelmad478 Jul 25, 2012 05:13 PM

              Make sure the area is not damp and they should keep nearly till spring.

              1. re: travelmad478
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                magiesmom RE: travelmad478 Jul 25, 2012 06:05 PM

                I disagree.
                <<Handling and Storing Winter Squash, Pumpkins and Gourds ...
                web.extension.illinois.edu/state/newsdetail.cfm?NewsID=11757One exception to the curing and storage process is the acorn squash which, at best, will keep only six to eight weeks. >>

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              dhaven RE: travelmad478 Jul 25, 2012 04:34 PM

              I also microwave acorn squash, but with a slightly lazier method. Rather than cutting the squash in half initially, I poke it once with a large fork or knife, and then microwave on high for 5 minutes. At this point, it will be very easy to cut into halves. Scoop out the seeds, add a bit of butter and brown sugar to the cavity, and cook on high for an additional 2 minutes. If the flesh isn't soft, do another 2 minutes as necessary until it reached the softness you prefer. Being very lazy, I serve this as is rather than scooping out the flesh. You can customize by changing the butter/brown sugar to anything that sounds appealing such as bread stuffing, other vegetables, browned sausage, various sauces, even mini marshmallows.

              2 Replies
              1. re: dhaven
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                travelmad478 RE: dhaven Jul 25, 2012 05:08 PM

                Lazy is a plus! Thanks.

                1. re: dhaven
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                  MamaGoat RE: dhaven Jul 25, 2012 06:15 PM

                  I have also done this "lazy" method of poking it with a knife and microwaving until soft. I like to scoop out the flesh and puree it in my food processor then freeze for later use. The puree is a nice addition to many dishes (i.e. macaroni & cheese, etc.) to add a veggie vitamin boost or for a side dish: bake the puree with a topping of butter, brown sugar and cinnamon.

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                  sandylc RE: travelmad478 Jul 25, 2012 06:08 PM

                  I would steam it in the micro or a steamer, then peel, seed, and cube it.....

                  Then saute the cubes in a skillet with whatever seasonings, onions, etc. that sound good to you.

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