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Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Acorn Squash. Hold The Brown Sugar.

I fall for buttery brown sugar-glazed acorn squash as much as the next guy.  Amping up its inherent sweetness with a sticky caramelized glaze seems to be the go to prep for the pint sized squash.  That said, acorn squash doesn't have to be a one trick pony. Swirling it through a plumped  bread pudding laced with nutty gruyere cheese and sauteed baby kale takes it from to sweet to savory without missing a beat.

Savory Roasted Acorn Squash Bread Pudding 
A fun little riff on a fall favorite.

I halved 2 Casey County acorn squash, scooped out the seeds, brushed the flesh with olive oil, and seasoned them with salt and cracked black pepper before placing them cut side down onto a parchment paper-lined sheet pan. After halving a third acorn squash and removing the seeds, I used the ribs as a guideline to slice the squash into half moons, brushed them with olive oil, seasoned them, and fanned them onto a separate parchment-lined sheet pan.

I slid the squash into a preheated 350 degree oven, let them rip for about 45 minutes until they were tender, pulled them from the oven, and set them aside.

I sauteed 2 cups finely chopped baby kale in 2 tablespoons olive along with 1 minced shallot, 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg, salt, and pepper. When the kale started to wilt, I pulled it from the heat and set it aside to cool.  After beating 4 large eggs until they were frothy, I added 2 cups 1/2 and 1/2, and whisked the two together until they were well incorporated before pouring the custard over 8 cups cubed Sunrise Bakery focaccia bread.

When the squash was cool enough to handle, I slipped off the skins and chopped the softened flesh into 1/2" ragged pieces. After folding the sauteed kale into the pudding mix, I added the chopped squash and 1 cup grated gruyere cheese before ladling the bread pudding into buttered muffin tins (12 muffins) and sliding them into a preheated 375 degree oven. When they puffed up and browned around the edges (about 35 minutes), I pulled them from the oven, ran a sharp knife around the edges to release them from the tins, and brushed the tops with melted unsalted butter.

Still warm and dripping with butter, I nestled the bread puddings onto chopped  baby kale splashed with a lemony vinaigrette before finishing with crunchy pomegranate seeds and a sweet/tart pomegranate  gastrique.

Roasted acorn squash bread pudding.


Brown sugar not included.

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