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, and 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 another 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.
I see your mother did the same to you as mine did to me with squash. I grew up hating squash and sweet potatoes as well. She prepared acorn squash with butter and sugar and cinnamon. With sweet potatoes it was marshmallows and brown sugar. I hated them and swore I'd never eat them again, after spending hours at the table with my father's threats that I was to sit there until they were finished. Everyone I knew grew up the same way. I had a clever aunt who I went to live with as a teen. When she realized I hated veggies, including squash, but knew I loved garlic, perked my interest. She made me the most delicious acorn squash by roasting it after it had been cut in half, and adding butter and garlic. She did the same with sweet potatoes. To this day I have never found a better way. In the fall I go to a local farm and buy plenty of sweet potatoes and about 25 acorn squash! Also any other winter squash that looks pretty. They serve a double purpose - I decorate the house with the squash and all thru the fall, I eat my way thru the decorations! I guess mothers have to rethink those sugary veggies.