I made something for you. Well, I really made it for me; but I tried to make it pretty for you. See, my dad brought me home a "present" from the grocery store as he is prone to do these past few months. This time it was an acorn squash to accompany the two pumpkins he purchased for my carving pleasure. The thing about acorn squash is that I'm (1) not particularly fond of winter squash, and (2) have never cooked with it before. And before you get all up in arms about my lack of winter squash love, just know that it's a textural thing--their starchiness computes as mealiness on my tongue, which is a feeling I don't enjoy. Despite my misgivings, I soldiered on and cooked with it--and that's got to count for something.
The first thing I decided was to make some sort of pocket or turnover. We'll get to that in a paragraph. Besides noticing a lot of recipes out there pairing butternut squash with apple, I didn't really find much interest or variety in winter squash recipes. My assumption is that the general public feels the way I do. Just go with it, okay? Armed with this lone apple-centic fact, I decided to forgo my legal training and impose upon acorn squash the same symbiotic relationship--I declared that apples would go well with acorn squash; after double-checking with Twitter, of course. Then I decided on onions and butter. And then bacon and cheddar cheese. But guess what? Someone whose familial identifier begins with BRO and ends with THER ate the last of the bacon. And after adding some cinnamon and nutmeg at the behest of my dad, cheddar was forgotten. Even without pork fat and cheese, I still think I beat the acorn squash at its game. Totally impressive.
this picture will confirm that). When faced with ugly yet potentially delicious food, my first move is to devise a way to disguise it. I chose phyllo/filo for this dish because I wanted something light that wouldn't add heaviness to an already starchy filling. I think I chose wrong. Never having worked with the stuff before, I followed directions on how to defrost and use it and it still gave me problems. It kept ripping and cracking and basically hated me. Add that to the fact that my hands still ached from spending four hours yesterday using a host of random kitchen items to carve the pumpkin to the left, and I was creating some pretty hideous triangles. Hell, some of them weren't even close to triangles. Eventually I admitted defeat and decided to just use the salvageable strips and make rolls instead--some of which were even uglier than the deformed triangles. You only get to see the passable ones. I made my family eat the ugly ones.
They're supposed to love me anyway. Right?
Apple, Acorn Squash &
Pecan "Fall" Rolls
2.5 lb. acorn squash
3/4 lb. sweet apples
1 cup onion, chopped
3/4 cup pecans, chopped
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1 package phyllo
*My brother said raisins. I think that's gross. Whatever.
1. Preheat oven to 350F and place a large pot of water on stove to boil. Make sure your squash fits in that pot!
2. Core and slice apples. Feel free to leave skin on or not.
3. Place squash in boiling water and cover. Cook for three minutes. Drain pot and re-fill with cold water. Figure some way to keep squash in the water--I flipped the lid & placed my apples on top.
4. When squash is cool to the touch (about 5 minutes), cup in half and remove seeds. Skin should be quite easy to scrape and peel off with a knife or a spoon at this point. Remove the skin and chop into 1/2 inch by 1/2 inch cubes.
5. Toss apples and chopped onions in a large saute pan. When onions and apples are soft and translucent, add squash to pan. Pour butter evenly over the squash and mix around. Cover and let cook until soft.
6. When soft, add chopped pecans, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add raisins if you're using them. Cook for 2 more minutes, taste and adjust seasoning. Remove from stove.
7. Use phyllo sheets per instructions to create rolls or pockets. You can also make your own dough or even use wonton wrappers. You can also just eat the squash as a side.
8. Bake rolls for 10 minutes or until browned.