Maple/Rum glazed Acorn Squash

Wentworth by the Sea, NH, where I had the privilege
to work and learn great New England Dishes

I am excited about this post because for me, this embodies everything wonderful about fall cooking.  Warmth, wonderful aromas, roasting, family,  fall ingredients… This dish IS autumn.

Acorn squash is similar to most other hard squashes, in that when first sliced, they smell and feel like a pumpkin.  But when roasted, it takes on its true identity: a sweet, delicate, flavorful, incredible squash who’s flavor and texture lend itself perfectly with other fall and winter ingredients.

Maple glazed anything is delicious, and especially our beloved winter squashes.  Add a little rum for complexity, a little cider vinegar for contrast, cinnamon and nutmeg because they’re perfect for cold weather roasting, and maybe a little apple cider to round the whole thing out and give it balance.  This is easy and it could not be better.  The glaze can be made days in advance, and the prepping and roasting process is simple.  If you love the easy-to-make New England fall and winter dishes, this might be a good one for you!

Maple/rum glazed Acorn Squash

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time:  1 hour
Inactive cook time: 1 hour
Yield: 4 portions

Ingredients:

1/2 cup meyers dark rum
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 cup local apple cider
1 cinnamon stick
1 acorn squash, split into quarters, all seeds removed
2 tbsp whole unsalted organic butter, melted
kosher salt
black pepper
1 tsp nutmeg

Method:

In a small heavy bottom sauce pot, flambe and reduce the rum to almost a glaze (be careful, flambe means ignite).  If  you aren’t comfortable with the flambe, reduce, VERY slowly over medium to low heat(slowly so it doesn’t ignite).  Add the vinegar and maple syrup.  Reduce slightly.  Add the cider and cinnamon stick and reduce until slightly thick.  Let cool to room temp.

Heat an oven to 375.  Toss the squash with the butter, salt, pepper, nutmeg and 3/4 of the glaze.  Place on a foil lined roasting pan and roast until tender.  Remove from the oven and using a pastry brush, re-apply the rest of the glaze.  Turn oven to 400 and roast until deep golden brown and completely tender.  Let cool slightly and serve right away.

This is best with some sort of red wine braised beef, roasted beef, winter greens, caramelized onions, roast carrots and anything else wonderful autumn/winter.

Enjoy.

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