Help, what squash did I eat?

christy2828March 29, 2012

My husband took me to dinner on Saturday night, up in Norfolk, VA (it's over an hour north of us!). The menu said Roasted Acorn Squash. I tried to substitute for asparagus, but they said no substitutions. I've never had acorn squash, and before yesterday couldn't have told you what it looked like - sad, I know!!! Well, I loved it. It was delicious!!!! It was sweet and buttery, tasted like it had the starchiness of a potato but the sweet of a sweet potato. So I went grocery shopping yesterday and decided I was going to make it at home. Found the acorn squash which was green. Hmm...I thought the skin was orange. Bought three and went home to look up a recipe. Almost all called for brown sugar, but theirs did not look like it had brown in it. Found a recipe with honey and got started. It said to cut it in half and scoop out the seeds. Again, did not look like what I had? Most recipe pictures cut the squash lengthwise, mine was not. I didn't look underneath it to see if there was a stem, but there certainly wasn't one on the sides. Also, it looked like a potato would cut in half, there was no vacant area where seeds once were. It wasn't "twice baked" either. I don't know how they got the butter and sugar to melt into the squash. It sorta looked like the top of a spaghetti squash cut off and standing up, but it wasn't stringy on the inside. The acorn squash I did make last night was very similar - but the butter and honey stood in the middle and the outer parts of the squash didn't really absorb much of the flavor. Their's had flavor throughout, and again, it wasn't just melted butter and honey in a hole. I really wish I had taken a picture!!!! Thanks for any thoughts!!! Christy :)

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Perhaps it was a buttercup squash. Sweeter than acorn and less stringy....or perhaps a butternut squash, the top part with no seed cavity. you say it wasn't twice baked? How do you know?
Try a buttercup squash, although they are not in season just now, cut in half, remove the seeds, place cit side down on a baking sheet and place in the oven at 350 until a knife tip pierces easily, remove turn it over, put in a pat of butter and a spoon of brown sugar or honey and sort of mash it around....add a little salt and pepper and eat!

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   March 29, 2012 at 2:12PM
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When I referred to the top of the spaghetti squash in my OP, I meant the butternut squash when I actually look at the pictures :) Clearly I'm not familiar with my squashes!! It looked just like the top of it, with no seed cavity. I thought of it being twice baked when I was eating it, but it really didn't look like it was. I ate it with a fork and it went in like a potato with very slight stringiness only when I was really looking. The slight stringiness is what made me think it wasn't twice baked? Can any of them be made in the twice baked fashion? It was delicious, I'll be trying all of the squashes, opened a whole new world :) I never liked the yellow squash or zucchini that much so I never really did give them a go :)

    Bookmark   March 29, 2012 at 5:29PM
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Winter squash and summer squash are 2 very different critters!!
For restaurant serving, I am sure cooking, mashing and seasoning th esquash and replacing in the shell would be a very good thing for ease of service. For home use....just bake, season and serve....mash it up as you eat it.
Try a butternuts quash, peeled, de-seeded and cubed, (1 inch cubes) tossed with a little olive oil and salt and pepper and oven roasted on a cookie sheet until lightly browned....about 20 to 30 minutes at 375.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2012 at 5:50PM
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I think acorn squash skin starts off green and gets orange (at least orange patches) as it ripens. It can range from nutty, buttery and delicious to tasteless. It sounds like you had a really good one.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2012 at 6:41PM
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There are more than one color of acorn squash out there. Maybe the restaurant used a different variety than the normal green one. The restaurant may be willing to tell you which variety they used.


Here is a link that might be useful: one of many sites about squash

    Bookmark   March 29, 2012 at 7:21PM
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From the taste it sounds like you had acorn squash. If it was baked and mashed, perhaps they used a different kind of smaller decorative squash to serve it in? Why don't you call the restaurant and ask for the recipe?

    Bookmark   March 29, 2012 at 7:22PM
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Golden Acorn is orange.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2012 at 7:28PM
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Thanks!! I'll be trying more varieties that is for sure :) I have considered calling the restaurant, I've been sick all day and only motivated enough to type on the internet, lol. I also didn't want to accuse them of not serving the squash that they said, I'd have to ask for a manager and lay on the sugar, I guess!!! It was right before a show, and my dish came out luke warm - they pre-prepared all of the side dishes, it was very obvious when my $25 entree came out 5 minutes after I ordered it. I will try and call tomorrow, hopefully they'll be willing to share the recipe!!! Thanks :) Christy

    Bookmark   March 29, 2012 at 8:03PM
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I wonder if you had butternut squash. It is the light tan hard shell squash that looks like a Shmoo from Li'l Abner comic strip. The meat of the squash is in the neck. I like to simmer large chunks of them in salted water, drain, cut off the skin with a sharp knife, and then mash with a fork, seasoning with salt, pepper, butter and a healthy dash of cinnamon.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2012 at 11:24PM
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My best guess is that you had delicata squash. I tried some this past fall and found it to be much more similar to a sweet potato than my previous fave, butternut squash. Acorn squash is something that I've tried a couple of times, but if it was buttery, I think that Delicata might be the one.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   March 30, 2012 at 1:09AM
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A nice way to eat these little squashes is stuffed with leeks. Pre-heat you oven, cook a couple of thinly sliced leeks in butter. Cook gently until soft. Remove from the heat and add 1 tsp english mustard, 4 tbls creme fraiche, 125g cheese, seasoning.
Cut a small slice off the base of 4 squashes so they stand up. Cut of a hat and remove the seeds. Fill the squashes 2/3 full with the mix, put the hats back on and bake ion the oven 50 to 60 minutes or until well tender.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2012 at 3:19AM
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That sounds good, Islay. What kind of cheese do you use?


    Bookmark   March 30, 2012 at 9:40AM
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I love and grow all kinds of winter and summer squash. It could have been turbin, sweet dumpling squash, delicata or kabocha. All have more of a sweet potato kind of texture especially kabocha. "It has a rich sweet flavor, and often dry and flaky when cooked."

Here is a link that might be useful: squash varieties

    Bookmark   March 30, 2012 at 1:19PM
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Squash, like all other fruits and veggies, taste different depending on season, soil, location, methods of cultivation, etc.


    Bookmark   March 30, 2012 at 2:22PM
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The restaurant just got back to me! They confirmed that it was acorn squash, cored, mashed and then glazed with butter and ginger. It was delicious, I plan on making it, and other squash, regularly from now on!! Thanks for all of the recipes :) Christy

    Bookmark   March 30, 2012 at 2:29PM
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