I never grew up eating it, which likely means that one of my parents doesn’t like it. But a friend introduced me to it about 5 years ago, and I was hoooked. I mean I don’t know why I wouldn’t- the squash is basically a half step away from being pumpkin, and brown sugar and butter has never made anything worse in the history of the world.
Here’s the problem- my husband has a “thing” with sweet side dishes. Corn pudding? No. Escalloped apples. Nope. So while I adore acorn squash, I never seem to get to make it because I know 50% of this household won’t eat it.
But Dave is always a sucker for something spicy- so I thought, what if I brushed it with some sambal olek? I figured it was worth a shot, as he seemed kind of excited about it. It turned out actually really well- the sambal olek gave it some definite heat, probably a little too much for my non-spicy palette. But you know what, it doesn’t even matter- now I can make half spicy- sweet for Dave and one to my liking.
I love flexible dishes that work for everyone. Dinnertime crisis averted.
Baked Acorn Squash with Brown Sugar and Chile
- 1 acorn squash, halved lengthwise and seeds scooped out
- 2 T sambal olek (chili garlic paste)
- 2 T butter
- 2 T packed brown sugar
- Preheat oven to 400F.
- Line a baking sheet with foil (for easy cleanup). Place acorn squash on sheet, cut side up.
- Use a basting brush to brush the chile garlic paste over the flesh surface of the squash. Add brown sugar and butter to the well.
- Place in preheated oven for 1 hour. Half way through baking, brush with additional chile garlic paste, then with the butter/brown sugar mixture from the well.
- Remove from the oven and let cool slightly. Scoop out and mash to blend evenly. Serve warm.