Sunday, October 18, 2009

Roasted Corn Pudding in Acorn Squash

This meal is SUPER easy (halve the squash, put in oven, mix corn and stuff, spoon into the squash, put back in oven) but it looks super fancy. Great presentation. And my goodness, it is delicious. And adaptable. I didn't have any milk so I used half-and-half in a moment of desperation, and I didn't have any anise so I used some Chinese 5-spice powder (contains anise, cloves, etc so I also omitted the nutmeg). I also used frozen corn. This was excellent. It is a definite make-again, and maybe even a make-for-company type recipe.


Roasted Corn Pudding in Acorn Squash
The Vegetarian Compass written by Karen Hubert Allison, published in 1998
Adapted by

1 small (2 lb.) acorn squash, cut in half lengthwise and seeded
1 tablespoon clarified butter or olive oil
1 cup milk
1 egg plus 2 egg whites
1/2 cup fresh corn kernels (or more if you like)
1/4 teaspoon anise seed, chopped
1/2 cup chopped scallions
a tiny pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1/3 cup grated white cheddar cheese

Preheat the oven to 375F degrees with a rack in the middle.

Rub the orange flesh of the squash with the butter/oil. Place cut side up on a baking sheet. You will want it to sit flat (and not tip), if you are having trouble just level out the bottom using a knife. If the squash is tilting on the pan, the filling will run out - bad news. Cover the squash with foil and bake for 40 minutes or until the squash starts to get tender.

In a bowl combine the milk, eggs, corn, anise seed, half of the scallions, nutmeg, and salt. Fill each of the squash bowls 3/4 full (see head notes about using leftovers). Carefully transfer the squash back to the oven without spilling (tricky!). Continue baking uncovered for another 30 - 50 minutes, or until the squash is fully cooked through, and the pudding has set. The amount of time it takes can vary wildly depending on the squash and oven. At the last minute sprinkle with cheese and finish with a flash under the broiler to brown the cheese. Keep and eye on things, you can go from melted cheese to burnt and inedible in a flash. Serve hot sprinkled with the remaining scallions.

Yield: 4-6 servings

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