The holiday season is upon us! This month I thought I would share an easy side dish that is guaranteed to impress! I love fall squash and this month I’ll share how I simply steam, stuff, and bake mini-pumpkins and squash. After all, those mini pumpkins used for decoration are also great to eat.
Use any small/mini squash. I like to use: Bee Littles, mini-pumpkins, or mini-butternut squash.
Wash your squash and place, whole, in a steamer. Depending on their size it will take approximately 20 minutes, a little longer for larger squash, to steam the squash. A fork should be able to slightly poke through the skin. (Click here to see detailed pictures and a bonus recipe.)
Remove the squash from the steamer and let cool on a rack. When cool enough to touch slice the top off the squash, then scoop out and discard the seeds.
Now you’re squash is ready to stuff.
Make your favorite stuffing: sauté diced onion and sliced celery in some butter, seasoned with herbs and spices of choice. Set aside. Dice day old bread and add to the onion mixture. Moisten with some chicken broth (I make my own broth and freeze some in ice cube trays, then when I only need a quarter cup of broth or so, I just defrost a couple of cubes). If you like, add some cooked sausage, diced cooked meat, chopped fruit (apples, pears, or dried cranberries), and/or chopped nuts to the mixture. Stuff into your prepared squash and bake approximately 20 minutes at 350°F or until heated through.
Stuff with Mexican sweet corn cake. Mix one package sweet corn cake mix with ¼ cup melted butter. Add ¼ cup water and 1 (15-ounce) can cream-style corn. Scoop into prepared squash and bake, 350°F for approximately 30 minutes or until the liquid has been absorbed. (I like the El Torito mix.)
Bonus idea: serve your favorite fall soup in a cooked squash as a first course to your meal. Some ideas: squash soup with croutons, chicken tortilla, or even some homemade chili.
Make ahead: Steam, slice the top off of the squash, and remove the seeds. Replace the top, place on a plate and store in the refrigerator until you are ready to stuff and cook. Bring back to room temperature before baking, or add an additional 5 minutes to baking time.