Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Baked Acorn Squash w/ Butter, "Brown Sugar" & Pecans Served w/ Pan Seared Wild Halibut

This evening we had an easy and delicious dinner. I made Pan Seared Wild Halibut and Baked Acorn Squash with Butter, "Brown Sugar" & Pecans (no worries, it's sugar free "brown sugar"). It was easy to make and full of  "fall flavor." I cooked the halibut in Kerrygold's Garlic & Herb Butter, a squeeze of fresh lemon and a few capers. It takes less than 15 minutes to make and you can prepare it while the acorn squash is in the oven baking. To make the halibut (I prepared 2 6-ounce fillets), season both sides with salt and pepper, then sear it in about 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat for about 3 to 4 minutes per side (depending on the thickness). Transfer the fillets to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm. Add 2 tablespoons Kerrygold Garlic & Herb Butter to the skillet, 1 to 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice and swirl until melted and bubbling. I then added about 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon zest and 1 heaping tablespoon of capers (leave them out if you don't like them). I returned the halibut to the pan and basted it with the lemon garlic butter and capers. That's all there is to it, other than serve and eat.

To make the "brown sugar" for my acorn squash topping, I simply mixed 2 tablespoons of Swerve Sweetener (granular) with 1/4 teaspoon blackstrap molasses. It gave it just enough flavor and color to mimic brown sugar and then mixed it with butter, cinnamon and pecans to make an absolutely delicious topping for the acorn squash. These would make a perfect side dish to serve at Thanksgiving, too!  I snapped a few photos below and included the easy peasy recipe for the baked acorn squash. Enjoy!





Baked Acorn Squash w/ Butter, "Brown Sugar" & Pecans

Ingredients:

1 acorn squash (green or orange skinned)
2 tablespoons Swerve granular sweetener (or other granular sweetener)
Generous dash of ground cinnamon
Pinch of sea salt
1/4 teaspoon blackstrap molasses
2 tablespoons diced chilled butter
3 tablespoons chopped pecans

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil and set aside.

Cut acorn squash in half from top (stem end) to bottom. Scoop out seeds and pulp with a spoon. Place acorn squash cut side down on baking sheet and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until softened.

While squash is baking, prepare topping. In a medium bowl, add granular sweetener, cinnamon and salt. Combine with a fork; mix in molasses. Cut butter into mixture using a pastry cutter/dough blender or 2 knives until crumbly and in small bits. Stir in pecans. Remove squash from oven and flip over (cavity side up). Fill cavities with topping. Return to oven and bake an additional 20 to 30 minutes or until tender. 

*Note: If squash is wobbly or sits unevenly when flipped over, transfer it to a small casserole dish for support to help keep the melted topping inside the squash as it bakes.


               

16 comments:

Elaine Markley said...

Looks scrumptious! If it's wobbly, you could, also, cut a small slice off the rounded bottom so it will sit flat.

CyberSis said...

Hi GGC,

We love baked acorn squash. I've been sprinkling Xyla and pumpkin pie spices on mine (with butter, of course.) It's good, but it's not quite like brown sugar. It'll be nice to have that back in my life again ... and I love the added pecans, too! Hubby puts "actual" brown sugar on his ... maybe I can wean him off when he sees how yummy this kind is! :-)

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Elaine,

Yes, that would work...except I like to keep the skin completely intact because when I eat it, I kind of use a spoon and scoop it (much like a baked potato or sweet potato) and mix it up in the shell like a little bowl to mix it up with the buttery pecan topping. But, if you don't eat it weird like I do, it would be a great idea! ;-)

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi CyberSis,

It is amazing how such a little bit of the blackstrap molasses mixed with granular sweetener morphs and melts into "brown sugar". I actually experimented with it on my most recent recipe project that will debut later this week! It turned out GREAT! :-)

bonnie nelms said...

that looks soooo good...cant wait to try it. love the 'brown sugar' tip..that will come in handy.
btw....any cranberries on the scene yet?!! can hardly wait for that relish to be in my frig again : )

CyberSis said...

Hi GGC,

Re: your comment to Elaine ... I don't think that's weird at all. Isn't that how everyone eats acorn squash? :-)

debbie said...

Like all your recipes are😄!!!!!

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Bonnie,

Thanks! YES...I found cranberries in our Costco the weekend before last after CyberSis (above) told me she found them at her Costco the week before. Looks they are rolling them out! YAY! :-)

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi CyberSis,

Well...it's how WE eat it anyway (you and I)...right? ;-)

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Thanks so much Debbie! :-)

Ann said...


We just had this for dinner tonight along with grilled pork chops. It was really good and will definitely be on the menu again. I'm not sure what the difference between blackstrap molasses and just molasses is but it was good nonetheless. Thanks for the recipes.

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Ann,

Glad you enjoyed it! I'm looking forward to having it again soon as well. Blackstrap molasses is supposed to be the healthier version of molasses in terms of minerals, iron and lowest in sugar. I actually use unsulphured blackstrap molasses. It's very dark and a little goes a long way which is what I wanted to make the sweetener "brown sugar". Regardless of what you use, we are only talking 1/8 teaspoon per serving so it is a trivial amount. It's being used more as a "flavoring" as opposed to a sweetener. So happy you enjoyed it! In case you are interested, here is a link that describes the differences in varieties of molasses: http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/types-molasses-2894.html

CyberSis said...

Hi GGC,

Right! ;-)

CyberSis said...

Hi GGC,

We had the acorn squash with this topping recently and it was *great*! That is ... I had it ... but my hubby still wanted to load his up with brown sugar. I did convince him to taste mine and he had to agree that it was "really good" and "probably" tastier than his. We'll see next time if I can get him to switch over! :-)

Hope you're feeling much better!

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi CyberSis,

Glad you enjoyed it.

Thanks. Things didn't go so well and they couldn't finish the root canal yesterday. For whatever reason, pain is bad tonight (tolerable during the day and I worked all day). Lortab just taking edge off and maybe as painful tonight as bad days were before.

When they got to pony of putting meds in roots before filling to kill bacteria, it just ran out thru roots because still abscessed after 7 days of penicillin. They had to plug it closed and will have to finish it on another visit. Put me on stronger antibiotic for another 7 days. They said shouldn't be as painful since most of work is done as long as I don't damage the fragile hollow tooth. They think pain will be better in couple days although I'm not believing that tonight.

I have 7 more days of antibiotics but they have to wait 14 days for inflammation to calm down which is the day before thanksgiving and the doctor isn't working that day so have to wait till Monday Nov 30 for them to finish it. It's so frustrating. After all this I'll need a crown too.

If I'm still in this kind of pain in the morning I will call the endodontist to find out why so painful the next day.

Sorry I rambled so long! :-)

CyberSis said...

Ayla, I am *so* sorry to hear that you are still suffering and that you have added complications! Your case is not straight-forward and you should definitely contact the dr. about the increased pain. Better tomorrow a.m. before they take off for the weekend ... however, there *should* be someone on call if you get into trouble on the weekend. Don't hesitate ... really!

Feel better soon! You are in my thoughts and prayers.