Honey Hot Pepper Winter Squash

It is hard to beat this time of year, when it comes to garden fresh veggies. We are still getting summer vegetables from our late plantings of green beans and summer squash, while the fall stuff is just coming into perfect ripeness. Like winter squash. We are calling these particular squashes “Mystery Squash”, because we have no idea what they are or how they came to be in our garden. They small for the most part – a little bigger than an acorn squash but with this shape rather like the much bigger [and bluer!] hubbards. Perhaps some seeds got mixed up in the packets we purchased back in the spring. No matter, because wherever they came from, they are very tasty. This recipe will work for any smallish winter squash – acorns, any of the squatty turban-shaped varieties. I would not use something like butternut, because the smaller ones will allow the flavors to permeate the whole squash better. 1hhsTo begin – wash the exterior of the squash well. I like to serve these right in the shell still, so you want that to look nice. Cut in half from end to end, and scrape out all the seeds and loose stringy stuff inside. Sprinkle with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper.2hhsFor the aromatics you are going to put in the middle, you want a good mixture of peppers. How much exactly will depend on to your personal preferences – the more hot peppers and garlic you use, the stronger the flavors in the finished dish. This about what I used for each squash half, with all the ingredients cut into a pretty small dice:
2 tablespoons red cherry hot peppers
2 tablespoons jalapenos
1 tablespoon each red and green sweet peppers
1 tablespoon shallots
1/4 teaspoon garlic, smashed into a paste with the side of a knife blade
Spread the mixture up onto the sides in there3hhsThen – a generous squeeze of honey in the middle. I used about 2 teaspoons per half. Use the back of a spoon to spread that up the sides as well. I also basted the cut edges of the top with honey. 4hhs Bake in a 350ยบ for about an hour to an hour and a half. Every 20 minutes or so, take a spoon and drizzle the juices from the middle back up the insides – everything is going to tend to run down and pool in the bottom, so just spread it back up the sides every so often. How long it takes to bake exactly depends on how large and how ripe the squash is and it is better to let it bake too long than to take it out before it is done. A sharp knife inserted in the squash should meet no resistance at all.5hhsYou can scrape everything out of the shells into a bowl and kind of mash it together, but I prefer to just serve them like this, with a dollop of butter melting into the center of each one.6hhsThe combination of flavors is sublime – sweet, spicy and mellow. Easy to make – and oh, so easy to enjoy!

Another recipe you may enjoy:
Chili Roasted Winter Squash

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13 Responses to Honey Hot Pepper Winter Squash

  1. CM says:

    You’re making me SO – HUN-GRY!

    Did you grow pumpkins? …. I’d love to see some photos of pumpkins in the style of your photography.

  2. I recently asked if you would adopt me and my BFF. You said you would, provided we would do the dishes.

    If you make this squash and that peach cobbler… there won’t be dishes to do because we will lick them all clean!! HEAVENLY!

  3. Kate says:

    Now some people would look at this and think it doesn’t look all that good. But I love the taste combinations you have here and this is what squash looks like when you cook it in this manner. And I bet it tastes superb. I can’t wait to try this one, Dlyn! I’m glad it’s gotten cooler so we could use the oven again.

  4. annbb says:

    Never met a winter squash I didn’t adore! Yours look deliciously amazing!

  5. Weezee says:

    Oh yummy, I hope you will have some of those mystery guys when you come for Thanksgiving!

    Eternal, I have to tell you when we visit Dlyn I have offered to let my dogs lick the dishes clean to help out with chores. We like to be helpful guests.
    For some reason she declined the offer and used the dishwasher.
    Whatever.

  6. HoneyB says:

    I love sweet heat like this! Looks delicious.

  7. This looks delicious! And good job on growing them! I tried to plant squash and pumpkins at our old place, but we just didn’t get enough sun. Sadly, they wound up mildewy. I was eyeing all the different kinds at the market this weekend, though. Can’t wait to try your recipe!

    +Jessie

  8. Not only colorful and seasonal, but looks might tasty too! Fall is here, even though it officially does not start until tomorrow.

  9. grace says:

    this is a pretty unique baked squash recipe, and i like it. i like it a lot. sweet, spicy, warm, and mushy–it’s got it all! nicely done. :)

  10. Larry says:

    This photo looks very much like the red kuri squash. I like the texture and the flavor of this particular squash and just scrub clean, cut in half, deseed, and cut in small chunks. I place in microwaveable bowl just covering with water and cook 10 to 15 minutes till just tender. The skin can be eaten as it is very thin or peel with vegetable peeler. When tender it can be placed in a baking dish and seasoned as desired and placed under broiler to brown. It cooks much quicker this way. I usually can not resist eating as soon as it is tender with a little butter, salt and pepper, and a packet of True Orange juice crystals sprinkled over it.

  11. Donalyn says:

    Thanks Larry – we just found out this past weekend that these are Kuri squash. How it ended up in our garden is still a mystery however.

  12. SamSays says:

    Awesome, I hope you saved the seeds, and Please use Metric for your recipes, Thanks.

  13. Pingback: Sweet and Spicy Winter Squash Recipe | Daily Unadventures in Cooking

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