• 2 acorn squash
• 1 large white onion, diced
• 2 to 4 cloves garlic, minced
• 1 ½ cups cooked rice
• 1 bag frozen corn
• grated cheese
• unsalted butter
• olive oil
• salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Cut the squash in half (cut a thin slice off the tops and bottoms for an even standing surface once they're done). Oil a baking sheet with the olive oil to prevent the squash from sticking. Butter each of the four squash halves, and place, cut side down, on the sheet. Bake until tender, about 40 minutes--the insides should be scoop-able, and the skins a little tender but still fairly firm.
While the squash are baking, dice the onion and garlic. Melt some butter in a large skillet or sauté pan over medium heat and cook together until they begin to soften. Add in the corn kernels (either using the frozen corn, or if you have ears of corn on hand fresh) and cooked rice (Japanese was used in this recipe, but any sort of rice or grain would do). Mix the garlic, onions, rice and corn together to integrate them and heat all of the ingredients through.
When the squash are ready, remove them and allow to cool slightly. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F. Then, using a spoon or ice cream scoop, scoop out the pulp from within the squash, leaving about a ¼-inch-thick shell (more or less as close to the skin as you can get so that it maintains it's shape/doesn't tear). Reserve the shells, and transfer the pulp to a large bowl. Add the corn and rice mixture to the squash pulp and mix together. Add grated cheese (your choice--I used sharp cheddar) and salt and pepper to taste. Scoop the mixture back into the reserved acorn squash shells, and top generously with a mix of breadcrumbs and grated cheese (I combined cheddar with some pecorino and panko crumbs). Put the filled halves back on the baking sheet, and bake until the cheese has melted and the topping begins to turn a dark golden brown. Serve warm!
Potential options: Mixing in broken-up sausage or crisp, crumbled bacon, toasted nuts, different cheeses, or vegetables and herbs/seasonings of your choice; definitely highly adaptable.
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