Baked Squash with Brown Sugar and Butter

**** Happy Thanksgiving everybody! Who’s cooking what this year? Please do share. :) I will contribute some dishes Asian-American style; roast turkey seasoned with some Asian spices, roast pork belly, and New York style cheesecake topped with fresh berries. This will be my very first Thanksgiving tackling so many dishes and I hope they turn out decent or edible. LOL ****

Who knew that something very simple can yield A-M-A-Z-I-N-G flavors! I bought a butternut squash for a Cambodian recipe I wanted to try which is Stir-Fried Pork with Butternut Squash but haven’t had a chance to make that. Since I will be spending time with my family in Stockton, CA this Thanksgiving holiday (for 4 days) I did not want my beautiful butternut squash to go bad while I am away. My light bulb moment came as I recall a recipe from the Food Network Channel by Paula Deen. Paula made Baked Acorn Squash with Brown Sugar and Butter with a splash of maple syrup. I tweak the recipe a bit. I sub the acorn squash with my butternut squash, reduce the amount of maple syrup and add about a teaspoon of ground cinnamon. My whacked gas oven end up baking it at 400 degrees for 1.5 hours! Do the toothpick/fork test about 40 minutes into baking as your oven might be of better quality than mine, hence doesn’t take as long.

I took a bite and OMG, it was SO GOOD! It was after I finish eating one half that I went back to take some pictures. πŸ˜€ The flavors reminded me of a Cambodian dessert my Mother used to make called Pumpkin Dessert (Num Lapov) αž“αŸ†αž›αŸ’αž–αŸ… made with kabocha or butternut squash with coconut flesh and milk, wrapped in banana leaves and steam. If you prefer a more sweeter version, then increase the sugar or syrup however do keep in mind that squash comes with it’s natural sweetness.

Baked Squash with Brown Sugar and Butter
(Lapov Doat Jear Muy Skaw Nung Buer) αž›αŸ’αž–αŸ…αžŠαž»αžαž‡αžΆαž˜αž½αž™αžŸαŸ’αž€αžšαž“αžΉαž„αž”αŸŠαžΊ
adapt from Recipes courtesy Paula Deen, 2007

1 (1Β½ lb) butternut squash, cut in halves lengthwise
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 tablespoon syrup
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
a pinch of salt
aluminum foil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Meanwhile cut squash lengthwise, scoop out the seeds and remove stringy pulp.

Combine sugar, butter, syrup, cinnamon and salt.

Rub all over the cut side of squash.

Use aluminum foil to lightly cover the cut size and bake with cut side up for about 40 minutes until the squash is tender when pierced with a fork. Then remove aluminum foil and switch broil for an additional 5-10 minutes to get that nice brown caramelize color.

Remove an allow to rest for about 5 minutes. Serve warm.

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