Since it's now mid-October, we are firmly in autumn - although you wouldn't know it living in San Diego (it's sunny and 78 today). Nonetheless, I still feel the pull of seasonal eating, and I can't resist all of the winter squashes that are popping up at the grocery store. I picked up an acorn squash on a whim the other day, and then set about to find something to do with it. Here's what I came up with. . . .
Curried Scallops with Acorn Squash
Adapted from Gourmet , serves 2
1 medium acorn squash
2 tablespoons butter
3/4 lb. sea scallops
1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3/4 teaspoon turmeric
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
1 large garlic clove, minced
2 teaspoons fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1 tablespoon lime juice
1/4 cup water
3/4 cup coconut milk
1 1/2 teaspoons garam masala
Chopped fresh cilantro for garnish
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut the squash in half, remove seeds, and season with salt and pepper. Place the butter in a medium roasting pan, and put it in the oven while it is preheating. Once the butter is melted, place the squash halves face down in the roasting pan, and roast until tender, about one hour.
Once squash has roasted for 30 minutes, begin preparing the scallops. Pat them dry and season with salt. Heat 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sear scallops on each side until golden brown, about 3 minutes per side. Set the scallops aside and toss with the turmeric.
In the same skillet, add the remaining 1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil and cook the jalapeno, garlic, ginger, and lime juice for about one minute. Add the water and cook until the mixture is softened and water is evaporated, about 4 minutes. Add the coconut milk and garam masala and simmer for 2 minutes. (Hopefully your squash is about done now; if not, you can pause here - just take the curry sauce off the heat.)
When the squash is done, return the scallops to the skillet with the curry sauce and heat through. Place each squash half on a plate, scoop the scallops and sauce into the hollowed-out part of the squash and garnish with cilantro.