Recipe for ginger-infused acorn squash and how to peel ginger root with a teaspoon

I learned this vegetarian recipe from a chef from Nepal. I learned it well over two months ago at culinary school (I'm a student) and wrote about it in my cooking school blog, but never got around to mentioning it here.

Until today.

And you've got to have this recipe. It takes the usual acorn squash and just elevates it to a whole new level of deliciousness.

Before we get to the recipe, I have a neat party trick for you involving a ginger root and a teaspoon.

How to peel ginger root with a teaspoon
Hold the fresh garlic root in one hand and the teaspoon in the other. With the inside of the bowl of the spoon facing the ginger, use the edge of the spoon to peel the ginger root.

Much easier to get around all those knobby protrusions than with a peeler, isn't it? Which makes this a very handy kitchen tip, indeed!

Vegetarian recipe for ginger-infused acorn squash
1 acorn squash
2" long piece of fresh ginger, peeled and cut in half
1/4 teaspoon dried cardamon
1/2 teaspoon dried cinnamon
1 ounce butter or more
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat your oven to 450 F. Cut your squash in half. Be careful; don't lose control of your knife.

Smash your ginger halves with the flat side of a chef’s knife (put the flat side of your knife on the ginger and smack down with the side of your hand, carefully), much like you do with garlic. Place each piece on a cookie sheet. Place each half of your squash on top of the ginger. Pop into the oven for 20 minutes.

Take your squash out and turn over. Discard the ginger. Dust each half of squash with the cardamon and cinnamon (if you want it sweeter, sprinkle about a teaspoon or more of brown sugar on each half; sometimes I do, sometimes I don't, depending on my mood). Drop 1/2 ounce or more butter into each squash cavity. Pop back into the oven and cook for another twenty minutes.

Take your squash halves out of the oven, poke them with a fork to make sure they are tender (if not, pop back in for a bit longer) and spoon the melted butter over the exposed flesh.

You can serve your squash as is. Or, you can cut the halves into quarters. Or, if you prefer (and this is great comfort food), you can scoop the flesh out of your squash and mash it.

Season with salt and pepper and serve.

(By the way, I can eat an entire squash half all by itself for lunch and be happy as anything. But if I want to make it for dinner, I never know what to serve with it, so if you have any suggestions, do tell. Cheers!)