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Episode 304: Killer Barbecue-Hold the Meat

Smoked Acorn Squash with Parmesan Flan

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Smoked Acorn Squash with Parmesan Flan

Recipe Notes

  • Yield: Makes 4 halves, enough to serve 4 as an entrée or side dish
  • Method: Indirect Grilling

Ingredients

  • 2 acorn squashes (each about 2 pounds)
  • Extra virgin olive oil for brushing
  • Coarse salt (sea or kosher) and freshly ground black pepper

For the flan:

  • 2 large eggs, preferably organic
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup freshly and finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (about 4 ounces)
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh chives

For serving:

  • 1 Pepitas (roasted pumpkin seeds; optional)

You’ll also need:

  • 1 Hardwood chunks or chips (if using the latter, soak in water for 30 minutes, then drain); salt slab or 4- by 12-inch strips of aluminum foil crumpled and twisted into 2-inch rings

Recipe Steps

1: Set up your grill for indirect grilling and heat to 400 degrees. If using a salt slab, heat it (gradually, please) as well.

2: Cut each squash in half through the stem end. Remove a small piece from the bottom of each half to stabilize it. Scoop out and discard the seeds. (Or save the seeds; roast with olive oil and salt and pepper. Can be used as a garnish, if desired.) Brush the insides and edges of the squash with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

3: Set each squash half, cut sides down, on the salt slab. Alternatively, set each squash half, cut side up, on a foil ring and place on the grate over the drip pan away from the heat. Indirect grill until semi-tender, 30 to 40 minutes.

4: Meanwhile, make the flan: In a mixing bowl, whisk the eggs until smooth. Whisk in the cream, followed by the grated parmesan and nutmeg, if using. Add salt and pepper to taste.

5: Pour the parmesan mixture into the squash halves. Continue indirect grilling until the tops of the flans are golden, the center is set (an inserted toothpick will come out clean), and the squash itself is tender (the sides will be squeezably soft), 15 to 25 minutes more.

6: Transfer the squash to a platter or plates, or serve directly from the salt slab. Top, if desired, with roasted squash seeds or pepitas and sprinkle with chives.

Recipe Tips

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Steven Raichlen’s Project Fire is a production of Maryland Public Television, Barbacoa, Inc., and Resolution Pictures. © 2021 Barbacoa, Inc. Photos by Chris Bierlein

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