Molecular Gastronomy: Bacon Wrapped Acorn Squash with Balsamic Caviar and Maple Sphere

Bacon wrapped acorn squash with balsamic caviar and maple sphere

I’m slightly concerned about my post titles being a bit too long. I can admit that they’re all a mouth full… and somehow, they manage to keep growing. To me, this isn’t exactly a problem as I think naming a dish according to the ingredients it contains gives my readers a clear idea of what the post (and recipe) is about.  I like to list the ingredients I feel are important to each dish, but since my recipe interests include things like flavour pairing and molecular gastronomy, I tend to think ALL of the ingredients are important. Woops. Predicament.

It’s also due to my own personal inability (or laziness) to come up with a catchy title. It’s clearly too challenging for me to plan a dish, make it, photograph it, write about it AND create a catchy title. That’s just taking it too far. Anyway, I personally like to see literal titles. Let the food speak for itself. Most people can look at the ingredients (if they’re relatively familiar with them) in a recipe and get a sense of whether or not they’ll like it. Right? The names and imagined flavours swirl around in your mind, forcing the idea of the dish into your mouth. I appreciate the honesty of a literal title… but again, there’s the whole length issue. What do you think? Let me know what sort of title catches your eye.

Bacon wrapped acorn squash with balsamic caviar and maple sphere

OK, so it turns out that this recipe is ridiculous. Utterly ridiculous in the best way. Nathan and Alex came to visit me some time ago. Just as passionate lovers never leave the bedroom, my foodie friends and I never left the kitchen over the three days they were around. Fevered moments of flavour creativity (some might say delirium) and collaboration were plentiful and virtuous food was abundant.  The guys brought with them a gorgeous array of fresh farmer’s market produce. Most important of this haul was bacon. Locally butchered, farm fresh strips of fatty delight. It created a revolution in my home and became part of almost every meal.

Bacon wrapped acorn squash with balsamic caviar and maple sphere

While we played around with my molecular gastronomy kits, futzing with spheres and such, Nathan remembered once again that we had bacon. How he could’ve forgotten, I’m not sure. I certainly hadn’t stopped thinking about it. Luckily, he took that thought one step further and remembered the acorn squash he’d brought. It came to everyone’s attention that wrapping bacon around grilled acorn squash would be painfully good. I’m still in pain now. Oy vay.

First, we blanched our cut slices of squash in boiling water for 3 minutes (only 4 at a time so the water doesn’t cool).

blanched acorn squash

Next, we grilled those beauties on a stove-top grill (pan frying is totally acceptable). Luckily, there was some bacon fat left on the grill which added extra flavour to the squash.

Grilled acorn squash

Now that our squash had those beautiful grill marks, we wrapped them (so hard) in bacon and baked them. Sadly, I must note that we had run out of bacon by that point, so not every piece of squash was wrapped.

I showed the boys how to make molecular balsamic caviar, which happily features in this dish.

Balsamic caviar

Maple spheres are also featured. And just look at that little guy! Beautiful, isn’t it?

maple sphere

Of all the maple spheres we made (about 8) this one was the only sphere presentable enough for a photo. When making spheres, it is important that your ingredients have a certain level of calcium in them for the thin film to form properly. Apparently, maple syrup is lacking in the calcium department and the film did not form well. They kept sticking and breaking when I tried to move them. In the hopes of getting one or two out of it, I left some in the sodium alginate bath for a long time (about 15 minutes), which paid off. If I were to try making them again, I’d add some yogurt to the mixture to avoid the same problem.

Bacon wrapped acorn squash with balsamic caviar and maple sphere

 

Bacon Wrapped Acorn Squash with Balsamic Caviar and Maple Sphere

Ingredients

1 acorn squash- cleaned of seeds (with or without peel) and divided into 8-10 pieces

Strip bacon- lots

Balsamic caviar (video instructions below)

Maple sphere (video instructions below)

Water

 

Directions

Preheat your oven to 350 °F/ 180 °C/ Gas mark 4.

Boil a large pot of water. Place 3-4 pieces of squash in the water. Blanch them for 3 minutes then remove them from heat. Repeat until all pieces are blanched.

Grill or pan fry the squash on high heat until the surfaces are beautifully brown.

Place bacon wrapped squash in a casserole pan and bake for 25-30 minutes.

Garnish with balsamic caviar and maple sphere.

Eat and be amazed.

Thanks guys! It was fun!

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12 thoughts on “Molecular Gastronomy: Bacon Wrapped Acorn Squash with Balsamic Caviar and Maple Sphere

  1. Dottie Donut December 19, 2012 / 1:48 AM

    Looks amazing and fun! Also, it sounds so yummy and fall-like. WANT.

    Like

    • Turmeric and Twine December 19, 2012 / 10:40 AM

      Thanks, Dottie! It was a very satisfying cooking endeavor. I may have to have another go at it!

      Like

  2. zoeksan December 19, 2012 / 3:37 AM

    What?????? Your food is becoming crazy in its gourmet-ness. I appreciate your long titles as I think that’s what food listing sound like on a menu in a fancy restaurant, and also it makes better searching. This is what my Google search (in Google Korea, no less) revealed. (attached).

    So how is your job search, Lady?

    On 19 December 2012 10:44, Turmeric and Twine

    Like

    • Turmeric and Twine December 19, 2012 / 10:47 AM

      Thanks, cookie! Bloggers are encouraged to keep titles short, so sometimes it’s hard to tell if a long title is a good idea. But you’re right. It is good for google searching. And, I just like the honesty of the ingredients.

      The job search is coming along. My inbox is being bombarded by recruiters, so it’s hard to pin any one down. I’m getting less picky now, as I want this process to be finished.

      Like

  3. Jean December 19, 2012 / 6:25 PM

    Beebs! I wanna try making those maple spheres but the link to the video is broken…

    Like

  4. Miriam Funtowicz December 28, 2012 / 5:07 AM

    This blog is awesome! The food, the pictures. . . . love it. I have a culinary request. Since you`ve lived in Korea, can you show us all how to make a scrumptious mouth watering Kimchee?
    Hope you are getting closer to deciding on a place. Email me if you want me to call u. The family is out of town until weds, so I have more freedom to talk without being distracted. Positive thoughts your way, girl. xoxo, M

    Like

    • Turmeric and Twine December 28, 2012 / 3:05 PM

      Hi Miriam! Thanks for the great comments! As for your kimchi inquiry: yes! I plan on doing all sorts of Korean yumminess soon. Keep checking for new posts! xoxo

      Like

  5. Sharifa Karen Krongold December 30, 2012 / 5:11 AM

    oy, am i hungry after reading that (and watching videos). regarding titles. i love your titles. at one point i thought upon reading this title in my email queue: oh, i can’t read that, it’s too complicated! I’ll never make that! eventually because it was from you, i read it. then i realized: yes, it is too complicated for me to ever make unless i’m with habiba (which would be massively fun). i am reading it for an entirely different reason. i like knowing what you are doing AND i really like the way you write. you are a good writer – clear, descriptive, engaging.

    ok dear beebs, i loved having even our little bit of time together. i hope we will see one another before so many years, however that seems perhaps unlikely. i will keep you in my heart, be assured of that! love and massive hug, shareefs

    ________________________________

    Like

    • Turmeric and Twine January 2, 2013 / 10:53 AM

      Thanks, Sharfs! The long titles shall stay! …for now.

      Our time together was stupidly short, but packed with good fun. It was so lovely to see you and I hope it happens again.
      LOVE

      Like

  6. anglophiletoad May 3, 2013 / 10:21 AM

    Don’t know about the long titles, but you had me at “bacon.” I am definitely going to try that at home…

    Like

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