March 6, 2009

Italian Stuffed Acorn Squash

I have been having a serious relationship with RecipeZaar lately. I think it's because it is largely uncharted territory for me, as I have only recently discovered it. I know I have recounted all the wonderful features of in previous posts, so I will spare you yet another retelling of all the reasons why I love it. Just know that I think it is the bee's knees. (Assuming that bees actually have knees. If they do, I am sure they are spectacular!)

As you may have guessed this is another recipe from the aforementioned website. Ahem. I found this during my 'goat cheese' search, and I thought it was very interesting. I rarely ever have back to back vegetarian meals, but I needed to make an exception tonight. I felt one of my acorn squash specimens and found it to be a little soft. (Notice I used the word "specimens" instead of trying to figure out the plural form of "squash" it "squashes"???? "squashi"?? just plain "squash" the word "fish" that is the same both singular and plural???...I don't know, it is all very confusing to me.) Anyway...moving on.... I guess I better make my squash tonight.

The original recipe indicates that this is a slow cooker recipe, but I need to adapt it to the oven. I got a later start than planned, and all four of my squash halves do not fit into my crock pot. Ugh. I will have to do some creative cooking and figure out a way for it to bake in a timely manner. I am not really interested in going overboard on side items either, I think I will just make up a romaine salad with some homemade, easy vinaigrette and call it a night. I am looking forward to trying this dish, it sounds pretty interesting. Let's just hope is tastes good, as well!

Italian Stuffed Acorn Squash
Recipe #101585/By: Sharon123 (Oct 8, 2004)

1 large acorn squash, halved and seeded
olive oil
1 cup water
1/2 cup wild rice
1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds or pine nuts (I have used sunflower seeds too)
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1 cup vegetable broth
1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese or feta cheese

Cut squash in half and scoop out seeds. Brush squash halves with olive oil and place in slow cooker (slice off bottoms to level, if necessary). Pour 1 cup water into the cooker, around (not into) squash.

In a small bowl, combine wild rice blend, pumpkin seeds or pine nuts, minced garlic, tomato paste, salt, pepper, and spices; stir until well-mixed. Stuff rice mixture into each squash half.

Slowly pour about 1/2 cup vegetable broth into each squash cavity until full (don't let stuffing overflow). Pour any remaining broth around squash. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours. Just prior to serving, sprinkle with crumbled cheese.

Jen's Notes:
I am doubling this recipe, making 4 halves (or two whole acorn squash). Also, as I mentioned, I need to adapt this recipe to the regular oven. Since I am not sure how that will work, I will need to experiment and then post my results later. This version is the slow cooker version, as originally written. I am not sure what salad dressing I am going to make either. I know Ellie Krieger has one that looked pretty good, so I may go with that. I will post a separate recipe later, depending on which vinaigrette I choose.

The Result:
This was really yummy, and pretty filling. One half per person is plenty! My little boy actually ate 1/4 all by himself. The combination of flavors is really good, and the wild rice texture makes it interesting (in a good way).

I ended up not following the recipe at all, since I totally ran out of time. Here is what I actually did: I roasted the squash in a 425 degree oven for 45 minutes with salt, pepper, and olive oil. Then, I cooked the wild rice separately and just mixed it in with the rest of the ingredients. I stuffed the squash when they came out of the oven and put the dollop of goat cheese on top. The result was super-yummy. The husband-who is not a big squash fan-really liked it and said that this was probably the best squash application that he has liked, so far. I thought that to be a glowing review on his part! I will make this again, since everyone at my house really seemed to like it.

No comments: