Saturday, September 18, 2010

Stuffed Squash for Two

Stuffed Squash

I've had this recipe kicking around forever, with the plans to make it, but I could never convince Jake and Hubs to try it. Both of them aren't fans of squash and so, for the longest time, I shelved it. Last week I finally just bought the acorn squash and without even asking anyone's opinion, I made these and announced that they were dinner.

Except for Hubs. I made him a chopped salad with chicken.

Jake wandered into the kitchen at different intervals, sniffing here, tasting there, and soon he was so intrigued that it didn't matter I was making squash, because it all just seemed so delicious. This is one of the many things I love so much about my teenager-he may be reluctant at first, but more often than not he becomes intrigued and then just has to try it.

The squash itself becomes creamy and melds right in with the stuffing, which has some great texture from the sunflower seeds. I would serve them as a wonderful vegetarian option to a Thanksgiving turkey because they are so filling and tasty.

adapted from Canadian Living

2 smallish sized acorn squash
1 tbsp butter
1 onion, minced
1/2 cup celery, chopped finely
1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
2 cloves garlic, minced
(the original recipe called for 2 tbsp tomato paste, but I forgot it and now, I'm not sure I'd add it. Without was delicious!)
1 cup fresh bread crumbs (I took a hunk of freshly baked French bread and whirred it up in my food processor)
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1/4 cup unsalted sunflower seeds
1/2 tsp of salt (I used about 1/4 tsp)
1/4 tsp pepper
2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese

Carefully cut out a wedge in each squash, about 1/3 of it's size. This is a bit tricky because squash are hard and it's easy to cut yourself. Scoop out the seeds and cut a thin slice off each squash to level them out a bit, with the cut side up.

Put the squash in a microwave save dish and microwave on high for 12-15 minutes, until they are tender.

Peel and dice up the bits of squash that you had cut off, and set aside.

In a pan over medium heat, melt the butter and then fry up the diced squash, onion, and celery until they are soft and slightly browned. Add in the minced garlic and mushrooms, continuing to cook for about another 3 minutes. If you choose to add tomato paste, add it now and combine well. Allow the mixture to cool slightly.

In a bowl combine the bread crumbs, sunflower seeds, cheese, onion mixture, salt and pepper. Give it all a good stir and then stuff it all into the cooked squash wedges, mounding it up. I never thought I'd fit all that stuffing into the squash, but I did. Transfer the wedges to a baking sheet and sprinkle them with the Parmesan cheese.

Bake in a 450 F oven for about 7-10 minutes, until they are heated through and golden.

Serves 2
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