musings, mutterings, and creative muddle. . .

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Squashed for Supper? Stuff it!

That's right - stuff it!  It's cold and miserable outside.  Stuff it!  Don't want to be a slave to the stove?  Stuff it!  Still hanging on to that New Year's Resolution?  Stuff it!  Got acorn squash?  Stuff it!

Honestly, this wild rice stuffing is quite tasty without the acorn squash bowl, I like how it looks when it's all put together and the flavors really do complement each other.

The tang of the cranberries and wee-mild spice of the onions and celery combined with the various spices are a real treat for the tastebuds without being overwhelming.

Wild Rice Stuffing in Acorn Squash

6 oz (seasoned) long grain and wild rice mix
2-1/3 c chicken broth
2 celery stalks, chopped (or 2 tsp celery seed)
1 med. onion, chopped (or 1 Tbsp onion flakes)
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 c cranberries
1 cup coarsely chopped pecan halves
2 Tbsp minced fresh parsley (or dried 3 Tbsp dried parsley)
4 medium acorn squash
3/4 c water

In large saucepan over high heat, combine rice mix (including any seasoning packets), broth, sage, and thyme.  Bring to boil.  Reduce heat, cover, and simmer 20-25 minutes or until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed.

Meanwhile, chop celery, onion, and pecans, set aside. 

In large skillet, saute celery and onion in oil until tender. 

Stir in cranberries, pecans, and parsley. 

Remove from heat and stir in rice mixture.

Cut squash in half width-wise. 

Remove and  

discard seeds and membranes.

Before filling each squash half. . .

Cut a thin slice from the bottom of each so squash sits flat.

Place in a greased 15" x 10" x 1" baking pan

and fill with with rice mixture.

Pour 3/4 cup of water in pan.

Coat one side of large piece of foil with cooking spray.  Cover pan tightly with foil, coated side down.  Bake at 350 degrees for 50 - 60 minutes until squash is tender.

If you don't have acorn squash, or don't care to use it, you can either heat the rice stuffing mixture through over the stove on medium heat, or put into casserole dish and bake, uncovered, in 350 degree oven for 20 minutes.  But I think the squash 'bowl' makes for a very festive presentation on the plate.

We coupled ours with some pork tenderloin and grape tomatoes. . . very healthy!  What a wonderful cold-night meal!

Feel free to adjust seasonings, celery, onion, cranberries, or pecans to taste. . . maybe you're a little more nutty - add more chopped pecans.  Feel fruity?  Toss in more cranberries. . . Don't like celery much?  Skip it.  In other words - make it your way!

Have a Stuff It kind of day ~

Robin Z

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