Thursday, November 11, 2010

Southwestern Stuffed Squash

Our kitchen looks like it is having squash babies. We have pumpkins, butternuts, buttercups, and more. Lions, and tigers, and bears, oh my! They are on our counters and kitchen table. I swear sometimes that when we get up in the morning, there are more! Multiplying squash, that would be fantastic. Some are from our garden, some from my mom's garden, and some from random impulse buys. We have a 22 pound Long Island Cheese Pumpkin that we got at the Co-op because it was advertised as making the smoothest pies ever. As smooth as cheesecake! Pumpkin cheesecake, what, what??

In reality though, I am happy to have such a plethora of these wonderful gourds, because they are delicious, healthy, and last a long time!

Nevertheless, we are trying to put them to good use. Anytime I see a yummy looking squash recipe I get excited. This is from a book that my friend Carolyn gave me for my birthday a few years ago - EatingWell in Season. The recipe calls for acorn squash, but I thought that Buttercup Squash would be a good substitute. Buttercup squash is a winter squash that is coming into popularity. My mom grew them, but I've seen them in Whole Foods too. They are about the same size as acorn squash, but are a little denser and sweeter. One interesting difference is that the cavity is a little lower and deeper, making them ideal to stuff. NPR just ran an article on winter squash. This is what they have to say about this little guy: It was developed in 1932 at North Dakota Agricultural College and many consider it an almost-perfect winter squash. The skin is a dark forest green, and it has a distinctive protrusion on the bottom. The orange flesh becomes creamy and sweet when cooked.

Sounds good, right??

I love trying new varieties of produce that I love. You never know what you are going to find!

Southwestern Stuffed Acorn Squash
Adapted from EatingWell in Season

3 buttercup or acorn squash
0.5 lb turkey sausage (you can find bulk or just squeeze it out of the casing - I used an Andouille turkey sausage and it was great)
1 yellow onion, diced
1 small red bell pepper, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon chili or chipotle powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 15-25 oz can black beans (the big cans were on sale at the co-op, so I used a 25 oz can)
1 14 oz can diced tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon salt
Several dashes hot sauce to taste
6 slices pepper jack cheese or 1 cup shredded

Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment or lightly coat with cooking spray.

Cut squash in half horizontally. Scoop out and discard seeds. Place the squash cut-side down on the baking sheet and bake until tender (about 45 minutes).

Meanwhile, preheat skillet with olive oil over medium heat. Add sausage and cook, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, until lightly browned (3-5 minutes). Add onion and pepper, cook until softened (3-5 minutes). Stir in garlic, chili powder and cumin. Cook for about a minute. Stir in tomatoes, beans, salt, and hot sauce. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for about 12-15 minutes.

When squash are tender, reduce oven temperature to 325°. Fill the squash cavities with the bean/turkey mixture. Top with cheese. Put back on baking sheet and bake until the cheese has melted (8-10 minutes).

Recipes I bookmarked lately: Rabbit Stew w/Mushrooms (Simply Recipes) and Spinach, Mushroom, and Bacon Fondue (Steamy Kitchen)


Grace said...

Yuuuum! I love squash, but I have never had buttercup. It sounds delicious! If your squash multiples over night again, send some my way :)

bellini valli said...

I haven't had an acorn squash yet this season so I think the time is NOW!

dpriceix said...

Definitely yummm, I might even try making this if you left us any squash.

Anonymous said...

hi sweetie,
I'm going to try this one. It sounds great and I think Dad cab eat a little squash. Can't wait for Thanksgiving. Keep up the good cooking. Next year I'll grow more squash. Love you know who!

carolbahn said...

Looks delicious Georgia! Glad you are putting the book to excellent use:)

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