Tuesday, September 28

fall stuffed squash

how cute is that round "8 ball zucchini"??? kinda reminds me of cinderella's carriage. 

goal: reproduce stuffed bell pepper and make more fallish.

why i hesitate to share this recipe:
there are not many measurements or times. i just threw a bunch of stuff together that i thought sounded and looked good at Central Market today. it’s very adaptable to your preferences, cravings and current kitchen stock.

but. what is essential here:
  1. a zucchini squash vessel. a lighter crispier squash was a good light flavor and crisp to go with the creamier, heartier filling. i don’t think a more dense, hearty, almost nearer potatoey butternut squash or pumpkin vessel would have worked as well. plus i found perfect little ball shaped zucchinis! they were more “seedy” (heh. pun) than long zucchini, which you could certainly use, so not as much of their pulp was as usable. in my opinion. but the cooked outside and layer of flesh left was perfect with the filling.
  2. butternut squash, though next time i want to try pumpkin!
  3. toasted pecan pieces: crunch and flavor. i just toasted them on pan in same 400 degree oven til crispy and fragrant, about 4 minutes
  4. a good cheese that can hold its own. parmigiano reggiano has done wonders to my stuffed bell peppers and i liked the manchego cheese i tried today.
  5. pumpkin pie spice and brown sugar (partially cuz it’s fun. partially cuz it’s good)

{fall stuffed squash}
place 3 “8 ball zucchini squash,” with tops cut off * and 1/2 butternut squash face down in baking dish with a bit of water in the bottom.
bake in a 400 degree oven, covered with foil for 30 min, or until tender. i finished the squash in the microwave. 
while the squash are baking:
saute diced onions until tender in olive oil on medium heat
season with kosher salt and cracked pepper
add chopped cremini mushrooms and a bit of butter
saute til tender, but not all the way wilty
reduce heat to low and add
roughly chopped roma tomatoes
more kosher salt and cracked pepper
cover and simmer for about 10 minutes
uncover, increase heat a bit and stir, breaking up tomatoes and allowing liquids to reduce significantly
mix in about a fourth a cup good bread crumbs or cooked brown rice**
stir in pulp {flesh?} from zucchini and butternut squash
and a few dashes of pumpkin pie spice, pepper and brown sugar to taste
stir to combine for a few minutes and season to taste
remove from heat and stir in:
grated Manchego cheese
generous amounts of toasted pecan pieces***
a bit of parsley
fill hollowed zucchini squash with mixture, top with more cheese, 
cover in foil and bake for 10-15 minutes in 375 degree oven, removing foil about half way through.
top with more cheese and parsley if desired
*or large zucchini, halved, lengthwise (will need less cooking time)
**did brown rice, will try bread next time, not even sure if it’s necessary but the rice was nice for texture

  excuse my phone pics!

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