Thursday, April 14, 2016

Stuffed Acorn Squash

Earlier this week, I was trying to decide on what to cook over the next few days. Daniel suggested we have some of the Stuffed Acorn Squash that we had several times back in the fall. So I bought a couple of Acorn squash.
I wish I could convey how much I love this dish. I have been snacking on the cooling stuffing mixture (prior to adding the eggs) while the squash bakes.

Stuffed Acorn Squash
Acorn Squash (1 squash serves 2 people)
Mild Italian sausage links, casings removed (I used one per person)
Apple, chopped (with or without peel) (I had gala that needed to be used, but this is also fantastic with Granny Smith) (1/2 apple per squash)
Onion, chopped (1/2 sweet or yellow  small onion per squash)
Celery, chopped (1/2 to 1 rib per squash)
minced garlic (I used jarred for easiness)
Butter  1 teaspoon more or less per squash
sage (I used dried rubbed sage)
corn flakes or Panko bread crumbs about 1/3 cup per squash (I combined and used both) 
Parmesan cheese, grated (About 1/2 cup, or to taste)
Eggs, one per squash

Preheat oven to 350*

Wash the squash skin (rind) well. It often has a waxy coating. Since the peel is not consumed, you just really need any dirt/ contaminants off them.

Split the squash in half lengthwise. Remove seeds. (Discard, or roast and eat seeds!)

Melt the butter, and add some garlic and sage to the melted butter.
Brush the squash well with the melted butter.
Place the seasoned squash cut side down in a greased baking dish.
Bake in preheated oven approximately 25 minutes, until the squash is just becoming tender.

While the squash is baking,  cook and crumble the Italian sausage in a heavy skillet. (Actually, I did the stuffing step first, and reused the skillet to bake the squash, allowing the stuffing mix to cool a bit in a bowl before adding the eggs)
Remove sausage to a large bowl, and reuse the skillet to cook the apple, celery, and onion. I added a bit more minced garlic here, as well as my leftover butter/ sage mixture. Maybe a bit more sage to taste.

When the onion mixture is soft (onions will be semi-transparent), remove mixture to the bowl with the sausage.

Add the crumbs and Parmesan cheese, mix well. Just let it sit without the eggs in it, until the squash is ready. 
Remove the squash from the oven, and turn over, so the cavities are facing up, ready to be filled.
Add the eggs to the stuffing mixture, and combine well.
Scoop the stuffing into the squash cavities, mounding as needed.
Carefully return stuffed squash to oven. Bake another 20 minutes, until stuffing is turning golden.