Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Cooking sans Catastrophe: Stuffed Acorn Squash with Wild Rice

Yep. Still fall. :) And I, a summer dweller, and actually loving it. The changing leaves, the cool breezes, fun sweaters. Not to mention I just had camellias bloom in my front yard. I know it doesn't really count as an accomplishment of mine, given that the minute I look at them they will probably die. :P 

So keeping with the season, another fall inspired recipe. This is a sort of variation of the last squash recipe I posted. However I like it better, since it was more savory than sweet and tht is typically my preferences. 

This recipe came from one of my new favorite magazines, for various reasons. Publix has put out a magazine full of recipes, family helps, health articles, etc. Best part? It's free. I have picked up two copies in store and have also signed up to receive them to my home. We'll see how soon that happens. 

Above is the picture from the magazine. As usual, noting ever looks as glamorous as it does in the magazine, plus the fact that I had to improvise a little, given the ingredients we had and didn't have. 

Full recipe, with my personal notes, followed by the cooking experience shown through photograph. I have got to start using a real camera. :P

2 fresh acorn squash, cut in half lengthwise with seeds removed
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 teaspoon salt (didn't really measure. just used to taste)
1 1/2 cups cooked wild rice (you will see how this worked out)
2 ounces goat cheese (I used feta, although it might have been goat feta)
1/2 cup toasted pecan (I dont think mine were toasted)
1/3 cup pitted, chopped dates
1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place the squash halves on the baking sheet, cut side up; brush with melted butter. Sprinkle with salt. Roast 25-30 minutes, until squash is tender. (I would roast a smidge longer. Just my preference.) Remove from oven. 

2. In a bowl, combine the rice, cheese, pecans, dates, olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and pepper. Stir to combine. Place some of the mixture in the center of each squash half. Turn oven to broil. Return squash to oven; broil 4-5 minutes, or until cheese is slightly melted. 
Makes 4 servings.  "

I've got a lov-a-ly bunch of acorn squash... no? doesn't flow.
cut in half, covered in butter and salt. Probably could have used olive oil to be healthier but, hey. who doesn't love butter?
I'll show you what I did with this gunk later. 
This didn't work as well as I thought. I thouht I would compromise since I didn't really have wild rice. My thought was to combine the two and average the cooking time, but I ended up one rice kinda mushy and one kinda crunchy. Fail.
Yum. :) I almost ate them all. My favorite.
probably chopped them too fine. I think I'll chop by hand next time. Wouldn't take long.
Rice is a-bubblin.
In addition to pecans, added these ingredients once the rice was cooked. (chopped and feta cheese)
The cheese I used. best. cheese. Ever. Been eating it on my salads.
All mixed up. yeah... that part could be way better.
Yummy baked squash.
Top the squash with rice mixture and crumbled cheese. Crank the oven up to broil and cook for 5 minutes.
All done. :) Was awesome with crackers.
Like I said, the rice should have been straight wild rice, but other than that the recipe was great. Way better than the butternut and port-soaked fruit, personally. Will probably post next time I do this. When I do it right. :)

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