Saturday, November 28, 2009

Un-Turkey Thanksgiving

Soy Chorizo and Rice Stuffed Acorn Squash

Serves 2 as a main dish, or 4 as a side.

1 acorn squash, sliced in half, with seeds/innards scraped out.

Grease liberally with olive oil, place cut down on an aluminum-lined baking sheet. Bake at 375 for 30-40 minutes, or until fork-tender. Once cool, carefully scoop out 75% of the squash flesh and set aside. Make sure to leave the shell intact.

While the squash is baking, cook 1 c white or brown rice.

I used a rice cooker, and needed 2 c water. On the stove-top, ratios may differ. I actually make poor rice on the stove top, so I shall graciously confess my use of tools, and let other, wiser, folk on the internet direct the cooking-of-rice-in-pots-on-stoves.

Chop into a small dice two large (or four small) shallots.
Mince 4-6 cloves garlic (or to taste).

Saute the shallots in olive oil over medium-low heat until translucent. Add the garlic, saute 1-2 minutes more, until garlic softens but does not brown.

Add 1-2 teaspoons of cumin and a 1/2 teaspoon of dried pepper flakes.

Stir another thirty seconds or so. Add in the squash innards, mixing, then once combined, stir in half of the rice (About a cup, there will be rice to spare. I just find it ridiculous to make a 1/2 c of dry rice, since there are so many uses for leftover rice.)

Once the squash and rice are well combined, add about 4 inches of soy chorizo crumbles. Stir to combine. It comes in a casing, so it's easier to approximate four inches than it sounds. Add more or less to taste -- I didn't want the flavor of the chorizo to dominate the delicious squash, I just wanted to compliment it.

Pack this mixture back into the squash shells and level them off. Carefully wrap the squash shells in aluminum foil as if they were baked potatoes. Pop them in the oven, either on low (200 degrees) until it's time to serve the rest of dinner, or 350 for about 10-15 minutes to warm them completely and combine the flavors. The foil wrapper will keep them from drying out and trap delicious flavor inside.

Some bread crumbs or cheese crumbles would be a nice finishing topping -- I was trying to keep this dish vegan though, so I skipped the cheese. If a brown crusty topping is desired, remove the foil for the last five minutes of bake-time to let the cheese or bread crumbs brown.

This is a top-secretly hearty dish. Since it was one of many items for Un-Turkey Thanksgiving, we were both barely able to eat a third of a half of a squash. Bon Appetit!

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