Klutzing Around With: Apple, Mushroom, and Sausage Stuffed Acorn Squash

Today, my friends, I was met with an alarming site. While shopping at the local farmer’s market I saw…Christmas decorations.

That’s right. Christmas decorations. Halfway through October and already elves, wreaths, and holly are making their way into stores everywhere. So what does that mean for those of us who still want to hold on to the spookiest season of the year for a bit longer?

Cook allllll the fall foods!!!!

Or, that’s what I’m going to do to cope.

The Recipe

I haven’t tested many dinner recipes yet, but this one caught my eye for being particularly fall-y: Apple, Mushroom, and Sausage Stuffed Acorn Squash by The Pretend Baker. I have never had an acorn squash before, but this is a blog of firsts and I will not shy away from new food opportunities when they appear in front of me (and when the squash is on sale for a dollar).

Making the Squash

squash5.JPG

So I’m going to tell you up front—I made a mistake with the spices listed below. Instead of using fresh leaves, I used the ones on the spice rack, not realizing that meant the portions needed to be adjusted. The final product was fine, but I indicated what portions should actually be used in the list below.

For the squash, you will need:

  • 2 medium acorn squashes
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 lb spicy pork sausage, casings removed
  • 1 large onion
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 large stalks of celery, diced
  • 1 medium apple, peeled, cored, and diced
  • ½ lb cremini mushrooms, cleaned and sliced small
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves (if using dried leaves, use 1  tsp)
  • ½ tbsp rosemary leaves, minced
  • 1 tbsp fresh sage leaves, minced (if using dried leaves, use 1  tsp)
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • ¾ cup shredded mozzarella cheese

For equipment, you will need:

  • An oven
  • A stove top
  • A large kitchen knife
  • A paring knife
  • A large metal spoon, one that works for scraping
  • A baking sheet
  • A timer
  • A large, deep skillet
  • A plate
  • A cutting board
  • A wooden spoon
  • A medium bowl

To get things started, I preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, then cut the acorn squash in half using the large kitchen knife. I actually have to experiment with a few different knives before I find one that cuts through, but the large kitchen knife does the trick.

Next, I take the large metal spoon to scrape the seeds and have a nostalgic moment as I reminisce about  carving pumpkins and roasting the seeds for a tasty snack. Definitely something to do later in the season.

Anyway, now that the gourds are cleaned out, I place them on the baking sheet cut side down and roast them until the skin is easily pierced by the paring knife, around 40 minutes.

While waiting for the squash to roast, it’s time to heat the skillet over medium-high heat and cook the sausage until browned. This takes a good bit of time, but finally it’s cooked enough and the sausage is set aside on the plate for later.

After that’s done, I add 1 tbsp of butter to the skillet along with the minced onion, celery, and chopped apple. I cut the produce while waiting for the sausage to brown, which was a bit of a mistake, as I have only succeeded in cutting the onion and celery at this point. Frantically, I cut up the apple and throw the pieces in as the onion and celery cook.

Finally, the apple is cut and cooked with the onion and celery. I add a pinch of salt and continue cooking the mixture, stirring frequently with the wooden spoon until the onion is translucent and the apple soft. Around this time, the oven alarm goes off and I remove the squash while reducing the oven temperature to 375 degrees. The squash is flipped and allowed to cool.

While this is happening, I add the garlic and herbs to the onion/apple/celery mix and sauté for 30 seconds before removing it and placing the mixture in the medium bowl.

Next, it’s time to add a bit more butter (around 1/2 tbsp) along with the mushrooms and a pinch of salt. I stir the mushrooms frequently until they get brown and buttery, which takes around eight minutes.

Processed with MaxCurve

Finally, it’s time to return the onion/apple/celery mix to the skillet along with the cooked sausage. While this continues to cook, I take the squash and scoop out the majority of the flesh, only leaving enough on the skin for sturdiness. The removed flesh is added to the skillet and everything is thoroughly stirred together with the beaten egg.

After everything is cooked and mixed, I take the wooden spoon and evenly distribute the filling into the squash halves. I then top it with the shredded mozzarella, put everything in the oven on the same baking sheet, and cook for 15 minutes. The squash is left to stand for 10 minutes and we’re ready to eat!

The Final Product

squash3.JPG

These are adorable, but wow that was a lot of effort. And as for time…

squash1

ALMOST TWO HOURS?! Jeez, I cannot believe it took that long. Almost 35 minutes over the promised mark, though it’s likely my fault since I didn’t cut the produce prior to cooking. Oh well, lessons learned.

The Verdict

squash2.JPG

This was pretty descent, but as I messed up some of the spices, it’s a bit overpowering. I’m disappointed over such a silly mistake, but hopefully you all can learn from me if you try this yourself. And I do recommend it. Despite my error, it’s a solid meal that fills me up and warms the belly. Just make sure you have an hour (or two) to dedicate to your fall feasting.

Ingredients/Directions

INGREDIENTS
  • 2 medium acorn squashes
  • 2 TBSP butter + more if necessary
  • 1 lb salt + pepper pork sausage, casings removed
  • 1 large sweet onion
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 large stalks of celery, diced
  • 1 medium apple, peeled, cored and diced
  • ½ lb cremini mushrooms, cleaned and sliced small
  • 1 TBSP fresh thyme leaves
  • ½ TBSP rosemary leaves, minced
  • 1 TBSP fresh sage leaves, minced
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • ¾ cup shredded white cheddar, mozzarella or gruyere cheese

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 400F
  2. Cut squashes in half, remove the seeds and place on a baking dish, cut side down and roast for 30-45 minutes or until flesh is easily pierced. Remove from oven, turn the temperature down to 375F, flip over and allow to cool until you are able to handle it.
  3. Meanwhile, heat a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat, cook sausage until browned. Remove sausage to a plate.
  4. Add 1 tbsp of butter to the skillet along with the minced onion, celery and chopped apple. Add a generous pinch of salt and cook, stirring frequently until onion is translucent and apple is soft.
  5. Add garlic and minced herbs and saute for 30 seconds.
  6. Remove onion and garlic mixture to another plate or bowl.
  7. Add remaining butter and mushrooms along with another pinch of salt. Cook, stirring every so often until brown and buttery, about 5-8 minutes.
  8. Return onion/apple mixture to the skillet along with cooked sausage and all accumulated juices.
  9. When squash is cool enough to handle, scoop out most of the flesh, leaving some in the skin for sturdiness.
  10. Add squash flesh to the pan and stir until well incorporated. Taste, adjust salt and pepper.
  11. mix in beaten egg and fill squash halves. You may have leftover filling- just add it to an oven safe dish.
  12. Top with shredded cheese, return to the oven on the same baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and brown.
  13. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Have a food you’d like to see me klutz around with? Let me know in the comments or reach out through my contact page!

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s