Stuffed butternut squash

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Stuffed butternut squash
Stuffed butternut squash
The ingredients
Servings:Serves 2
Calories per serving:368
Ready in:1 hour 55 minutes
Prep. time:15 minutes
Cook time:1 hour 40 minutes
Difficulty:Average difficulty
Recipe author:Chef
First published:3rd August 2013
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Ready to join together

I think the idea for this may have come from a Jamie Oliver book originally but it's been altered a bit and has become a firm favourite since we started growing squashes a few years ago. The rice cooks in the squash using only the moisture from its flesh.


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Ingredients

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Mise en place

  • Preheat the oven to 220° C (425°F / Gas 7 / Hot)

Method

  1. Soak the mushrooms for 10 minutes in a 100 ml of boiling water
  2. Rinse the rice in a sieve under cold running water for a minute to remove any excess starch, then leave to drain in the sieve
  3. Using an ice-cream scoop, if you have one, scoop out about half the flesh of both halves of the squash, making sure you leave leaving enough around the edges and which is an even thickness
  4. Chop half of this flesh with half of the reserved seeds, discard the rest
  5. In a wok or frying pan, add a couple of shakes of garlic olive oil, fry the onions, garlic and bacon for a few minutes
  6. Add the cumin seeds, chilli flakes, thyme, tomatoes and chopped squash flesh and seeds.
  7. Fry for 5 minutes
  8. Add the mushrooms, 50 ml of the water they have been soaking in, the rice and the pine nuts, stir and heat for 3 minutes
  9. Season the mixture to taste
  10. Stuff the squash with the mixture
  11. Add a few tablespoons of stock, wine or water to contents in the bottom half. I've used white wine, sherry, lager, chicken stock, vegetable stock or even just water. It just helps to ensure the rice receives enough moisture.
  12. Join the two halves together and wrap tightly in a sheet of lightly oiled tin foil
  13. Bake in an oven dish for an hour and a half
  14. Check the rice is cooked before you fully unwrap the squash. Pop it back in the oven for another 15 minutes if needed.
  15. Serve immediately

Variations

This dish can be made with various squashes and marrows. Different varieties of rice, even couscous work well too. Try different key spices like coriander or fennel.

A handful of presoaked Chinese dried shrimps would be good along with the zest and juice of a lime.

Joining the two halves

Having made this for years I have just worked out a simple way of joining the two halves. Place a small sheet of tin foil on one half, turn that one over holding the foil so the stuffing stays in the squash, hold the two halves tightly together and pull the piece of foil out! Obvious really!


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