Thursday, November 6, 2014

Cranberry and Rice Stuffed Acorn Squash


Let's talk about squash

Does that word rub you the wrong way the same way it does me?

When I was a kid, I wouldn't have been caught dead eating squash, 
I probably would have rather had brussel sprouts (which I'm STILL not a fan of)
 than squash

Thankfully there is zucchini,
the gateway squash, 
as I've always enjoyed zucchini and while I've hated the idea of squash,
I figured that if I liked zucchini, 
then maybe the other squashes couldn't be too bad!  

Now that I have matured 
(insert another thankfully here)
I am so grateful for all of the varieties of squash
AND
all of the awesome recipes to make with them. 

Today I want to share with you 
Cranberry and Rice Stuffed Acorn Squash.

The combination tangy cranberries, chewy rice, creamy squash
and the fabulous flavors of Italian sausage,
this is one heck of fall festival in your mouth!  


This party started by browning 1# of bulk Italian sausage 
while the oven was preheating to 450 F. 


Then, the acorn squash was cut in half
and the seeds were scooped out. 

The baking started with 15-20 minutes at 450 F, 
cut side down,
until started to soften.  


Once the sausage was done, it was drained on a paper towel.

The paper towel helps to separate and collect the grease 
which prevents it from moving on to the next steps in the process. 

One cup of brown minute rice was added to 1 cup of boiling or broth
for a quick 5-minute cooking session. 


When the rice was nearly done, the sausage was added to the rice pan
along with 1/2 cup of dried cranberries.


And, viola, the gluten free stuffing is ready!  
And, looks delicious!  


After the first pre-cooking session, 
the squash was flipped over and coated with some butter. 


Piled high with the stuffing mix. 


Sprinkled with Parmesan and 
back to the oven for the next 20-30 minutes at 350 F until nice and soft!


These came out of the oven ready to be devoured. 

Perfect for these brisk, fall evenings. 



RECIPE:

Prep Time : 20 minutes
Bake Time : 35-50 minutes

Serves: 2

Ingredients:
1# bulk Italian Sausage
1 cup of minute rice - uncooked
1 cup water or broth
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 acorn squash
4 tbsp Butter
Grated Parmesan cheese - to taste

Directions:
Preheat oven to 450 F. 
Brown sausage and drain well. 
Cut Acorn Squash in half and remove seeds. 
Bake cut side down for 15-20 minutes. 
Make 1 cup of Minute rice according to instructions. 
Combine cooked rice, sausage and cranberries. 
After the first 15-20 minutes of baking, flip squash over and butter. 
Reduce oven to 350 F.
Fill with cranberry, rice and sausage stuffing. 
Top with Parmesan cheese. 
Bake for 20-30 minutes.