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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

stuffed butternut squash.

Once upon a time, there was this butternut squash.

It was feeling lonely so it decided to house some bread, chives, cheese, mushrooms and cream. Just then, salt and pepper began to pour, soon to be followed by a colossal heatwave. An hour later, another tragedy struck.

My spoon. 

Stuffed Butternut Squash
adapted from Dorie's Pumpkin Stuffed With Everything Good
serves 1

I made this quite healthy by using milk instead of cream and subbing half the amount of cheese for cottage cheese. If you've had the original version with cream, you might notice the difference in richness but I haven't, and I think my "lite" version is pretty darn decadent too.

1 half of a butternut squash, slightly more than half a pound
salt and freshly ground pepper
1 slice of stale bread, cut into 1/2 inch squares
30g cheese, such as Gruyere, Emmenthal, cheddar, or a combination, cut into 1/2 inch chunks
1 portobello mushroom, cut into 1/2 inch chunks
1 tbsp finely sliced chives
a handful of walnuts (or even pine nuts)
about 1/3 cup heavy cream or milk
pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

Center a rack in the oven and preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet.

Remove the seeds from the squash with a spoon and season with salt and pepper. Place the squash on the baking sheet. Toss the bread, cheese, mushroom and chives in a bowl. Season with pepper and a bit of salt if your cheese isn't salty. Pack the mixture into the cavity of the squash. If you have too much filling, use a knife to carve more space. The extra squash can be roasted along with the stuffed one.

Stir the cream with the nutmeg and more salt and pepper. Pour on top of the stuffing. Make sure the ingredients are nicely moistened, but not overly so. If you think you need more cream, pour more in. Use your judgement.

Cover the squash with tin foil and bake for 45 minutes. If the squash isn't tender enough to be easily pierced with fork, you need to add a few more minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an extra 5 minutes just for a bit of colour.

Serve immediately.

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