The world is comprised of those who like to cook and those who do not. Of the former, the divide continues further with recipe people and non-recipe people. I fall into the first camp. Matthew falls into the second. I want/need to know exactly how much of exactly what to add exactly when. Matt, on the other hand, is a freewheeling MacGyver in the kitchen. This is the man who added coffee--coffee--to a pot of chili! Grape jelly in stir fry! Soda in barbecue sauce! And do you know what? It works deliciously every time. He is a nice yin to my culinary yang.
All that is to say that this recipe for Stuffed Roasted Acorn Squash is a Matthew Ritter original. The dish is a great combination of fancy presentation and comfort food taste. The ready-made bowls present prettily with their scalloped edges and orange flesh. The acorn squash itself has a smooth texture and subtle nutty flavor. Both of these characteristics areamplified by a filling of walnuts and couscous. Then every few bites you get the unexpected yet complementary tart kick of cranberry. A wonderful mix!
On an unrelated note, I would like to add that I have been very busy lately crafting it up like you wouldn't believe. However, all of my recent projects have been Christmas-themed and I'm afraid that it is just too early to start posting it. The retailers of America would disagree. So get ready for a flurry of fun posts in a few weeks!
Stuffed Roasted Acorn Squash
2 acorn squash
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon dried sage
2 garlic cloves
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup ginger ale
2/3 cup couscous
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
1/4-1/3 cup dried cranberries
Begin by cutting the squash in half horizontally and removing the seeds and stems. Pour a small amount of water into a shallow baking pan, just enough to line the bottom. Then place each squash half (cut-side down) into the pan. Roast for 40-45 minutes at 355°F.
Towards the end of roasting time, you should prepare the stuffing. Heat the olive oil in a medium size saucepan and add your sage, garlic, and shallots. After a few minutes, pour in the water and ginger ale. Once boiling, stir in the couscous and remove the pan from heat. The couscous should absorb all liquid. If not, heat additionally as needed. Lastly, stir in the walnuts and dried cranberries
After the squash are roasted, plate each half and fill with stuffing.
Want another great fall-time recipe? This week I made Pumpkin Spiced French Toast.