Saturday night – 01/17/2009

Looking for something a little different this week I ended up settling upon a recipe I’ve made before. It turned out well, I think.

January 17th Menu
Stuffed acorn squash (recipe can be found here)
Ground pork with vegetables (recipe can be found here)
Homemade bread (from ted_badger)

Dessert was Ted’s Pricey Brownies with ice cream

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Stuffed Acorn Squash and Ground Pork with Vegetables

The stuffed squash recipe is based on this one by Alton Brown. That said I don’t mix the pork into the rice mixture but rather create a separate dish using ground pork and the carrot/celery/onion mixture. My version also serves 12 compared to Alton’s 4.

Stuffed Acorn Squash

Ingredients
6 small acorn squash
6 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 Tbsp cubes
3 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped carrot
1/2 cup white wine or vermouth
3 or 4 cups cooked rice
2 (10 oz.) packages frozen spinach, thawed, drained & chopped
1 tsp. fresh thyme, leaves only
Salt & pepper

Heat oven to 400°F.

Halve the acorn squashes and scoop out the seeds, leaving a hollow. Slice a sliver off the back of each squash half so that it sits level in a 13″x9″ baking dish (you’ll need 2). Place 1/2 Tbsp. butter cube in each squash half and season with salt & pepper. Set aside.

Heat the olive oil over medium heat. Saute onions, celery & carrot for about 7 minutes or until the carrots have softened. Deglaze the pan with white wine or vermouth. Add the thyme & spinach and incorporate. Add the rice, stirring again to incorporate.

Fill the squash hollows with the rice mixture. Cover each pan with aluminum foil and bake for 1 hour. Check the squash for doneness by poking with a fork. If the fork slides into the squash easily then it is done. If not bake for another 10 minutes and check again.

Ground pork with vegetables

Ingredients
4 Tbsp. olive oil
3 lbs. ground pork
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped carrot
1/2 cup white wine or vermouth
1 tsp. fresh thyme, leaves only

In a large pan over medium heat 1 Tbsp. oil and brown the pork until it is no longer pink. I did this in 3 one pound batches, seasoning with salt & pepper as I went. I transferred each batch to a bowl before moving on the the next batch.

Once all the pork is cooked and transferred to a bowl all the pork add the final Tbsp. oil and cook the onions, celery & carrot, again for about 7 minutes or until the carrots have softened. Deglaze the pan with white wine or vermouth. Add the thyme & cooked pork, stir to combine.