Monday, November 21, 2011

Stuffed patty pan squash. Thank you, farmer's market!

Shreveport has a great Farmer's Market that sadly had its last market of the season this past saturday: womp womp.  Luckily, I was able to grab a few things, including some patty pan squash and I was very jazzed with the results.

I'd only cooked patty pan squash once before and didn't have a recipe on hand, but based on a brief google search I knew I wanted to stuff it.  This recipe came together by investigating what I had on hand to get rid of before going out of town for Thanksgiving. As they say, "Necessity is the mother of invention," which certainly rings true when throwing together a meal.  It makes me a little anxious to do something completely new, but it's damn satisfying when it turns out well, and let's be real, it turns out well most of the time because of my MAD skillz.

I picked up yellow bell peppers and onion and the farmer's market and decided to use mint, to once again try to hack away at the towering mint plant I have in my yard.  In an effort to do a little pre-vegetarian detox, I tried to go light and vegetarian so I added corn, cheese, and rice, and called it a day.  It was a little time consuming to cook the squash, then scoop it out, but now that I've done it once,  it'll be easy peasy next time because there WILL be a next time, oh yes.  This dish, despite the lack of meat, is also fella approved, when served with a salad.

Stuffed Patty Pan Squash (Serves 3)
3 large patty pan squash
2 servings rice (Cooked w/ chicken stock.  Cook w/ veggie or water if desired)
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp balsamic vinegar.
1 clove garlic
1/2 onion, chopped
1 small bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup frozen corn, defrosted
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp cayenne
4 ounces manchego cheese, chopped
1 tbsp chopped fresh mint

Heat 1 inch of water in a large sauce pan or stock pot.  Bring to boil, then add squash and cover.  Cook for about 10 minutes until a fork can easily pierce the skin.  Put to the side and let rest and chill for a few minutes.  Carefully slice the top (stem side) off and remove seeds and discard and reserve all of the squash. Add cooked rice, lemon juice, and cayenne, and taste.  Adjust seasons as necessary and preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Heat 1 tsp of olive oil in same pan that cooked the squash.  Add garlic and cook one minute.  Add onions and bell pepper and cook until transluscent.  Add corn, balsamic, and oregano and saute for 2-3 minutes until warmed and add salt and pepper to taste.  Combine this mixture to rice/patty pan mixture and stir thoroughly.  Stir in manchego and mint and taste once more for seasonings.  Stuff squash, overflowing with mixture and cover loosely with foil.  Cook in oven for 10 minutes, until just warmed.

Realize that you actually only needed two of the squash and eat the other one for lunch tomorrow.  SCORE!


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