I spent the day making layer cakes for a newspaper food column that I am writing. You know the drill, a little taste here and a little taste there makes one feel like they have had too much sugar by the end of an afternoon of shooting pictures.
A kabocha squash has been patiently waiting for me to turn it into a wonderful dinner. Today feels like the day for a wholesome and healthy meal.
I am so excited about this recipe. It is a bonafide 'created by me' recipe and it is so good. The variations are endless. Leave out the turkey and it is vegetarian. I can see it being delicious with shrimp. I love the variety of textures, shapes, and colours. The heat of the jalapenos is balanced by the creaminess of the kabocha squash.
Wild rice adds interesting texture. I have black beans in the pantry so they are replacing the traditional lima beans. All in all, it is looking like a southwestern style succotash.
Preparation is easy. I use the pressure cooker for cooking both the wild rice and black beans, separately.. After sauteeing the onions and peppers, the remainder of the ingredients are tossed together before filling the squash. You can cook as many as your oven will hold so it is great for a large gathering.
This is a very large serving so be sure to have doggie bags available for your guests. I could only eat one quarter of a stuffed squash so it could serve 8 if you had other items on the menu.
Southwestern Succotash Stuffed Squash
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh or canned jalapeno pepper
- 1 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 medium onion, diced
- 1/2 medium red bell pepper, diced
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup frozen corn
- 1/2 cup tomato sauce
- 1 cup cooked wild rice
- 1 cup cooked black beans
- 2 cups cooked turkey, cubed
- 2 kabocha squash, or butternut
Cut squash in half, remove seeds and rub inside with olive oil and salt. Set on a baking sheet and put in oven while you prepare the filling.
Heat oil in a 12 inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then saute onion, red bell pepper and jalapeno pepper if using fresh, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 6 minutes. Add garlic, black pepper, cumin and salt and continue to saute, stirring, until garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute.
Add corn, tomatoes, turkey, wild rice, chiles.
Remove squash from oven and stuff mixture into each half squash. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes or until squash is tender and the filling is hot. Cover with aluminum foil if necessary so it does not over brown.
Serve immediately. Garnish with cilantro, if desired. Serves 4 generously. Serves 8 if you have other dishes with the meal.