We have a great team of folks here at Restaurant Equipment Solutions, and a lot of them happen to be great cooks as well. Several – as you might guess – have even served their time on a hot line or two. Culinary creativity abounds in our office, and we want to showcase some of the creations our team members come up with. We’ll start off our series, called From Our Kitchen, with a delightful recipe for stuffed acorn squash in honor of National Acorn Squash day.
What You Need:
- 2 Acorn Squash – Halved
- Olive Oil
- Salt & Pepper
- 3-4 Slices of Bacon
- 1/2 Lb. Hot Country Sausage
- 1-2 Garlic Cloves – Minced
- 1 Tbsp Capers – Minced
- 2 Handfulls of Fresh Kale – De-stemmed & Chopped
- 1/2 Cup Chicken Stock
- 1/2 Cup Grated Parmesan
- 1/2 Cup Chopped Cashews
- 1/2 Cup Panko Bread Crumbs
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Take halved acorn squash and coat with olive oil, salt & pepper. Place them face down on a baking pan lined with aluminum foil also coated in olive oil. Lay strips of bacon next to the squash and place in the oven to cook until squash is golden brown and soft when grabbed with a pair of tongs (approximately 35 minutes).
You’ll want to check the bacon periodically during the cook time to make sure it isn’t burning (time needed depends on the thickness of the cut you use, I use Wright® Applewood Smoked bacon which is about the thickest cut I can find so it takes about 25 minutes to cook during this recipe). No matter what you use the bacon should finish before the squash, so just keep it at the top of your mind. The reason I like cooking the bacon this way and making the step slightly more painful is because the bacon fat rendering will get absorbed by the squash and I also think that oven cooked bacon has the best texture when finished.
Remove both as they finish, set aside and turn the oven broiler on.
Heat oil in your favorite large skillet or wok. On high heat cook the hot country sausage until browned. Remove from the pan and set aside.
Next, saute jalapeños, garlic and capers on medium heat until tender.
Add the kale and toss to coat. Then add the chicken stock and simmer for about 5 minutes.
While that is simmering, chop up the bacon you have set aside. Once kale is tender and the stock has reduced a bit add the country sausage and chopped up bacon, toss it all together, and remove from the heat.
Mix grated Parmesan, chopped cashews & panko together.
Turn the acorn squash over, fill with the stuffing & pile on the mixed topping.
Place the stuffed acorn squash back under the oven broiler and let cook for approximately 3 minutes. Be very careful not to let the topping scorch (this can happen very quickly). You want it to finish golden brown.
I love this recipe, because you can really experiment with it. Try adding other items you may have available to the stuffing. You’ll be surprised with how versatile this recipe can be. I’ve cooked this with what essentially amounted to left over pasta and meatballs as the stuffing before and it was great!
Also, I’d suggest enjoying with a Hefeweizen, but I think that may just be because I like Hefeweizen 🙂 so just enjoy with your favorite beer or wine.