Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Honeynut Squash with Wild Rice Stuffing - Oct 29, 2011

This meal was inspired by my entree at L'Etoile for the Dinner Club 'renion' meal. Their version was much more involved, including a sweet potato crepe and roasted seasonal vegetables, but the meat of it, so to speak, was a Jack-be-little pumpkin filled with a wild rice and mushroom mix. Unfortunately, when my meal arrived at the restaurant, I was so full from my first course, plus nibbling on everyone else's first courses, that I could not eat as much of it as I would have liked. My solution was to try to recreate it at home utilizing some of the tiny Honeynut squash that came in our CSA box.

I had to capture the vivid orange of this squash's flesh, since it's one of my favorite colors. Everything about this variety of winter squash delights me. It's about the size of a large potato, and perfect for a single serving. I have a strong and inexplicable attraction to things that look just like their normal-sized counterparts, but are actually much smaller or larger, and this Honeynut squash fits nicely into that category. I baked it just like I would have a normal butternut squash, drizzling with olive oil, salt, and a dash of Chinese five spice powder.

While it was baking, I reconstituted some dried mushrooms and cooked my rice. I mixed the rice, mushrooms, some dried cranberries, cashews, salt, pepper and a little drizzle of toasted sesame oil together for my stuffing. This little mixture got piled into the baked Honeynut squash.

The Honeynut squash is billed as sweeter than average, and once roasted, you can see the beautiful caramelization of those sugars on the surface. This meal was delicious, and this time I was able to clean my plate. The only thing missing was the company of our Dinner Club friends...and a wine flight.  Thanks to L'Etoile for the inspiration.
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