Mom was finally rested enough last night for a visit from me, and she was more than happy to return to the kitchen and cook a wonderful meal for Charlie and me. Which meant that my original plan to send Bryan out to fend for himself for dinner simply wasn't acceptable.
Plus, I was feeling the need to redeem my cooking abilities after I made this Butternut Squash Filled with Spinach and Ricotta Recipe from Relish that was quite horrible. Why didn't I just stick with my own recipe? Heck, even Mom likes it!
This stuffed squash recipe changes each time I make it but the players are generally the same: Spinach, rice, Parmesan cheese, walnuts and butter are what make it so fabulous.
Mai Ling's Stuffed Squash
Large acorn squash
1-1/2 c. leftover rice pilaf (recipe follows)
8-oz. package frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1/4 c. chopped walnuts
2 T. butter
Salt and pepper to taste
2 T. bread crumbs
Cut squash in half and cook, cut side down in about an inch of water at 375 degrees Fahrenheit until soft, about 45 minutes. Allow to cool.
Meanwhile, mix rice, spinach, 1/4 c. Parmesan cheese and walnuts in a medium bowl.
After squash is cool enough to handle, gently spoon out the flesh into the bowl. Add butter and stir well. Add salt and pepper to taste, then scoop back into each squash half. Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese and bread crumbs, then cook at 375 for another 25-35 minutes, until beginning to brown on top.
2 T. extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 c. onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 c. basmati rice
1/2 c. orzo
2 c. water
1 t. salt
Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan and add onion. Cook for about 5 minutes; add garlic during last minute. Add rice and orzo to pan, and continue stirring until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add water and salt, bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool, still covered, for 10 minutes before serving.