Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Stuffed Squash Bake

At my local superstore, when they have an overstock of produce, or when the produce is getting too ripe, they will mark down the price by half!  All of the Superstore's I've ever been to seem to follow this same practice.  I find this the best opportunity to purchase something I might not otherwise make room in the budget for.  My local superstore caters to the multi-ethnicity's that live within my community, and there are many different varieties of fruits and vegetables I have yet to cook with, or even taste!  One recent example is vegetable marrow. 

You want to know something?  I didn't know the other name for a summer squash was vegetable marrow!  Did you?  I have certainly eaten squash before, and tonnes of zucchini as we grew it in the garden growing up; but never before one in this form. 
I think the term vegetable marrow threw me off more than anything, that term is more commonly caused by Brits. 

 So,  I wanted to experiment first, as I wasn't sure how I should cook it.  I first tried it cut it half, scraped out the seeds, and placed in on a sheet with olive oil on it, and bbq'd as a side dish with burgers the other evening.  I thought it very similar to zucchini, it had a mild, sweet, almost nutty flavour.   So, now I knew what I was dealing with, I experimented further.  I washed, and cut the squash in half, scooping out the seeds, I found a melon-baller actually worked better than a spoon.

Then I kinda made up the rest.  I browned the pork, and added onion, garlic, cheese, panko, and carrots, spices, and baked it on a bed of tomato sauce for about a half an hour.  Served it with some buttery orzo, aaaand....dinner!

Stuffed Squash Bake

6 Spring Squash (or zucchini)
1 pound ground pork (chicken or turkey)
1 small red onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 carrots, shredded
1 cup mozza cheese, shredded
1 cup panko
1 Tablespoon dried Italian herbs
1 cup tomato sauce
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350 F.
In a large skillet, over medium-high heat, brown the pork breaking up with wooden spoon as it browns. Drain grease, if necessary.  Add the onion, and saute for a few minutes until translucent.  Add the garlic, carrots, herbs, and salt & pepper, continuing to stir, cooking for another 5 minutes or so.  Add the panko and cheese, remove from heat and stir to combine.  Taste!  Adjust seasoning if necessary.
Add about a cup or tomato sauce to the bottom of a casserole dish (I used 9x13), stuff the pork mixture into the hollowed squash halves, and lay on the sauce.  Cover with foil and bake for appoximately 30 minutes, take off cover and cook for about another 5 - 10 minutes to brown up the top (If you're a cheese-loving family, you could extra cheese on top!).  Remove from oven and let rest for another 5 minutes.  Serve with pasta, or rice.


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