Monday, March 28, 2016

More Stuffed Squash

It's the time of year when the winter squash stash is waning and overwintered greens are just maybe waxing enough to start harvesting some nibbles.  (We don't have any such greens in our garden this year, but last year we did!)  What better way to celebrate the start of a new garden season than to take a winter squash and stuff it with some of that new growth?  If you liked our stuffed squash boats, you'll probably dig this version, too.  (If not, thbbbt!)

Kabocha squash, venison, kale, and lentils on a cutting board
Our ingredients: a 2-3 lb Scarlet Kabocha squash, 1 lb ground venison, 1 lb kale, and 1 cup lentils (more than 1 cup pictured here).  NOTE: We only needed about a third of that filling to stuff this squash.  Also, we had to buy kale from the grocery store!  Oh, the humanity...

Roasting a kabocha squash
Cut the squash in half and scoop out the guts, then set the halves cut-side-down in some water on a cookie sheet and bake for 20-30 min until tender. 

We got the squash in early November and had it stored in a corner of our house that was 50-60 °F all winter; it was still in pretty good shape here at the end of March, but some of the seeds were looking like they were about to go all Kylo Ren on us (as in, turn to the dark side, not necessarily fight us with a light saber).  The Johnny's Seed catalog suggests storing this variety at 60-65 °F, so our slightly cooler temps might have decreased its staying power a bit.  Fortunately, the squash meat was still delicious.

Browning venison
Speaking of meat, while the squash is roasting, start browning up that venison...

Cooking lentils
...and cooking those lentils.

Sauteing kale
When the venison is done, put it in a bowl and saute the kale in the frying pan. 

When the kale and lentils are also done, add them to the bowl, too.  Season the whole shebang with salt, pepper, garlic powder, green onion powder, plenty of sage, some lemon pepper, and something labeled Chicago steak seasoning, to taste. Our proportions were probably 1.5 teaspoons of salt, 0.5 teaspoons each of lemon pepper, and steak seasoning, and 1 tablespoon each of everything else.

Stuffed kabocha squash, with cheese
When the squash are done, season them with salt and pepper, too, and stuff them full of the venison-kale-lentil mix.  Pile some shredded cheddar cheese on top.  Katie says, "Hey! Aren't you going to put cheese on that other one, too?" Maybe if you tell me where you hid the Easter candy!

Stuffed kabocha squash, cheese melted
Found it! :-) Ok, put the squash back in the oven to melt the cheese, like so.

Stuffed kabocha squash, with toast and fruit salad
As it turns out, a whole half-squash is more than a serving.  Half of a half squash (that's a quarter squash, for the fractionally-challenged) is better, especially when it means we might also have room for buttered toast and fruit salad.  The buttery flavor of the squash pairs most excellently with the buttery flavor of the toast.  Yum!

There you have it--now you should have no trouble using up your remaining winter squashes before the spring produce starts rolling in!  How's your winter squash stash looking?

1 comment:

  1. Oh my, that looks good. I still have one huge cushaw, with which I should certainly stuff. Stuffed squash is a favorite.