Friday, August 26, 2005

Spicy Spinach Stuffed Squash

Spicy Spinach Stuffed Squash

Prep time: 5 minutes
Roasting time: 20 Minutes
Sauté time: 5 minutes
Serves 2

1 large pepper or butternut squash, cut in half lengthwise and seeded
¼ cup water
1 tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
½ tsp fresh ginger, minced
1 tsp Asian chili garlic sauce or paste
1-2 tsp rice wine (sherry would be a good substitute)
2 tbsp maple syrup
2 cups baby spinach
2 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped

1. Preheat the oven to 400°F/200°C

2. Place the squash halves cut side down in a small roasting pan with the ¼ cup of water. Cover with foil and roast for 20 minutes or so. The squash should be fork tender but not mushy.

3. Once the squash is ready, remove the tin foil, drain out the water and flip cut side up. Scoop out some of the squash, leaving at least half in the shell. Leave the shells in the oven (turned off) to keep warm while you make the filling.

4. In a non-stick skillet over medium heat, combine oil, ginger, garlic and chili sauce/paste just until you get a wonderful whiff. (2 minutes)

5. Add the rice wine, (or lime juice if you’re not into alcohol), mix and add the spinach. Toss until the spinach wilts – 2 minutes or so.

6. Add the maple syrup and squash pulp along with half the cilantro. Toss and continue to cook until the liquid has all absorbed. (3 -4 minutes) Taste for seasoning. (I added more syrup since I got carried away with the chili and continued cooking until the liquid was gone and the spinach got a little sticky).

7. Heap the mixture into the squash halves and sprinkle with the rest of the cilantro and serve.

Next time, I’ll actually serve it as a side with some of my Teriyaki Flank Steak. We liked this new creation a lot. I hope you will too and that it will cancel out the hot dogs and beans.

But really, we all (well most of us) slip sometimes. What's your fallback food?

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