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BAKED ACORN SQUASH WITH WARM RICE STUFFING

BAKED ACORN SQUASH WITH WARM RICE STUFFING

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup unsalted butter, browned
  • 2 large acorn squash, halved and seeded
  • 2 Tablespoons Riceland Foods Rice Bran Oil
  • 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 Tablespoon sorghum molasses (honey or maple syrup if you prefer)
  • ½ cup onion, chopped fine
  • ½ cup celery, chopped fine
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
  • ¾ cup prepared wild rice
  • 1 ½ cups prepared Riceland Long Grain Rice
  • 1/3 cup toasted pecans, chopped fine
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries, chopped
  • ½ cup chopped dried apple
  • ¼ cup minced flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/3 cup blue cheese crumbles (or more to taste)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1.  Melt ½ cup butter in a stainless steel pan over medium-low heat. Continue to cook over medium heat. Watch carefully as lightly browned specks begin to form at the bottom of the pan. Smell the butter; it should have a nutty aroma. Remove from heat to stop the butter from cooking. Set aside.
  2. Heat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray.
  3. In a small bowl, melt 1 Tablespoon rice bran oil, 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter and 1 Tablespoon sorghum in the microwave; set aside.
  4. Place the squash cut-side up on a baking sheet, brush squash flesh with sorghum mixture; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place ½ Tablespoon pat of butter in the cavity of each squash half.
  5. Roast in the oven until just for tender, 25 – 30 minutes. (Note: May be prepared ahead to this point, covered and refrigerated until ready to finish.
  6. While squash is roasting, prepare the Warm Rice Stuffing. (Note: Stuffing may be prepared ahead, except for the blue cheese and browned butter, covered and refrigerated until finishing.)
  7. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add 1 Tablespoon rice bran oil and 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter.
  8. Sauté onion, celery and garlic until soft; add in thyme leaves; remove from heat and stir in wild rice, long-grain rice, toasted pecans, cranberries, apple and parsley. Stir to combine and season with salt and pepper.
  9. Stir blue cheese crumbles into rice mixture.
  10. Divide the rice filling among the roasted squash halves and drizzle with some of the browned butter. You will not use all of the prepared browned butter.
  11. Continue roasting at 375 degrees the squash until it is fork tender and the edges have started to brown and the stuffing is heated through, about 25 minutes.