Stuffed is a Good Thing

What does it mean to be “stuffed”?  Is it good or bad?  Actually, it’s both.

Stuff is a word that has ancient origins, originally pertaining to cloth, but its meaning has changed over time with some interesting applications.  Take the following phrases for instance:

stuff it—expresses rejection

and stuff—additional things, i.e. she had lots of furniture and other stuff

be stuffed up—nasal congestion as with a cold

fill out the skin of a dead animal–stuffed parrot

to over eat–to stuff yourself  (as in Thanksgiving)

to fill a receptacle or cavity–a stuffed toy or the turkey

Since the year 2000 the word stuff  has had an increase in usage usually connected to other words like cool stuff, new stuff, great stuff,  etc.

Well, today’s recipe is about filling a cavity with some really cool stuff.  I’m sure you will like it so well that you will stuff yourself after which time if someone were to offer you another serving you would tell them to go “stuff it”.

Stuffed Acorn Squash

Stuffed Acorn Squash

STUFFED ACORN SQUASH

Yield:   Serves 4

Ingredients:

I used a package of convience rice, precooked.

I used a package of convience rice, precooked.

  • 2 Acorn squash, halved lengthwise, seeds removed
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 large shallot, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. dried rubbed sage
  • coarse salt and pepper
  • 1 box (6-oz.) wild rice blend (seasoning packet discarded)
  • 1/2 cup cried cherries or cranberries
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans, chopped ( I used sliced almonds)

Directions:

1.  Preheat the oven to 450*F.  On a rimmed baking sheet, arrange squash halves cut side down.  Cover tightly with foil.  Roast till tender when pierced, about 40 minutes.

2.  Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, heat butter over medium heat.  Add shallot, garlic, and sage.  Season with salt and pepper.  Cook, stirring occasionally, till tender, 3 – 5 minutes.  Add rice and 1 3/4 cup water;  Bring to boil, cover, and reduce heat to low.  Cook until tender without stirring, about 25 minutes.**

3.  Remove rice from heat and stir in cherries and pecans.  Season with salt and pepper.  Season the inside of each squash half with salt and pepper.

IMG_5712

Mound stuffing into cavities of squash, dividing evenly and serve while hot.

Squash half, filled with rice stuffing.

Squash half, filled with rice stuffing.

**Instead of using wild rice, I used a package of precooked rice, intended for the microwave, but cut it  open and heated it in the skillet with the shallot and garlic, plus a little chicken broth to moisten it.  I’ve recently discovered these packages of rice by Uncle Ben’s.   They are the perfect amount for two people, and saves lengthy cooking time for long-grain rice.

SOURCE:  Martha Stewart.com

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