Ok, the Kahlua brownies are coming, I swear. But first, you all need to eat your veggies! And to my friend who said with a wail (well, I imagine it to be a wail, she actually typed it on my FB page so I’m adding in the wail because I know it was there… oh yes, I know…) “But I don’t haaaaave spaghetti squash. I have Kahlua!” (see, you can hear the wail, can’t you?), it is not my fault you don’t have a well stocked kitchen like I do with both spaghetti squash and Kahlua!
I have to say, I’m generally not fond of squash as a veggie. I like it in soups and pies but that’s about it. I like my veggies crisp and juicy. Squash is… well… squashy. And mushy.
But, I do love spaghetti squash. It’s got a unique texture and a high water content. More along the lines of zucchini. When you scrape up the cooked innards, they form strands that look like… spaghetti! It has a sweetish mild flavour that combines nicely with so many things that it’s a great squash for stuffing.
I had a particularly large harvest of spaghetti squash from my garden this year and they’ve been keeping quite nicely in my garage. Something very satisfying about pulling a squash out of your garage mid-winter, cooking with it and knowing it’s yours.
There are so many different ways you can stuff a squash that your imagination is the limit. I like to use a ground meat, rice and cheese mixture. Beef, turkey and chicken are all good choices. A nice smoky cheese like Gruyere works really well and that’s what I used this time.
If you have filling left over after stuffing your squash, it makes a great leftover lunch the next day.
Stuffed Spaghetti Squash
1 spaghetti squash, cut in half with the seeds scooped out
2 generous splashes of olive oil
1 package (.5 kilo) of lean ground beef, turkey or chicken. Pork would probably work well too.
2-3 cups of cooked rice, any kind will do
1 tbsp olive oil
3 slices of uncooked, thick cut, good quality bacon, diced
1 onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 cups of frozen peas
spices to taste. I used:
1 cup of shredded Gruyere cheese
1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese
Rub the olive oil over the fleshy parts of the cut spaghetti squash and then sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Place the two halves of squash, cut side down, in a shallow baking dish or rimmed cookie sheet and bake at 400F until the flesh is soft and easily scrapes up with a fork (about 45 minutes)
This would be a good time to start your rice cooking! Cook your rice (rice cooker, pot on the stove) how you normally would and set aside.
Heat a large pot over medium heat, add olive oil and wait till heated
Add onions and bacon and saute until onions are starting to turn tranlucent
Add garlic and ground beef and cook until beef is browned.
Add the frozen peas and stir until peas are thawed and heated through.
Season with spices and add the Gruyere, stirring until it has melted in. Gruyere does not melt in as easily as cheddar or mozerella so keep stirring and be patient.
ETA: forgot to say that at this point you need to add in your cooked rice and combine it with the meat mixture
When the squash is ready, pull it out of the oven and scrape up the innards so you get a nice spaghetti looking mixture. Some people add all of the flesh to the stuffing mixture, which is great, but I prefer to leave it in the shells and form a small bowl that I dish the stuffing mixture into.
Once you’ve filled the shells, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and return to the oven long enough for the cheese to brown a bit.
Then you’re done! Depending on the size of your squash, and the one I used was HUGE… you can feed 2-6 people with this dish!
Meh, meh, meh. That is all I have to say about this. These were taken the day after the fact because sometimes… I’m cooking dinner and I just want to cook it and eat it! This squash could easily have fed 5 people. This half was leftover and was actually too big to photograph well in a way that I was happy with.
And honestly, I just wasn’t in a creative mood. Not my best effort at all.
Photo 1: 50mm, f2.2, ISO 200, 1/3oth, +2/3 exposure compensation. Nothing special here. Shot both with natural light and they were literally snapped quickly.
Photo 2: 50mm, f1.8, ISO200, 1/60th, no exposure compensation.