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acorn squash
 Acorn Squash Stuffed with Beef and Rice

Menu Plan for the week of Sept. 13, 2013: Day 5 Recipes

Acorn Squash Stuffed with Beef and Rice

Cooking time:  40 minutes for menu           Cooking schedule: see below for instructions

      The first of the winter squashes.... You can use ground turkey, chicken or veal if you prefer.... None of those are available here.

Acorn Squash Stuffed with Beef, Rice           Time:  60 minutes, 40 if you use a microwave
     The squash bakes while the stuffing is prepared and just needs 10 - 15 minutes to finish.  I usually can't get all of the stuffing in, so I keep it warm and serve it on the side.  This stuffing has a bit of an Asian influence with toasted sesame seeds stirred in at the end.

1 medium acorn squash
1/3 cup Basmati rice
2/3 cup (5oz, 150ml) beef stock
6oz (180gr) ground beef
1/2 onion
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp minced fresh ginger  or 1/4 tsp powdered
1 rib celery
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp sesame oil
1/2 cup (4oz, 120ml) beef stock
3 tsp soy sauce
2 tsp Balsamic vinegar 
1 1/2 tbs cornstarch (corn flour, maizena) dissolved in 2 tbs water
2 tbs toasted sesame seeds

Cut squash in half and scoop out seeds.  Either place face down on tray and microwave for 10 - 12 minutes or put into a baking dish, cover with foil and bake in 400F (200C) oven for 40 minutes. 
While squash cooks:  Cook the rice in the beef stock 15 minutes or until all liquid is absorbed and it's done. 
the onion and celery; mince the garlic, ginger if using fresh.  Heat the oils in a nonstick skillet over medium heat.  Sauté the onion and celery 5 minutes then add the garlic and ginger if using fresh.  Sauté 5 more minutes or until onion and celery are tender and starting to brown.  Add beef and sauté, breaking it up as it browns.  Add soy sauce, vinegar, powdered ginger and beef stock and stir well to combine.  Dissolve cornstarch in water.  When beef mixture is simmering stir cornstarch in, a little at a time.  (You may not need it all).  You want it quite thick but not paste.  When rice is done add it, along with the sesame seeds and stir to combine. 
To assemble:   When squash are ready (they should be almost done) remove from wherever they cooked and fill with the rice/beef mixture.  Bake uncovered for 10 - 15 minutes, until stuffing starts to brown and squash is done.

Note: If the stuffing doesn't all fit (depending on size of squash - mine fit) keep it warm and serve on the side. 

To toast sesame seeds:  Put them into a dry, nonstick skillet over medium heat.  Toss or stir them about in the pan until lightly golden, about 5 minutes.

Cooking schedule: 40 minutes
Assemble all food, utensils and serving dishes
Utensils: measuring cups, spoons, knives,
large skillet, small saucepan with lid, baking dish,
plate if using microwave

Turn oven on, 400F (200C)
Cut squash, scoop out seeds
Start to cook squash - either method
Start to cook rice
Chop onion, celery and sauté

Mince garlic, (ginger) add to onion/celery
Add beef to skillet, brown, break up
Toast sesame seeds if needed
Add soy sauce, vinegar, stock, stir well, boil
Dissolve cornstarch in water, stir into skillet
Add rice, sesame seeds, stir to combine
When squash is ready, stuff and bake
    10 - 15 minute break
Remove squash

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