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How to Make Stuffed Squash – Mushroom and Wild Rice Stuffing

Stuffed_Squash_Mushroom_Wild_Rice11.jpg

Squash Stuffed with Mushrooms and Wild Rice, with Mushroom Gravy

Introduction / Methodology:

This recipe has five parts to it, plus an additional step to combine the parts. It would be easiest to explain by going through each part individually, but if you cooked it that way, it would take too long. So, I’ve rewritten the recipe to reflect the actual way that we cook it. This version jumps back and forth to achieve the most efficient timing. I hope that it remains relatively easy to follow.

First, let’s review the five component parts:

  1. Cooking wild rice in vegetable broth
  2. Preparing and roasting the squash
  3. Sautéing mushrooms, shallots, and garlic for the stuffing
  4. Sautéing mushrooms and onions for the sauce
  5. Making the sauce

In each step below, I’ve indicated which part you are working on in order to help make it more clear. The component parts use a lot of the same ingredients. To make it easy to prepare a shopping list, I’ve combined any repeating occurrences into a single measurement (with the exception of the soy sauce; adding 1.5 teaspoons to 0.5 cups would result in something unmeasurable). In the “preparation” section I’ve noted the necessary splits that you need to make to fit with the multiple uses in the recipe.

One nice thing about this recipe is that other than the sauce, you don’t have to worry about the timing of the components other than trying to get them started in the right order to get them done as quickly as possible. If something is finished early, you can just set it aside because the final step is to combine everything and reheat for 15 minutes in the oven. The exception is the sauce, which you should aim to have finished as written, just as the reheated stuffed squash are coming out of the oven.

Equipment:

Ingredients:

Amount Ingredient Preparation Where we bought it
(* Union Square Greenmarket)
1 quart Vegetable broth From a box or see here
1.5 cups Wild rice Rinsed Lindsay’s mom sent from Minnesota
Pinch and to taste Kosher salt
2 – 4 Winter squash (carnival, acorn, or delicata) See notes in recipe Oak Grove Plantation *
7 tsp Olive oil Split into 1 tsp, 1 tsp, 2 tsp, and 3 tsp The Filling Station
3 TBsp (Real) maple syrup Deep Mountain Maple *
1 tsp Ground cinnamon
0.75 lbs Mushrooms (we used crimini) Split into 0.5 lbs sliced and 0.25 lbs finely chopped Bulich Mushrooms *
3 Large shallots Chopped (coarsely) Paffenroth Gardens *
1 large Yellow or white onion Diced / finely chopped (about 2 cups diced) Paffenroth Gardens *
3 cloves Garlic Minced (finely) Keith’s Farm *
0.5 cups plus 1.5 tsp Soy sauce, preferably Shoyu or Tamari Split to 0.5 cups and 1.5 tsp
0.5 tsp Dried thyme
0.5 cups All-purpose flour Cayuga Pure Organics *
1.5 tsp Dried sage
3 tsp Herbs de Provence
To taste Black pepper Freshly ground

Directions:

  1. Roasted squash: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Wild Rice: Start with the wild rice because this component takes the longest. Pour the vegetable broth into a stock pot or dutch oven. On the stove top, put the broth on high heat and bring to a boil. Put the lid on the pot to accelerate the process.
  3. Wild Rice: Add the wild rice and pinch of kosher salt, replace the lid, and bring it back to a boil, which shouldn’t take long. Reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for about 40 minutes, or until most of the water is absorbed. You may want to check on it and stir it 2 or 3 times during the process. Once it’s done, turn the heat off and/or move the pot off the stove.

    Wild Rice (from Minnesota)

  4. Roasted squash: The reason this recipe calls for “2 – 4″ squash is because you can use a few different types and size can vary. With the smaller carnival squash that we used, we needed four in order to use up all of the stuffing. If you buy larger acorn squash, you may need only two.

    With smaller squash you want to cut the tops off and stuff the whole squash (like we did). With larger squash you want to cut them in half vertically and stuff each half separately. Either way, it should make four servings.

    If you want two servings, just roast half of the squash and leave the other half raw. This recipe makes great leftovers; see the end of the post for details.

    Two lovely carnival squash

  5. Roasted squash: Per above, if using small squash like ours, cut the tops off. If using larger squash, remove the stem area and then cut in half vertically. Using a metal spoon, scoop out the seeds and stringy bits of pulp. If you have time while waiting for the broth to come to a boil in step 1, you may want to get a head start on this step.

    Squash - opened, seeded, and hollowed-out

  6. Roasted squash: In a small bowl, combine the 2 tsp of olive oil with the maple syrup. Brush the rim and hollowed interior of the squash with the mixture, and sprinkle-over with cinnamon. Place the squash in the baking pan (Pyrex will work best) and roast in the oven until the flesh is tender and can be pulled away from the skin easily with a fork (20 – 30 minutes). When it’s done, take it out of the oven and place it aside on a trivet. Leave the oven at 350 because you will use the oven again shortly.
  7. Chopping for the stuffing and sauce: It makes sense to do all this chopping at the same time, but the mushrooms have to be chopped in two different ways. For the stuffing you want thin but complete slices. For the sauce you want tiny bits. The same goes for the shallots/onions.

    Take 2/3 of the mushrooms (0.5 lbs) and slice thinly (left). Place these into one bowl. Chop the remaining mushrooms (0.25 lbs) as finely as you can tolerate (right). I probably should have chopped them a bit finer. Place these into a second bowl.

    Sliced mushroomsChopped mushroom - for the sauce

  8. Chopping for the stuffing and sauce: Chop the shallots and mince the garlic. You can put these directly into your sauté pan.

    Chopped onion and minced garlic

  9. Chopping for the stuffing and sauce: Peel the onions and dice them into small pieces. Set them aside in yet another bowl.
  10. Sautéing for the stuffing: Pour the the 1 tsp of olive oil into the sauté with the shallots and garlic. Put the pan over medium heat. Once things start to sizzle, turn the heat down to a medium/low and sauté for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the shallots and garlic are browned and caramelized.
  11. Sautéing for the stuffing:Add the sliced mushrooms to the pan and continue to sauté, stirring occasionally. If the pan gets too dry you can add a small amount of additional olive oil at a time. The mushrooms will eventually release their water into the pan. Once this happens and the mushrooms “shrink”, add the 1.5 tsp of soy sauce / Shoyu, the dried thyme, and pepper to taste. Cook while stirring until the liquid is mostly evaporated.

    Sautéed mushrooms for the stuffing

  12. Sautéing for the stuffing: By now, the wild rice has probably been finished for some time. Transfer the contents of the sauté pan into the pot with the wild rice. Mix it up and set it aside until the squash is finished roasting. This is your stuffing.
  13. Roasted squash: Whenever the squash is finished roasting, remove the pan from the oven and place it on a trivet or an oven burner. Carefully spoon stuffing into each squash until it is filled to the top, plus a bit more. Put the squash pan back in the oven for 15 minutes.
  14. Sautéing for the sauce: Put 1 tsp of olive oil back into the (dirty) sauté pan. Heat it over medium heat. Once it is hot, lower the heat a little and add the onion and finely chopped mushrooms. Sauté for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. In the meantime, move immediately on to the next step (do steps 14 and 15 simultaneously).

    Sautéed mushrooms for the sauce

  15. Making the sauce: In a sauce pan, heat 3 tsp of olive out over low heat. Whisk in the flour, a little at a time, then add 2 cups of water. To get technical, you are making a roux. When I did it, there was too much flour and it made a paste. If this happens, add a little bit of water at a time, whisking constantly, until it loosens into a sauce. Be careful when adding water, though, because it is easier to add additional water than it is to evaporate it out if you add too much.
  16. Making the sauce: Once you get the roux to the right consistency, add the remaining soy sauce / Shoyu, the sage, and the herbs de Provence. Mix well with the whisk. Raise the heat to medium and bring it all to a boil, then lower the heat and let it simmer for about 10 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened to the consistency shown below.

    The sauce - the right consistency

  17. Making the sauce: Add the contents of the sauté pan to sauce pan. Mix together over low heat until warmed-through. If the sauce is too thick, add 1 tsp of water at a time and mix, until you get to your desired consistency.
  18. Finishing up: The 15 minute re-warm of the stuffed squash should be done around the same time that the sauce is finished. Transfer the squash to your plates and spoon sauce over the top. We also added a nice dollop of sauce on the side. Enjoy!

    Stuffed squash - out of the ovenStuffed squash - plated with mushroom sauce

    Lindsay ate hers very carefully out of the skin. I tore into mine with a knife and fork, making an absolute mess, cutting away the skin as I ate my way through. Both methods were delicious, but Lindsay’s gave us one last picture to add to the end of this post.

Leftover Instructions:

If you only made two servings and left the other half of your squash raw and intact, refrigerate the leftover stuffing and sauce in separate containers. To prepare the leftovers, repeat steps 5 and 6 with the remaining raw squash. Stuff with the leftover stuffing and repeat step 13. Reheat the sauce and repeat step 18. It might be a little more work than your normal leftovers, but the good news is that for once, the leftovers are every bit as good as the first-run.

You will get a better result if you reheat the sauce in a pot on the stove over low heat. If you want to microwave it, do so for 30 seconds, stir in a little water to counter-act the fact that the microwave dries food, and heat for another 30 seconds.

It’s complicated to explain, and the first time you make it be sure to give yourself some time, but we absolutely love this meal.

Yum!

Done!  Yum!  (Un-stuffed Squash?)

4 comments to How to Make Stuffed Squash – Mushroom and Wild Rice Stuffing

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