Posts Tagged ‘Squash’

Savor the Flavors of the Season with Billy Parisi’s Sausage and Mushroom Stuffed Acorn Squash

If you’re looking for a festive and seasonal appetizer for your holiday feasts, try Chef Billy Parisi’s Sausage and Mushroom Stuffed Acorn Squash – simple and loaded with flavor. 

Sausage and Mushroom Stuffed Acorn Squash Overhead

I often say I love summer produce the best with its abundance of vine fruits and vegetables, until I sink my teeth into root winter vegetables like this acorn squash – stuffed with sausage and mushrooms.  Whether it’s that delicious savory nutty flavor from fall squashes or the heartiness of root vegetables, there’s something about winter produce that really has helped me appreciate the season.  Regardless of which seasonal produce you prefer, there is no doubt that mushrooms can help enhance the flavor.  The best part about this recipe is that you could use shiitake mushrooms, portabella mushrooms or buttons, like I did, and it will still be delicious due to mushrooms’ versatility.

Stuffing acorn squashes is nothing new, but changing up the stuffing to your desire is.  I’ve seen meat sauces with meatballs, ground turkey, you name it!  I wanted to create something that represented fall with tons of balanced flavor.  The combo I came up with is Italian sausage, apples, brown rice, finely minced button mushrooms, bread crumbs and herbs.  You’ve got salty from the sausage, savory from the herbs, a little sweet and tart from the apples and, of course, umami from the mushrooms.  Not to mention all of that goodness is stuffed up in an acorn squash half and baked in a brown sage butter sauce.

When finely mincing the mushrooms, you can either do it with a knife or put them in a food processor and process until they are to the minced consistency.  I prefer the latter, as it saves a ton of time so you can focus on everything else.  Once the mushrooms are finely minced, mix them in a bowl with the other ingredients.  Now before you stuff up the squash, be sure to scoop out the seeds and season the inside with salt and pepper.

Once they were stuffed up, I added a few more panko crumbs to the top and then off to the oven.  While they were baking, I cooked some butter in a small pot until the milk fats were cooked off and turned the butter slightly brown, making brown butter.  Browning butter makes for a really tasty nutty flavor which I thought would be perfect to drizzle on top of the stuffed squash.  Once the butter is brown, I seasoned it with salt and pepper and added in some fresh chopped sage.  Super delicious!!  This Sausage and Mushroom Stuffed Acorn Squash with Brown Sage Butter is as simple as it gets and is absolutely loaded with flavor!!

Sausage and Mushroom Stuffed Acorn Squash Cut Open

Sausage and Mushroom Stuffed Acorn Squash with Brown Sage Butter Recipe

Serves 6

Ingredients

1 pint domestic mushrooms, brushed free of any dirt
1 pound loose Italian sausage
2 cups cooked brown rice
1 peeled and small diced Granny Smith apple
1 peeled and small diced Fuji apple
¾ cup panko bread crumbs + more to top off
3 teaspoons chopped fresh sage
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
4 acorn squash cut in half, seeds removed and seasoned
1 stick unsalted butter
Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste

Procedures

1. Preheat the oven to 375°.

2. Using a knife or food processor, finely mince the mushrooms to match the consistency of the sausage.

3. Add the mushrooms to a bowl and mix with the sausage, rice, apples, ¾ cup of panko bread crumbs, 1 teaspoon of sage, 1 teaspoon of thyme, salt and pepper until combined.

4. Place the squash skin side down on a sheet tray lined with parchment paper and season the inside with salt and pepper. Evenly divide the sausage-mushroom mixture and stuff it into the center of the acorn squash. Sprinkle on remaining bread crumbs and bake in the oven at 375° for 30 to 35 minutes or until the tops are lightly browned and the sausage is cooked through out.

5. In a small pot, add the butter and cook over low heat until the milk fat solids are cooked and the butter begins to turn light brown. Remove from the heat, season with salt, pepper and remaining sage and drizzle it over the cooked stuffed squash. Enjoy!

Fall into Good Eating Habits: 5 Easy Things to Just Add In

David Grotto, RDN, LDN is sharing a prep ahead trick that will add a healthy dose of veggies to your favorite dishes this season.

Mushroom Tacos with Salsa Verde

Before you read another word, let’s address your biggest food fears. Surrendering taste, enjoyment and a full belly often top the list. Luckily, I am here to share great news! These tips don’t require you to spend all day in the kitchen. Yay! Sit back, relax and I’ll show you five easy and nutritious ingredients to “just add in” for a sneak-attack approach to good health.

Everyone wants to eat healthy, but not everyone has heard that great taste, satisfaction, a full belly and good health can co-exist. One of the secrets I share with my patients and readers is that adding in vegetables can really improve the nutrition profile of a dish without sacrificing taste. Adding veggies in place of some or all of the fat can also help lower calories. But for today’s example, this is simply about adding in veggies without kicking any other ingredient to the curb. Whether you choose to tell anyone of your master plan, that’s completely up to you – your secret is safe with me.

What you need to get started:

  • A blender or food processor.
  • Canned beans
  • Fresh frozen or canned spinach
  • Fresh mushrooms
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Winter squash
  • An ice cube tray
  • Water or vegetarian chicken broth

Final Product: Five different veggie cubes that make a simple addition to just about any dish.

1. Mushrooms: You really get a culinary and health 2-for-1 out of this veggie. Mushrooms add a nice savory flavor and volume with very little calories. Don’t even get me started on the added value of vitamin D, selenium and cholesterol-lowering beta-glucans.

Procedure: Add cleaned raw or cooked mushrooms to a blender or food processor add a splash of water or broth to make a thick liquid after blending. The idea here is to add just enough liquid to make it pourable. When blended to the right consistency, pour into an ice cube tray and freeze.

Add it to: Soups, sauces, gravies, dips, taco meat, chili, risotto, ground meat and more.

2. Spinach: This veggie gives you the most bang for the nutrition buck compared to any other leafy green. It’s an excellent source of 12 nutrients including calcium, iron, magnesium and vitamin C.

Procedure: Add cleaned raw or cooked spinach to a blender or food processor and add a splash of water or broth to make a thick liquid after blending. When blended to the right consistency, pour into an ice cube tray and freeze.

Add it to: Soups, sauces, dips, smoothies, dressings, taco meat, chili, risotto, ground meat and more.

3. Beans: Loaded with protein, fiber, b-vitamins and iron as well as a host of other nutrients.

Procedure: Add canned or cooked to a blender or food processor and add a splash of water or broth to make a thick liquid after blending. When blended to the right consistency, pour into an ice cube tray and freeze.

Add it to: Soups, sauces, dips, dressings, taco meat, chili, risotto and more.

4. Sweet Potato: This sweet veggie is an excellent source of fiber, vitamin A, C and potassium.

Procedure: Add cooked, peeled sweet potatoes to a blender or food processor add a splash of water or broth to make a thick liquid after blending. When blended to the right consistency, pour into an ice cube tray and freeze.

Add it to: Mac & cheese, soups, sauces, dips, oatmeal, brownies, smoothies, dressings, chili, ground meat and more.

5. Winter Squash: Pumpkin, acorn, butternut, spaghetti or any other variety fit into this category. Winter squashes are a terrific source of nutrients such as beta carotene, fiber, iron and magnesium.

 Procedure: Add cooked or canned squash to a blender or food processor add a splash of water or broth to make a thick liquid after blending. When blended to the right consistency, pour into an ice cube tray and freeze.

 Add it to: Mac & cheese, soups, sauces, dips, oatmeal, brownies, smoothies, dressings, chili, ground meat and more.