Thanksgiving Stuffed Winter Acorn Squash

Winter is coming! Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and while many of our tried and true traditional dishes are top of mind, I’m always game when it comes to trying something new, especially if it’s seasonal and easy!

Acorn squash is my absolute favorite winter squash, and this Thanksgiving Stuffed Winter Acorn Squash recipe knocks out two dishes in one, the veggie and the stuffing. And, it’s also a lovely side dish for any roast chicken, duck, or cornish game hen dinners you might be planning this holiday season. Or, if you’re like me, it can serve as dinner on its own! One Acorn Squash serves two people.

Ingredients:
2 Acorn Squash
Olive Oil
Salt/Pepper
16oz Your Favorite Sausage (Sage, Fennel, or Sweet Italian work well)
1 Onion, diced
2 Leek Stalks, split lengthwise and diced
3 Celery Stalks, diced
1 Red Bell Pepper, diced
1/4 Cup Fresh Flat Leaf Italian Parsley, chopped
3 TBS Fresh Rosemary, chopped
3 TBS Fresh Sage, chopped
1/3 Cup Pecans, chopped
1/4 Cup Dried Cranberries
1 Package King’s Hawaiian Classic Stuffing, Herb & Onion
Chicken Stock (optional)

Preheat oven to 375°.

Cut 1/4 inch off the top and bottom of each acorn squash so they sit flat and even.

Core the seeds using a spoon to scoop them out, and discard the seeds.

Drizzle each side of the acorn squash with olive oil, then salt and pepper. Place in a baking dish, and bake at 375° for 30 minutes, turning over half way.

While the acorn squash is roasting, chop your onion, leeks, celery, and bell pepper and set aside in a bowl.

Then, chop your parsley, rosemary, sage, and pecans. Set aside, along with your cranberries.

In a large dutch oven, drizzle olive oil, and then sauté the onion, leeks, celery, and bell pepper on medium high heat for approximately 4-5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Then, add sausage and cook sausage through.

Add King’s Hawaiian Classic Stuffing Herb & Onion to the mixture and continue cooking on medium-high heat until combined and the stuffing starts to absorb the moisture from the mixture. If it appears too dry, you may add a splash of chicken stock to the mixture. Be careful not to add too much liquid to avoid becoming mush.

Add the parsley, rosemary, sage, chopped pecans, and cranberries to the mixture and incorporate well. At this point, the acorn squash should be ready. Fill and mound the empty core of the acorns with the stuffing mixture.

Bake the stuffed acorn squash at 375° for 35-45 minutes or until stuffing is golden brown and the place smells amazing.

Happy Thanksgiving, and enjoy!

 

 

 

 

Day After Thanksgiving Breakfast Muffins

It’s getting close to Turkey Day, and that means we have some important planning to do.

We have to plan the seating arrangements to ensure all relatives leave unscathed from the annual table conversation (this year should be super fun), and let’s not forget the critical decision regarding which pair of stretchy pants will be worn after the main meal. However, the most important decision you’ll have to make this Thanksgiving is what in the world to do with your leftover stuffing!?!

Have no fear. I’ve got the hookup thanks to my pals over at Empire Baking Company in Dallas, Texas.omgs-dfw-food-omg-baking-at-empire

Saturday I had the pleasure of hanging out to do a sponsored demo all day at Empire, and I created a recipe specifically for them, featuring some of the ingredients sold at their location. Every Friday from now until Thanksgiving, Tamie, Empire’s manager, is creating different dressings using Empire’s amazing bread and products. This past Friday, Tamie put together her grandmother’s famous traditional Texas dressing to sample (it’s sooooooooo goooood), and just like the day after Thanksgiving, we had some dressing left over on Saturday.

So, our focus was all about creating an easy recipe that utilized the leftover stuffing! And, the coolest part is that this recipe works with any dressing recipe – yours included. (Don’t know if you noticed my alternating “dressing” and “stuffing” – for our purposes, they mean the same thing.)

Let’s get started!

Day After Thanksgiving Breakfast Muffins
Yields approximately 8 dozen mini muffins or 2 dozen regular muffins

Base:
16 oz Sage or Spicy Breakfast Sausage (sub 12 oz Applewood Smoked Bacon, diced)
½ Onion, diced
2 TBS Butter
8 Cups Your Refrigerated Thanksgiving Dressing/Stuffing, crumbled
1 Cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese
3 TBS Valentina Picante Salsa (sub your favorite hot sauce)

Custard:
2 Whole Eggs
4 Egg Yolks
1 Pint Heavy Whipping Cream
2 tsp Chef Milton Atlantic Sea Salt with Rosemary (Found at Empire Baking Company)

Optional Glaze:
Luscombe Farm Jalapeño Pepper Jelly (Found at Empire Baking Company)

Preheat oven to 375°. Butter muffin tins or use a non-stick baking spray to coat the tins.

In a skillet, sauté breakfast sausage until cooked through and set aside to cool. If subbing bacon, cook until bacon is crisp, drain completely, then set aside to cool. In the same skillet, add butter and onion. Sauté until onions are tender and the fond (brown/caramelized goodies stuck to the bottom of the pan) releases from the pan.

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Once the onions are tender, remove from pan and set aside with sausage or bacon to cool.

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In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, yolks, cream, and Chef Milton Atlantic Sea Salt with Rosemary. Set aside.

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In a large bowl, add crumbled dressing, shredded cheddar cheese, and cooled sausage or bacon and onions.

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Combine thoroughly.

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Pour the custard mixture over the dressing mixture and fold until well incorporated. The mixture will be moist.

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Add in the Valentina Salsa Picante or your favorite hot sauce to add another layer of flavor and mix thoroughly.

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Using a 1-inch cookie scoop, scoop the mixture into greased mini muffin tins.

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Bake at 375° for 17-20 minutes or until crispy on top and golden brown.

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For some added sweet heat, add a small dollop of Luscombe Farm Jalapeño Pepper Jelly to the top of each muffin right before the last five minutes of baking is up, and place back into the oven to create that amazing caramelized glaze.

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For regular sized muffins, bake for 30-35 minutes or until crispy on top and golden brown. Let cool for 7 minutes to allow the muffins to set before removing from muffin tins.

Saturday’s adventure, recipe ingredients, and post featuring specific products were sponsored by Empire Baking Company.   

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