Saturday, 10 December 2011

Stuffing and stuff

So I'm still busy, but it's manageable. Anyway, we had an early 'Christmas' dinner this evening - a tradition from before we lived together - and the centrepiece was stuffed butternut squash. This was the first time I'd made my own stuffing, so I figured it was worth blogging!

You will need: one butternut squash with a large-ish round bit, olive oil, a large chunk of bread, three onions, four tablespoons of dried sage (more or less to taste), a splash of soy sauce (optional)and some yeast extract.

Heat the olive oil in a pan - preferably a frying pan with high-ish sides - and add the onions. Cook until translucent. Add the sage and breadcrumbs and cook until the latter go a bit crispy. Stir in the soy sauce and yeast extract. Add hot water, simmer until this is absorbed.

While this is simmering, cut off the long bit of the butternut squash and put it aside for something else. (something culinary, grow up...) Then cut a 'lid' off the round bit, so you can access the hollow area. Scrape out the seeds and stringy bits. (anyone want to share a foolproof recipe for roasting the seeds? I have a long train journey coming up and could do with snacks!)

When the stuffing has absorbed most of the water and cooled down a bit, pour it into the squash. Put the 'lid' on. It will need to cook in the oven for about two hours, and you may need to remove a shelf to get it in. (I didn't - it just fit, with zero clearance and a bit of tinfoil over the top to negate the hygiene issues of touching the next shelf up) I had it in on its own at 180C for an hour, then on 220C for 15-20 mins while getting the roast potatoes started, then 200C for the next 40-45 mins. This is not a hard and fast rule, it was dictated by what I had to do to get a whole meal together.

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