"No matter what happens in the kitchen, never apologize." - Julia Child

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

San Gibbin: Overeating with a purpose

Ah, Thanksgiving. (Or, as we Latinos call it, San Gibbin.) I was in such a food coma, both from the big day and from enormous meals in subsequent days (including INDIAN BUFFET), that I lost my internets faculties. But now I've re-emerged into the world of getting back to business and staring at a screen all day, so I'm here to recap the goodness and share a recipe for the side dish that is becoming my claim to fame at the Trout family Thanksgiving dinner. I also have to share an exciting personal revelation, but that deserves its own post.

Thanksgiving dinner was fantastic. Jeremy's mom is an amazing cook. In addition to the typical spread, this year we had the usual escarole soup for starters (it's literally just escarole and broth, and it's delicious) along with marinated mushrooms, olives, and these little onions soaked in balsamic vinegar (DELICIOUS OMG). Jeremy's mom also made a tasty fig sauce, almost like a marmalade, to go with the turkey that was awesome. Need that recipe! The salad was oranges, red onions, and black olives with olive oil, which was simple and refreshing and which I'm going to steal for Christmas this year. She also put some leftover stuffing into muffin tins and baked it to make STUFFIN' MUFFINS! I love the idea. We also had wine, belatedly celebrated our joint birthday with pumpkin spice cake from the Amish market, and talked about Trotsky. Pretty typical Trout family Thanksgiving.

For the second year in a row, I made acorn squash filled with chorizo stuffing. I got this recipe from a Latina magazine and it's great! It's not as hard as the recipe might make it seem--just takes a few steps. But the good part is that while the rice cooks and the squash roast, you can prepare everything else and then be ready to go when the squash and rice are ready. There are only 4 of us at Jeremy's Thanksgiving dinner, so I halved the recipe. The trick to splitting an acorn squash is to use a large, very sharp knife and work very slowly, cutting carefully around the squash. Having your mother in the kitchen nervously supervising is optional.

* 2 cups wild rice
* 4 1/2 cups chicken broth
* 1/4 tsp kosher salt, plus more to taste
* 4 small acorn squash
* Olive oil (for sauteeing onions and brushing the squash)
* 1 large onion, diced
* 12 oz Spanish chorizo, chopped (you can also use sweet or mild Italian sausage, the kind that doesn't have a casing)
* 2 tsp dried sage
* 1/4 cup chopped parsley
* 3/4 cup chopped dried cranberries
* 1/4 cup maple syrup

Preheat oven to 375. Rinse rice. In medium saucepan, bring rice, broth, and 1/4 tsp salt to a boil. Cover and simmer until rice is tender, with some grains split open, about 45 to 60 minutes. (I used the Archer Farms from Target wild rice and it was done in 45 minutes, but check the directions on your container for specifics!) Transfer rice to a large bowl.

Cut off squash ends if necessary to stand them upright, cut them in half lengthwise, and seed. (Use an ice cream scoop to easily remove the seeds and stringy pulp. I love the multi-functionality of ice cream scoops and think no kitchen should be without one, but I digress.) Line a baking sheet with foil. Brush the outsides and insides of each squash with oil and place cut side down on baking sheet. Bake until tender, 35 to 45 minutes. Lower oven temperature to 325.

In saute pan, heat oil over medium heat. Cook onion until soft. Add chorizo and sage and cook about 5 minutes. Add to bowl with rice.

Scoop out squash so edges are 1/4 inch thick and add pulp to bowl. Stir in parsley and cranberries and add salt to taste. Mound stuffing into squash halves and drizzle with maple syrup. Put them into a foil-lined baking dish. Bake until heated through, about 25 minutes. Makes 8 servings.

Apparently, Jeremy's father specially requested that my leftover stuffing be served as part of their day-after-Thanksgiving leftovers dinner, and I felt so loved. Hurrah! Do share your traditional and not-so-traditional meal ideas!

Here is a (slightly dark) picture of my stuffed acorn squash. Noms!

1 comment:

skemper said...

oh man, this sounds like a haute cuisine thanksgiving, way better than mine! good work, jeremy's mom (and you for eating gravy)