When I first moved to Minnesota I kept the Vermont plates on my car for a little while since I was a student and didn't consider myself "permanent" there. One thing I noticed with the out of state plates was that nearly every time I was doing something with my car - filling the tank, getting a car wash, getting the oil changed - someone would ask me about the winters in Vermont. They always wanted to know how bad they were. I thought it was weird for a while until I realized that they were asking because they wanted to know how Vermont winters stacked up against Minnesota winters. They were honestly curious. And after a few years living there, I started to realize why. You see, when you get a foot of snow at the beginning of November, like some parts of Minnesota got this week, or when it is -30 below and your car won't start, or when you know what it feels like to have your eyelashes freeze together, you start to take sick pride in just how horrible the winters are. You have to tell yourself that you are surviving the worst winters possible so that you don't get depressed about the fact that you've been bundling up to go outside for months and you are still months away from wearing sandals. Other places may have tough winters, but you are surviving the toughest.
In honor of all the first snowfalls that fell across parts of the country this week, I'm posting this very wintery comfort food dish. I love squash and sausage, so trying this recipe out I was fairly certain I would like it, but I was surprised at how well the two went together. The roasted acorn squash has a sweet, mellow flavor that balances the salty, spicy sausage really well. The sour cream and cheese mixed in give the filling a delicious creaminess that is rich without being over-the-top decadent. Celery adds crunch and mushrooms add flavor to a very simple stuffing that is easy to put together. I streamlined the recipe a little bit and started the squash cooking in the microwave while the filling was being cooked so that the overall baking time was an hour less. This recipe can also be lightened up a bit by using turkey sausage and low fat sour cream and it is still rich, delicious and filling. This is the kind of meal that makes you look forward to cold nights and staying in and watching the snow fall. Even in the middle of November.
Sausage Stuffed Acorn SquashPublished 11/14/2014
- 2 acorn squash, halved and seeded
- 1 pound ground sausage
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
- 1/4 cup chopped onion
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
- Place squash cut side down on a microwave safe plate and add 2 tablespoons of water to the plate. Microwave 5-6 minutes or until squash is starting to get tender.
- While squash is cooking, heat a large skillet over medium heat. Cook and stir the sausage until browned, about 5-7 minutes. Drain fat and discard. Add celery, mushrooms and onion. Cook and stir until celery is softened, 5-10 minutes. Remove skillet from heat.
- Beat egg in a large bowl and stir in sour cream and Parmesan cheese. Stir the cheese mixture into the sausage mixture. Divide among the cooked acorn squash halves and place, upright, in a 9x13 baking dish. Bake in oven until the filling is heated through, about 20 minutes.
Prep Time: 10 mins.
Total time: 50 mins.
Recipe Source: adapted slightly from allrecipes.com