I'm so sorry I missed posting yesterday. Those of you who follow on Facebook might have seen Allie's message apologizing because I wasn't feeling quite up to cooking and blogging.
As it happens, that's been happening more than I care to say lately. And today I got some news.
As those of you who read regularly know, I've been wearing a cardiac monitor in an effort to figure out why I've been feeling so yukky lately.
Well, technology has done it's job. Today I was told that it is imperative that I have a pacemaker put in soon- within the next week and a half. (My birthday is Sunday- what a gift!!) The monitor showed that my heart is taking a nap periodically when it's supposed to be on duty.
Soooo... now that I've thrown my tantrum (this was NOT supposed to happen to ME!!) and I've come to some acceptance, I'm okay with it (I think)
So if blog posts get a bit scarce for a short time, please don't forget us- I promise we'll be back as soon as possible. Doctor says 6 week recovery- I'm holding him to it :)
Years ago when we lived in the beautiful Hudson Valley of New York, we used to go to a WONDERFUL local restaurant called the Iron Forge Inn. It was family owned and the chef was one of the sons who left for a while to train as a chef and came back to take over the kitchen. I once had a gorgeous stuffed acorn squash and tried for years to replicate the recipe. A few years ago I found a recipe in some magazine (no, I didn't remember to write down which- sorry) which was as close as I've come to his version. With a little tweaking this is my version
Heads up- peeling acorn squash is a royal pain. I use a peeler on the rounded ridges and a small sharp knife for the crevices. One squash will serve 3-4 people as a lovely Autumn side. Enjoy!
Yes, I over-browned it a bit- I got distracted! Pretty easy in this house!
Chard Stuffed Acorn Squash
2 large acorn squash
8 slices bacon
5-6 tblsp olive oil
salt and pepper
1 medium onion, finely minced
3-4 cloves garlic, crushed and minced
2 LARGE bunches Swiss Chard (I used red chard), washed and dried with stems and large veins removed
16 ounces mushrooms (mixed is great), cleaned and sliced not too thin
2 tsp chopped fresh thyme leaves
1/4 tsp grated fresh nutmeg
1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
1 tbsp chopped parsley
1 tblsp butter, melted
1 tblsp grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Soak a dozen round wooden toothpicks in warm water for a few minutes. Cut a small slice off the bottom of each squash so it sits level, then cut about an inch of the top- you should expose the seeds. Peel the squash and scoop out the seeds. Brush the squashes with a tablespoon or so of olive oil and season, inside and out, with salt and pepper. Wrap each squash with 4 slices of bacon- tuck one end of each strip under the squash and the other end in the cavity. Use the toothpicks to secure. It should look like spokes. Place squashes upside down (cavity down) on a rack in a pan and bake for about 30 minutes till the bacon is golden crisp and the squash is tender, but not mushy. Set aside and allow to cool.
Heat 2-3 more tblsp olive oil in a very large skillet. Saute onion till soft, then add garlic and saute another 2 minutes, stirring so garlic doesn't burn. Add the chard in large handfuls, stirring down as it wilts. When it's all in there, cover and steam for about 4-5 minutes, stirring halfway. Chard should be cooked, but still bright green. Remove to a large bowl to cool and wipe out skillet.
Heat another 1-2 tblsp oil over medium high heat and add mushrooms. Toss and saute till lightly browned and there's no liquid left. Allow to cool.
Preheat oven to 500 degrees. If there's a lot of liquid in the chard, drain and squeeze a bit. Stir in the mushrooms, thyme, and nutmeg. Season with salt and pepper.
Flip squash over (right side up and remove toothpicks. Place in a baking dish sprayed with baking spray. Stuff cavities with chard mixture.
In a small bowl, mix together bread crumbs, cheese, parsley, and melted butter. Top squash with crumb mixture. Bake for 8-10 minutes till warmed and golden
We're linking up tonight to Michael's wonderful Foodie Friday at Designs by Gollum
Come join us and be prepared to drool!
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Buon Cibo, Buon Amici,
Pattie and Allie