Thursday, May 19, 2005

Moroccan-Style Stuffed Acorn Squashes

Moroccan-Style Stuffed Acorn Squashes (Adapted from Martha Stewart)

2 medium acorn squashes, halved and seeded
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
12 ounces (3/4 pound) ground sirloin
pinch cinnamon
pinch fresh grated nutmeg
2 teaspoons coarse salt, divided
1/3 to 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
4 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 cup dry bulgur wheat
2 cups vegetable broth
1/4 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
3 tablespoons toasted pine nuts

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Set squashes, cut side down, onto a large rimmed baking sheet lined with foil and coated with cooking spray. Place into the oven and bake until tender, about 40 to 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a medium 4-quart saucepan, heat oil over medium-high. Add ground sirloin, cinnamon, nutmeg and 1 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring to crumble, until browned and cooked through, about 5 to 7 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, scoop beef out into a large bowl and set aside.

Add onion into the saucepan and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in remaining teaspoon of salt and bulgur - cook, stirring, for 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in broth. Bring mixture to a boil - cover, reduce heat to a simmer and cook until the liquid has been almost absorbed, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand, covered, for 5 to 10 minutes. Fluff bulgur with a fork, then add to the bowl with the beef. Stir in raisins, parsley and pine nuts.

Scrape out flesh from baked squashes, leaving roughly a 1/4" thick shell for each. Stir flesh into beef and bulgur mixture. Evenly divide mixture between squash halves. Place halves back into the oven and bake until thoroughly warmed through and the tops have begun to brown, about 12 to 14 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly before serving.

Makes 4 servings.

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