Thursday, December 2, 2010

Thanksgiving Leftovers: Baked Delicata Squash stuffed with Turkey and Wild Rice

We had two delicious Thanksgiving dinners this year (one at each of our parent's houses), and we took home full sets of leftovers from each.  That's a lot of turkey!  Besides the usual sandwiches, I used some of it to make an improvised turkey soup with mushroom broth, dried shiitakes, and wild rice, which was delicious.  I ate it for lunch every day this week!  

I still had more though, and we have lots of winter squashes lying around, so I decided to bake a delicata squash and fill it with a mixture of shredded turkey, wild rice, parsley, and cheese.  I got the basic idea from a recipe in Robin Miller's Quick Fix Meals (she used butternut squash and chicken).  Miller has you microwave the squash, to save time, no doubt, but I since prefer baked squash, I looked to a recipe I like over at for baking instructions (It's called "Delicata Delish", and it lives up to it's name, even though, oddly enough, the picture on their website looks like stuffed zucchini rather than delicata).

I love squash, so of course this meal was a hit with me!

Stuffed delicata squash with turkey, wild rice, and fresh herbs
adapted from Robin Miller - Quick Fix Meals, and - Delicata Delish
serves 2

Notes: I made a lot of changes to Robin Miller's recipe, mostly because I was just using it as a guide to use what I had on hand.  I used wild rice instead of brown, turkey instead of chicken, I left out the cumin and sour cream, and used havarti instead of goat cheese.  But I always try to give the source of where I get my ideas from, so there you go.  There are lots of ways to modify this meal.  You could use almost any winter squash (except spaghetti).  Swap out the turkey for cooked chicken.  Any kind of rice will be fine, leftover from another meal, or made fresh that night.  You could use a wide variety of cheeses and whatever fresh herbs you have.

1 large Delicata squash, halved and seeded
2 tablespoons salted butter
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 cups cooked wild rice
1 heaping cup shredded turkey
1 tablespoon of fresh minced parsley
1/4 to 1/2 cup shredded cheese, such has havarti

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Place the squash cut side up in a baking dish.  Fill with about 1/4 inch of water.  Put 1 tablespoon of butter in each half and season with salt and pepper.  Cover with foil and bake for about 30 minutes, or until a fork pierces the flesh easily in several places.

Meanwhile, put the rice, turkey, and parsley into a pot and heat, just to warm through.  You could also use a microwave.

When the squash is done, remove from the oven and turn the broiler on.  Divide the mixture between the two halves, it will be heaping.  Sprinkle the cheese over the top.  Broil for a couple of minutes to melt the cheese, and serve.

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