I have been blessed with several longtime friends who are of the we-just-pick-right-up-where-we-left-off variety. We love each other and we make each other laugh (sometimes the circumstances and the humor can be dark but then the laughing is even more needed.) And we are, after so many years, truly family. One such friend came to visit this weekend and I wanted our first night to be all about chilling out and catching up over some yummy food and perhaps a bit of vino. But I didn’t want to put us in a food coma — we had too much catching up to do.
Since I had some acorn squash on hand (it is currently super cheap at my grocery store,) I decided to make stuffed acorn squash on my Big Green Egg. I didn’t have to look far for some stuffing ingredients: breakfast sausage, dried cranberries, pine nuts, and dried sage were all stocked. Special note: Do not be intimidated by cutting these squash in half and cleaning out the seeds — I will tell you how easy it is. And you can just bake the squash in your oven if you don’t have a BGE or similar smoker. So “No excuses!” is what I am saying. 🙂
Stuffed Acorn Squash with Sausage
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 medium acorn squash
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 lb. sausage (I used breakfast sausage because I had it)
- 1/2 tsp dried sage
- 1/3 cup diced onion
- 2/3 cup dried cranberries
- 1/3 cup pine nuts (or walnuts/pecans)
- 1/4 cup shredded parmesan
Preheat your smoker or grill to 375 degrees F dome temp and set up for indirect heat, with drip pan below the grate. (Or preheat oven to 350 degrees.)
Rinse your acorn squash, pat dry, and place them on a cutting board.
Place your first squash stem side down on your cutting board and cut in half with a large butcher knife. (By cutting from the bottom of the squash, you get better leverage.) Repeat with the second squash.
Next you will want to cut a small flat edge on the uncut side of each half so they will sit flat on the plate and not wobble.
Scrape seeds and membranes out with a large spoon and discard. (They should come out pretty easily.) When you are done, the inside cavity of your squash should be the same color as the rest of the flesh. Season with salt and pepper and brush with olive oil.
Place squash cut side down on grate and leave for 30 minutes.
Then flip squash over and let cook for another 20-25 minutes.
While squash finishes cooking, prepare stuffing. Mix sage and onion and add to an unheated skillet; press sausage down on top.
Turn heat on to medium and leave it be for about 10 minutes or until the bottom starts to brown. Break up sausage with a spatula or spoon and mix up, browning all of the meat. When sausage is cooked through, stir in the dried cranberries and pine nuts.
Once the squash has cooked for 50 minutes total, remove from heat, brush with maple syrup, and spoon sausage stuffing inside and on top. Sprinkle parmesan cheese on top and serve.
I have to say that this got raves from my friend and I thought it was mighty tasty, too. And that was before we made a serious run at the wine. 🙂 Give ’em a try, y’all — it is a perfect light dinner for fall.