I've started going through some of the cookbooks I have, that I haven't used for a long time. I got Happy Days with the Naked Chef some time ago for Christmas and made only one recipe from it (Steak and Guiness Pie, which was very tasty). I took it off the shelf the other day on a whim and began to (re)read through it. I came across this squash recipe and decided to try it. I made it for dinner tonight and it was very good. It came together fairly easy, except for prepping the squash (see notes below).
Happy Days with the Naked Chef
1 small handful of dried porcini mushrooms
1 butternut squash, halved and seedsremoved
1 red onion, finely chopped
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
1 teaspoon coriander seeds, pounded
a pinch or two of dried chili, to taste
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary, leaves picked and finely chopped
5 sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 1/2 oz. basmati rice
1/2 a handful of pine nuts, lightly roasted
First of all, soak your porcini for 5 minutes in 1/2 cup of boiling water. Preheat the oven to 450 F.
Using a teaspoon, score and scoop out some extra flesh from the length of the squash. Finely chop this flesh with the squash seeds and add to a frying pan with 4 glugs of olive oil, the onion, garlic, coriander seeds, chili, rosemary and sun-dried tomatoes. Fry for 4 minutes until softened. Add the porcini and half their soaking water. Cook for a further 2 minutes before seasoning.
Stir in your rice and pine nuts, pack the mixture tightly into the 2 halves of the squash and then press them together. Rub the skin of the squash with a little olive oil, wrap in foil, and bake in the preheated oven for about 1 1/4 hours.
Okay, now for the changes I made:
First off, I don't like "fungus", so I just left those out and used a little chicken broth for the soaking water. Didn't have a red onion, so used 1 small yellow. Ddn't have coriander seeds, so I used 1 tsp. of ground coriander. Also, I didn't wind up chopping up all the seeds, about half of them made it into the trash before I remembered I was supposed to save them. I baked the foil-wrapped squash on a small baking sheet, although this isn't specified in the recipe.
And I gotta say, either Jamie's teaspoon is a lot sharper than mine or his squash is a lot softer. Scooping out the flesh from a raw squash is pretty hard. I wound up using a paring knife to score the flesh and take some of it out before scraping with the teaspoon, but it was a lot of work.
Even though this is supposed to be a vegetarian entree (it's named after a friend of his who ordered the "veggie" option one night after too many days of meat), I served it with linguica, which I split lengthwise and pan-fried.
All in all, I think this is a keeper.
"Part of the secret of success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside." --Mark Twain
"Is it true that cannibals won't eat clowns because they taste funny?"
"In wine there is wisdom; in beer there is strength; in water there is bacteria"