Monday, October 27, 2008

November Royal Foodie Joust

Acorn squash, orange and sage. At first glance, the ingredients seem easy enough--three fall flavors that should effortlessly complement each other. But when I started to tackle this month's Royal Foodie Joust, my first, I realized the task at hand was a little harder than I had imagined.

My first instinct was to make a souffle. Then I thought of a creamy soup. But as visions of Thanksgiving fare danced through my head, I ultimately settled on these acorn squash rings brushed with an orange-sage butter and filled with an apple and sausage stuffing. It's a great dish that can easily be done with or without the sausage and makes for an elegant side dish on any fall dinner table. I'm already planning a slightly different version to take the place of traditional stuffing at our own Thanksgiving feast.

And speaking of Thanksgiving, this blog's Nona (Godmother), Ivy of Kopiaste, passed on to me this award which I am extremely thankful for:

I'd like to pass this award on to all the blogs I've been trying to keep up with as they are all so deserving of it!

Sausage & Apple-Filled Acorn Squash Rings with Orange and Sage Butter
Makes 4 servings

5 tablespoons butter
4 to 5 sage leaves, finely chopped
Zest of 1/2 an orange
1 pound sausage, casings removed
4 shallots, chopped
2 McIntosh apples, peeled, cored, diced
1/4 cup chicken or vegetable broth
Juice of 1/2 orange
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
1 large acorn squash, unpeeled and cut into 1-inch-thick rings, seeded
Salt and pepper to taste

Melt 4 tablespoons butter in a small saucepan and stir in sage and orange zest and set aside. Heat skillet and when hot toss pine nuts in and toast until fragrant and golden. Remove from skillet and set aside.

Brown sausage in hot skillet, all the while breaking it up with a wooden spoon. Remove sausage to a bowl. Add shallots to skillet along with last tablespoon of butter and saute until soft. Add apples, broth and orange juice. Saute until liquid evaporates. Remove from heat, stir in sausage and season filling to taste with salt and pepper.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a large rimmed baking sheet. Place squash on baking sheet and brush each ring with orange and sage butter, sprinkling with salt and pepper to taste. Place filling in center of each ring. Drizzle with remaining orange and sage butter. Cover loosely with foil and bake until squash is tender about 35 minutes.


Peter M said...

Yep, this month's Joust is a tough one and I'm still debating which way to go.

Love the rings and the filling sounds yum. Kali tixh!

Peter G said...

Clever use of the ingredients Maria! I particularly love that sausage stuffing. Good luck!

Ivy said...

I haven't yet decided what to do for the joust but it seems that you did a great job. Good luck Maria.

Anonymous said...

Lovely, Kali tuxi!

Rosie said...

What a great dish for the Joust! Wishing you good luck Maria.

Congrats on your award and what a sweetie to pass it back to everyone :)

Rosie x

Eva said...

Maria just 2 words:
Thanksgiving dinner

Teresa Cordero Cordell said...

Maria, these acorn squash rings sound so tasty. Perfect for the Thanksgiving table. Thank you for such a great recipe. And thank you for stopping by my blog. Hugs.

Teresa Cordero Cordell said...

Maria, I was so overcome with thinking about your squash recipe that I forgot that I was going to wish your hubby a happy birthday. How exciting to have a b-day on Halloween. Hope you two have lots of "fun".

Maria said...

Thank you all so much for your comments. Keep 'em coming and good luck to everyone in this month's joust!

Laurie said...

Maria, What a fantastic debut for the Joust! It looks truly awesome. I never think to cut acorn squash in rings, but it offers such a beautiful presentation I plan to try it myself.

Good luck with the Joust!


being completely illiterate in squash and pumpkin, is that a black pumpkin in the photo??? i've only known them as orangey red...