Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Sunset Magazine's stuffed Kabocha squash with Arabic lamb stew

"Lamb sounds good"
We had a Kabocha squash plant volunteer in the garden this spring and I wanted to do something special with the best squash we got off of it. I did exactly what I always do when I am looking for a recipe and googled "Kabocha squash recipes". One of the first recipes that caught my attention was Sunset Magazine's Arabic lamb stew recipe. I decided this was the one because I love lamb for a special occasion, I thought it looked gorgeous and I was intrigued by the Baharat spice blend the recipe called for.

Photo: Yunhee Kim, Sunset Magazine
I stayed basically true to the recipe except I did add an orange bell pepper because I happened to have one, and I used a plain ol' yellow onion instead of shallots because I didn't have any shallots handy. I also skipped the chives because I didn't have any. My squash was 6.6 pounds rather than the 3 1/2 pounds that the recipe calls for. I made the Baharat seasoning myself but did not have any cardamom so I skipped that too.

My stew simmering before going in the squash. 
I used halved cherry tomatoes for my tomatoes because it's what I had ripe in the garden. Everything was looking great on the stove top so I moved on to cutting the top off of my squash.

It took me longer than I would have liked to break into it. 

But I finally did get the lid off. 

Kabocha squash is also known as a Japanese pumpkin so I decided to reserve the seeds for roasting

Squash and stew ready to go

The recipe says you'll need another vessel to cook some of the extra stew in but the stew all fit perfectly in my very large squash. 

Ready for baking

I knew it would take longer than the recipe says 

Our oven is always a little cooler than it says it is so I put it on 385 rather than 375. I checked it at 70 minutes and my squash was still not cooked all the way through so I put it back in the oven. Mine is not quite as pretty as the Sunset magazine version but it certainly was tasty! It took about 25 minutes more.

In the meantime, I made a Gidget's Garden salad 
This salad was made with Armenian cucumber, orange bell pepper, whole green and purple basil leaves, yellow pear and red cherry tomatoes. I dressed it with a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper. We think our vegetables are tasty without adding much of anything.

Cucumber infused water
I also decided to make a refreshing alternative to plain water by adding some cucumber slices to a pitcher of cold water. Yum.

Farmer D's first plate 
Maybe I would have gone to more trouble to make this plate prettier if I were having a dinner party or something but at home with just us, I don't get too fussy about the way stuff looks, especially when it's as tasty as this was. I scooped out the stew with a big spoon, making sure to grab some of the squash off the inside walls. When Farmer D tasted his first bite he said; "This is good." That's a remarkable amount of feedback from him so I was pleased.

On his third helping, I realized this probably would not satisfy 6 people like the recipe says.  

Gidget decided to help herself to a bite while we were eating 

Even Gidget liked this recipe. After I yelled at her for helping herself to our food, she was yelling at me from the floor to give her more. I did give her a little bowl of the squash as I was putting the rest of it away and she ate every last bite and licked the bowl clean. My version certainly wasn't as pretty but even without all of the ingredients, it was one of the tastiest meals I've made in awhile.

1 comment:

  1. WoW. You did great and I think it turned out BEAUTIFUL looking! So..good thing you gave it a trial run before making it and inviting friends over to share with.. Gidget would have been heartbroken!