I was recently interviewed by Foody Direct as part of their Expert Interview program. Here is the interview….. And one of my favorite Zucchini Recipes. (It was summer when we did the interview.)
We all know I like stuffing vegetables – zucchinis and tomatoes in summer; peppers and winter squashes in autumn.
This acorn squash stuffing has a hint of Tex-Mex in it. As always, make it as hot as you like.
We also all know I have a wimpy palate.
The squash bakes while the stuffing is prepared and just needs 10 – 15 minutes to finish.
I normally roast the squash halves because I’m not in a rush and I prefer the flavor. You could microwave them and cut the overall time by 20 – 30 minutes.
I usually can’t get all of the stuffing in, so I keep it warm and serve it on the side.
Spicy Stuffed Acorn Squash
Total time: 60 minutes
- 1 medium acorn squash
- 8oz (240gr) sausage, removed from casings
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1/2 large green bell pepper, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 rib celery, chopped
- 1 cup (8oz, 240gr) tomatoes, peeled, chopped
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1/4 tsp dry mustard
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp dried basil
- 2 tsp olive oil
- Cut squash in half and scoop out seeds. Either place face down on tray and microwave for 10 – 12 minutes or put into a baking dish, cover with foil and bake in 400F (200C) oven for 40 minutes.
- While squash cooks:
- Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
- Sauté onion, pepper and celery 5 minutes.
- Add garlic, spices and sauté 5 more minutes or until vegetables are tender and starting to brown.
- Add sausage and sauté, breaking it up as it browns.
- Add tomatoes, herbs and reduce heat. Cover and simmer 10 minutes or until needed.
- To finish:
- When squash are ready (they should be almost done) remove from wherever they cooked and fill with the sausage mixture.
- Bake uncovered for 10 – 15 minutes, until stuffing starts to brown and squash is done.
Note: If the stuffing doesn’t all fit (depending on size of squash) keep it warm and serve on the side.
After we left the tree with the goats we continued on to Essaouira, a lovely city on the coast about a 2 1/2 hour drive from Marrakesh.
Marrakesh is the colors of the dessert with tan and rose buildings. Even the taxis are a golden-tan color.
Essaouira is blue and white – the colors of the sky.
Essaouira is an old port city with the 18th century ramparts still guarding the old town.
The walls still have intact towers and cannons.
Between the outer walls and inner walls there are (of course) shops…. This is a tourist town, now, after all.
It’s a popular summer holiday spot for both French and Moroccans.
We had a fantastic seafood lunch on the beach and could easily have spent another day or two exploring.
A word on language:
There are two official languages in Morocco: Standard Arabic and Berber. But French is Morocco’s unofficial first language and is taught everywhere. Darija (Moroccan Arabic) is the spoken vernacular. Most, if not all, Moroccans will speak a smattering of Darija, Berber and French. In the hotels, souks and other places catering to tourists you will also hear English.
It was pointed out to us, however, that they guy in the souk (and it’s always a male, never a female) may speak perfect English when he recognizes an accent and says ‘You’re American! I can give you a good price. We like American shoppers,’ and so on….. But that is likely the extant of his English. If you asked him if he grew up on a farm you would likely get a blank look and a repeat of the ‘What color do you like?’ question.