Buttercup Squash Casserole with Chorizo
The other day I was telling the nice lady at my local farmer’s market about my experience with the Long Island Cheese Pumpkin (click here). She suggested I try some Buttercup Squash. I thought they were just for decorating but she told me it has a flavor close to a sweet potato. I took two.
I searched the internet for ways to use this squash. Most recipes were sweet but I found a chorizo stuffed squash recipe that sounded good. (Chorizo is a is a chile and garlic flavored sausage.)
These squash are really pretty inside and have a wonderful nutty aroma. Scoop out the “guts” and seeds of course. I placed them face down in a glass baking dish with about 1/2 cup of water and baked them for 45 minutes at 350 degrees. I could not stuff them and here’s why:
The outer shells were too soft and they fell apart! Maybe I cooked them too long or maybe it’s just the variety. The squash was cooked nicely and smelled wonderful, so as they say, “C’est la vie”, now the recipe becomes “Buttercup Squash Casserole with Chorizo.” The cooked squash wasn’t all that sweet, again maybe affected by growing conditions, but we are making a savory dish anyway.
So anyway, after a lot of chopping and prep (see ingredients list below), into the skillet goes the onions and chorizo.
“Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn, and caldron bubble” – so close to Halloween I just had to slip that in!
Since this turned into a casserole, we mixed it all together, sprayed a small casserole with oil and poured it in. It’s pretty thick, so maybe “spread it in” would be a better description. Sprinkle the cheese on top, cook for 15 minutes or until bubbly around the edges and the cheese starts to brown. Mmmmmmmmm, our kitchen smelled so good while this was cooking.
But you say, how did it taste? I thought it was really good – the chorizo was so spicy Dana’s head was pouring sweat! We only had pickled jalapenos – they went well in the dish but they also added to the heat. I don’t have his reaction to hot chilies so I was fine and it wasn’t so hot that it burned your mouth. We debated on side dishes and decided on sauteed Baby Bella mushrooms and peas, and of course a good crusty bread.
This was a joint effort – I did the prep while Dana watched a bicycling movie, Hell on Wheels, (yawn) then he did the cooking. Otherwise we would have been eating dinner at midnight. If you are into bicycling, click over to his site at Mid-Life Adventures, he has some good stories and photos.
Buttercup Squash Casserole with Chorizo2TB vegetable oil
1 onion, finely chopped
¾ lb. Chorizo **
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
¼ tsp. dried oregano
¼ tsp. cumin
¼ c. grated Parmesan cheese 3 slices of bread, cut into ½” cubes 1 beaten egg
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Place halved and seeded squash in a roasting pan , cut side down in a small amount of water. Place in oven and roast until squash is tender, but firm, skin should pierce easily. Remove from oven and allow to cool enough to be handled.
Scoop out most of the flesh leaving a ¼ inch shell (or scoop it all out if making a casserole). Set shells to one side and chop flesh, mine was more like mashed. Heat oil in skillet and saute onion until soft. Add chorizo, garlic, and jalapeno and cook over medium heat until meat is cooked. Add bread and beaten egg. Combine well. Don’t drain the chorizo unless it’s really wet, you want some greasy goodness to soak into the bread. Add oregano, cumin and reserved squash flesh. Combine well. Pile into reserved shells (or put in casserole dish). Sprinkle with cheese. Place in baking pan and bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes.
So don’t be afraid to try those funny looking squash at your market, they are more than their looks!
Leftover note: This was even better the next day, re-heated in the microwave. We had leftover peas but no mushrooms, so I fried some apple slices. They went great with this dish, that plus buttermilk cornbread made for a great second act!