Harlequin Squash, Sausage and Sage Stuffing

 photo WP_20160821_001_e_zpsznvqrh68.jpgIt’s rather colourful, isn’t it?

Okay, let’s start at the screw up and then never again mention it. The balls didn’t pan out, the stuffing was perfect other than that. Just follow the recipe and you’ll be fine. I never make mistakes, dearest reader, I merely travel a different path than the one intended. Okay, I make plenty of mistakes, but I try to learn from them. Thankfully this worked really wonderfully, it just didn’t get the crispy outside I wanted. So I used my knowledge from all the times I’ve used it as a topping for cottages pies and we’re good. Handy, huh? Now, there may be some confusion as to what constitutes stuffing, everything you know is wrong, the end. What? I was kidding…for all you know. This is my Mother’s potato stuffing recipe, the potato is replaced with glorious Harlequin Squash. Now, if you’ve never had an Irish Mammy, then you’ve never heard an Irish Mammy’s recipe. I have it typed out below, but it’s basically:

“Well, however much you want. How much do you eat? That’s enough, unless you want more. I have no idea”

Etc Etc, writing down recipe or exact amounts aren’t common methods with Irish Mammies. At least not mine. Thankfully it passed the test with her too. There aren’t a slew of Traditional  Irish recipes, I have a handful here and there, but it’s a problem of a lot of Traditional Food being so basic it’s near impossible to adapt to my diet or it comes from a packet and you can’t exactly replicate that. There’s always confusion to what we eat. Simple fare and foreign dishes seem to sum it up. Chances are you may have a weird idea of the Irish. I blame movies. This stuffing is a real Irish recipe, simple, but versatile. It can be a side dish, balled if you use potato, probably I’m not one hundred percent sure, and can be used to stuff a chicken or a breast. If you can eat potato just swap it for the squash. Other squash won’t work the same here. Not to say you can’t, they just won’t taste the same.

 photo WP_20160821_002_e_zpsqx9b7oig.jpgFoil trays because the kitchen is being renovated and it’s a holy disgrace.

The stuffing, like anything baked with this squash, is creamy and much too good. Sage and sausage really is a great combination. I think fresh is best when it comes to sage in this recipe, but you could try it with dried, reduce it to a third of what you’d use in leaves. It was really hard to get suitable sausages for me, I had to buy them in Marks and Spencer’s and they’re really costly. I can’t eat added starches, so it has to be all meat and little else. The availability of ingredients made this recipe a must try. I had fresh sage growing, harlequin squash cured and sausages in the freezer. That’s a rarity. As I say below you can grill the top for a crispy layer and you can ball it, but they won’t crisp up. They still taste the same it’s just messier than scooping it into a dish. This doesn’t freeze due to the sausage and sage. It’s nicest fresh anyway.

 photo WP_20160821_005_e_zpsrusvfoz5.jpgBack to helping with renovations tomorrow, so quick dinners it is.

Ingredients

125g Harlequin Squash, Cubed
1 Pork Sausage
1/4 Large Yellow Onion
4-6 Fresh Sage Leaves, Chopped
Salt and Pepper to Taste

Method

1. Steam the Harlequin Squash and place into a bowl. Set aside.

2. Chop the Onion finely and fry in Butter until translucent. Add the Sage and fry for one minute. Add the Onion mix, the meat from the Sausage, discarding the casing, Salt and Pepper to the Harlequin Squash and mash everything together.

3. Scoop mixture into a greased baking dish and smooth down. Bake at 200c (Fan) for half an hour. For a crispier top grill for the final 5 minutes.

Bonus!

 photo WP_20160821_010_e_zps0xab8ppl.jpgBuckwheat Muffins. Peanut Butter and Raspberry…that’s been in the freezer a while.

I ran out of muffin liners and as I’ve been having trouble with them sticking too I thought I should find an alternative. Other than flouring that is. I went to Google after a think and lo and behold, me close, heh, The Kitchn had an interesting idea. Making my own liners meant two things: Firstly I’d have them to hand at any time and they’d be less likely to stick. Mine were rough and did leave dents in the muffins, but they just unfolded when I took the muffins from the trays. Not one bit of stickiness. They take a bit of work to make, but one the whole it’s worth it. I just thought I’d share this as it was handy and actually worked, unlike a lot of tips on the internet. See you next time.

Butternut Squash Gravy

I Tried to make it fancy…Really.

I’ve seen a few vegetable thickened gravies around, but the problem was  either a vegetable I couldn’t eat or there was just too many ingredients or, rather, too specific ingredients. So I decided to tackle it myself. This is pretty loose as ingredients go, you could take out the herbs here and replace them with what ever you’d prefer. Add a bay leaf, toss in fresh meat juices, whatever you like. I really was surprised how little this tasted like Butternut Squash in stock, the taste is there, but it’s not over powering, the herbs really shine through and the squash gives it a rich, thick texture without being heavy. I’ll be honest, gravy for me was usually just packaged stuff so I don’t really have any tricks or secrets to share. Fresh herbs are a game changer, but dried are fine too.

It’s stupidly simple, but a really tasty gravy.

The problem with being a single cook is that a squash leaves a lot left over. I had some Sautéed Squash with this and I still have three servings of gravy in my freezer. It’ll be fine, I’ve had a similar recipe in my Squash Pasta and that heats as well after being frozen as it does when cooked fresh. You could conceivably use any vegetable, but you may be best to stick to something that wouldn’t over power the dish. I remember seeing a recipe for white sweet potato gravy, somewhere. Sadly I can’t get a wide selection of vegetables where I am, but the squash works well. If you needed a nut free, flour free, vegan etc option this would be great for the holidays, or any day. I have one more recipe, hopefully it works out, incoming, but that should end the deluge of posts. Back to normal next week or as normal as this posting schedule gets. Until later. Goodbye and good gravy!

Ingredients

300g Butternut Squash, Peeled and Cubed
600ml Stock (Chicken, Beef, Vegetable etc)
1/4 Tsp Sage or 1 Tsp Fresh Sage, Chopped
1/4 Tsp Thyme or 1 Tsp Fresh Thyme
1/4 Tsp Parsley or 1 Tsp Fresh Parsley, Chopped
Salt and Pepper to Taste

Makes 4 Servings. If making individual servings portion it out (About 200ml each) after blending and freeze it. Defrost when wanted and use as normal.

Method

1. Add everything to a pot and bring to the boil, stir it up, reduce to a simmer and cook until squash is tender.

2. Pour into a blender and blitz until smooth or use a stick blender. Return it to the pot or a pan and cook on a medium heat until gravy has reduced to desired consistency.

It’s not soup. Well, it is, kinda. Let’s call it gravy.