Sunday, August 22, 2010

Spinach Stuffed Squash or Zucchini

  This is one knock-out dish - squash dressed to the nines.  Another Paula Deen creation for you to enjoy.  It can be made with zucchini or yellow summer squash; my favorite is made with zukes, but this last trip to the store, the yellow squash was so much better than the zucchini.

Spinach Stuffed Squash or Zucchini
6-10 servings

3 large zucchini or 5 medium/large yellow squash  (this last batch was made with 3 large yellow squash)
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup diced onion
1 cup chicken flavored stuffing mix (dry - do not prepare)
10 oz frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (4 oz by weight)

  Start off by preheating the oven to 400°F.

  Cut your squash in half lengthwise.  Brush the cut sides with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Lay  them on a lined baking sheet, with the cut side down.  Bake for 15 minutes.  Let the squash halves cool down a bit, and lower the oven temperature to 350°F.  Once the squash is just cool enough to handle, scoop out the pulp into a bowl, taking care not to break your "shells".  Lay the squash back on the baking sheet, this time, cut side up.

  In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat.  Toss the diced onion in and saute until they are transparent, around 5 minutes.  (I personally like to cook mine until they turn slightly brown and take a bit of caramelized quality to them.)  At this time, add in the stuffing mix, spinach, cheese, squash pulp and sour cream, mixing everything together.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Cook for 3 minutes, and remove from the heat.  Scoop the stuffing mixture evenly as you can into each squash shell, and return to the oven to bake for 15-20 minutes.

Serving Ideas - These are great served with fried chicken livers. (Don't knock it until you try it!)  But they are pretty filling if you buy the large squash/zukes, so serving 1-2 halves as a meal isn't too shabby, either.

Helpful Tip - A potato ricer does a nice job squeezing dry thawed frozen spinach. 

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