Roasted Squash with Mushroom Stuffing and Mushroom Gravy
Makes about 4 cups stuffing
Exotic mushrooms, locally grown, lend this recipe protein and immune-boosting properties.
2 medium acorn or delicata squash, cut vertically into four crescents, seed mass removed
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons canola or safflower oil
2 cups mixed exotic mushrooms such as shiitake, cremini and maitake, chopped into 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup onion, finely diced
1 tablespoon butter
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves 1 cup unseasoned bread cubes, cut into ½-inch dice ¼ cup organic mushroom stock (see homemade recipe below)
Fresh thyme leaves, for garnish (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place squash in a lightly oiled 9-by-13-inch roasting pan. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover tightly with aluminum foil. Cook 45 minutes to an hour, or until flesh is tender. Keep warm until ready to serve.
2. Meanwhile, make stuffing: Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes. Add mushrooms and onions; cook 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
3. Push mushrooms and onions to one side of skillet. Add butter, garlic and thyme in “empty” part of skillet and cook, stirring, just until garlic releases its fragrance and is pale golden, about 1 minute. Do not overcook or garlic will be bitter. Add bread cubes and mushroom stock, and mix in mushrooms and onions. Simmer gently until stock has been absorbed.
Mushroom GravyMakes about 1 cup
This rich, hearty sauce satisfies vegetarians and carnivores alike. Leftovers can be reheated and served over grains, or with eggs and biscuits.
1 tablespoon butter or canola oil
1 cup raw mushrooms or mushroom scraps
1 cup organic mushroom stock (see homemade recipe below)
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 tablespoon cornstarch, to thicken (if necessary)
2 tablespoons cold mushroom stock to thicken (if necessary)
1. Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes or until softened.
2. Put cooked mushrooms, mushroom stock and cream in a food processor or blender and purée for 1 to 2 minutes or until very smooth.
3. Place a fine sieve over a medium saucepan and strain purée into saucepan, pressing to extract juices. Discard solids.
4. When ready to serve, reheat gravy to a simmer. If it seems thin, thicken as follows: Mix cornstarch and mushroom stock to make a paste. While gravy is simmering, add paste and whisk until thickened. Serve immediately.
5. To serve, divide stuffing into four equal portions. Place a heaping tablespoon of stuffing in the center of each plate. Place one piece of roasted squash on top of the stuffing, then fill the squash cavity with remaining stuffing. Repeat with the remaining three plates. Spoon the gravy around the squash, garnish with fresh thyme leaves if desired and serve immediately.
Mushroom StockMakes about 3 1/2 cups stock
This flavorful stock also can be used as a soup base, so you may want to double the recipe and freeze half. The stock will keep up to five days refrigerated or frozen for three months.
4 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 pounds (about 4 cups) raw mushroom stems and scraps, finely puréed
1/2 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
1/2 cup Madeira or Port wine
6 cups water
1. Melt butter in a 4-quart stock pot over medium heat. Add mushroom purée and dried mushrooms and cook, stirring frequently, until butter has been absorbed.
2. Add Madeira or Port and simmer until absorbed. Add water and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer uncovered for 45 minutes.
3. Place a large sieve over a bowl or pot and pour the stock over the sieve. Press on the solids to extract as much juice as possible. Discard solids. Let stock cool to room temperature, then cover and chill until fat rises to the top. Skim off fat and discard. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Read the original article, "Locavore's Delight: Local Recipes for Winter."