Big things in my life always seem to happen around Thanksgiving; I am coming up on my 4 year “Horse-aversary” at Flying Horse Farms and Liv to Eat is a year old! Thanksgiving has to be the best time of the year; It is the start of the Holiday season, it is a holiday totally centered around eating and then after you are stuffed you get to go shopping, and watch football and then eat some more!
This past week I got to participate in 2 Friendsgivings (the best kind of “givings” if you ask me). One for work and one with the youth leaders from Rock City. And boy am I lucky to be surrounded by so many stellar chefs. I have been eating well all week. For Flying Horse Farms, “Day of thanks” it is always so hard to decide what to bring, because everyone cooks such yummy food- Jenny makes dynamite carrots, Jackie knocks the Brussel sprouts out of the park, Mimi dishes up two types of stuffing and on and on. What is one 26-year-old single to do???
Well this year I decided to serve up some roasted acorn squash stuffed with deliciousness. I made two “stuffings” one vegetarian and a delicious one… jkjk they were both stellar. The vegetarian one has wild rice, shallots, pecans, dried cranberries and a secret ingredient (orange juice). The sausage one had hot Italian sausage, mild Italian sausage, white rice, mushrooms, leeks, walnuts and parmesan cheese. I’m not ashamed to say I impressed myself with these dishes. In my opinion the stuffing was the MVP of the show but the squash was an awesome vessel to show it off.
Besides the food, thanksgiving events are so fun because you get to cook side by side with people you love. I am #blessed with the most amazing coworkers in the world (it’s a fact.) I got to teach Alexa and Patsy a bit about roasting veggies while Ryan fired up the wood fired oven- that’s right! I got to roast the acorn squash in a real, live wood fired oven. It was super bad ass- and made everything that day smell delicious.
Half or slice the acorn squash for roasting, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast the squash for around 45 minutes at 400 degrees. Because I needed to make a side that would feed just under 30 friends I decided to slice the acorn squash and drape the stuffing over top it all. If you are making this for a smaller party it is super cute to half the squash, scoop out the seeds and literally stuff the middle with the mixtures- it’s up to you!
Here are the two stuffings I cooked:
Vegetarian Wild Rice Stuffing
2 tbs olive oil
2 whole shallots- chopped
Salt & Pepper
2 cloves of garlic, minced
Dash of oregano and red pepper flakes
1 cup of wild rice
1.5 cups of vegtable stock
Handful of pecans (toasted and chopped)
Juice from half an orange
- Heat olive oil in a pan. When warm, add the shallots, salt and pepper. When shallots soften add garlic, oregano and red pepper flakes. Once you can smell the garlic (around 1 minute) add the rice and vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 30-40 minutes or until rice is tender. The rice will absorb all the liquid so keep an eye on it, and stir often, especially near the end. Remove from heat and add in pecans and orange juice. Enjoy!
Sausage and White Rice Stuffing
½ lb hot Italian sausage
½ lb mild Italian sausage
half a white onion, chopped
8 ounce of mushrooms, chopped
1 leek, washed and sliced
1 tbs of ground thyme
1 cup of white rice
2 cups of chicken broth
½ cup parmesan cheese
handful of walnuts, toasted and chopped
salt and pepper
Drizzle olive oil in a deep pan, when hot, saute onions. Next add the sausage and brown. In the last couple minutes add mushrooms, leeks and thyme. Cook until sausage is no longer pink and veggies are softened. Add the rice and chicken broth. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until the rice is tender. Remove from heat and add parmesan cheese and walnuts.
Both stuffings are delish! I cooked up all the stuffing on Tuesday and was able to stick it in the refrigerator until Thursday. I simply reheated the stuffing during the last 15 minutes of the squash roasting- and voila a perfect thanksgiving side to impress friends and family alike.
I want to wish everyone a very happy Thanksgiving. May your turkey be juicy, your mashed potatoes creamy, your stuffing plentiful and your pants stretchy.