Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Squash Stuffed With Couscous

Yesterday I learned that cooking anything before work in the morning adds about 50% more stress to your day. Plus you smell like onions all day. I hope to never have to prep anything before work again, I vow to always do it before bed the day before.

I dragged myself out of bed (okay, Alex did the actual dragging) half an hour early in order to get my stuffed squash ready. I adapted this from Robin Robertson's recipe from her book Fresh From the Vegetarian Slow Cooker and most of her recipes require some pre-cooking before you put things in the crock-pot. I'm okay with this, because I understand it will add to the flavor. While I have been enjoying being a lazy chef, I also want the food to taste good, it's kind of the point. There is definitely a difference between boiled onion, and sauteed onion. However, at 7am I was cursing myself for starting off my day with an extra dose of stress.

In all honesty the prep was not that difficult. Couscous is pretty fool proof, and sauteing onions and garlic is just time consuming with all the stirring.

I adapted the recipe to work in a 3 qt. Crock-pot, and to fit my tastes:

2 cups apple juice
1 cup couscous
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1 cup dried apricots, chopped
Splash of olive oil
1 small yellow onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
1/2 cup unsalted pistachios, chopped (they are hard to chop, mine where more like crushed and chunked)
Sprinkle of salt
1 medium kabocha squash
1 cup water

I actually had to take a tape measure to the grocery store with me to find a squash that would fit into the pot. I got some strange looks. I can just imagine people thinking I have some serious OCD to need to measure my produce.

I started the couscous boiling in the apple juice while I sauteed the onion and garlic in the olive oil. When the couscous was done (about 10 minutes) I mixed the apricots, cooked onion/garlic, pistachios and salt together. I cut off the top of the kabocha and scooped out the seeds and stringy bits. Then I squished as much couscous mixture inside as I could, set the squash into the crock-pot and poured the water around it. I cooked it for 9 and a half hours.I gotta say I didn't love it, but probably because I cooked it for too long and it turned to mush. I should have put it in for about 6 hours, but the day got away from me and I got home too late. The flavors were great, but the texture wasn't that appetizing. Maybe I'll try it again one day when I'll be home rather than at work.

1 comment:

  1. couscous boiling in apple juice!!! beurk
    i cook couscous since 40 years.this recipe is incredible.
    a tunisian reader