Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Stuffed 8-Ball Squash

Decided today was the day to try the new vegetable we picked up at the Dallas Farmer's Market: 8-ball squash. The vendor we purchased the squash from had a sign taped under them with several recipes. Since they did not have extra copies of the recipes, I took a photo of the sheet. The recipe I tried today was labeled Taco Stuffed 8-Ball Squash. Here's the recipe as it appeared:

Cut off the top of the stem end and put the 8-balls in a pan, cut side down, with 1/2 inch of water. Simmer, and cover, for 10 minutes or until tender. When they are cool enough to handle; scoop out the middle with a spoon. Reserve the middle for use in the recipes.

Brown 1/2 pound of hamburger, 1/4 cup chopped onion and 1/4 cup of bell peppers (or a teaspoon of jalapeno.) Add 1 cup chopped tomatoes and salt and pepper to taste. Chop the reserved squash and add to the hamburger mixture with 1/4 cup of grated cheese. Fill 8-balls with the mixture, top with more grated cheese and place in a pre-heated oven until the cheese melts. Makes 4 medium 8-balls.

I love to cook and tend to look at recipes more as a jumping off point than something to follow exactly, so here's what I did. I started with the six 8-ball squash that we purchased last Saturday. I followed the directions as far as how to prepare the squash.

I actually browned 1 pound of ground meat since that was the size package I had of ground meat. I added chopped onion and red bell pepper (because I already had a partial red bell pepper in the fridge). I must note that I don't measure my chopped vegetables (in fact, I rarely measure anything unless I'm baking). I basically used 1/4 of a large white onion and 1/2 of a red bell pepper.

Once the squash were ready, I scooped out the middle and came up with this:

I didn't want my stuffing mixture to be too liquidy, so I actually put the squash through a strainer and returned it to the mixing bowl. I did the same thing with the fresh tomato I had chopped up because it was also pretty liquidy. I added the squash, meat mixture, tomatoes (about 1/2 of a large tomato), a chopped banana pepper (because we had some fresh ones and I thought it would make a nice addition), and shredded pepper jack cheese (because that's the package of shredded cheese that was already opened) to the mixing bowl. I added salt and pepper and mixed it all together.

Then it was time to stuff the squash. I ended up with a little less than half the stuffing mixture leftover. I saved it and plan to use it tomorrow as stuffing in two large green bell peppers.

I then added more cheese on top, baked them for about five minutes in a 350 degree oven, and served them with a half slice of toast and a fresh sliced peach.

Robbie and I both liked this new recipe, although we have no idea why they named it Taco Stuffed since there was no taco seasoning in it. The stuffing was still a little more liquidy than I would have liked, so next time I will probably mix everything together then pour it through the strainer. I'll also salt the inside of the squash before filling them (I always do this with my bell peppers).

I'm excited that we not only added a new vegetable to our diet but also a new recipe. We both have several ideas we might try out for the stuffing mixture next time we pick up some 8-ball squash. Robbie thinks something like a Cordon Bleu mixture would be good, while I think I'll try it with more of a taco-seasoned meat mixture.

I'd love to hear about any new recipe or food you've tried lately.

1 comment:

  1. I've never heard of 8-ball squash before. Your recipe looks yummy!


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