A popular event at Thanksgiving Point reenacts activities and authentic foods from the first Thanksgiving.
Sue Neal shares how you can have this fun experience at home.
Stuffed Acorn Squash
2-3 Acorn squash
One 8×8 pan (Approx 6 cups) of homemade cornbread (or you can use a mix, just don’t buy the corn bread stuffing in a box. I tried it, not good.)
1/2 cup Craisens
1/4 apple cider vinegar
3/4 lb. Hot Italian sausage (or mild if you prefer)
1 1/4 cup chopped onions
3/4 cup sliced celery
2/3 cup chopped roasted Pecans
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup chopped Italian flat leaf parsley
1 Tbsp Fresh Thyme leaves
1 Tbsp Fresh Sage Leaves, chopped coarsely
1 Tbsp Fresh Rosemary, chopped finely
2 Tsp Kosher Salt
1 Tsp Freshly ground pepper
1 cup chicken broth (you may not use all of this)
At least one day before, cut cornbread into 3/4″ squares (these will get smaller by the time they dry and are assembled). Spread out and let dry thoroughly. You can speed up this process by toasting them in the oven.
Cut acorn squash in half. You may need a cleaver for this, as they are hard. Trim off outside (bottom) part with a knife until they sit evenly. Rub cut part and inside with olive oil.
Generously salt & Pepper. and cook in a 400 oven for 30 minutes. They will be partly cooked at this point.
While squash is cooking, cook stuffing. Place Craisens in a small bowl and pour the vinegar over them to macerate. This will plump them up and add a little zing. Cook Sausage until brown, remove and set aside. Add onions & celery to the pan and cook for 5 minutes until soft.
Depending on how much fan rendered from the sausage add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of the butter.
Add Pecans & Herbs and seasoning. Cook another 5 minutes.
Drain off vinegar from Craisens and add to mixture.
Meanwhile, beat one egg and add to a corn bread cubes in a large bowl. Mix.
Add cooked ingredients and mix. Add chicken broth a little at a time, until the corn bread has soaked in the moisture, but don’t let it get mushy. Do not over mix, just toss lightly. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary (ie: more salt).
Use an ice cream scooper and scoop stuffing into center of cooked acorn squash until quite full. Place back in oven and cook for another 30 minutes until top of stuffing is golden brown and squash is fork tender.
Find more ideas from Sue at www.sueneal.blogspot.com.