Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Fire Roasted Stuffed Summer Squash

Do you remember the old Reese's Peanut Butter Cup commercial "You got your chocolate in my peanut butter - You got your peanut butter on my chocolate"?

Apparently the same incident happened with yellow squash and zucchini when I found those freaky looking squashchini things last weekend. I didn't know what I was going to make with them but I had to buy them.

I decided on an idea tonight after seeing a recipe for stuffed zucchini in Joy of Cooking and noticing it cooked at the same temp as the pork tenderloin I was cooking so I could do them both on the Big Green Egg.

Fire Roasted Stuffed Summer Squash
Source: Nibble Me This, inspired by Joy of Cooking (97 version)

2 ea summer squash (try to get the largest that you can)
1 Tbsp butter
1 ea green onion, finely chopped (white and green parts)
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 Tbsp dry white wine
1 ea egg, beaten
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup fresh herbs chopped (I used basil, thyme, and parsley)
1/2 cup Locust Grove Galloway Reserve Cheese, shredded (sub a quality sheep milk cheese like pecorino romano)
2 tsp kosher salt
2 tsp cayenne pepper (I used my home made ground chili pepper mix)

Cut the squash in half lengthwise and scrape out the core, leaving a shell like below reserving the pulp. TIP: If the squash is firm, you can run a paring knife around the shell before using a spoon or tiny melon baller to scoop out the pulp.
Steam the shells with the hollow side down for 5 minutes. TIP: You don't have to have a steamer to do this. I used a large sauce pan with a 1/2 cup of water, put a metal colander over it and covered that with a glass pot lid.

Saute the green onion in the butter over medium high heat for 2-3 minutes. Add the garlic and chopped squash pulp, cook another 1-2 minutes. The pan should be almost dry. Add the wine and give a quick stir. TIP: If you want this to be more of a main course than side dish, skip the squash pulp and add 2 ounces of browned chorizo sausage.

Put that mixture into a bowl and mix together with the egg, bread crumbs, herbs, cheese, salt and pepper. Spoon into the cooked squash shells. Sprinkle with a bit more of the cayenne pepper.

Place in a shallow baking dish and add enough liquid (water, broth or wine) to come close to the edges of the squash. Place in a 400f grill or oven with indirect heat. The problem was that I was also cooking a pork tenderloin over DIRECT heat at the same time. No problem, I put the baker dish on top of a cast iron cornbread mold to block the direct heat from underneath like this....

Cook for 30 minutes.

That's the squash recipe, but since I was also cooking a tenderloin, with 21 minutes left, I added the pork tenderloin. I had already trimmed the silver skin off like this.

Then I rubbed it with a mix of 2 parts ground red pepper, 2 parts kosher salt, 1 part cumin. I grilled it, turning it a few times during those last 21 minutes.

While that was going on, I made a quick cheating pan sauce by sauteing 1/4 cup onion in butter, deglazing with 1/4 cup dry Marsala wine, when it was almost evaporated, added 1/2 cup chicken stock. I reduced that by half and then seasoned it with salt & pepper. I whisked in 1 Tbsp of butter.

By now, the stuffed squash had cooked for 30 minutes and the tenderloin was at 140-145 internal so I pulled them both off and let them rest for five minutes. I added the juices from the rested pork to the pan sauce.

I sliced the tenderloin thinly and served it on a plate with the squash. I dusted it with a little more of the homemade ground red pepper and drizzled some of the pan sauce over the pork.
It was a very good dish but I would make a few changes the next time. For example, I'd do the chorizo with the squash. Also, I'd take the squash out of the baking dish in the last 5 minutes and finish cooking them over direct heat just to get some char on the bottom of them.

I used pastured pork for the first time. It was definitely different than the grain fed pork I usually use. Cooking to the same time and internal temps, it looked more done, was still as moist, but not as tender. Not tough, but just a different texture.

I was thrilled with the flavor that the ground red chili pepper I made this weekend came across in both of these recipes.