Sausage & Wild Rice Stuffed Acorn Squash - Pecans, Sausage, Tarragon & Pomegranate With Pecan Beer Bechamel Sauce
- Directions for squash:
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Drizzle olive oil liberally over squash. Season with salt and pepper. Bake 50-60 minutes or until browned and tender. Depending on the size of your squash.
- In large saute pan, add butter and minced onions. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring every so often or until the onions are almost deeply browned. Add ground sausage and cook with onions, for about 3-4 minutes. Cook rice according to package directions. (You can add chicken stock for more flavor in place of water and/or a little bit more of the pecan beer.) When rice is done, keep covered and set aside until ready to assemble.
- While the rice is cooking, chop herbs and have arils ready.
- Start on sauce once the rice begins cooking.
- Add Pecan Beer. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat. Continue to whisk until thickened, about 10 minutes. Set aside until ready to use. (I keep it warm by setting the pot in a larger pot of simming water, covered). If it is too thick, whisk in a little hot milk before using until it becomes the consistency you prefer. **ASSEMBLY: Make sure sauce is pouring consistency.
- Gently fluff rice with fork while adding the herbs and half of the pecans.While squash is still on pan.
- Spoon wild rice/sausage mixture into cavity of squash. Spatula onto a plate. Top with sauce, more herbs, pomegranate arils and pecans; a sprinkle of black pepper.
Before you begin this dish, have all of your ingredients prepped and ready to go so it will all fall into place easily. After that it’s just assembly. This recipe is also so versatile. Use what ingredients you have on hand or available to you. The addition of dried cranberries, dates and herbs, such as thyme and sage, will only enhance this dish. Fry some sage in butter until crispy to put on top!! There is no way to mess this up. If you prefer not to use rice, try quinoa or orzo pasta instead. Give it a kiss of sweetness by brushing maple syrup over the squash before baking. Or, to finish it with some pizzaz, drizzle pomegranate molasses over the top. Use your imagination and WOW! your guests tonight.