Batter Licker

November 1, 2011

roasted jalapenos stuffed with squash, goat cheese and sage

Before I complete the last three posts in my Project Wedding Dessert Bar series, I need a break from the sugar. I went through just about 20 pounds of the stuff for my baking and candy making bonanza, so I think a savory reprieve is justified.

I’ve been craving savory Fall foods like crazy. Especially squash. And cheese. Anything warm and comforting will do, but even more so if there’s some hint of freshness.

These stuffed jalapenos brought all those things home for me. I love the fresh zing and crunch of the peppers, mellowed out just a tad by removing the seeds and roasting them in the oven. And the sweetness of caramelized onions and roasted squash mixed with earthy and slightly lemony sage and the tart creaminess of goat cheese.

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This stuffed jalapeno escorted me from summer into Fall.

And it wasn’t until I had a bit more time to reflect that I realized it was probably much healthier than the standard cheese-stuffed jalapeno. Thank you, onions and squash!

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If your social calendar is starting to look as full as mine is with dinner parties, this isn’t a bad trick to have up your sleeve either, as the filling can be prepared a few days in advance and the jalapenos can be halved and seeded a day prior. Actually, if you have the space, you could even fill the suckers a day in advance and store them in the fridge, covered with plastic wrap, and just pop them into the oven 15 minutes before guests arrive!

I wish I had thought of that before I shlepped the ingredients across town last Thursday night!

Roasted Jalapenos Stuffed with Squash, Goat Cheese and Sage
Makes 20 generously stuffed jalapeno halves; serves 7 to 10

1 acorn squash or other winter squash (about 1 c. once roasted and mashed)
2-3 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
1 small yellow onion, chopped (about 1 c.)
salt and pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
6 sage leaves, chopped
6 oz. goat cheese
10 jalapenos, halved lengthwise and seeded

Preheat oven to 400F.

Cut acorn squash in half lengthwise, slicing midway between the stem and end. Scrape out seeds and stringy innards with a spoon. Drizzle inside of both halves with 1-2 Tbsp. olive oil total. Place halves on a baking sheet, cut side up, and pour about 1/2 c. water into the bottom of the pan so squash doesn’t dry out. Bake in oven until squash is very soft, about 1 hour.

Meanwhile, in a medium pan over medium heat, saute onions in 1 Tbsp. olive oil and a pinch of salt until caramelized. Add garlic and sage, and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute. Remove from heat, and set aside.

Slice jalapenos in half, lengthwise, and remove seeds.

Once squash is done roasting, let cool until easy to handle, and leave oven on unless you are preparing the filling a few days in advance. Scoop squash out of shell with a spoon, and mash squash with a fork. Add smashed squash and goat cheese to caramelized onions, and stir until well mixed. Add salt and pepper to taste. Do ahead: Filling and jalapenos can be prepped to this point up a day in advance.

Using a small spoon, scoop squash and goat cheese filling into the jalapenos. Arrange jalapenos filling side up on a large baking sheet, leaving a little space between each stuffed pepper. Roast at 400F until jalapenos start to soften and filling starts to turn golden brown on top, about 10 to 15 minutes.

Serve hot!

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