I mentioned yesterday that I had been working on a top secret blog project and I had so much fun with my most recent adventure! Knorr and BlogHer sent me a sample package of concentrated chicken stock to play with in my kitchen and the challenge to create an original recipe with it. Knorr is one of the sponsors of this year’s BlogHer ’11 Conference in San Diego and they’re giving 8 winners of this recipe contest a ticket, airfare, and hotel for BlogHer ’11. I’ve never been to BlogHer and always wanted to attend so I’m hoping this is it!
Now, let’s get to the goods. Since it’s summer time and I seem to have an abundance of yellow squash hanging around I decided to make stuffed squash and fill it with the wonderful flavors of the chicken stock soaked up by bread crumbs and veggies.
If you want to play along and make this at home (and you know you do) you’ll want to start by slicing open a few yellow squash horizontally and scooping the seeds out with a spoon. You could also use zucchini I suppose, but curvy yellow squash is what I had on hand. Curvy as Kim Kardashian. Ahem. As I was saying, scoop out the seeds and place them in a shallow baking dish.
Next you’ll want to chop some onion, celery, and broccoli. Sauté the onion and celery in a tablespoon of butter under they are tender and then add the broccoli for just a couple of minutes to start the cooking process. They broccoli pieces will finish cooking in the oven so you don’t need to cook them too long.
In a separate pot, place 1 ¾ cups of water and one container of the concentrated chicken stock over high heat. Once it comes together to form a nice broth, reserve ¾ cup of the liquid. Bring the rest to a boil and add two cups of herb stuffing mix and stir in the veggies. Mmmmmmm… you can smell the flavor here and trust me when I say that you’ll have to refrain from digging in with a fork.
Fill each half of the squash with a couple of spoonfuls of the stuffing mixture. Pour the reserved broth down into the bottom of the baking dish to provide a little bath for the squash to cook in. Cover the dish with foil and place it in a 350 degree oven for 30 to 35 minutes.
You want the squash to cook all the way through and the stuffing to be infused with the flavor of the stock and veggies. After the squash is cooked, you can top them with shredded cheese and bake for another five minutes or you can omit this step if you’re so inclined. Why anyone would skip out on the cheese part I have no idea, but whatever floats your boat, dude.
The verdict: Delicious. Thank you Knorr and BlogHer. Even if I don’t make it to San Diego this summer, you’ve given me a fun day in my kitchen and an excellent new flavorful recipe to add to my arsenal of summer vegetable dishes. I couldn’t be happier.
Stuffed Summer Squash
3 large yellow squash
1 container Knorr Homestyle Concentrated Chicken Stock
2 cups Herb Stuffing Mix (I used Pepperidge Farm)
½ large onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
¾ cup broccoli, chopped
½ cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1 TBSP butter
1 ¾ cups water
Bring water and concentrated stock to a boil. Reserve ¾ cup of the liquid. Saute onion and celery in 1 TBSP butter and add the broccoli pieces after a few minutes. All of the vegetables should be tender but not fully cooked as they will cook more in the oven. Add 2 cups stuffing mix to broth and stir in veggies. Place 2 heaping spoonfuls of stuffing in each half of the squash. Pour ¾ cup reserved broth into the bottom of the dish. Cover the dish with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 30 – 35 minutes, until squash is tender. Sprinkle cheese on top of each piece of squash and bake an additional 5 minutes uncovered, until cheese is melted and stuffing is slightly crispy on top.
Total cook time: 35 – 40 minutes
Note: Knorr Homestyle Stock used to make chicken stock. Each tub makes 3 1/2 cups of broth, can be diluted with almost any liquid, from water to fruit juice. Uses carefully selected ingredients, including herbs and vegetables, slowly simmered to perfection.