Ingredients1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 cup finely diced celery
1 cup finely diced white onion (about 1 small)
1 vegetable bouillon cube
1/4 cup white wine (like Pinot Grigio)
1 cup chanterelles, torn into strips
1/4 cup finely diced dried apricots
Sea salt flakes and cracked black pepper (to taste)
2 cups brioche or good-quality white bread, torn into pieces
2 large eggs (beaten)
1 large acorn squash (or two small)
1 tablespoon olive oil
Miracle mushroom gravy:
1 (10-ounce) package cremini (baby bella) mushrooms
1 tablespoon canola oil
1/2 cup diced shallots
1 teaspoon dried sage
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Scant 1/8 teaspoon ground clove
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a medium pan over medium heat, melt the butter and then sauté the celery, onion and bouillon cube until lightly browned. Deglaze the pan with the wine, and reduce until most of the liquid has evaporated.
2. Add the chanterelles and apricots to the pan and warm through. Add salt and pepper. Chill the mushroom mixture thoroughly. In a large bowl, mix the bread, eggs and the cooled vegetable mixture.
3. Using a sharp kitchen knife (and plenty of caution), trim the stem end off of the squash and cut the squash into 3/4 inch rings. You should be able to get 4 rings out of a large acorn squash. Discard the stem end and bottom piece. Using a spoon, scrape the seeds and membrane out of the squash and discard. Lay the squash rings out on a large parchment-lined baking sheet and drizzle slices of squash with olive oil. Bake for 15 minutes.
4. Remove squash from the oven and press the mushroom and apricot stuffing into the center of each squash ring. Bake for an additional 15 to 20 minutes or until the stuffing has set and started to brown. Garnish with mushroom gravy.
Yield: 2 to 3 servings.
Miracle mushroom gravy:
1. Slice mushrooms about 1/4-inch thick. You will blend them later, so there’s no need to be overly precise. Add the canola oil to a medium frying pan over high heat, and then sauté the mushrooms until browned. Add the shallots to the pan and continue to cook for another minute until the rawness has been cooked out of the shallots and they’re translucent.
2. Place the mushrooms and shallots into the work bowl of your food processor, and add the sage, red pepper flakes, clove powder, soy sauce and maple syrup.
3. In the same pan over medium heat, melt the butter and add the flour. Whisk the mixture until fragrant, about five minutes. Whisk in the whole milk, and heat the mixture until slightly thick. Add the milk mixture to the food processor that contains the mushroom mixture. Pulse until the mushrooms are finely chopped and well incorporated into the milk, but leave some chunkiness for a nice texture.
4. Return the mixture to the pan and keep warm until ready to serve. If it gets too thick, add some milk or stock to thin it out.
Yield: 6 servings.