Magazine article Sunset

Home Traditions for Holiday Cooking: Readers' Recipes Tested in Sunset's Kitchens. (Food: Kitchen Cabinet)

Magazine article Sunset

Home Traditions for Holiday Cooking: Readers' Recipes Tested in Sunset's Kitchens. (Food: Kitchen Cabinet)

Article excerpt

Stuffed Acorn Squash

Kathleen Moretto, Stockton, CA

Kathleen Moretto was in the mood or something simple and seasonal when she came up with this baked, stuffed squash. She serves the halves with cornbread as a main dish, or cuts the squash into quarters to serve as a holiday side dish.

PREP AND COOK TIME: About 1 1/4 hours

MAKES: 4 main-dish or 8 side-dish servings

  2 acorn squash (about 1 1/2 lb. each), rinsed
  8 ounces bulk pork sausage
1/2 cup chopped onion
  2 sweet apples such as Fuji (1 lb.
    total), peeled, cored, and chopped
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup dired cranberries
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  3 tablespoons chopped pecans
1/4 cup maple syrup

1. Cut each squash in half crosswise; scoop out seeds. Cut a thin slice off the bottom of each half so it can stand upright. Place each half, cavity side down, in a 9-by 13-inch baking pan and cover pan tightly with foil. Bake in a 350[degrees] regular or convection oven until tender when pierced, 45 to 50 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, in a 10- to 12-inch nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat, stir sausage until it is crumbly and just slightly pink, about 5 minutes. Drain off and discard fat. Add onion, apples, raisins, cranberries, and thyme; stir often until apples are tender when pierced, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in pecans.

3. Uncover squash and turn halves upright; fill equally with sausage mixture. Drizzle equally with maple syrup and bake, uncovered, until filling is slightly browned on top, about 15 minutes longer.

Per main-dish serving: 400 cal., 27% (108 cal.) from fat; 8.4 g protein; 12 g fat (3.3 g sat.); 70 g carbo (12 g fiber); 356 mg sodium; 22 mg chol.

Chinese Three-Bean Chili

Alan Tobey, Berkeley

Alan Tobey likes to experiment with fusion dishes that are practical for the home cook, such as this pork chili flavored with Chinese seasonings.

PREP AND COOK TIME: About 50 minutes

MAKES: 4 servings

1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
    1 tablespoon chili powder
    1 teaspoon Chinese five spice
  1/2 teaspoon salt
    1 pound pork loin, rinsed, fat
      trimmed, and cut into 1-inch cubes
    2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  1/3 cup thinly sliced green onions
      (white and pale green parts
      only; reserve green tops for
      garnish, if desired)
    3 fresh serrano or other hot green
      chilies (about 3 oz. total), rinsed,
      stemmed, seeded, and minced
    2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
    2 tablespoons salted fermented
      black beans, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons minced peeled fresh ginger
    1 can (14 1/2 oz.) kidney beans,
      drained and rinsed
    1 can (14 1/2 oz.) pinto beans,
      drained and rinsed
    1 can (14 1/2 oz.) diced tomatoes

1. In a bowl, mix cornstarch, chili powder, five spice, and salt. Add pork and mix to coat.

2. Pour oil into a 4- to 6-quart pan over medium-high heat. When hot, add pork mixture and stir often until browned on all sides, about 4 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer pork to bowl. Add green onions, chilies, garlic, fermented black beans, and ginger to pan. Stir until fragrant, about 1 minute.

3. Return pork to pan and add 1 cup water, kidney beans, pinto beans, and tomatoes. Bring to a simmer, then lower heat, cover, and simmer (do not let boil), stirring occasionally until pork is tender when pierced, about 25 minutes. …

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