Mushroom stuffed butternut squash

Stuffed Butternut Squash

I know it’s Halloween tomorrow, but I just couldn’t face wrestling with a pumpkin last night – sometimes life’s too short. I also loathe Halloween. I hate stupid fake spider webs, food that looks like eyeballs or severed fingers and the colour orange, aka, the most unattractive colour in the whole colour spectrum. So, feeling rebellious, I walked straight past all the pumpkins and other Halloween tat in Waitrose, and made a beeline for the butternut squash. Stuffed with garlicky mushrooms and topped with melted cheese and toasted hazelnuts, this makes for the perfect Halloween feast, whether you’re dressed up as Pennywise or not.

Mushroom stuffed butternut squash with toasted hazelnuts
Serves 4 / Hands on time 20 mins / Total time 1 hr 35 mins / Gf
1 large butternut squash, de-seeded and halved
3 large garlic cloves, crushed
4 tsp Pomora extra virgin olive oil
2 sprigs of rosemary
120g vegetarian Emmental or Raclette*
6 small portobello or large chestnut mushrooms
Handful of hazelnuts
Rapeseed oil spray
Watercress to serve (optional)

1. Preheat an oven to 200°C/180°C fan/400°F/gas mark 6. Give the outside of your squash a quick wash and pat dry. Using a sharp knife, carefully slice your butternut squash in half lengthways (I find it easier to do this in stages. I stand the squash upright and slice downwards to about a quarter, I then turn it upside down and to this again. I keep repeating these steps until I meet in the middle).
2. Scrape out the seeds and discard. Crush one of the garlic cloves and split between the two halves. Add a teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil to each half and combine with the crushed garlic. Brush the garlic and the oil over the squash flesh evenly. Curl up a sprig of rosemary into each butternut squash hollow and season well with salt and pepper. Pop on a baking tray and bake in the oven until the flesh has softened, between 45mins and 1 hour (depending on how big your squash is).
3. Carefully remove your squash from the oven and discard the rosemary sprigs (keep the oven on). Making sure you leave a 1cm thick layer of flesh still attached to the skin, so the squash holds its shape, use a spoon and a fork to rough up and scoop out the flesh. Distribute the roughed up flesh evenly across the whole squash and spread out that lovely rosemary flavour.
4. Immerse 3 appropriately sized mushrooms into the soft flesh of each squash half. If it all feels a bit full, remove some of the flesh (I ate a couple of spoonfuls of mine). Crush the other two garlic cloves and distribute evenly across all 6 mushrooms. Spread the garlic over each mushrooms, season well with salt and pepper and drizzle a teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil across each squash. Top each squash with three slices of cheese before baking in the oven for a further 15 minutes.
5. Meanwhile crush a handful of hazelnuts in a bag using a rolling pin on a hard surface. In a small saucepan on a medium to high heat, add a few sprays of oil and toast the hazelnuts until light brown and aromatic.
6. Finally, remove your squash from the oven, carefully cut in half and serve topped with toasted hazelnuts and a good handful of watercress.

If you’ve had a go at making any of my recipes, I’d love to hear from you. Follow me now @corrieheale and tag your recipe pictures using #corriesrabbitfood.

Gf –Gluten free
*Raclette to my knowledge is not a vegetarian cheese.

Stuffed jalapeños

Stuffed Jalapeños
Stuffed Jalapeños

I love my new house, despite the screaming toddler upstairs and the man who smokes and coughs his lungs up in the garden, it’s wonderful. However, there’s a much bigger problem than my neighbours phlegm…I now have an electric hob. I find it a mystifying and bamboozling piece of equipment, I mean how does one cook on such a thing? For a start, I should probably stop putting my hand on it to check if it’s hot (because it always is, despite taking 3 days to heat up). So, until I can learn to boil an egg successfully, I’m going to share something I made ages ago for Familes First Magazine.
These stuffed Jalapeños make the perfect starter or canapé for any Mexican feast. Surprisingly mild, these little babies ooze with cheesy goodness, what’s not to like?

Stuffed jalapeños
Makes 20 / Hands on time 12 mins / Total time 25 mins / V Gf🌶
12 jalapeños
100g cream cheese
60g vegetarian mature cheddar, finely grated
½ red onion, finely chopped
Handful of fresh coriander chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
Juice of ½ lime
1 lime sliced into wedges to serve
Handful chopped chives to serve

1. Preheat your oven to 200°C/180°C fan/400°F/gas mark 6. Slice all the jalapeños in half and scrape out the seeds carefully with a teaspoon. Be careful not to damage the jalapeños boats. Put to one side.
2. In a bowl combine the cream cheese, grated cheddar, crushed garlic, sliced red onion, chopped coriander, a squeeze of lime and pinch of salt and pepper. Using a teaspoon fill your jalapeño boats and pop them on a couple of  baking trays lined with baking paper.
3. Bake in the over until the top of the cheese is ever so slightly browned, around 12 minutes. Serve with lime wedges and topped with a sprinkle of freshly chopped chives.

Stuffed Jalapeños

If you’ve had a go at making any of my recipes, I’d love to hear from you. Follow me now @corrieheale and tag your recipe pictures using #corriesrabbitfood.

V– Vegetarian    Gf– Gluten free   🌶– Spicy