Experiments in tinkering and thought

Stuffed Peppercorn Squash with Cheese

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I am going to start off by saying that I have worked through most of the apples we picked, and even if we still had some, I am tired of making apple recipes.  I still want to try making an apple soufflé at some point, but for now I will be content with just my chocolate soufflés (I have been basing them on this recipe, but the techniques seem to vary from one source to another… more experiments to do).  Regardless, all these sweet recipes are making me (and those around me) fat, so time to experiment with some savoury recipes.

This was a recipe that is mostly based on something my mother used to do.  It is a delicious mix of peppercorn squash and a meaty tomato sauce, all topped off with a grilled cheese layer.  For the moment, not much experimenting has been done (apart from having made it before), but I got a few ideas for variations on it to try out in the future.

Recipe – Stuffed Peppercorn Squash

  • 1 large onion
  • 6 small cloves of garlic
  • 1.5 kg minced beef (lean)
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1/4 cup dried parsley
  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 2 roasted red peppers (from a jar)
  • 1 large can of cubed tomatoes
  • salt
  • 3 peppercorn squash
  • 1 lb of mozzarella

Chop the onions and garlic, and then brown in a hot pan (with a bit of oil) over medium heat. Take out from pan and put into a medium-large pot.

Brown salted and peppered minced meat.  Be careful not to put too much at a time, you want to brown it, not boil it.

Transfer the meat to the pot, and deglaze the pan with the red wine, and transfer to the pot.

Cut the roasted peppers into small pieces and transfer to pot.  Also transfer cubed tomatoes to the pot.

Add the parsley, pepper, salt to taste, and simmer on low for 45 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350F.

While the sauce is simmering, cut the squash in half and remove the seeds.

Hollow out part of the squash and keep for the next step.  This allows us to put more filling into the squash, as well as allowing us to make an extra dish with no skin.




Take the meaty sauce and fill the squash with it.

Cover with a generous layer of grated cheese, I was using fresh mozzarella, so I also added a pinch of salt on each one.

Put in the oven and cook for 45 minutes.  You can set it to broil at the end if the cheese is not sufficiently crispy.  (Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture at the end).



As it turns out, the pyrex dish was actually much more tasty than the mix inside the squash.  The pyrex dish transfers heat much better, which caramelizes the squash to get this delicious sweet and salty mix in the end.  The squash with the mix was still good, but it lacked the caramelization that make the pyrex version so much better.

If you try it, let me know how it turns out!


Author: Tinker

I am finishing a PhD at Université de Montréal, following a bachelors in Biochemistry as well as a Masters degree in chemistry from McGill. I have many hobbies that are centered around experiments of some sort (either electronics, coding, cooking, construction, plants, acrobatics, etc.). I also have been doing tai chi for the last decade, and intermittently doing kung fu as well.

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