It is October and like most food bloggers across the globe, I am getting into the festive mood too. American festivities like Thanksgiving, Halloween and Christmas are not far away. Plus, Indian festival Diwali are almost here! I have a conflict each day what recipe I should post as I have about 6-7 dishes made for each festival! While it happens to be a feast for the food bloggers' family, there is a flip side too.
My husband relishes Thanksgiving delicacies, but just a month or two before the actual event! That is the story of every food blogger. Each of the recipe that is required to be on the blog atleast 15 days before the event, is generally made a month in advance. After a couple of tries, I finalise the recipe ingredients and proportions. Then the final dish is made one more time, pictures taken and the recipe makes it to the blog in time for the festivities!
This interesting post, a vegetarian Thanksgiving recipe is a part of the Secret Recipe Club. The club is really great. We have a hostess, mine happens to be Sarah, who blogs at Fantastical Sharing of Recipes. She assigns each person a blog from one of the other participants. You have to select a recipe from their blog and post it on the reveal day. Today the blog assigned to me is The Heritage Cook by Jane. It is a great blog with TONS of recipes. I saw the recipe index on the blog and found a lot of dishes pretty interesting. However, given that Thanksgiving is around the corner and I love to make vegetarian recipes for the day, I picked this one.
The recipe for today is a Moroccan Pilaf, a rice preparation with vegetables, spices and saffron. While the rice tastes super even by itself, stuffing it in a baked acorn squash and serving it with the squash completes the meal! Not only does the dish become perfect for dinner, it is also a pretty piece to serve for Thanksgiving. I used an Acorn squash to serve, but pumpkin or any other squash are perfect too. If you do not fancy squashes, serve the rice with a side of salad and yogurt. It makes a perfect meal.
Adapted from here
For the Rice
Long Rice 1/2 cup
Onion 1 medium, diced
Pepper 1 medium, chopped
Carrot 1 medium, diced
Fresh or frozen corn kernels, a handful
Garlic 1-2 pods, minced
Ginger, 1 inch piece, minced
Spices (Cardamon 1-2 pods, Bay Leaf 1-2)
Turmeric Powder 1 tsp, Red Chill Powder 1/2 tsp
Cumin Seeds 1 tsp, Mustard Seeds 1/2 tsp
Olive Oil 1 tbsp
Vegetable stock 1 1/2 cup
Salt 1 tsp, Pepper powder 1 tsp
Saffron few strands
For the squash
Acorn Squash 1 medium
Olive Oil 2 tbsp
Salt and Pepper
To prepare the squash, poke a few times with a fork and microwave for three to four minutes. This will make the skin soft and the squash can be cut into two. Preheat oven to 350 F/ 180 C. Remove the seeds and strands using a fork. Brush olive oil on the squash and sprinkle salt and pepper. Place the acorns on a tray and bake for 15 minutes, till soft. Then turn the squash over and bake again for 15 minutes.
While the squash is baking, prepare the rice. To do so, heat olive oil in a pan. Add mustard and cumin seeds and the spices. Once they become fragrant, add ginger and garlic. Saute till the raw flavor vanishes. Add peppers and onion, mix and cook for a few minutes. Once the peppers are a little soft, add the carrots and corn kernels. Mix and cook for a few minutes. Then add the rice, turmeric powder, red chilli powder and mix well. Coat the rice with the oil and saute for a few minutes. Add warm vegetable stock/water. Add in salt and pepper to taste and saffron strands. Cover tight and cook for 8-10 minutes, till the stock is absorbed and the rice has cooked.
Open the cover, fluff using a fork and keep ready. By that time the acorn squash would be cooked too. Remove from the oven and scoop the rice into the squash. Sprinkle some cheese and place in the oven. Bake for 10 minutes till the cheese melts. Remove and serve warm, topped with cilantro and more cheese if desired.