Making my mom’s stuffed butternut squash — photos

My version of my mom’s stuffed butternut squash is a new addition to my collection of recipes, although it is a dish that my dear mom has been making for years. Yummilly, it very closely tracks my mom’s version.

It is actually a fairly easy recipe, and is fairly easy to scale up to feed a larger crowd than the two to four servings to which this recipe is tailored.

Beyond being a tasty dish, Mom used to make it as a way to use up rice she’d already made earlier in a larger, more conveniently sized batch, or as a way to have rice in the fridge to use later in the week; for this post, I show the photos making rice, to have more rice for later. Conversely, I do not show the cooking of the ground beef, already having some previously cooked and frozen ground beef on hand.

Also with regard to the rice used in the photos below, I used a commercial flavoured rice I like; however, the point of the recipe lies in using any rice that suits your tastes.

Note: This post uses photos from two separate cooking sessions, as I was working out some of the required specific amounts of each ingredient and techniques. As such, in some cases, one may notice slight discrepancies between two or more photos showing the progression of steps the narrative identifies as sequential, when in fact in some cases the photos may switch between two separate sessions which may have inadvertently involved slight differences.

Making the stuffed butternut squash:

I began by taking out a commercial packet of a flavoured rice I like:

Flavoured rice package taken out

The flavouring packet was taken out of the package:

Flavour packet (on right) taken out

The rice in the packet was measured out, and a matching amount was measured out from a bag of plain rice, since I find the amount of flavouring in the packet too strong when the rice is made with the amount of rice as packaged:

Rice measured out

The rice was added to a pot:

Rice added to pot
Rice added to pot
Rice added to pot

Water was measured out:

Water measured out

The water was added to the rice:

Water added to rice
Water added to rice

The contents of the flavour packet was added to the rice:

Flavour packet added to rice
Flavour packet added to rice

The rice, flavouring, and water were mixed with a fork:

Rice, water, and flavouring mixed with fork
Rice, water, and flavouring mixed with fork

Margarine was taken out:

Margarine taken out

Margarine was spooned out of the tub …

Margarine spooned out

… and transferred to the pot with the rice:

Margarine transferred to pot of rice
Margarine transferred to pot of rice

The stove burner was turned on …

Stove turned on

… and the rice was brought to a boil …

Rice brought to a boil

… at which point the stove was turned down to a low setting …

Stove turned down to a low setting

… and a timer set to twenty minutes:

Timer set to 20 minutes

The rice was simmered for 20 minutes:

Rice simmering for 20 minutes, partway through

While the rice was still simmering, a butternut squash of approximately 2lbs was taken out:

(Approximately) 2lb squash taken out
Squash taken out

The squash was cut in half along its length:

Squash cut in half along its length

The seeds were removed from the squash:

Seeds removed from squash
Seeds removed from squash

The squash halves were peeled and trimmed:

The squash halves were peeled

The squash halves were cut in two:

Squash halves cut in two

The halves without a natural hollow were hollowed out, and the extra kept:

Squash halves hollowed out

About an inch’s worth of water was added to the microwave-safe cooking vessel:

Water added to cooking vessel

The squash pieces, including those cut out from the solid pieces of squash, were placed in the cooking vessel:

Squash placed in cooking vessel

The squash was covered and placed in the microwave oven:

Squash placed in microwave oven

The microwave oven (1200 watts) was set to 10 minutes:

Microwave oven set to 10 minutes

The cooked squash was taken out of the microwave oven:

Cooked squash taken out of the microwave oven

The water was drained from the cooking vessel, and the pieces cut out to hollow out two of the pieces were transferred to a bowl (while the rest was put aside for the moment) …

Cooked pieces transferred to bowl

… and the squash pieces were mashed with a fork:

Squash pieces mashed with a fork

The mashed squash was put aside for a few moments.

Normally, I cook ground beef and onions in advance, and freeze it in ice cube trays, which conveniently hold roughly an ounce in each well. Earlier, two and a half cubes, about two and half ounces, were taken out of the freezer, and allowed to defrost on the counter:

Cooked ground beef and onions taken out of freezer
Cooked ground beef and onions taken out of freezer

The ground beef cubes were broken up with a fork:

Cooked ground beef broken up with fork

The mashed squash was added to the beef:

Mashed squash added to cooked ground beef

At this point, the rice was cooked:

Cooked rice

A cup of rice was measured out, while the rest was placed in a container to freeze and eat later:

Rice measured out

The cooked rice was added to the cooked beef and mashed squash:

Rice added to cooked ground beef and mashed squash
Rice added to cooked ground beef and mashed squash

The cooked ground beef, mashed squash, and rice were mixed together with a fork:

Cooked ground beef, mashed squash, and rice mixed together

The rice mixture was put aside, and a can of condensed tomato soup was taken out:

Condensed tomato soup taken out

The can of condensed tomato soup was opened:

Condensed tomato soup opened

The cooked hollowed out squash pieces were taken out again:

Hollowed out cooked squash taken out

A small amount of the condensed tomato soup was placed in the bases of each hollowed-out piece of squash:

Condensed tomato soup spooned into hollowed-out squash
Condensed tomato soup spooned into hollowed-out squash

The rice, cooked ground beef, and mashed squash mix was spooned into the squash:

Rice, cooked ground beef, and squash mix added to squash
Rice, cooked ground beef, and squash mix added to squash

The rest of the condensed tomato soup was spooned onto the top of the rice, beef, and squash mix:

Condensed tomato soup spooned onto the rice, cooked ground beef, and squash mix
Condensed tomato soup spooned onto the rice, cooked ground beef, and squash mix

The cooking vessel was covered …

Dish covered

… and the dish was placed in the microwave oven again:

Dish placed in microwave oven again

The microwave oven (1200 watts) was set to seven minutes:

Microwave oven set to seven minutes

After seven minutes of cooking, the stuffed squash was ready to eat:

Cooked stuffed squash

… and the stuffed squash was served:

Cooked stuffed squash served
Cooked stuffed squash served

It was, of course, yummy, and of course, Mom approved.

(… and, at the risk of sounding like I’m bragging, putting aside that, well, I *had* cooked it, I couldn’t tell whether I’d cooked it, or whether Mom had cooked it!)

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