- 5 small kabocha or kuri squash
- 1 pound each 100% pasture-raised ground pork and ground ground beef
- 1 red onion
- 2-4 cloves garlic
- coconut oil
- olive oil
All about the ingredients:
Dukkah means “to crush” and referrs more to how this part of the recipe is made rather than the actual ingredients. Much like Mexican mole, which means “to grind” since you take all 25+ ingredients and grind them together, dukkah is a nut and spice blend I found and fell in love with thanks to www.nomnompaleo.com. I bought her cookbook and have been slowly making my way through the mouth wonders that grace its pages. Now, as you read this blog, you’ll find I take my liberties with most recipes and this one is no exception. These are the changes I’ve made and feel free to make your own! I’ve run out of cumin seeds and substituted ground cumin (which I did not toast), and increased both the amount of hazelnuts and coriander seeds. You can even use roasted almonds instead of hazelnuts, decrease the amount of sesame seeds and add in pumpkin seeds, add some mint or thyme and even consider a bit of chili or peppercorns for some heat. I use roasted, salted pistachios and sometimes even add additional unrefined sea salt to the mixture.
When I roast the seeds and spices, I do so on a cast iron comal (a pan specific for stove top roasting, though any pan will do). Living in Mexico is what taught me the basics of cooking and a comal was an essential part of every kitchen. I found mine on sale from Lodge and love it for oil-free roasting, tortilla making and one day, maybe even papadam making!
My kitchen is lucky enough to have a Vitamix, so I use that to blend everything, but a blender or even a coffee grinder will do a fine job.
I like kabocha and kuri squash for many reasons but chiefly because you can eat the skin (I’m a lazy cook and if I can skip peeling, I’m all for it!). They often come coated in pockets of dirt (they do grow on the ground) with lots of bumps and and ugly growths, but don’t let their appearance fool you. Give them a good scrubbing and the skin will be ready to eat once you’re done cooking!
Making the recipe:
Wash and dry the squash. Coat in a thin layer of coconut oil and bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Remove and let cool until easy to handle. Once the squash is cool, cut each one open and scoop out the seeds (these can be composted or set aside for rinsing and roasting later).
One of the five squashes is simply for additional squash flesh. Scoop out all the flesh from this squash, roughly chop and set it aside. The other four squashes are for restuffing. With a spoon, carefully scoop out most of the flesh, leaving enough of an inner layer so that the squash skins do not break and the squash retains is shape. Again, roughly chop the scooped out inside flesh and set it aside.
Finely chop the red onion and garlic. Heat the coconut oil in a pan and when hot, add the onions and garlic. Cook until the garlic browns or the onions soften, whichever comes first. Add the ground meats and turn down to medium heat. Stir to mix the ingredients and cook until the meat is about ¾ of the way done (it will be mostly brown, with some pink remaining). Add in the roughly chopped squash and cook until the meat is done. Let this cool and add in the dukkah. Mix thoroughly and then restuff each of the remaining squash halves. You may have leftover stuffing which you can either freeze for later, or eat as a snack.
At this point, you have two choices:
- Leave the squash halves as is. Heat up before serving, drizzle with olive oil, salt and eat, or…
- Put the squash back in the oven and bake for another 20 minutes. Before serving, drizzle with olive oil and salt.
I like the first for ease, though the second solidifies the flavors a bit more.
Enjoy and be sure to post whatever changes you made to the recipe! I’m always looking for new ideas!