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Monday, January 31, 2011

Koosa Mehshee (stuffed squash) Warm those bones!



My mother used to let my two sisters and I  hollow out this squash. The kind of squash we used was only available through our family gardens. It is now available commercially. The squash is a greenish/yellow colored 6 - 8 inch squash. It is lovely and tender and what you scoop out from the inside can be used for a recipe for breakfast (called iszhee). The scoop is a long curved utensil...kind of "u" shaped with a pointy end. If you have one, use that, being careful not to poke through the closed end of the squash like I have done on so many occasions. If you don't have one, use a small spoon, being careful not to break through the skin of the squash.

This is a great dinner on a cold night when you just want to warm your bones.


Serves 6 - 8

1 dozen koosa squash
1 can tomato puree
2 cups water
1 clove garlic, chopped

Stuffing:

1 cup Uncle Ben's long grain rice...(yes, only Uncle Ben's)
1 1/2 lbs 80% lean ground lamb
1/4 stick melted butter
1/2 cup canned tomatoes
Salt
Lebanese or Syrian pepper (again, you can use ground Jamaican allspice)

Combine the stuffing ingredients.

Cut off the stem end of the squash, just below the stem. If the stem end is narrow, cut a little further down so you can get a utensil in there to scoop out the insides. Then gently scoop away. Try to scoop so that you leave about 1/4" of squash with skin intact.

Wash them with cold water and put aside to dry. Stuff the squash with the filling, leaving 1/2 inch opening unfilled to allow for the rice to swell. Place all of these tender little lovelies in a baking dish, preferably in a single layer.

Mix tomato puree and water. Add salt and pepper. Pour this over the squash. Cook at 350 degrees for 35 minutes and serve over rice pilaf. If your cold weather bones don't immediately warm up from this dish, have another one!








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