MOROCCAN-STYLE ACORN SQUASH STUFFED WITH COUSCOUS (for four)
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon butter, melted
2 large acorn squash, halved crosswise and seeded
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small yellow onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 stalks celery, diced
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 cup garbanzo beans, drained
½ cup raisins
1-1/2 tablespoons ground cumin seeds
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
a 3 inch cinnamon stick
½ teaspoon paprika
¼ to ½ teaspoon cayenne
1 pinch each salt and pepper, or to taste
1 (14 ounce) can chicken broth
1 (15 ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 cup uncooked couscous
chopped fresh cilantro
1. Preheat oven to 375*. Lightly coat a large baking sheet with cooking spray. (For easier clean up, line the sheet with foil before spraying or, better yet, use nonstick aluminum foil).
2. Cut the squash in half lengthwise and scoop out and discard seeds. Cut a small slice off of the bottom of each squash half so it will sit nicely when stuffed. Place squash cut side down on the prepared baking sheet and bake until tender, about 45 minutes.
3. Finely grind 1 three inch cinnamon stick, coriander and cumin seeds in a spice grinder. Tap into a small bowl and stir in paprika, cayenne, turmeric and salt and pepper to taste. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large pot over medium high heat and add 1 cup finely chopped onion, 4 medium minced garlic cloves, carrots and celery. Cook until starting to brown, about 5 minutes. Stir in the spice blend and cook, stirring, 30 seconds. Add the chickpeas, tomatoes and their juice, raisins and chicken broth and bring to a simmer. Cook for 3 more minutes.
4. Mix in the couscous. Cover the pot, turn off the heat and allow the couscous to absorb the liquid for 5 minutes.
3. Off the heat, dissolve the brown sugar in the melted butter. When they are tender, turn the squash cut side up and brush the insides with the butter mixture. Stir the cilantro into the stuffing, fill thesquash halves with the mixture and serve.
adapted from allrecipes.com