2 acorn squash (1 pound each) halved lengthwise, seeded and trimmed to lie flat, if necessary

salt and pepper

3 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1 medium yellow onion, diced small

1 clove garlic, peeled and finely chopped

12 to cremini mushrooms, 6 shiitake mushrooms and a few enoki, if you have them, wiped clean with a damp paper towel, stems removed and discarded and cut into 1/8 inch thick slices

1 cup long grain white rice, soaked for 30 minutes in cold water then drained in a sieve for 30 minutes

½ teaspoon peeled and finely grated ginger

¼ teaspoon garam masala

1 teaspoon salt

2 cups chicken broth


1.   Preheat oven to 375*.  Lightly coat a large rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray.  (For easier clean up, line the sheet with foil before spraying. Or, better still, use non-stick aluminum foil.)

2.   Season cut sides of squash with salt and pepper, drizzle with 1 tablespoon oil and turn cut sides down on the foil and roast until tender, about 45 minutes.

3.  While squash are roasting, in a 3 quart, heavy saucepan with a tight fitting lid, heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil over medium high heat.  When hot, put in the onions and garlic.  Stir and fry for about 2 minutes or until the onions begin to turn brown at the edges.  Put in the mushrooms and stir for another 2 minutes, then add the rice, ginger and garam masala.  Turn heat to medium-low.  Saute rice, stirring, for 2 minutes, until the kernels are well coated with oil.

4.  Add chicken broth, stir well (Do not stir again until rice is finished) and bring to a boil.  Continue boiling 8 minutes, until surface of rice is dry and covered with steam holes.

5.  Reduce heat to lowest possible setting, cover pot tightly (use both a tea towel and lid) and cook 15 minutes.

6.  Turn off heat and let rice stand, still covered, 5 minutes more.  Remove cover and fluff rice with a fork.

7.   When squash is finished, remove it from the oven and carefully scoop out 2 to 3 tablespoons flesh from each squash half and stir into rice.  Taste and season with more salt and pepper if needed.  Divide the rice mixture among the squash halves and serve.

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