Squash stuffed with chocolate and orange
1 easily stuffed squash (I used dumpling, halved and seeded
1/2 cup quinoa
1 cup water
2 Tbsp. minced shallots
1-2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1-1/2 Tbsp. cacao nibs
2 Tbsp. toasted pumpkin seeds
1 tsp. whole cumin, toasted
1/2 tsp. whole oregano
1/2 tsp. or more chipotle powder
1/4-1/2 tsp. salt
2-3 Tbsp. orange juice or 1-2 Tbsp. lemon juice
Put the squash in to pre-bake at 350.
Put the quinoa on to cook with the water.
Put the cacao in a skillet and dry-roast until the nibs darken slightly and get a little glossy. Remove to a mortar, and keep the pan on medium heat. Add oil and shallots and saute until soft. Add corn kernels and set aside.
To the cacao add the pumpkin seeds, cumin, oregano, chipotle, and salt. Grind until it's a coarse but even texture, about like coffee grounds.
When the quinoa is done, add it to the skillet along with the spice mixture. Add the OJ and heat gently to combine. Check seasonings to make sure you haven't lost the chocolate. The mixture can be fairly bitter since the orange and squash will push it solidly towards sweet and a little tart.
When the squashes are mostly tender pull them out, stuff them, and return to the oven until the quinoa starts to brown on top.
Garnish with cilantro, parsley, chives, or go in a different direction with a roasted-red-pepper coulis studded with whole pumpkin seeds.