In honor of the crisper weather, football (hello, NFL network!), and open windows at our house, I've made my first fall-inspired dish of the season: acorn squash stuffed with wild rice, manchego cheese, and zesty cured Spanish chorizo. The autumn colors are beautiful and the flavors are rich and savory. If you're a vegetarian, you could substitute chopped nuts and dried cranberries for the chorizo. My family also makes a tasty, sweeter stuffed squash with applesauce, walnuts, and raisins, too. But first, a word about chorizo.
I love chorizo of all types. And I want to love acorn squash. So I brought them together to see if one could improve upon the other. It worked! I often cook with Mexican chorizo, which is a spicy fresh sausage that must be cooked and crumbled before it is served. By contrast, Spanish chorizo is cured and loaded with spices like paprika, which gives it a deep red color. You might find it on a cheese and charcuterie plate once in a while-- since it's cured, it can be eaten without cooking, and has a darker color and harder texture than the crumbly stuff. You can find Spanish chorizo in most supermarkets in the deli or fancy cheese department.