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With so many pumpkins and squashes available this time of year, it’s the perfect time to post this traditional Colombian dish from Los Llanos called Capón de Ahuyama. Happily, this is a dish that will work with just about any winter squash.
For my Capón de Ahuyama recipe, I used rice, corn, beef, hogao, and white cheese seasoned with cumin and achiote for the filling. Traditionally, in Colombia, this dish is made with lamb, but I don’t eat lamb so I used beef instead. There are other variations of this dish around the country made with dried beef, seafood or pork.
I’ve tried making Capón de Ahuyama with different types of squashes and pumpkins, but I really love the flavor of the dish with acorn squash best, but you can try it with your favorite type of squash.
- 2 acorn squashes or small pumpkins, washed
- 2 tablespoon butter
- 1/2 pound beef loin, cubed
- 1/2 cup cooked white rice
- 1/2 cup beef broth
- 1 cup hogao sauce, (see recipe here)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- Pinch of achiote
- 1/4 cup frozen corn
- 1/2 cup white cheese, cubed
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Cut the stem end off each squash. Using a spoon, scoop out the seeds and pulp from the center and discard. Cut a thin slice off the bottom end of each squash to create a level surface. Season the squash cavities with salt and pepper.
- Cook the squashes in water until the pulp is tender. Drain the water and set the squashes aside.
- In a large sauté pan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the beef and sauté, about 10 minutes. Add the broth, hogao, salt and pepper and cook, about 5 minutes. Stir in the cumin and achiote, and stir to combine.
- Add the corn, cheese and rice to the beef mixture. Stir to combine.
- Position a rack in the lower third of an oven and preheat to 350°F.
- Spoon the stuffing into the squash cavities.
- Place the stuffed squashes in a baking dish covered with foil. Bake for about 15 minutes. Serve immediately.
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