Admission #1: I've never cooked with chestnuts before. I've only eaten chestnuts once - Thanksgiving 2009. They were in the stuffing at Thanksgiving dinner, and I was intrigued. But apparently not intrigued enough to actually make an effort to eat them again, since it's been 4 years since my intro to the chestnut. Admission #2: I'm not a huge fan of acorn squash. I try to convince myself that I am, and I do enjoy it in some dishes, but on its own, I'm just not super excited about it. But I wanted to expand my horizons - a girl can only eat so much butternut squash (a lot - but even I have my limit with the butternut). I picked up some acorn squash and then searched for a fun way to use them - and came across this baked acorn squash with chestnuts, apples, and leeks from Food & Wine just sitting in my email inbox, waiting for me (I get their recipe emails). Stuffing - who doesn't like stuffing?! I LOVE STUFFING! So I figured putting stuffing into a roasted acorn squash would be a good way for me to enjoy said squash. The chestnuts were the only wild card here. Where does one find chestnuts? The first store I checked had canned cooked chestnuts for $16.99. No, that's not a typo. ONE SINGLE 15oz CAN IS SEVENTEEN DOLLARS. And even if I had been crazy enough to buy it, it was out of stock anyway. So guess where I found a 6.5oz vacuum-packed box of pre-cooked chestnuts? TRADER JOE'S! Heck yeah! So I took home my precious chestnuts and got to work on this stuffed squash. The stuffing is really, really good. I found myself eating it before I'd even baked it - the leeks, apples and thyme are such a great combination of flavors. The squash - that's another story. I just couldn't get into it. Everyone else that ate this loved it, said the roasted squash was great, but I guess I'm just not an acorn squash kinda girl (although I do have 1 more recipe I'm going to try...last ditch effort). So if you like acorn squash, you'll love this! And if you don't - well, give it a go, but no promises.
And if you were looking for a great vegetarian main dish for your Thanksgiving table, this is perfect!