Venison and Squash Meatballs with Roasted Heirloom Marinara

Recipe from Jupiter Ridge Farm

This is a fairly easy and ultra autumnal meal that can easily be made mostly out of on farm ingredients. This easy and rustic tomato sauce is made out frozen heirlooms from when the tomatoes were plentiful but the time to process them was short. These gigantic meatballs are sure to fill your belly, help make some room in your freezer, and put a smile on your face.

Ingredients

Meatballs

  • 1 medium squash peeled and cut into 1/4 inch cubes (we use kabocha but peeled butternut, buttercup, hubbard , or other firm squash will do)
  • 2 lbs ground venison (we blend ours to about 90-10 with pork fat)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cup 1/4 inch cubed bread (old heels work great for this, if you use bread crumbs use 3/4 cup )
  • 1 med onion, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • 1 tablespoon sage
  • 2 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 0z red wine
  • 2 0z olive oil

Pre-heat oven to 375 F, in a greased cast iron place cubed squash and roast until edges start to brown or about 2/3 done, about 10-15 min allow to cool. In large mixing bowl add venison, cooled squash, bread, onion, garlic, wine, oil, and seasoning, do not over-mix, mix only for about 3-4 minutes tops. The size of the meatballs is entirely up to you, but make them all the same size for even cooking. We make ours large, about 3 inches across and they take 50 min to an hour at 375, at 1 inch they take about 20 minutes. Place meatballs in a well greased baking pan, throw the pan in the oven, and check those bad Larry’s halfway through.

Sauce

  • 1 gallon frozen tomatoes, we use german striped, brandywine, and sometimes mixed cherries- whichever you choose the roasting will really bring out the sweetness
  • 5 cloves garlic roughly chopped
  • 1 onion 1/2 inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon each- basil, oregano, sage
  • 1 tablespoon pepper

Thaw tomatoes. Preheat oven to 375 F , add olive oil, onion and garlic to non-reactive roasing pan (glass or stainless steel in our house) and roast for 10 minutes or just until the onion and garlic starts to become transparent. Add thawed tomatoes and spices and roast for 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 hours depending on desired thickness.

Serve over your favorite pasta and garnish with grated parm and fresh herbs.

Spaghetti Squash Takeout Noodles

Recipe from Turkey River Farm

This is a fun recipe, the flavors are bold, but not offensive, and will please even picky eaters. Just leave off the spicy sauce if you don’t care for heat. This one is kid tested and approved!!

For the sauce:

  • ¼ cup fresh lime juice (approximately 1 large or 2 small limes, juiced)
  • 1 tbs soy sauce
  • ½ tsp toasted sesame seed oil
  • 1” fresh ginger, peeled & grated
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled & roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp chile sauce (we like sriracha, gochujang, sambal or tabasco) (optional)

Toss all ingredients in a food processor; pulse until well chopped, then slowly drizzle in ¼ cup neutral oil (like sunflower, canola, or safflower oil). Blitz until smooth. Adjust for seasoning and thickness to suit your taste with soy sauce and water.

For the noodles:

  • 1 medium spaghetti squash (cut in half, seeds removed, baked cut side down in a shallow roasting pan at 375F for 30-40 minutes, or until a fork pokes right through the skin)
  • Handful of sweet, colorful peppers, sliced into very thin strips
  • Chopped fresh herbs (cilantro and basil are great here)
  • 1 bunch of greens, washed, spun dry, and roughly chopped (try this recipe with salad mix, arugula, asian greens, a couple cups of finely sliced napa cabbage, or swiss chard!)
  • ¼ jalapeño, minced very finely (optional)

Scrape the spaghetti squash “noodles” out of the squash husk with a fork into a large bowl. (I like to use the spaghetti squash while it’s hot, and let it wilt the greens just a little bit, but others might prefer to allow the spaghetti squash to cool completely before mixing everything together). Add in the remaining vegetable ingredients, and toss together to combine. Pour the sauce into the noodle mixture and toss until the veggies are coated with the sauce. Enjoy!

Sankaya | Thai Pumpkin Custard

Recipe from Turkey River Farm

This coconut custard is cooked directly inside a hollowed-out pumpkin, ready to serve and beautiful to display as soon as it sets. This is not an overly sweet recipe, which I actually like (I’ve been enjoying it for breakfast), but, if you have a serious sweet tooth I would imagine that you could beef up the sugar just a little without consequence to the custard. Or, my favorite garnish is a drizzle of maple syrup or honey on each slice of the custard which is another way to up the sweetness. 

Ingredients:

• 1 Kabocha, about 2-3 pounds
• 3/4 cup coconut milk
• 5 eggs, at room temperature
• 1/3 cup white sugar
• Pinch of salt
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions:

1. Use a cup to trace a circle around the top of the pumpkin. Carefully cut a lid off the top of the pumpkin and hollow out the inside with a spoon, much like preparing to carve a jack-o-lantern.

2. In a bowl, gently whisk the coconut milk, eggs, sugar, salt, and vanilla until combined. Pour through a mesh sieve into the pumpkin. Fill to about one inch from the top. 

3. Bring about 10 cups of water to a boil in the bottom of a steamer pot. Place the pumpkin in the steamer basket and lower into pot. The lid of the pumpkin can be cooked alongside as well, but do not cover the filled pumpkin with the lid. Cover the pot and steam for 55 minutes. Do not lift the lid until the end of the cooking time. 

4. After 55 minutes insert a knife into the middle of the custard to test for doneness. Though the custard will continue to firm up as it cools, the center of the custard should not be runny at all. Allow to cool completely to room temperature, and then slice into wedges to serve. Sankaya is also delicious chilled. 

Roasted Delicata Squash and Fennel

Recipe from Turkey River Farm

I’ve made this dish with bulk venison Italian sausage; instead of sausage links I just form smallish patties and roasted them in the pan with the rest of the veggies according to the recipe. For a finishing touch, try chopping a handful of the mild fennel fronds and sprinkling on top of the dish right before serving.

  • 1 delicata squash, scrubbed clean with ends and seeds removed (skins okay) and cut into 1/2-inch thick pieces
  • 1 large or 2 medium bulbs fennel, cut into wedges
  • 1 medium red onion, cut into wedges
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • kosher salt and freshly-ground black pepper
  • 5 (about 1 lb) hot or sweet Italian-style sausage links (optional — this recipe works well as a vegetarian side, too, if you decide to omit the sausage)
  • 1/3 cup asiago or Parmesan cheese, finely grated
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F. Toss the squash, fennel and onion with the olive oil. Place in an even layer on a large rimmed baking sheet. Season generously with salt and pepper.
  2. If using, add the sausages to the pan, and roast for 15-20 minutes, turning 2-3 times, until the vegetables are fork tender and begin to caramelize.
  3. Remove the pan from the oven, turn the broiler on high, and sprinkle the squash with the cheese. Broil for 2-3 minutes, until the cheese is melted and bubbly, and the sausages are cooked through. Remove from the broiler, toss with dried cranberries, and serve warm.

Barbecue Pulled Spaghetti Squash

Recipe from Turkey River Farm

This is a delightful vegetarian take on pulled pork sandwiches. Would work well with a pre-made barbecue sauce, too.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 medium spaghetti squash, cooked 
  • 4-6 hamburger buns or rolls
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups ketchup
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons vegetarian Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • Liberal pinch of red pepper flakes (or more to taste)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a small saucepan, warm the olive oil on medium heat. Add the minced garlic and saute for about a minute or until aromatic.
  2. Add the ketchup, brown sugar, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, cider vinegar, and red pepper flakes. Stir frequently over medium heat until mixture boils.
  3. Turn heat to low and simmer for about five minutes.
  4. Scrape the spaghetti squash into a large bowl and stir in sauce.
  5. Toast the rolls then lay them open on individual plates and spoon the barbecue pulled spaghetti squash onto each. Serve immediately.
  6. Reserve the remaining barbecue sauce for later (keeps in the refrigerator for several days)

Acorn Squash Rings with Curried Apple Stuffing

Recipe from Turkey River Farm

A simple recipe to shake up your winter squash routine! Any combination of apple and dried fruit will do here, use whatever you have on hand. Ingredients:

  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons curry powder
  • 2 tart baking apples, peeled, cored, diced (about 2 1/3 cups)
  • 2/3 cup apple juice or apple cider
  • 1/2 cup dried currants or raisins
  • 8 1-inch-thick unpeeled acorn squash rings (from 2 medium), seeded

Preparation:

  1. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until tender, about 12 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon curry powder; stir 1 minute. Add apples, apple juice, and currants. Sauté until liquid evaporates, about 6 minutes. Season filling to taste with salt and pepper.
  2. Preheat oven to 350°F. Melt 5 tablespoons butter in small skillet over medium heat. Add 1/2 tablespoon curry powder; stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Transfer curry butter to bowl. Brush 2 large rimmed baking sheets with some curry butter. Arrange squash rings in single layer on sheets. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Scoop filling into center of rings. Drizzle remaining curry butter over squash and filling (mostly on squash). Cover with foil. Bake squash rings until squash is tender when pierced with fork, about 40 minutes. Using spatula, transfer squash rings with filling to plates and enjoy!