I was stuck at home working all day, Callie was coming home from a late shift and I was feeling the itch to make something creative that she would really like. This is a fantastic recipe, and easier than it looks. Note that you're increasingly seeing cheddar cheese used in korean rice dishes — the combination of the rich, spicy chile paste and the cheese is decadent!
Stuffed Patty-Pan Squash, Korean Style
1 lb patty-pan squash, though you could do this with regular zucchini
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 bunch heirloom red scallions, sliced
1 tbs canola oil (optional)
4 slices thick bacon (or 2 slices of pork belly)
2 c rice (leftover is fine)
2 tsp toasted sesame seeds
1 tsp soy sauce
1/4 c Kimchee, Chopped
1/4 c grated sharp cheddar cheese
1-3 tbs Korean red chile paste ("gochujang" - to taste - I would use 3)
1) Heat the oven to 400. Cut squash in half and scoop out most of the inside flesh leaving a small bowl.
2) In a large skillet, fry the bacon until crisp. Drain, chop and set aside.
3) Either use the bacon drippings or clean skillet and use canola oil, and heat at medium. Add the garlic, cook and stir for 45 seconds. Add the scallions and kimchi. Cook for 2-3 minutes.
4) Break up the rice with your hands and add it to the pan, stirring to combine it with the scallions and garlic (kind of like fried rice). Cook for 1 minute. Turn off heat.
5) Mix the soy and red chile paste (mostly done to thin the paste so you can mix it in easier). Add to the skillet along with the sesame seeds and chopped, fried bacon. Mix well.
6) Add in the cheddar cheese. Let cool for 3-4 minutes.
7) Place the hollowed squash halves on a baking sheet. Scoop the rice mixture into the squash halves, mounding like a snow cone.
8) Bake for 20 minutes. Serve with some ban chon (korean appetizer dishes) and a nice german lager or Belgian wit beer. Or man-up and drink sochu! ;)
*Variant Note: Like the whole Korean taco fad, this dish would very quickly change costumes to become a Mexican dish. Just swap adobo sauce, which is what chipoltes in a can come in, for the chile paste and swap queso for the cheddar cheese. Leave out the kimchi. Use 1/2 tsp salt instead of the soy sauce. Voila!