The Great Pumpkin
November 5, 2011 § 2 Comments
What, you ask, is THAT? It’s the coolest cooking experience you will have this Thanksgiving, that’s what. Whoa. That was kind of forceful wasn’t it? Ok, You can do what you want with your cooking this Thanksgiving, but how can you beat a whole, cooked pumpkin, stuffed with savory goodness, making a dramatic entrance to your table? Is the green bean casserole going to beat it? The stove top stuffing? Um, no.
This recipe is from the ever amazing Around My French Table, so as usual, I was pleased from the first read-through. First, it’s flexible with the ingredients you can use, so I immediately was drawn in: I love a recipe where I can fudge and swap ingredients. But, when it comes down to it, the reason this recipe became a reality is simple: you turn a pumpkin into an edible pot. I’ve tried really hard to put into words why this appeals to me so much. Maybe it’s the mixture of pumpkin carving and fine dining. Maybe it’s the rustic, cozy, farm-to-table appeal. Maybe I just like that an edible pot means less dishes.
Cinderella squash? I never figured it out.
Using Dorie Greenspan’s recipe as a general guide, I put together a somewhat haphazard combination of herbs,garlic, bread, sausage, green apples, cheeses,and cream, filled the pumpkin, and baked it for a few hours (the smaller the pumpkin or squash, the shorter the time, but this one was family sized).
It came out with a great balance of flavors that pleased almost everyone at my table (If ever everyone was pleased with a meal at my house, I would think the sky was falling), but there ARE a few things I will do differently next time:
**Swap bread cubes for some cooked rice (this would make it gluten-free, too)
**Add some nuts into the mixture for some crunch
**Use all the cream the recipe calls for (I was running low, so I fudged with broth)
**Remember to salt the inside of the scraped out pumpkin before filling with all the good stuff (I could tell the filling was well seasoned, but not the pumpkin itself)
**Use a small lipped tray for cooking (I used my pizza stone and there was some spilling when I went to cut it…a lip, would have saved me)
Other notes on this:
*You could use an acorn or calabaza squash, mini pumpkins….whatever…for smaller, more manageable portions.
*Fill this thing with whatever sounds good to you…the possibilities are wide open (see the comments on the recipe as it appears on Epicurious for ideas).