6pm rolls around these days and dinner happens and it’s good and we all are nourished but I haven’t found the time for real fun in the kitchen for a bit. My hope is to make this fabulous concoction at least once in the next few weeks. It’s simple to prepare but takes 2 hours to bake. That roasting pumpkin smell though and the whole, beautiful, glistening orb stuffed with whatever you want really, is just fun. Use rice instead of bread, add lots more herbs or meat or mushrooms or whatever strikes your fancy.
And speaking of fun, tell me why you cook. For fun? To de-stress? To have control over what you eat? I’ve created a super quick survey and I want to know how and why you cook. Give me 30 seconds of your time (to fill it out) and I’ll give you 30 days free access to the Seasonal Recipe Collection, just in time for Thanksgiving.
Thank you! And happy cooking and happy Thanksgiving.
Pumpkin Stuffed and Roasted
–adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s Around my French Table
1 pie pumpkin, about 4 – 5 lbs (just adjust the amount of filling if your pumpkin is smaller or larger – though you don’t want to go too much larger as it takes awfully long to cook)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/3 lb (or slightly more) stale bread, sliced and cut into ½-inch chunks
1/3 lb cheese, such as sharp cheddar, Gruyère, Emmenthal or a combination, cut into ½ chunks or grated
2-4 garlic cloves (to taste), finely chopped
2-4 slices bacon, diced and cooked until just crisp (optional)
¼ cup chives or sliced scallions (green onions), thinly sliced
2 teaspoons fresh thyme, minced or 1 1/2 teaspoons dried
1-2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
½ cup of cream or half and half
½ cup milk
¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Preheat oven to 350F.
You can using a baking sheet, a pie pan (as seen above), or a dutch oven with a diameter that’s just a tiny bit larger than your pumpkin. If you bake the pumpkin in a casserole, it will keep its shape, but might stick to the casserole, so you’ll have to serve it from the pot which is fine too.
Using a sturdy knife, cut a cap out of the top of the pumpkin. Cut a big enough cap that it’s easy to hollow out the inside. Scrape out the seeds and strings from the cap and the inside of the pumpkin. Rub the inside of the pumpkin generously with salt and pepper and put it on the baking sheet, pie pan or in a pot.
In a large bowl toss the bread, cheese, garlic, bacon, if using, and herbs together. Season with pepper and salt and pack the filling into the cavity. The pumpkin should be well filled—you might have a little too much filling, or you might need to add to it. Stir the cream, milk and nutmeg with a bit of salt and pepper and pour it into the filled pumpkin. You want the liquid to come about half-way up the cavity. It’s hard to go wrong though. Better a little wetter than too dry.
Put the cap in place and bake the pumpkin for about 2 hours—check after 90 minutes—or until everything inside the pumpkin is bubbling and the flesh of the pumpkin is easily pierced with the tip of a knife. Remove the cap for the last 20 minutes or so of baking to brown the top and let any extra liquid evaporate. Transfer carefully to a serving platter if you baked it on a sheet. Serve, scooping out plenty of pumpkin with each serving or serve it in slices.