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Saturday, November 28, 2009

Stuffed Pumpkin

I posted a Facebook comment that I was getting ready to stuff a pumpkin and a friend asked 'with what?'

Well, right off the bat, I'll ditch the shuck and jive and give you the recipe.

Stuffed Pumpkin

1 pie pumpkin (3 lbs or so)
About 10 oz. croutons*
3/4 stick butter
1 onion, chopped
About a dozen black mission figs, halved
1/2 cup cashews
6-8 oz. shredded Gruyère cheese
2 oz. crumbled Maytage Bleu cheese
1 cup chicken broth
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp. rubbed sage
1 tbsp. thyme
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. ground cayenne pepper
salt & pepper to taste

Scrub the pumpkin, then hollow it out (set aside the seeds for roasting), getting all the stringy stuff out. Caramelize the onions in the butter in a skillet, adding the garlic and spices after the onions are almost totally transluscent, toss in a bowl with croutons, cashews, figs, 3/4 of the Gruyère and all the bleu cheese. Stuff it in the pumpkin, really packing it in. Slowly pour in the chicken broth (it'll take a while to percolate down into the pumpkin if you've stuffed it firmly enough). Pack the cap on the pumpkin and bake at 350ºF for 90 minutes; remove cap, top with remaining Gruyère and return to 350ºF oven for 30 minutes. If necessary, at the end of the 30 minutes, you can turn the broiler on for a few to brown the cheese a bit.

*I used a bag of 'cheese garlic' and a bag of 'seasoned,' though since you're adding seasonings anyway, if I'd found plain ones I probably would have used them.

This is very similar to the stuffed pumpkin I made last December from a recipe in the Kansas City Scar, but with some tweaks based on other stuffing recipes. The cashews and figs are an addition, and I used a bit more butter this time. I think the Scar's recipe called for Valdeón bleu cheese, but really, Maytag is a great cheese for this and about a fourth the cost. I think you could get away with substituting another sharp dry cheese for the Gruyère, if you were so inclined. I may on my next stuffed pumpkin (I have another stuffing recipe to try and another pumpkin to try it in).

Took this one to my Dad's for Thanksgiving (I know it's Saturday, big families have to schedule things creatively). My stuffed pumpkin seemed an exotic addition, but also seemed really popular once people tried it.

And it wasn't without stiff competition, my bro and his wife brought a corn souffle that was spectacular, my step-sister made a cheese and fruit thing that was delicious, it was a very lucky pot luck sort of deal.

Of course, I ate too much of everything and I'm paying for it now. Shouldn't have gone back for seconds...

Great fun with the family, too. Puzzles were broken out, as tradition dictated. Mo really got into one of them, a challenging 1000 piece, and for real she made more progress that me and my step-sister combined while her attention span lasted. Mo loves her a good puzzle.

Then we went to the Overland Park Arboretum for the Luminary Walk. Wow. I almost begged off on this part, but I'm so glad I didn't.

My camera isn't really the man for the job, and I didn't have a tripod, which led me to using stationary objects as ersatz monopods, but I never stop trying to get the shot even when it's impossible.

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