Note: This is my first guest post on Grace(Full)Plate from my friend Ashley of http://www.ashalah.com/. Ashley is a traveler, foodie and interior designer. Her Tres Leches is to die for – and this Fall, Ashley whipped up what she is calling “Pumpkin Stuffed with Everything Good.” We’re sharing it here. Let us know what you think and say hello to Ashley on Twitter.
I was driving down to Denver the other week listening to NPR, a new habit I’ve picked up during a particularly nostalgic moment for car rides with my dad listening to the same programs, when a segment came on about a new cookbook about French cooking. I’m kind of a sucker for all things French (especially the cooking!) and recently read Julia Child’s memoir so I was intrigued.
The reporter was being served this baked and stuffed pumpkin dish that just sounded amazing. The chef was explaining how the French don’t typically use pumpkin as a sweet dish–more as a savory one. I was all about trying something new: a pumpkin stuffed with bread, bacon, cheese, cream, herbs and really anything your heart desires. My mouth was watering and the reporter couldn’t even speak she was so into the food. I knew I had to make it and as I sat through heavy traffic I made a mental note to look up that recipe as soon as I got home.
Tuesday was our first snow fall here in Boulder after having 70 degree weather for the past couple weeks. Granted, nothing stuck but I used this as a good excuse to cozy up inside my apartment, warm up the oven (and subsequently my apartment) and get to work on this stuffed pumpkin I’d been dreaming of making for the past week.
You Will Need:
- 1 pumpkin, about 3 pounds
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1/4 pound stale bread, thinly sliced and cut into 1/2-inch chunks (I used fresh bread and was fine)
- 1/4 pound cheese, such as Gruyere, Emmenthal, cheddar, or a combination, cut into 1/2-inch chunks or grated
- 2–4 garlic cloves (to taste), split, germ removed, and coarsely chopped
- 4 strips bacon, cooked until crisp, drained, and chopped
- About 1/4 cup snipped fresh chives or sliced scallions
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
- About 1/3 cup heavy cream
- Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
For the full article and how to prepare, go here. Bon appetit!
The hardest part of this recipe is getting the “guts” out of the pumpkin–the seeds and stringy goo (yes, that’s a technical term). One tip: make sure you make a hole big enough to put your hand/arm through. I did not and it made it a little more challenging. Save the seeds and bake them sprinkled with salt at 325 degrees for 25 minutes.
The rest was super easy. I combined the bread (I accidentally got a piquante sweet pepper filone bread instead of just regular french bread but it worked out really nicely. Great flavor.) with the herbs, grated extra sharp cheddar cheese, bacon and even added granny smith apples and then stuffed it all into the pumpkin.
I put the cream and nutmeg on before I put it into the pumpkin (I didn’t read the instructions very carefully–so typical!) but it made no difference. I added a little extra cream and cheese per a friend’s recommendation who had tried this recipe out earlier in the week.
I cannot recommend this recipe enough. It was SO delicious and it makes for a beautiful presentation at a fall or winter dinner party, the next place I will be serving one of these up to. I only got to enjoy the full pumpkin for about half an hour while I ate my serving for dinner; I then scooped everything out of the pumpkin into a tupperware container. Luckily the leftovers are still as delicious!