Friday, November 1, 2013

Dinner in a Pumpkin

I tried this several years ago and it did NOT work, but for some reason felt the urge to try again this year.  Google "dinner in a pumpkin" and you'll find a zillion different versions.  I sort of took what I wanted from several of them and opted to make my own sauce/gravy instead of using cream of yucky soup.  It worked this time and although not exciting it may be a fun Halloween tradition.

1 pumpkin (maybe 5 lbs?)
1 lb sausage
1 onion
1 green pepper
1 red pepper
2 cloves garlic
1 c broth
1 c milk
salt and pepper to taste
2 c cooked rice (I used brown)

Preheat oven to 350.  Cut the top off the pumpkin and scrape out the seeds (an ice cream scoop works really well).  Brown sausage in a skillet, drain fat, and put browned sausage in the pumpkin.  Dice the vegetables and saute them until soft in the same skillet the sausage was in.  Add them to the pumpkin, too.  Add the rice and stir the contents of the pumpkin so it is evenly distributed.  (You'll want to leave some head space in the top of the pumpkin, a couple inches maybe.)  In the same skillet, melt the butter and scrape the carmelized bits off the bottom.  Add a few tablespoons of flour and cook for a minute.  Add broth and whisk until thickened and bubbly.  Add the milk and warm through.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Pour the gravy over the pumpkin contents.  (The pumpkin will release lots of moisture as it cooks, so it doesn't have to be super wet.)  Put the top back on the pumpkin, but the whole thing on a rimmed cookie sheet (it will leak I promise), and put in the oven.  Cook for 2-3 hours.  (I cooked it for 2 1/2 hours and it was very done.)  It is very hot when cooked, so remove from oven and take the top off and let it cool somewhat before serving.  Serve by scraping the pumpkin flesh with the filling.  We ate it, and it was okay, it was pretty bland so we added salt and pepper at the table (I never salt my food so you know it was really bland), but when I ate the leftovers I noticed a block of feta cheese in the fridge.  I crumbled some on top and suddenly YUMMMM.  So this recipe needs a little jazzing up, maybe more onions/garlic and figuring out some additional spices.  And definitely keep the feta.

No comments: