LUCY BURDETTE: We're having Halloween Week on the blog this week--BOO! Tune in every day for a recipe of the season to serve to your goblins and ghosts. Tonka and I practiced with our hot dog costumes--we'll be wearing these in the Key West wiener wonderland parade in January, but Halloween seemed like a great time to try things out!
And now on with the food....
I remember from years ago having a recipe for a big baked pumpkin. Maybe it was filled with soup? Maybe from the cookbook LAUREL'S KITCHEN? But I couldn't find anything similar to my memory. (Oh sigh, isn't that the case more and more these days?)
I did find a Dorie Greenspan recipe for baked stuffed pumpkin--hers contained bread cubes, garlic, cheese and cream. I tweaked this to make it more savory. But you can add and subtract ingredients, according to what you like. (I considered adding sausage and apples and maybe some dried cherries...)
In photo above, see the unsuspecting pumpkins, thinking they will be part of the Halloween decor, not the dinner!
2 smallish sugar pumpkins, about 2 1/4 pounds each
3 slices bacon, fried and crumbled
2-3 leeks or an onion, cleaned and chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
2/3 recipe of cornbread (8 x 8 inch pan), crumbled
4 oz shredded cheese (I used swiss and cheddar)
Fresh dill chopped, as desired
chicken broth as needed
Wash the pumpkins and cut out the lids as if you were making jack-o-lanterns. Clean out the innards, saving the seeds to roast, if desired.
Fry the bacon, crumble. Saute the leeks and celery in olive oil over low heat until they are soft. Crumble the corn bread in a bowl, add the bacon, vegetables, and cheese. Combine all this nicely and moisten with chicken broth until it's the consistency of stuffing--not too dry and not too wet. I used about 3/4 cup.
Stuff the pumpkins and cover with foil. Bake in a 350 degree oven for one and a half to two hours. (Mine took two.) You will have to check for done-ness
as time will vary based on size of the pumpkin. You should be able to easily poke a skewer through the flesh. Remove the foil for the last 15-20 minutes so the top of the stuffing crisps up. I served this cut in quarters with a grilled pork loin and some roasted green beans.
Lucy Burdette is the author of the Key West food critic mysteries. MURDER WITH GANACHE will be out in February, but you can pre-order it now.
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