Monthly (web) Cookbook Excursion: Stuffing Pumpkins with NPR

Wow! A Monthly Cookbook Excursion update after two months? Say it isn’t so!

Sorry for the unexpected cookbook hiatus, everyone. I wish I had a good excuse for missing two months in a row, but I pretty much just let time get away from me and got distracted with other things. My sincerest apologies! So, with no further ado, here is my attempt to get back on track!

While driving home from work the other day, I was listening to All Things Considered on NPR and they were interviewing a lady by the name of Dorie Greenspan about her cookbook, Around My French Table. The featured recipe was what Dorie called Pumpkin Stuffed with Everything Good (scroll to the end of the article for the recipe). It sounded so delicious I just had to give it a try!

Luckily for me, I had a small pumpkin I purchased when a friend of mine took a trip with me to a farm to see their corn maze (I had never been in one before). It had been sitting on my table for a few weeks and, now that Halloween had passed, I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with it. I had figured I would probably just make a pie with it until this recipe came along.

The original recipe uses bread as the starch for the stuffing, but Ms. Greenspan mentioned that she had also put cooked rice into the pumpkin and that it made a delicious risotto when combined with the other ingredients. The risotto variation piqued my interest so that’s what I decided to attempt.

I made the risotto, in a sauce pan, using all the ingredients (I actually substituted half of a roasted chipotle pepper in place of the bacon) in the recipe and substituting the bread chunks with Arborio rice. In addition, I put in a cup of water and about a half cup of canned pumpkin puree I had left over from this recipe for extra pumpkin flavor and moisture. I let the risotto cook until the rice was about three-quarters of the way finished and scooped the mixture into the hollowed-out pumpkin. I put in an extra quarter cup of water after the risotto was in the pumpkin so that it didn’t dry out while baking. Since my pumpkin was a little smaller than the size the recipe called for, it didn’t need to bake the full 2 hours.

In addition to making my house smell amazing, it came out looking pretty delicious too.  I sliced it like a cake, as suggested by the recipe, and served it up hot! Doesn’t it look yummy?

I can easily see this becoming my new favorite meal on a chilly Fall evening. As an accompaniment to the meal, I made myself a hot toddy of spiced apple cider and a splash of Grand Marnier. What a delicious combination!

Everyone should give this recipe a try before the pumpkins run out!

See you next dish!

The Head Spoon

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