Stuffed Pumpkin

Stuffed Pumpkin

I got this idea for stuffed pumpkin from the November 2007 issue of Gourmet. So I took the mini pumpkin that I never made into Jack from Halloween, and made it into a meal. Gourmet‘s recipe of Pumpkin Stuffed with Vegetable Stew takes 7 hours from start to finish. Hm, my adapted version took half the time. Granted, my ingredients were quite different and definitely not as fancy, but it was still a nice stuffed little pumpkin at the end. It was quite yummy, though I prefer the starchier and sweeter Japanese pumpkin more. Still, at my table, pumpkin would still be a dish and not a Jack next Halloween. 😀

1. Preheat oven to 350F

2. Cut a hole on the top of the pumpkin, and remove seeds and fibrous stuff in pumpkin cavity. Chop the stem down a little if it is too long, but leaving a little handle and save the “lid”. 

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3. Rub the inside of the pumpkin with ground black pepper, place lid back on. Spray the outside with cooking spray. Place pumpkin on a baking pan lined with foil. Bake for 1 hour until golden brown and slightly soft but not too too soft. Fork should pierce through with a bit of resistance.

baked pumpkin

4. In the meantime, prepare vegetable stuffing, which was: 1/2 a white onion, 1/2 a carrot, <1 cup each of red bell pepper, yellow bell pepper, white mushrooms, all chopped up. First sautee the onions and the mushrooms until brown, then add carrots and the rest and about 1/2c chicken broth. Add salt and pepper to taste, and approximately 1/2t chili powder, 1/2t  paprika, and a few splashes of sherry vinegar. Cook until softish; you also want to make sure there a bit of broth left. (The stuffing is really free style, you can also add rice, diced chicken or pork, etc etc. You can also make a sweet stuffing with apples, cinnamon, nutmeg…)

5. When the pumpkin is done, place the veggie stuffing into the pumpkin. Bake for another 40 minutes.

6. Before serving, garnish with cilantro, and scrape the pumpkin from the sides and mix it with the stuffing. (This is optional, you can scrape as you eat.)

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