Cinderella's godmother may have turned a pumpkin into a coach, but we turned one into dinner.
Certain dishes intrigue me—sticky rice pudding, caramel anything, and stuffed pumpkin. So when I ran into a recipe online (the actual recipe comes from Dorie Greenspan) for a whole pumpkin baked with ham, cheese, bread, garlic and cream, I had to try it. So much so, that I didn’t care that the family was out and I would be eating alone. Leftovers would surely be good. So with a glass of red wine, I set off.
Of course, I improvised the recipe based on what I had on hand, but the basic concept was the same. It was super simple…for the bread, I used some stale grilled naan I had hanging around. I used ham, Gruyére cheese, fresh thyme, garlic, cream…oops no cream—it will have to be 2% milk instead. I tossed it all together and piled it in the pumpkin. I scooped up the seeds, placed the stuffed pumpkin in a 375F oven and put a DVD in; 90 minutes later, I had the most scrumptious dinner ever. The pumpkin was sweet and tender. The whole thing was creamy, and gooey and luscious…kind of like a strata in a pumpkin. Perfect for a Friday night after a long week.
—By Jill Melton, Editor
Ham and Cheese Stuffed Pumpkin
Brush the pumpkin liberally with maple syrup to bring out its sweetness—a great contrast to the ham, bread and cheese.
1 3-pound pie pumpkin
4 ounces stale bread (I used Naan) in pieces
4 ounces chopped ham
4 ounces grated Gruyére cheese or Cheddar
1 ounce grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup green onions
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2/3 cup 2% milk
1. Preheat oven to 375F. Cut top off pumpkin and scoop out seeds and goop. Save seeds to roast. Brush pumpkin with maple syrup.
2. Combine remaining ingredients. Spoon into pumpkin, pressing down. Pumpkin should be full.
3. Place on a foil lined baking pan. Bake 90 minutes to 2 hours or until pumpkin is tender and filling is bubbly. Serve, scooping pumpkin pulp out with filling
A thick, chunky soup that warms a chill fall evening with gusto.