Saturday, November 14, 2009

Roasted stuffed pumpkin makes a beautiful bowl



Most women buy themselves a new outfit or a new pair of shoes when they have a little extra money at the end of the month. Anyone that knows me, knows my weakness isn't clothes or shoes, it's dishes. I don't have room to store anymore of them in my pantry or cupboards, but that doesn't always stop me.

When someone told me about using a real pumpkin as a serving bowl I was intrigued. At first I thought what a cool and unique idea. Then I realized an extra bonus... I wouldn't have to store it. When I'm done with it I can just throw it away. So, the day after Halloween I was knocking on the gate of the pumpkin patch to see if I could get some great deals on pumpkins.

I found directions for roasting a stuffed pumpkin at epicurious.com. I made a stew in the crock pot before putting it in the pumpkin to bake, but soup, mashed potatoes, or a vegetable casserole would work well in a roasted pumpkin too. The pumpkin kept the stew warm and well insulated while the pumpkin baked to a glazed-like texture. The end result looked like a ceramic dish and made a beautiful centerpiece.



STUFFED PUMPKIN

1 (8-9 lb.) pumpkin
1 Tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper

Soup or stew of your choice.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Remove top of pumpkin by cutting a circle on an angle around stem with a small sharp knife. Scrape out and discard seeds and fibers from inside pumpkin (including top)with a spoon. Do not discard top. Sprinkle inside flesh with 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/8 tsp. pepper. Place pumpkin on a large shallow roasting pan or a sturdy pizza pan. (I used a sturdy pizza pan so I wouldn't have to transfer the hot pumpkin on to something else when it came out of the oven.)

Carefully scoop hot pre-cooked soup, stew, or mashed potatoes into prepared pumpkin. Place top on pumpkin and rub outside of pumpkin with 1 Tbsp. olive oil. Place a piece of foil over the stem to prevent it from charring. Place filled pumpkin in oven and roast for 45-60 minutes. It will be heavy, so be careful.

Carefully remove baked pumpkin from oven. I scattered colorful fall leaves around base of pumpkin to hide pan. Then sit back and listen to the oohs and aahs from your guests.

5 comments:

  1. That looks delicious. I'm going to try it. I didn't know there was a use for pumpkins after Halloween -- well if you're not talking pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread and pumpkin pancakes. But stew in a pumpkin. You've outdone yourself on this one, CaliCook.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks Mary Jane. It's fun to try different things. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don't. A good sense of humor is important for the times things don't work as planned.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Freaking awesome!!!!! I'll bet you could use acorn squash for individual bowls? Or any other of those funky fall squashes that are in the stores... This is gorgeous!

    ReplyDelete
  4. You are absolutely right Cyrhen. I have some small tiger pumpkins (pictured on my screensaver at work) that I was going to use as bowls for homemade cranberry sauce ( or whatever else I can think to stuff in those little cuties) for Thanksgiving. It would also be fun to fill a variety of colorful squash and mini pumpkins with palenta or turkey dressing in individual servings. So many ideas, so little time.

    ReplyDelete
  5. These are great ideas. . . I always thought the pumpkins and squash didn't have much use beyond Halloween and fall decorating. But they make beautiful bowls, and the stew sounds perfect for this colder weather we are experiencing.

    ReplyDelete