Friday, October 26, 2018

Pumpkins Stuffed With Everything Good

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I know what you're thinking.

Or at least I know what I was thinking when I first saw someone stuffing a pumpkin...

"What are you doing?!?!?! You can't EAT a whole pumpkin like that. WHAT IS HAPPENING??"

I mean, pumpkin pie is different. That's all sugared and spiced up and probably was made from a can so you didn't have to dig through those stinky, nasty pumpkin guts to get to the goods (but have you ever had a pumpkin pie with a fresh pumpkin?? YUM).

But, as it turns out, pumpkins are actually a delicious, melt-in-your-mouth squash under all those guts.







I was probably probably a young teen when I first saw my friend's mom (who, now that I am not a young teen, is just "my friend") stuffing a pumpkin. At first, I think I probably really had some kind of outburst as described above.

But then, I crept closer, intrigued.

I don't remember exactly what all she put it in, but it was something similar to this. I think it was a sausage bread stuffing with heavy cream. Anyway, that is what I've done here and it was amazing. Everyone from my connoisseur of a husband, to my picky two-year-old, to my little piggy of an 8-month-old just LOVED this. Probably especially my two-year-old who is currently obsessed with pumpkins and got the mini one all to himself.





You can carve a jack-o-lantern on the face if you want to serve it for Halloween, or you can serve it for your stuffing on Thanksgiving! 

I made one out of a pie pumpkin and one out of a little mini decorative pumpkin, just because I was curious how it would turn out. I couldn't believe it, but I almost like the flavor of the mini pumpkin better! It would be so cute to bake a bunch of little pumpkins for individual servings of stuffing on Thanksgiving! 

I really think you could use ANY shape, color, or sized pumpkin for this (or even an acorn squash or something if you want!). I think the smaller they are, the more flavorful and less watery they are, but you obviously don't get as much flesh on smaller ones. 






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    • Pumpkin Stuffed With Everything Good

    • 1 pie pumpkin (also known as sugar pumpkin) or any pumpkin(s) or squash of your choice
    • 8 oz. Sage or Italian flavored Sausage (half of a tube)
    • A few tablespoons of olive oil or butter
    • 1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
    • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
    • 5 slices of bread, toasted or stale (I used gluten free)
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage (or a teaspoon dried)
    • 1/4 teapsoon salt
    • 1/2 cup feta cheese (optional)
    • 1/2 cup heavy cream or enough to saturate bread (or chicken stock if you want it to be dairy free!)

    • Preheat the oven to 375ºF.
    • Cut the top off of the pumpkin and scoop the guts out with a spoon as you would making a jack-o-lantern. Set aside. 
    • In a large pan, cook the sausage over medium high heat, chopping and stirring as you cook. Once you get it into pretty good sized pieces, add the butter or oil and the onion and mushrooms. Once they are fully cooked and slightly browned, add the bread, garlic, sage and salt. Continue cooking for about 2 minutes. Add the cheese and heavy cream and stir to combine. Scoop into pumpkin. 
    • Bake the pumpkin on a baking sheet for about 1 hour or until the flesh is very tender with a fork. If you want to cut a jack-o-lantern into the face, I would do it at about 45 minutes when the flesh is slightly firm, but tender enough to cut easily.
    • If you are making lots of mini pumpkins, I would guess it could make about a dozen. You can probably bake them for 45 minutes to 1 hour. If you are making a larger pumpkin, you could double the recipe for the filling and maybe bake for at least 1 hour and 15 minutes, but just as soon as it's fork tender. 









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