With Turkey Day coming up in a mere FOUR days (yikes, how did this year go by so fast?!?), fall flavors and ingredients are in full force here in the Cheater Bites kitchen. My parents are heading down to Atlanta for the holiday, while I will stay here to spend it with the other half of my lovely family. But, let’s be serious, Mum and I needed to do some serious cooking together since we won’t be able to on our favorite holiday!
She found this recipe in Gourmet last year and it has made it in the favorites list for Thanksgiving side dishes…and really just as a side dish to any yummy fall meal. It’s really easy to throw together, and is a new, savory preparation for pumpkin. It’s a refreshing change from the usual pumpkin features like pie and cookies (not that I’m knocking those, as all, let’s be serious here). Try it, you’ll love it!
You will need:
1/2 of baguette or other good quality bread, cut into 1/2-inch slices
1 small (3-lb) orange pumpkin
2/3 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup reduced-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1 1/2 cups coarsely grated Gruyère cheese
1 1/2 cups coarsely grated Emmental cheese
1 tablespoon olive oil
Preheat oven to 450°F with rack in lower third. Toast baguette slices in 1 layer on a baking sheet in oven until tops are crisp (bread will still be pale), about 7 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool.
Remove top of pumpkin by cutting a circle (3 inches in diameter) around stem with a small sharp knife. Scrape out seeds and any loose fibers from inside pumpkin with a spoon (including top of pumpkin; reserve seeds for another use if desired). Season inside of pumpkin with 1/2 tsp salt.
Whisk together cream, broth, nutmeg, 1 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp pepper in a bowl. Mix together cheeses in another bowl.
Put a layer of toasted bread in bottom of pumpkin, then cover with about 1 cup cheese and about 1/2 cup cream mixture.
Continue layering bread, cheese, and cream mixture until pumpkin is filled to about 1/2 inch from top, using all of cream mixture. (You may have some bread and cheese left over.)
Cover pumpkin with top and put in an oiled small roasting pan. Brush outside of pumpkin all over with olive oil. Bake until pumpkin is tender and filling is puffed, 45 minutes to 1 hour.
NOTE: Pumpkin can be filled 2 hours before baking and chilled.
serves: 6-8 as an appetizer or side dish
time: 25 minutes active time + baking time