Monday, November 3, 2008

Pump your Autumn

Have you ever come across a recipe that makes you drool, "oooh, and ahhhh?" Pumpkin Fondue did it to me. Last week, I stumbled upon such a gem.

Though for some reason I thought two Pumpkins would be better than one. Having grown up in a consumerist society, how could more not equal better?

The players above (not in order):

-Pumpkin #1 prepped with Gruyere and Swiss Emmentaler cheese.

-Pump #1 coated with Extra Virgin Olive Oil before being put in the oven to bake.

-Pumpkin #1 collapsed after exposure to too much heat. Why the burnt lid didn't raise an immediate red flag still perplexes me.

-Pump #2 standing tall (on red plate) after not repeating the same mistake.

-Remaining Pumpkin Seeds recycled ... that is, baked and finished with Almond Cardamon sea salt.

Courtesy of Gourmet Magazine (November issue, p.58), as follows:

The Players:

- 1 (7 lb.) Pumpkin
- 1 (15-inch) piece of baguette, cut into 1/2 inch slices (7 oz. total)
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 1 cup reduced-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
- 1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
- 2 1/2 cups coarsely grated gruyere (7 oz)*
- 2 1/2 cups coarsely grated Emmental (6 oz)*
- 1 Tbsp olive oil


1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. 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.

2. Remove top of pumpkin by cutting a circle (3 inches in diameter) around stem with a small sharp knife. Scrap out seeds and any loose fibers from inside of pumpkin with a spoon (including top of pumpkin); reserve seeds for another use if desired.

3. Whisk together cream, broth, nutmeg. Mix together cheeses in another bowl.

4. Put a layer of toasted bread in bottom of pumpkin, then cover with about 1 cup cheese and about 1/2 cup cream mixture.

5. 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, 1 1/4 hours to 1 1/2 hours.

* Secret Stash note: Cheese can be substituted for Danish Fontina or any kind of top quality Swiss or Provolone.

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