A Table Surprise: Stuffed Pumpkin

Stuffed Pumpkin

Let us offer you something a bit different from the standard holiday eats (but just as scrumptious). One of the recipes is suitable for a main course, containing pork, the other is a dessert that will leave you satisfied.

The only difficulty in cooking pumpkin lies in the actual cleaning of the inside but the end result is so remarkable that the efforts are well worth it.

Stuffed Pumpkin with Mushrooms and Pork

Ingredients: a round pumpkin, 21 oz pork, 3 carrots, 2 onion heads or 1 bunch of leeks, 12.5 oz champignons, 9 oz potatoes, 3.5 oz tomatoes, 1 bunch of parsley, black pepper peppercorns, salt, bay leaf, olive oil, 1/2 cup red wine.

Stuffed Pumpkin with meat

Preparation: 1st you need to cut off a lid from the pumpkin - cut off the top where the stem is, then carve out the insides with a spoon and add salt. Remove the seeds and the tougher parts of the pumpkin.

In a separate container, put the diced pork to saute, then add to it the sliced carrots, diced potatoes, onion crescents and red wine.

Let them saute a bit and once softened, add the mushrooms that have been cut in half. Season everything with black pepper and salt. After 5 min, add the finely chopped tomatoes - let the mixture simmer and season with finely chopped parsley at the end.

Next, fill the pumpkin with the stuffing, putting at least 2 bay leaves between the ingredients. Close the pumpkin with the top - you can wrap the stem with foil so it doesn't burn. Place the stuffed pumpkin in an oven dish with some water in it. Bake 2 hours in a moderate oven. Afterwards, if you would like it crispy, remove the top and roast another half-hour without it.

Sweet Stuffed Pumpkin

For the dessert recipe you will need 2 small butternut squashes. Cut off the round bloated ends so that you end up with 2 bowls.

Before you begin carving out the butternut squashes, put 2 tablespoons of raisins, dried apricots and any other kind of dried fruits you have at home to soak in rum. After they swell, drain them and mix them with sliced pears and walnuts.

Remove the seeds from the squashes, wash well and smear both of them with honey. If you like cinnamon you can sprinkle it on - this spice complements the taste of pumpkin well.

Mix all of the stuffing and fill the 2 squashes. Pour honey generously on top. Put them in tray with a little water, cover with aluminum foil and bake in a moderate oven until softened.

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