Friday, January 6, 2012

How to Bake and Stuff a Pumpkin!

Hello to all my blogging friends, I hope this post finds you all well and happy!

This week is take down the Christmas House! I know why it takes so long to put it up all the decorations, because every box I opened was like an Ooh and Awh fest lolol. Looking at all my old Christmas treasures makes me happy. Here at the new Patch of Dirt I had no clue where everything was going to fit, but it came out beautifully and everyone enjoyed it! Now it must be repacked and stored away until next year.

 What has this got to do with Pumpkins you ask! We purchased two nice sized pumpkins to decorate the front porch for Halloween (for us the beginning of the Holiday Season). They sat on the porch for 2 months sheltered, un-carved and out of the elements. I had an idea to stuff them and or make Pumpkin Soup so yesterday I started on both.

 Ingredients and directions to follow;

One Medium Pumpkin- Wash the out side of the Pumpkin. Cut a nice size lid large enough so you can spoon the rice mixture into it.  Make a venting triangle in lid 1- 1 1/2" long to keep it from bursting.  Clean the inside and remove all seeds and set them aside for later use.  (Caution- Do Not Puncture the Pumpkin Shell)
Cut up and dice 1 onion, 2 cloves garlic, 1/2 cup cilantro or parsley (I use cilantro), 2 carrots, 2 large stalks of celery,
1 green chili or bell pepper (I used the chili).
1 bag of Wild Rice-follow bag cooking directions. I opted to use the chicken broth instead of water. I think it offers a better flavor to the rice.  2 pieces large chicken breasts skinned and boned. I diced the chicken into small cubes then browned the chicken in 3 tablespoons oil. Once browned I add the onion and the garlic, brown some more and then add the carrots, celery, cilantro and green chili. Season to taste with salt, pepper, poultry seasoning, paprika, sage and thyme. Use what ever seasonings your family prefers we like a little kick in our dishes. Add 1 cup of chicken broth to chicken mixture to make a little sauce and cook that down to thicken.

Once the chicken mixture and rice have cook thoroughly combine the two and spoon into the pumpkin. Again season to taste. I set the pumpkin on a foiled cooking sheet to keep from sticking to the pan just in case. Put the lid back on the pumpkin and place it in a preheated oven on 325 for 2-3 hours or until a fork gently punctures outside and pumpkin feels tender on the inside.

This is what it looked like when I pulled it out of the oven. Very pretty! What a great color and wonderful smell!

My neighbor came by while I was cooking the pumpkin mixture so I made him the taste tester. He really liked it so I sent he and his wife a wedge last night. We will see what they think, I'll let you know what they say later? We liked it but was expecting more of a pumpkin pie sort of flavor . The pumpkin was sort of bland but the mixture had a great flavor. I will have to work on the pumpkin next time. I will definitely serve this at Thanksgiving, but maybe only dish out the mixture in less I can perfect the pumpkin part. I just may have to season the inside of the pumpkin prior to baking?
All in all, it will make a very beautiful presentation and provides a nice "Wow" factor for your Thanksgiving table.
Now for the fun part ! Place the cleaned and seasoned pumpkin seeds (salt, pepper, garlic powder, chili powder) on a greased cooking sheet (Spray with Pam) and place in the oven (I put it one rack under the pumpkin) cook until both sides are golden brown. Cooking time will very depending on what else you have in the oven. Just keep and eye on them and stir them occasionally to be able to brown both sides. Place seeds in a zip lock storage bag or Tupperware bowl in the fridge after they have cooled.

I had some extra time while cleaning up and I made this great floral arrangement for the kitchen. Multi tasking ha, no wonder it took me all day to make the SFF card lololol.

Now I am in the mood to create a card so I am off to play with some paper. I hope you have time this weekend to create something fun.

1 comment:

Carey said...

You are amazing. The Martha Stewart of Redlands, CA!! Thanks for all the fun.

Carey and Roscoe