Now that we’re (sigh) settling into winter squash season, the Accidental Locavore is pulling out some recipes I’ve been holding onto. One of them is from Dorie Greenspan’s Around my French Table. It’s a particularly popular recipe for “Pumpkin Stuffed With Everything Good” meaning, cheese, bacon and heavy cream. I had what I thought were sugar pumpkins from Farmer Paul, but they turned out to be red kabocha squash. Now, my feeling about squash (and pumpkins) is that they’re essentially interchangeable, so I feel free to swap out one variety for another. Since these looked like little pumpkins, treat them like little pumpkins, right?
The first clue that these were not little pumpkins came when I tried to cut a lid out of the top of the squash. Besides having thick and tough walls, unlike a pumpkin, the flesh is pretty packed into the squash, leaving no hollow space. So the Locavore kept (carefully) cutting and managed to finally pry off a lid. Scooping out the seeds was also a little more of a challenge, but finally I had a nice, clean hollow space for the stuffing. I followed the recipe pretty closely, with the bacon, bread (half of a stale baguette from the pate, with a couple of ends of rye bread), thyme and chives from my garden, sharp cheddar cheese and heavy cream. That all goes in the pumpkin and you bake it until tender.
Our verdict: pretty good. Frank, my husband wanted the squash hollowed out more so there would be more stuffing. My cousin Ellen, is going to make mac & cheese and bake it in a pumpkin. The Accidental Locavore would make it again but I would definitely substitute sage for the thyme and might even swap out the bacon for some sausage, chorizio in particular. If it wasn’t too overpowering, a blue cheese would be great with the sweetness of the squash…Point Reyes are you listening? Mushrooms were universally thought to be a needed addition. I might also experiment with using croutons instead of the stale bread since the bread seemed to disappear.
What do you think? What would you stuff into a pumpkin or squash?
Quick note: Frank had the brilliant idea this morning of frying up some of the leftover French potato salad we had from a tennis party this weekend, for a version of home fries. I was a little skeptical, but you never know. Once they started heating up in the frying pan, the aroma was wonderful! Let me tell you, it made wonderful home fries and with a lovely mushroom-goat cheese omelet–a perfect combination.