With decorative gourd season in full swing, Cuisine en Locale wants to remind you that squash and gourds make beautiful dinners as well as festive decorations. Try this autumn crowd pleaser at your next party.
1 small to medium sugar pumpkin
1 large yellow onion, diced
1 tablespoon butter
Splash of local ice wine, like Still River Apple Ice Wine
¼ to ½ lb. (depending on size of pumpkin) cured bacon, cut into small dice (optional)
About ½ lb. Hudson Red, Reading Raclette or similar melty pungent cheese
1 cinnamon stick
Salt and pepper
Cut out a lid from the top of the pumpkin as though you were making a jack-o-lantern. Thoroughly clean the inside of the pumpkin of all string, seeds and slime.
Caramelize the onion in the butter until just browned. Meanwhile, in a separate pan, cook the bacon until crispy. Remove the bacon from the pan and put it in the hollowed pumpkin along with the onions.
Then add the ice wine, cheese, cinnamon stick and salt and pepper to taste and place the pumpkin on a cookie sheet or roasting pan and place in the oven without the lid.
Cook for 30 minutes and then carefully replace the lid and continue baking for another 30 minutes.
Remove pumpkin from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes. Using a medium spoon and turning the pumpkin with a cloth or oven mitt, scoop the meat of the pumpkin from the inside and mix together with the cheese mixture and remove the cinnamon stick.
Serve pumpkin with rounds of crusty bread or other favorite dipping items like apples, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower or potatoes.
P.S. Cuisine en Locale is hosting its third Day of the Dead event featuring MassMex farm-to-table food like Taza Chocolate chicken mole, tomatillo Stillman pork verde and cocktails from Booze Époque. The fiesta takes places on November 2 at 7:30 p.m. at Cuisine en Locale’s new headquarters (Anthony’s Functions, 156 Highland Ave.). Tickets are $35 for general admission, $50 for V.I.P. and costumes are encouraged.
Images courtesy of Cuisine en Locale.