Pumkin Dinner

I don't know what it is about dinner in a pumpkin, but I have yet to meet someone that doesn't love it. The best part is there is no casserole dish to clean up. You can make this one of two ways: one large pumpkin or individual pumpkins. Don't forget you'll need to cook the jasmine rice separately before adding into your casserole.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 Medium sized pumpkin or five mini pumpkins ( size of a cantaloupe).      
  • 1 onion diced
  • 3 stalks of celery chopped
  • 4 cloves of minced garlic
  • 2 Tbs of olive oil
  • 1 lb of Italian Sausage (my go to is the spicy Italian sausage from the Harmons meat dept). Just make sure it's nice quality.
  • 2 cups mushroom sliced
  • 3 cups of cooked jasmine rice
  • 2 Tbs flour
  • 2 Tbs Soy Sauce
  • 2 Cups of Chicken Stock
  • 2 Cups of milk
  • 2 Tbs brown sugar
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Heat the oven to 385 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil. Wash and dry off your pumpkin. Cut the top off the pumpkin and scrape the seeds out. Set the top aside. Now place the pumpkin in the bottom rack of oven for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet saute the onion, celery, mushrooms in olive oil. About 3-4 minutes. Add minced garlic, cook for an extra minute. Add the sausage to your pan. Once the sausage is cooked, sprinkle the flour and cook for another 3-4 minutes until the flour is mixed well. Then add milk, soy sauce, chicken stock brown sugar and S&P. Add the cooked Jasmine rice and combine well.

Remove the pumpkin from oven and add your casserole inside the pumpkin. Return to oven for another 30 minutes with the top/stem of the pumpkin back on. When timer is up, remove the top and check the sides of the pumpkin for doneness. The outside of the pumpkin will turn a dark orange, and the inside of the pumpkin should be tender and easily scoop off the sides with a spoon. If the inside of the pumpkin is still not fully cooked, bake for an additional 10-15 minutes. The cooking time will vary depending on the size of the pumpkin.  Using hot pads, place the pumpkin onto a serving plate, remove the lid, and stir. Be sure to scoop off chunks of cooked pumpkin into the casserole as it is served. Serve with a simple green salad.