Spicy Fall Stew Baked in a Pumpkin
You don’t need a magic spell to turn a pumpkin into the edible serving dish for this satisfying autumn recipe. If you can’t find a large pumpkin or squash, bake this stew in two smaller ones. Serve with Poblano-Cucumber Salsa (Click here for recipe).
- 1 medium onion, diced (1 cup)
- 2 Tbs. olive oil, divided
- 1 red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch dice
- 2 cloves garlic, minced (2 tsp.)
- 1 tsp. chili powder, preferably New Mexican
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- ½ tsp. dried oregano
- ½ lb. tomatillos, husked and quartered (1½ cups)
- 1 15-oz. can hominy, rinsed and drained
- ¾ tsp. salt
- 1 3- to 4-lb. pumpkin, either sugar pie, cheese, red kuri, kabocha, or buttercup squash
- 2 oz. grated sharp Cheddar cheese (½ cup packed)
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Heat 1 Tbs. oil in pot over medium heat. Add onion, bell pepper, and garlic. Sauté 7 minutes, or until softened. Stir in chili powder, cumin, and oregano, and cook 3 minutes more, or until spices darken.
2. Add tomatillos, hominy, ı/2 cup water, and salt. Cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, partially covered, 10 to 12 minutes, or until tomatillos are softened. Uncover, and cook 5 minutes more to thicken stew, if necessary.
3. Meanwhile, cut top of pumpkin around stem to make lid. Scoop out pumpkin seeds and strings. Rub inside of pumpkin with remaining 1 Tbs. oil, and sprinkle generously with salt. Sprinkle cheese in bottom of pumpkin.
4. Fill pumpkin with stew, then top with pumpkin lid. Place on parchment-covered baking sheet and bake 1ı/2 to 2 hours, or until pumpkin flesh is fork-tender. Remove from oven; let stand 5 minutes.
5. Scoop stew, including pumpkin, into bowls and serve hot, topped with Poblano-Cucumber Salsa (Click here for recipe).