gals on our local radio station have been touting the pleasures of this concoction for years: Pumpkin Stuffed with Everything Good. The love child of bread pudding and fondue, this dish is easy to throw together, doesn't require a complicated recipe, and with a salad makes a complete meal (or a celebratory side dish). Don't have a pumpkin? Use squash. Don't have white bread? Use French, cornbread, or whatever bread happens to be hanging out in your kitchen. Add your favorite cheese, any combination of fruit, nut, herbs, and veggie. Got bacon? Add that.
The original source is Dorie Greenspan. Next time I make this I'll be using my favorite grilled cheese ingredients and stuffing it into one of the dozen or so squash that seem to have made my pantry their permanent habitat (cranberry walnut bread with Fontina and Gruyère, extra walnuts and cranberries).
Helpful hints: let this baby bubble away for about an hour and a half before you check the pumpkin for donesness. Depending on the size, it may take an additional half hour to completely cook.
Pumpkin Stuffed with Everything Good
Adapted from Dorie Greenspan's recipe
Serves 2 to 4
1 pumpkin or squash, 1 1/2 to 3 pounds
Salt, pepper, olive oil
1 to 3 cups stale bread, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
4 to 8 ounces good melting cheese, such as Gruyère, Emmenthal, cheddar, or a combination, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2-4 garlic cloves (to taste), minced
About 1/4 cup snipped fresh chives, scallions, or shallot
1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme and/or sage
About 1/3 cup heavy cream
Freshly grated nutmeg