Saturday, November 7, 2009

Dinner in a Pumpkin

I love autumn and Halloween and usually we like to go all-out for the season, but this year I am so overwhelmed with my jam-packed schedule that we didn't get to do as much fun stuff as usual. So, I decided to try some random new traditions... like dinner in a pumpkin! Tater Tot Casserole is a big hit in my house, and this is similar, so it also went over well. Plus it looks adorable. I'll definitely be making this again year after year!

Recipe -

1 small to medium Pumpkin
1 Chopped onion
2 Tbs Oil
1-2 lbs Ground Turkey
2 TB Soy Sauce
2-3 TB Brown Sugar
1 Can Cream of Chicken Soup
1- 1.5 Cup Cooked Rice (or Cooked potatoes)
Ketchup to taste

Cut off top of pumpkin, clean out seeds and pulp, and optionally make a face with permanent marker on pumpkin.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large skillet saute onions in oil until tender. Add meat and salt to taste. Brown the turkey (and I like to add a fair bit of cracker crumbs to soak up the juices instead of draining). Add soy sauce, brown sugar, and soup; simmer 10 min, stirring occasionally. Add cooked rice or potatoes, add ketchup to taste. Spoon mixture into pumpkin. You can also add water chestnuts, mushrooms, etc... whatever you like to put in your casseroles. Place lid back on and set whole pumpkin on baking sheet.
Bake for 1 hour or until warm all the way through.

The bottom will be a bit squidgy so you might have to scoop it out and serve it from the stove, but if you can get it onto the table that's more festive. Also, don't be shy about scraping the tender pumpkin flesh out into the bowl with all the other stuff... it tastes really good all mixed in together!

And then when you're all done you can peel the pumpkin and use what's left of it for pumpkin soup or bread or pancakes... mmm!



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