Thursday, October 29, 2015

Wild Rice and Sausage Stuffed Pumpkin

Stuffed pumpkins rock!  I'm definitely one of those annoying people that look forward to everything-pumpkin in the fall.  I'd never stuffed a pumpkin until a few years ago and it's become one of my most favourite autumn dishes.

We have a recipe for a sweet Apple and Oats Stuffed Pumpkin, but we also enjoy doing savoury stuffed pumpkins, so I thought it was time to get a recipe up!  This stuffed pumpkin was so delicious.  While I chose wild rice and sausage, you can really put anything you like in one!  Change up the meat and use chicken or shredded beef.  Change up the grain and use barley or white rice.  Add nuts - try dried apricots instead of cranberries.  Try a theme - Mexican, Italian, Moroccan, Chinese...

How about The Hollowpoints - The Sickness.  -jen

Prep Time:  30 minutes
Bake Time:  60 minutes
Difficulty:  Easy to Medium
Serves:  about 6
  • 1 pie pumpkin (like a Sugar Pumpkin or a Winter Luxury)
  • 5 links maple sausage 
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil + 2 teaspoons, melted
  • 1 small carrot, diced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced (about 3/4 cups)
  • 1 large stalks of celery, diced (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1 small green pepper or poblano, diced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 apple, diced (like a Gala or Fuji) (about 1 cup)
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, minced (1 tbsp)
  • 2 large cloves of garlic, minced (1 tbsp)
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup (brown sugar would be a suitable substitute) + 1 teaspoon
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt  + 1/4 teaspoon
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper + a pinch
  • 1/2 teaspoon curry powder + 1/4 teaspoon
  • 1/2 teaspoon rubbed sage + 1/4 teaspoon
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon marjoram
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1-2 cups cooked wild rice (recipe below)  
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  

Like carving a jack-o-lantern, cut the top of your pumpkin off and scoop the inside and the base of the lid clean.  (Save your seeds and make Seasoned Pumpkin Seeds!)   Discard the insides, keep your lid!  Make sure you get all those stringy pieces out... it's worth the extra effort to make it totally scraped clean.  Set aside.

In a large skillet over medium heat, cook sausages through.  Set aside.  In same skillet with the remaining sausage fat, add 1 tablespoon of coconut oil and the carrots, cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Then add the onion, celery, and green pepper.  Saute about 5 minutes, until vegetables become tender.  Add the apples, garlic, ginger, maple syrup, cranberries, salt, pepper, curry powder, sage, cinnamon, marjoram, and red pepper flake.  Cook another 2-3 minutes, then remove from heat and let cool.

Once cool, dice the sausages and add the sausage and the rice to the vegetable mixture.  Add 2 teaspoons of melted coconut oil, 1 tsp maple syrup, 1/4 tsp salt, pinch of pepper, 1/4 tsp curry powder and 1/4 tsp of sage to the inside of the pumpkin, .  Using your hands, massage oil and seasonings all over the inside of the pumpkin, as well as on the bottom of the lid. 

Stuff the pumpkin completely full with the stuffing.  Place the lid back on the pumpkin and place on a sheet
pan.  Cook at 350 degrees F for about 1 hour.  A sharp knife should slide easily through the skin and the flesh if the pumpkin is cooked thoroughly.  Remove and let rest for 5 minutes.

Place on a serving tray.  Remove lid.  Slice wedges and serve.  Don't forget to slice the pumpkin meat off of the lid, too!

If you have leftover stuffing you can serve it on the table with your stuffed pumpkin for folks who want extra.  You can make an egg scramble out of it (which we did!) or use it as a side dish for your dinner the next evening.

Cook Time:  45-60 minutes
Difficulty:  Easy
Makes:  about 2 cups
  • 1/2 cup wild rice
  • 2 cups chicken broth (or water)
  • 1 teaspoon rubbed sage (optional)
In a large sauce pan, combine rice, broth and sage.  Bring to a boil.  Cover and reduce heat to a simmer.  Simmer for 45 minutes and check.  You'll want about half of the kernels to split open (they'll look lighter in colour)... could take up to 60 minutes.  If there's any remaining liquid, drain it off.  Fluff with a fork.

Note:  Wild rice will triple or quadruple once cooked.  1 cup may yield 3.5 - 4 cups.

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