Spicy Fall Stew Baked in a Pumpkin

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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).

Ingredients

  • 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)

Preparation

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). 

Nutrition Information

  • Serving Size: Serves 6
  • Calories: 221
  • Carbohydrate Content: 31 g
  • Cholesterol Content: 10 mg
  • Fat Content: 9 g
  • Fiber Content: 6 g
  • Protein Content: 6 g
  • Saturated Fat Content: 3 g
  • Sodium Content: 699 mg
  • Sugar Content: 10 g