This week, tomorrow specifically, marks the beginning of fall! While the 90+ degree temperatures outside don’t truly reflect that, the season of falling leaves, lots of pumpkin flavored things, and heated football weekends is finally here. So in a tribute to that, I found the COOLEST way to spice up your next dinner party: serving a course in a pumpkin! I can’t attest to the actual flavor of this, but if nothing else it’s super memorable… and I’ve been looking for reasons to buy pumpkins.
Dinner in a Pumpkin, courtesy of GroupRecipes.com (serves 8 )
1 medium pumpkin or squash (8-10 pounds)
2 pounds lean ground beef
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup celery, chopped
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 (4 ounce) can sliced mushrooms
1 (10 ounce) can cream of chicken soup
2 cups hot cooked brown rice
2 tablespoons brown sugar
A bit of garlic
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Brown and drain meat, then place on a low-heat stove to keep warm.
While beef is cooking, cut a 3-inch opening in the stem of a pumpkin, like you would a jack-o-lantern, keeping top piece. Remove and discard the pulp inside.
Saute carrots and onion until tender, then add to the ground beef. Stir in remaining ingredients and spoon into pumpkin or squash. Place the top of the pumpkin back on.
Lightly grease a 10-inch circle in the center of a baking sheet. Placed filled pumpkin on baking sheet. *You may have to lower the rack due to the pumpkin stem*
Bake 1.5 to 2 hours, or until pumpkin is tender and filling is bubbly throughout. To serve, spoon some of the meat onto plates, making sure to scrape some of the pumpkin’s side with it.
For the sake of drama, I would bring out the pumpkin and serve it to your guests at the table. If you’re having a buffet-style affair, it’s perfect as is!