Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Pumpkin + Veggies + Apples = STUFFED

You may notice that I rarely mention my current roommate on the blog.  Due to our opposite schedules, I never see her, which is a bit sad because despite the randomness of our meeting (go craigslist!), we actually have a lot in common and she’s pretty awesome.  She likes to cook and even ran a half marathon (her first!) last month, so you can clearly see what we’ve got going for us.  This weekend she asked if I wanted to cook something together on Monday (my day off!), so we did.  And kind of went all out.

My roommate dug out an old Martha Stewart Living magazine from last year and found a "Stuffed Pumpkin Stew” that she wanted to try.  She invited a bunch of people over (since it serves ten!) and away we went.  I hope you like your veggies…

Here’s the deal:

You find a cheese pumpkin.  Yes, a cheese pumpkin…not your ordinary carving pumpkin.  I called five grocery stores and everyone gave me funny looks when I asked if they had them (okay, I imagined the funny looks since it was on the phone…but I know it was happening on the other end!).  My roommate went to a local farm (yet more proof that I live in a small town) to get one.  Anyway, you cut the top off, scrap the insides, lather with olive oil, and roast for an hour:

Martha Pumpkin Stew (9) Cheese pumpkin!

Next up is veggies galore.  Step one involves ten brussel sprouts, six ounces green beans, and four ounces sugar snap peas.  Boil them for about two minutes, then transfer to an ice bath.  (I’m not sure why the boil/ice bath combo is necessary…feel free to inform me!)

Martha Pumpkin Stew (2) I hope you like your greens!

Now for all those weird veggies that you look at in the store  but have no clue what to do with.  Including:  12 white baby potatoes, two leeks (light green and white parts only!), five carrots, two turnips, four parsnips, half of a butternut squash, and half a celery root.  I admittedly have never had half of these veggies before!

Martha Pumpkin Stew (4) Toss with oil, salt and paper…then roast for 40 minutes!  And remember to invite your friends…

For those meat eaters of the blog world, here’s some chicken!  Ten chicken legs and thighs, with the skin on.  Season with salt and pepper, then cook in a skillet with some oil for 3-4 minutes on each side.  Place on a baking sheet and roast for 40 minutes.  Once the chicken is removed from the skillet, add one cup chicken stock to the skillet, bring to a boil, then place in a bowl.

Martha Pumpkin Stew Yummy!

Just when you thought all the flavors were covered, we’ve got three baking apples and seven ounces vacuum-packed whole peeled chestnuts!  Heat some butter in a skillet and brown the apples for about ten minutes…then add the chestnuts!

Martha Pumpkin Stew (7) I’ve never had a chestnut before…new adventures!

Once everything is done roasting (it takes awhile…), add the brussel sprouts, green beans, snap peas, and apples along with two tablespoons garlic to the giant veggies mix and toss.  Then roast for ten more minutes.

Now for the fun part…take EVERYTHING (chicken, all veggies, 1/2 cup parsley, stock, and two tablespoons reserved pan juices) and combine.  Then stuff the pumpkin!!  Roast until “heated through,” about fifteen minutes.  Note:  over half of the veggies didn’t even come close to fitting in the pumpkin, so we stuffed what we could.  I have no clue where Martha got a gigantic pumpkin.

Martha Pumpkin Stew (11) STUFFED!

Martha Pumpkin Stew (12) Look at all those flavors!

When you’re finally done roasting, turn off the oven!!  (Since it’s been on for hours…)  Slice the pumpkin and serve with the chicken and stew.  It will look something like this:

Martha Pumpkin Stew (14) Devour!!

This was a labor-intensive meal, but it was something totally different than anything I’ve had before, and it was quite tasty!  Since we had a bit of a dinner party, it was fun to cook with other people and then enjoy the food.  I rarely eat with other people (unless you count eating while blogging!), so it was nice to actually sit and enjoy a meal.  I definitely recommend this to enjoy an evening with your friends/family.  It kind of felt like a mini-Thanksgiving, especially with the addition of dessert:

Martha Pumpkin Stew (15) Blueberry pie and ice cream!

There you have it…an absolutely amazingly ridiculous meal like I’ve never had before.  I think it’s fun to try new recipes and eat new foods, especially when you can share it with others!  Give it a try!


  1. A fun and amazing dish.

    Yay for time with roommates!

  2. Plunging in ice water is to stop the cooking immediately - otherwise due to heat, they would keep cooking, and by the end would be overcooked & blech tasting!

    That sounds like so much fun (if a bit labor intensive) and I might have to try it. I've never heard of a cheese pumpkin before, though. Might take some finding!

  3. Wowwww that's intense! Haha one of my roommates is off of craigslist too! Or maybe facebook marketplace, but still - totally random! The pie is beauuuutiful!

  4. Wow, looks good!!! I've never heard of a cheese pumpkin. Thanks for the learning tip! Placing the veggies in an ice bath, also known as blanching stops the cooking and preserves the color of the veggies as well. It will remain a bright fresh green!

  5. This looks awesome! I'm not sure if I'll ever have the energy to do it myself, but I won't rule out the possibility!

    The ice bath keeps the veggies from overcooking, usually so they can retain a "crisp-tender" texture, I do believe.

    I also had never heard of a "cheese pumpkin". I think if you called me looking for one, I'd giggle and think you meant a block of cheese, molded into a pumpkin form.

  6. The ice bath stops the cooking process and also helps keep the bright green color!

    That meal looks so good, and what a nice way to roomie-bond!

  7. What a cool dish (and a serious undertaking!). Dinner parties are so fun :)

  8. This post just reminded me that I am soooo craving a nice, tart pie!! Baby cherry and rhubarb...this weekend, for sure:)

  9. omg, that is HARD CORE! i was going to answer your ice bath question, but it looks like yasi + mica have it all taken care of :)

  10. oh my gosh, susan! your dinner looks so amazing. way to give martha a run for her money.

    i think someone already answered your question about using ice water to keep the veggies crisp.

  11. That sounds like a lot of fun! And pretty yummy too! I've never heard of a cheese pumpkin.