I hope you all survived Hurricane Sandy without too much trouble. Despite all of the toil to prepare, our neighborhood was relatively lucky compared to others in our region.
Help those impacted by the storm by donating some of the extra canned goods you bought before the storm, volunteering to serve meals at one of the local shelters or donating blood. On Halloween, it is only fitting that the Red Cross wants to “drink your blood.” Shortages due to storm closings have them eager to stock up on their supplies. You can check here for local blood drives.
After the Sandy scare, today is also a day to be grateful and celebrate the simple pleasures in life. I’m heading out to the suburbs to go trick-or-treating with my two nieces. Afterwards, we’re going to make one of my favorite Fall recipes, Ruth Reichl’s Roasted Pumpkin Fondue. It’s hearty, rich, gooey goodness and something fun to make together.
Roast Pumpkin With Cheese “Fondue”
Serves 8 (Main Course) Or 12 (Side Dish)
Active Time: 25 Min
Start To Finish: 2 Hr
As the pumpkin roasts, its skin becomes gorgeously burnished, while inside, slices of baguette, Gruyère, and Emmental coalesce into a rich, velvety concoction that is utterly fabulous served with a scoop of tender pumpkin flesh.
- 1 (15-inch) piece of baguette, cut into 1/2-inch slices (7 oz total)
- 1 (7-lb) orange pumpkin
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 1 cup reduced-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
- 1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
- 2 1/2 cups coarsely grated Gruyère (6 oz)
- 2 1/2 cups coarsely grated Emmental (6 oz)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
Preheat oven to 450°F with rack in lower third.
Toast baguette slices in 1 layer on a baking sheet in oven until tops are crisp (bread will still be pale), about 7 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool.
Remove top of pumpkin by cutting a circle (3 inches in diameter) around stem with a small sharp knife. Scrape out seeds and any loose fibers from inside pumpkin with a spoon (including top of pumpkin; reserve seeds for another use if desired). Season inside of pumpkin with 1/2 tsp salt.
Whisk together cream, broth, nutmeg, 1 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp pepper in a bowl. Mix together cheeses in another bowl.
Put a layer of toasted bread in bottom of pumpkin, then cover with about 1 cup cheese and about 1/2 cup cream mixture. Continue layering bread, cheese, and cream mixture until pumpkin is filled to about 1/2 inch from top, using all of cream mixture. (You may have some bread and cheese left over.)
Cover pumpkin with top and put in an oiled small roasting pan. Brush outside of pumpkin all over with olive oil. Bake until pumpkin is tender and filling is puffed, 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours.
COOKS’ NOTE: Pumpkin can be filled 2 hours before baking and chilled.
Recipe from Gourmet magazine