Monday, October 12, 2009

Croute en potiron (pumpkin with cheesy soup / bread pudding)

This is a really awesome special occasion dish for vegetarians. It is indulgent, delicious and fussy, everything I like. I made it for "New Dishwasher day" when Alex and I got our new dishwasher installed a week after the old one crapped out on us. It is a bit of a lengthy process but no step is complicated in the slightest and the results are both attractive and tasty.

Croute en potiron

Ingredients for 2 servings:
One small pie pumpkin per person
About 1/4 lb. grated Emmenthal or other Swiss style cheese (I mixed it with parmesan since ours was boring)
About 3 cups stock (I used chicken this time but veggie stock is delightful)
1/2 stale baguette cut into thin rounds and toasted.
Fresh parsley, oregano, thyme, sage, or other fresh herbs
Wine or brandy

Preheat the oven to 375.

Scoop out your pumpkins (set aside seeds to roast if you like). After they are all nicely hollowed out, rub the inside with salt and garlic. Set aside.

Warm up your stock and add brandy or wine to taste, let it simmer together for a bit to burn off some of the alcohol.

Put a thin layer of cheese inside the bottom of the pumpkin, sprinkle fresh herbs and then layer toast. Continue layering alternating cheese herbs and toast until the pumpkin is full.

Put the full pumpkin on a baking sheet then pour your doctored stock into the pumpkin over the layers of cheese and bread. Top with a final layer of cheese and herbs.

Bake the pumpkins in the middle of the oven until the cheese is golden brown and pumpkins yields to the tip of a knife (err on the side of caution, you do NOT want to overcook the pumpkin or the whole thing will collapse.)

Serve the soup in the pumpkin and as you eat it scoop out the pumpkin flesh with the cheesy melty bready soup. Decadence.

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