Thursday, November 15, 2012

Roast Pumpkin with Cheese "Fondue"




This is your Thanksgiving appetizer.    
You’re welcome.  Believe me, you will be thanking me later.  This baby hits all of your senses; it looks gorgeous, it tastes sublime, and it even sounds good when you take out the sizzling pumpkin full of cheesy goodness.

My girlfriend made this last night for a Fondue and Vintage Champagne themed party.  It was seriously amazing.  It was rich, cheesy, gooey, and delicious.  If you could hear the photo, you would hear the hot bubbly cheese calling your name.   

To serve, you just scoop a little pumpkin from the side along with some cheese and bread and it is the perfect combination.  Seriously.  We scooped it into bowls and ate it with a fork, and we also put it on crackers.    

 
Yield: Makes 8 (main course) servings; Active time: 25 minutes; Total time: 2 hours

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.

Ingredients
  • 1 (15-inch) piece of baguette, cut into 1/2-inch slices (7 ounces total)
  • 1 (7-pound) 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 ounces)
  • 2 1/2 cups coarsely grated Emmental (6 ounces)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Preparation
  1. Preheat oven to 450°F with rack in lower third.
  2. 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.
  3. 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 teaspoon salt.
  4. Whisk together cream, broth, nutmeg, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a bowl. Mix together cheeses in another bowl.
  5. 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.)
  6. 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, about 1 ½ hours. 

This recipe is from Gourmet Magazine November 2008.

Pairing: The vintage Champagne was delicious; we especially liked the 2002 vintage.  

Cheers!


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