I made this festive stuffed pumpkin yesterday. My in – laws came to visit us. What should I make for dinner? I needed to improvise but I had enough things in my fridge, freezer & in my pantry. So, I came up with this:
Recipe: For 4 persons
1 medium pumpkin, cut horizontally into 2 halves ,seeds & stringy bits removed with a spoon
2 x 125 gr brown whole grain long rice, in sachets, that only need 12 minutes of cooking
1 handful of dark brown raisins
2 handfuls of frozen chopped up leeks
300 gr of organic pork mince
1 white onion, peeled & finely cut up
a fruity EVOO
unrefined coconut oil
black pepper, finely grinned
1. Preheat your oven to 175°C , ( 347 F ) ( I use a fan oven ) , for about 10 to 15 minutes. Adjust the temperature to your oven. If you a normal oven, preheat to 200°C ( 400 F ).
2. Take your pumpkin halves & place them, cut side up, in a non stick oven dish & season with grinned black pepper & sea salt. Drizzle that fruity EVOO a bit over the pumpkin parts. Place in the center of the oven for about 20 to 30 minutes & bake until tender & cooked trough. Test with a knife. Leave it in the oven but turn the heat off.
3. In the meantime, cook the rice until tender. Drain well & cut the sachets open with a knife. Leave in the cooking pot with fitting lid to keep warm. On an other heat, at the same time, take a large non stick pan, heat up on medium. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons coconut oil & heat up. When sizzling & hot, add onion & fry until browned. Stir often. Add the minced pork & add some sea salt , black pepper & a few dashes of smoked paprika. Add more if you need to. When nearly cooked, check the seasoning & add the raisins. The raisins will absorb the flavours in the pan & will be heated through too!
I needed to add a bit more smoked paprika & a bit more sea salt. It has to taste fab! You must taste the meat, the raisins & the smoked paprika at the back of your tongue.
4. In another cooking pot,pour a bit of that fruity EVOO. Now, add the frozen leeks. Add a bit of hot water, if necessary. Prevent burning. Add some sea salt & grinds of black pepper to make it taste lovely. It musn’t taste bad. When cooked & hot, place a fitting lid & keep warm. Drain the excess liquid if you have to.
5. Take a large bowl & add the cooked rice, the cooked leeks, the meat & raisins & mix it all through. For the last time, check the seasoning. It must taste: Waw!
6. Take your oven pumpkin dish out of the oven & fill it with the rice meat mix. Push the mix with the back of a spoon into the pumpkin half. Just fill it up really well & replace in the oven for about 10 minutes to heat up & to let the outsider crisp up a bit too! It will become a bit crunchy that way!
7. When ready, take out of the oven & place on the table. Transfer each pumpkin half to a plate & cut each half into 2 equal pieces so that every person has 1 half. The pumpkin flesh is so tasty & yummie!!
Enjoy, my friends!
Note: You can substitute the raisins with dried cranberries if you want. Or just add them, 1 handful extra
You can add fresh herbs, like rosemary or thyme would work well this way.
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