Spicy Stew in a Pumpkin Shell
This delicious stew makes a wonderful Thanksgiving dish. Baked in a pumpkin shell it is a beautiful seasonal addition to the table.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch dice
- 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 1 tsp. chili powder
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 lb. tomatillos, husked and quartered (you can used canned tomatillos reducing cooking time accordingly. Green tomatoes can be used instead of tomatillos but the taste will not be the same.)
- 2 cups cooked hominy (grits) or 1 15-oz can hominy, rinsed and drained?
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 3-to 4-lb pumpkin (or several small pumpkins for individual servings), either sugar pie, cheese, red kuri, kabocha, or buttercup squash
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Heat 1 Tbs. oil in pot over medium heat. Add onion, bell pepper, and garlic. Saute 7 minutes, or until softened. Stir in chili powder, cumin, and oregano, and cook 3 minutes more, or until spices darken. Add tomatillos, hominy, 1/2 cup water, and salt. Cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, partially covered, 10 to 12 minutes, or until tomatillos are softened. Uncover, and cook 5 minutes more to thicken stew, if necessary. Meanwhile, cut top of pumpkin around stem to make lid. Scoop out pumpkin seeds and strings. Rub inside of pumpkin with remaining 1 Tbs. oil, and sprinkle generously with salt. Fill pumpkin with stew, then top with pumpkin lid. Place on parchment covered baking sheet and bake 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until pumpkin flesh is fork-tender. Remove from oven; let stand 5 minutes. Scoop stew, includng pumpkin, into bowls and serve hot. If using small individual pumpkins, the stew can be eaten directly from the pumpkin shell bowl.