Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Trick or treat?

The kids weren't really sure how to answer that...
I tried a new recipe today for "Dinner in a pumpkin." Most of the little diners here didn't really give it a chance judging solely on it's looks, but I thought it was delicious. The "stuffing" reminded me of the Stuffed Green Peppers mom used to make when I was younger. A hamburger, tomato, rice mixture that is quite yummy.
Feel free to try it out for a festive Autumn meal...if you dare!

Dinner in a Pumpkin

1 medium sugar pumpkin
1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 cups tomato juice
3 cups shredded cabbage
1/2 pound fresh green beans, washed and trimmed
1 cup uncooked white rice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Wash pumpkin, cut off top, scrape out seeds and discard.
Place hamburger in a large, deep skillet. Crumble and cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Drain fat, add onion and garlic; saute slightly.
Add sugar, Italian herbs, salt, pepper, tomato juice and rice; mix thoroughly.
Layer inside of pumpkin with 1/3 of cabbage, green beans and beef and rice mixture. Repeat layers, replace lid and bake for 2 to 3 hours. Be sure to cook in a jelly roll or roasting pan to catch the juices!

Note: I used canned tomatoes in their juice instead of tomato juice, but would suggest trying Rotel seasoned canned tomatoes next time for a little more flavor. As you serve the stuffing, scrape a little pumpkin flesh from the inside to add to the mix. The pumpkin complements the stuffing wonderfully.

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