52 Dinners - Week 41: Fall Bourbon & A Lot of Pumpkin

52 Dinners - Week 41: Fall Bourbon & A Lot of Pumpkin
Vermont treasure Jane Lindholm joined us for dinner last night along with her charming Welsh husband Adrian.
Our talented, effervescent friend Heather from Birds of a Flower join us with her husband Matt and their daughter Augustine, who is the loveliest, most well-behaved child that I’ve ever met.
It was a perfect fall evening, and I’m so grateful that these folks were able to take the time out of their busy schedules to travel all the way up to the Northeast Kingdom on a school night.
We sipped autumnal bourbon cocktails with apple cider, celery bitters, lemon, ginger beer, and Amermelade, served alongside a nice crostini of toasted  baguette, farmers’ cheese, roasted beets, delicata, fennel, balsamic, and smoked salt.
After a sophisticated salad of roasted radicchio, carrot ribbons, plums, and parsley, it was time for the main event: Pumpkin Stuffed With Everything Good!  I loved this one so much that it became weekly dinner party, available at Kingdom Direct. 
This is a Dorie Greenspan recipe that I’ve made my own over the years.
First, prepare a pumpkin as you would for a jack-o-lantern. Then combine cooked bacon and sausage, roasted Brussels sprouts, onions, garlic, dried cranberries, fresh herbs, chunks of cheese, nuts, and cubes of bread (I used croissants). Stuff it all in the pumpkin, pour some heavy cream in there and grate some nutmeg over top, then put the lid on it and bake for a couple hours, or until the pumpkin is tender and the innards are hot and bubbly. The options with this dish are pretty limitless. I often like to add apples and pears or additional dried fruits. Chunks of ham are good. Or substitute rice for the bread and make it gluten-free.
It’s the perfect meal.
For dessert I made an apple & maple tart using my big 13” tart pan, which I served with a warm bourbon caramel sauce, candied walnuts, chévre ice cream, and fried sage. 
See you next week for my sister’s rehearsal dinner!

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