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Werewolf Stuffed Pumpkin

I’ve listed this one as an entree because if you leave out the bacon it makes a great vegetarian dinner.

Makes 2 very generous servings

1 pumpkin – about 3 lbs
Black Pepper – freshly ground
1/4 lb Stale Bread, thinly sliced and cut in 1/2″ chunks
1/4 lb cheese – gruyere, Emmenthal, cheddar (or a combination) – cut in 1/2″ cubes
2-4 cloves garlic – coarsely chopped
4 strips bacon – cooked until crisp, drained, chopped
1/4 cup fresh chives or scallions; sliced/snipped
1 tbsp fresh thyme – minced
2 tbsp Werewolf Sauce
1/3 cup heavy cream
pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

1. Center rack in oven and preheat to 350 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, or find a Dutch Oven with a diameter a bit larger than the pumpkin.  If you bake the pumpkin in a casserole dish it will keep its shape, but stick to the dish.  Using a sheet brings risk due to maneuvering a softened pumpkin, but makes for a more interesting presentation.

2. Using a sturdy knife carefully cut a cap out of the top of the pumpkin at a 45 degree angle.  You want enough off the top to be able to work within the pumpkin.  Clear away the strings and seeds from the cap and inside the pumpkin.

3. Season the inside of the pumpkin generously with salt and pepper and place it on the baking sheet or in the pot.

4. Toss the bread, cheese, garlic, bacon and herbs together in a bowl.  Season with pepper (there’s probably enough salt from the bacon and cheese) but taste to be sure.

5. Pack the mixture into the pumpkin.  It should be well filled, having a little too much is not bad.

6. Stir the cream, Werewolf and nutmeg together and pour it into the pumpkin.  The ingredients shouldn’t swim in cream, but they should be nicely moistened.

7. Put the cap on the pumpkin and bake for ~120 minutes.  Everything inside the pumpkin should be bubbling and the flesh of the pumpkin tender enough to be pierced easily with the tip of a knife. Check at 90 minutes, and remove the cap at this time to allow excess liquid to bake away and the top of the stuffing to brown a little.

8. Transfer to a platter and serve.  Be careful since the pumpkin will be heavy, hot, and wobbly.

Serve as wedges of pumpkin and filling, spoon out portions of filling, or pull pumpkin meat into the filling and mix together.