20 January 2011

pumpkin fondue

Fondue. Pumpkin. Cheese. Melted cheese inside a roasted pumpkin.

Mum and I made this as a side for Christmas dinner.

It may be Summer in New Zealand but because my Mum is super thrifty she stores pumpkins under the house that she's saved from Winter. 

We got a little excited and pretended we were working in a professional kitchen. 

AKA Mum and I screamed 'YES, CHEF!!' at each other after anything we said.

I am so prepared for culinary school.

The original recipe calls for a mix of Gruyere and Emmental cheeses but my mother doesn't like those cheeses so out they went. 

I was a little bummed but the fondue was divine and anyway, have you seen how much those cheeses cost?

Pumpkin Fondue
Adapted from Gourmet

The pumpkin Mum and I used had, to us, a normal amount of flesh but we couldn't help but wish there was more fondue to go with the pumpkin. to get the right proportions, I think a little of the flesh must be left behind :(. Also, this is a very relaxed dish in that you can use whatever size pumpkin you like, using more or less baguette and cheese mixture appropriately. We used a 5lb pumpkin so my other ingredient amounts have been calculated accordingly!

We oiled a large roasting dish and where the pumpkin didn't cover the oil, it started to smoke like crazy! So, make sure to only oil a roasting dish where the pumpkin will be sitting.

3/4 of a baguette, cut into 1/2 inch slices
3 1/2 kilo orange pumpkin
1 teaspoon salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup reduced-salt chicken stock
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
2 cups grated Edam cheese
1 cup feta cheese
Olive oil for brushing

Preheat oven to 450F/225C with rack in lower third. Place the baguette slices in a single layer on a baking tray and toast them in the oven until tops are crisp even though the bread will still be pale, about 7 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Make a hole in the top of the pumpkin by cutting a circle (3 inches in diameter) around the stem. Use a spoon to scrape out all of the seeds and any loose fibres, including the top of the pumpkin. Sprinkle/press 1/2 teaspoon of salt onto the inside of the pumpkin.

In a medium bowl, stir together the cream, nutmeg, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.

In another medium bowl, stir together the cheeses.

Put a layer of toasted baguette in bottom of pumpkin, then cover with 1/2 cup of cheese and about 1/4 cup cream mixture. Continue layering bread, cheese, and cream mixture until pumpkin is filled to about 1/2 inch from top, making sure to use all of the cream mixture (you may have some cheese and baguette left over). Pop the pumpkin's top back on.

Oil a roasting dish where the pumpkin will be sitting (too much oil exposed to the high temperature and it will smoke!) and position the pumpkin on it. Brush all over the pumpkin with olive oil. Bake until pumpkin is tender and filling is puffed, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Note: Pumpkin can be filled (and chilled) 2 hours before baking.

06 January 2011

SUCCESS: dried fruit compote

I made this compote ages ago but never got around to posting it because I didn't like the pictures. I've been in the middle of holidaying/moving house so decided I needed to get over myself and just post it! It may be brown but it tastes like a double rainbow.