French Fridays with Dorie: Pumpkin Stuffed with Cosas Ricas

“Cuando llega el mes de octubre corro al huerto de mi casa
Y busco con alegría tres o cuatro calabazas…”

Pumpkin patch at Chateaux de Versailles

There is no autumnal chill in the air, no backyard pumpkin patch like in the little song on top, but come October and November, it’s hard not to get in the mood for the holidays.  The Halloween candy is in the pantry (with a couple of missing pieces) ready for the kids who will show up at our doorstep.  We celebrate Thanksgiving in Puerto Rico with lots of local side dishes sharing the table with the turkey and cranberry sauce.  December and January will roll in, with their avalanche of lechónarroz con gandulesmorcilla…  pork, rice with pigeon peas, and blood sausage – and great parties to share them with family and friends.

There is one traditional Thanksgiving dish that I refused to wrap my head around  – and that brings us to today’s French Fridays with Dorie recipe, Pumpkin Stuffed with Everything Good.

I didn’t get stuffing for the longest time.  Before 2005, my experience with stuffing was limited to watching one of my college roommates nuke bowls of the bagged stuff with water, and eat it like it was the greatest thing in the world.  Why stuff turkey with anything but good old mofongo (plantain mash) or yucca?  Wet croutons?  Pfft…

On the first Thanksgiving I spent with my in-laws, Eduardo declared he was going to make stuffing.   I looked at him in disbelief, maybe even dismay.  To my surprise, he baked a savory bread pudding with spinach, artichokes, and Brie that changed my mind about well-done stuffing.  “Wet breadcrumbs” done right can be absolutely magical.   The “everything good” part of Dorie’s recipe – as well as her comments on its adaptability – reminded me of that bread pudding.

My pumpkin had Spanish flair.  The cosas ricas – yummy things – I used to stuff it included diced jamón serrano, Manchego cheese, garlic, and a generous dusting of sweet paprika.  Since I bought a 5 pound pumpkin – weighing 4 pounds after removing the seeds and stringy parts – I added more of everything than what the recipe suggested.  I did fail to bump up the baking time beyond the suggested two hours.  Even though it was more than edible, the pumpkin could have used an extra half hour in the oven.  I roasted a pork tenderloin the day after and placed the leftover half on a Pyrex baking dish in the lower rack of the oven.  It turned out great!

French Fridays with Dorie is an online cooking group were we work our way Around My French Table, Dorie Greenspan’s award winning cookbook.   Normally we do not share the recipes from the book, but this one was featured in Epicurious.com.  Click here for more photos of  the pumpkin and here to see how the rest of the Doristas did theirs!

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Author:Adriana

Adriana is a financial analyst by day, avid home cook in the evenings, and food blogger and runner in the strange hours between those two. When not in the kitchen concocting meals and stories to pass around, she is out looking for the next great bite (or the ingredients to make it at home), checking what's new at the market, or planning a trip around great food and wine.

39 Responses to “French Fridays with Dorie: Pumpkin Stuffed with Cosas Ricas”

  1. October 28, 2011 at 6:39 am #

    Oooh I love your cosas ricas 🙂 I think there are so many possibilities for changing up the fillings in this one too!

  2. October 28, 2011 at 9:13 am #

    The cosas ricas sound delicious!

  3. October 28, 2011 at 9:24 am #

    Your cosas ricas look delish ! This dish is so versatile and I am glad that Dorie shared this recipe in her AMFT 🙂 I love it ! and I shall make this again 🙂

  4. October 28, 2011 at 9:53 am #

    Love the Spanish flair! This pumpkin recipe is just open to so many possibilities, I love it.

  5. October 28, 2011 at 10:13 am #

    I want more info about this spinach, artichoke, and brie stuffing!! That sounds AMAZING. I’ve never cooked with brie. Hmmm…maybe i need to stuff a pumpkin with brie. hee hee! Ham would be delicious in this dish! I’m glad you liked it, and your impression of stuffing is improving, bit by bit.

    • October 28, 2011 at 10:20 am #

      I linked the recipe, Eileen! It’s from Emeril Lagasse, which makes sense given all the time he lived in New Orleans. They really like bread puddings in the Crescent City!

  6. October 28, 2011 at 11:22 am #

    Ei … this stuffed pumpkin with brie … oh … my. Long live cosas ricas!

  7. October 28, 2011 at 11:31 am #

    That’s a beautiful, HUGE pumpkin! And that stuffing looks heavenly…totally full of cosas ricas. I’m also distracted by the thought of your husband’s magical stuffing of spinach, artichokes and Brie…I suspect that would work really well in a pumpkin too!

  8. October 28, 2011 at 11:39 am #

    Wow, what a great post. Beautifully written and beautifully baked. I love your changes giving a Spanish flare. I felt like I was reading a lovely magazine article…well done.

  9. October 28, 2011 at 12:19 pm #

    I love the different sized and coloured pumpkins. Your spicy filling sounds yummy and I know my husband would really enjoy this more with a little kick.

  10. October 28, 2011 at 12:51 pm #

    Ooh, your version looks fabulous. And I had to copy the recipe for bread pudding while I was here, too…no wonder I ever get anything accomplished 🙂 Thanks for sharing both!

  11. nana
    October 28, 2011 at 1:21 pm #

    “I love your description of stuffing, ” wet bread crumbs”. I learned how to make stuffing
    using a combination of traditions from my mother and also my mother-in-law. I use italian
    sausage meat crumbled and cooked, and add it to the bread stuffing package with toasted
    pine nuts. This has turned out to be a family favorite and I look forward to making it every
    year. Your pumpkin looks delicious and the photos are great.

  12. October 28, 2011 at 1:42 pm #

    Adianna, I was going to serve a pork tenderloin with this but served it as an appetizer instead. Yours looks absolutely wonderful! Love the addition of the manchego cheese and the added spices! Have a nice weekend!

    • October 28, 2011 at 9:57 pm #

      My plan was to serve this with pork tenderloin as a main course, but halfway through the baking time I decided we would just have the pumpkin. It was definitely large enough for two main course servings and two generous sides the following day. I even made a rub/paste for the tenderloin with sage to play off the fall flavors!

  13. October 28, 2011 at 5:52 pm #

    Great photos, and I loved the changes you made in the filling. They also sounded like everything good.

  14. October 28, 2011 at 6:46 pm #

    Great story! The photos are great, and loved the post. I’ve not had cosa ricas but will have to search for them in the store. We are in Palm Springs, so we also don’t have autumnal chill, but I still get in the mood for the holidays!

    • October 28, 2011 at 9:51 pm #

      I’m sure you will be able to find the very yummy Manchego cheese and Serrano ham. Serrano ham is very similar to prosciutto – the slices are usually slightly thicker.

  15. October 28, 2011 at 8:33 pm #

    oh wow! your stuffed pumpkin looks very comforting. really enjoyed reading your post.

  16. October 28, 2011 at 9:43 pm #

    I had the opposite personal history with stuffing and wish I did not love it as much as I do. Just like everyone prefers the recipe they grew up with on Thanksgiving….Nana always prepared the Italian side of the family’s sausage, pignola nut, breadcrumb stuffing. Oh my goodness it was amazing and this year we are now looking forward to putting that combo into a pumpkin, a la Dorie. We loved this one big time and your results are fabulous too !!

    • October 28, 2011 at 9:54 pm #

      It sounds fantastic! I hope you include a picture of Nana’s stuffing in the pumpkin for your cook’s choice post on Thanksgiving week.

  17. gaaarp
    October 28, 2011 at 10:14 pm #

    Your pumpkin looks great! I’ve never thought of stuffing (or dressing or filling, as we also call it) as “savory bread pudding”, but I guess that’s really what it is.

  18. October 28, 2011 at 11:09 pm #

    I love savory bread pudding and this filling reminded me of just that. Love your Spanish variation. I will have to try that. The Puerto Rican side dishes for Thanksgiving sound delicious.

  19. October 29, 2011 at 12:13 am #

    all your stuffings sound great! I have to admit, one of my favorite dishes for Thanksgiving is baked stuffing…. 🙂 I can’t believe your roommate would just soak breadcrumbs in water and nuke it… ack! lol

    • October 29, 2011 at 11:51 am #

      It was the stuffing mix from a bag – it must have had some sort of seasoning in it. You know what’s probably worse? College sweetheart from South America (no stuffing there!) loved it when she gave him a little to try it. I think that was scarier… 😉

  20. October 29, 2011 at 8:25 am #

    The stuffing combo does sound pretty darn tasty.
    Don’t feel bad about being stuffing shy – I grew up on the stuff & always struggled with it. I just hadn’t found the right combination yet.

  21. October 29, 2011 at 9:26 am #

    I loved your stuffing-story and, yes, cubed bread needs to be embellished. How about sharing your artichoke, spinach and brie stuffing! Would Eduardo do that. Your Cosas Ricas IS yummy things. What a wonderful Post, Adriana. I look forward to investigating your Blog. It appears to be educational and interesting as well as filled with great recipes.

  22. October 29, 2011 at 10:24 am #

    KKKKKK rico!

  23. October 29, 2011 at 4:49 pm #

    That looks divine! Love that you used jamon serrano and manchego cheese two of my faves!

  24. October 29, 2011 at 6:37 pm #

    LOL – I am glad that you have come around to the virtues of wet breadcrumbs.

  25. Teresa
    October 29, 2011 at 10:30 pm #

    Love your version of this recipe! And the photo of the pumpkin patch is great. I’ve been a fan of savoury bread puddings for a while, now, and the best stuffings remind me of them, too.

  26. October 29, 2011 at 11:11 pm #

    That is a great photo of the pumpkin patch. Your additions sound so delicious and I like the color of your pumpkin. So glad that you were won over to the stuffing side. 🙂

  27. October 29, 2011 at 11:52 pm #

    That looks delicious! I really like the photo of the pumpkin patch! Thanks!

  28. October 30, 2011 at 1:20 am #

    Love, love your post. I’ve only been to Puerto Rico twice, but it’s terrific to be reminded of your wonderful island! Your pumpkin looks lovely and sounds delicious.

    I made mine with cornbread and andouille sausage dressing. Pretty yummy.

  29. October 31, 2011 at 8:09 am #

    THAT is exactly why Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of the year. We celebrate it in every corner of the country, but with slightly different local and family twists. Where I grew up in Vermont, we always served a slice of cheddar cheese with our apple pie. When I mention this to anyone outside of New England they look at me like I’m crazy, but back home it was completely normal and delicious!

    Happy to hear that you enjoyed your stuffed pumpkin. We loved it.

  30. November 1, 2011 at 4:11 pm #

    Oh my! Machengo is one of my favourite sheep’s milk cheese! The waiting is the hardest part for this dish. 🙂

  31. October 12, 2014 at 12:41 pm #

    We should try this! We loved your pumpkin stuffed with beans and ham. I love the idea here of using Spanish flavors. Very nice.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Pumpkin Stuffed with Beans and Ham (Habichuelas Guisadas en Calabaza) - Great Food 360˚ - October 20, 2013

    […] fall, aka pumpkin season!  I had so much fun a few years ago when I made the Pumpkin Stuffed with Cosas Ricas, and wanted to reinvent that dish, but with Puerto Rican flavors.  Rice and beans are staples in […]

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