When Shawna Coronado sent me that image you see to your right and told me to make something with it for the 2009 Nude & Eco-Cheap Cooking Initiative, I got really excited. See, I love pumpkin and I love to make savory meals out of it. And I knew, knew I could make a delicious dish with it for only $11.50.
So today we’re making
Baked Rice In a Pumpkin
For only $7.00!
I hope you’re ready for this. It’s easy to make and easy to clean up. It’s delicious and it’s got the coolest serving presentation: bake the rice in the pumpkin, then serve it tableside in a pumpkin. It’s like the snake meal from Indiana Jones, but it’s pumpkin. And there’s no baby snakes. But other than that, just like it.
Also cool is the fact that this is one of those recipes that you can experiment with to your heart’s content. All you need to do is keep the proper ratio of water to rice and make sure the pumpkin bakes through and you are good to go.
Baking Rice In a Pumpkin
Baking rice in a pumpkin is simple. Cut the pumpkin. Hollow it out. Put all of your ingredients into the pumpkin. Bake. Come back in an about 30 minutes. When the pumpkin is fork tender, the dish is done.
You will need:
- 1 pound breakfast sausage ($3.50)
- Sugar pie pumpkin (the larger, especially the taller, the better) (free from Shawna’s garden)
- 2 cups white rice ($1.00)
- 4 cups chicken stock ($2.00 or make veggie stock for free)
- 1 green pepper, seeded and diced (free from Shawna’s garden)
- 1 tablespoon thyme (50 cents)
Preheat oven to 350.
Okay, so I fibbed a bit. There is one additional step. Brown and drain your sausage before you dump it into the pumpkin. For safety purposes if nothing else.
EDIT: I fibbed again. There’s another step I want to introduce. Go ahead and make the rice in the stock before you put it in the pumpkin. It will ensure the rice gets cooked.
Cut as little of the top off the pumpkin as you can and hollow out the insides. Save the seeds for toasting.
Put the cooked rice, sausage, green pepper, and thyme in the pumpkin. Put the top back on the pumpkin.
Bake for 30 minutes. Come back and check to see if the top of the pumpkin is fork tender and the rice is done. If neither is true, check back every 10 minutes. I have found it’s nearly impossible to overcook the pumpkin, so don’t worry about cooking time.
Bring the pumpkin table side, cut and eat right there. Enjoy!
Shawna took that delicious picture.