In Honor of Gourmet, Part III


I am in denial.  Conde Nast has broken up with me and I am sick about it.  I know Gourmet is just a magazine, but I feel kicked in the gut.

Each month, Gourmet arrives in my mailbox and within 24 hours, I have thumbed through the entire issue.  The photography teasing my taste buds and encouraging my tendency towards wanderlust.  Gourmet is my monthy escape into luxury, indulgence and deliciousness.  Ruth Reichl’s letter from the editor primes me for the pages to come.

Red Wine Caramel Apples from this month’s cover.

The cocktail section brings drinks, new and old, to my table; Anyone care for a well-shaken Brandy Alexander?  All of the history (last year’s Christmas cookie issue was unreal) and an amazing website (where you can find the recipes they can’t fit onto the printed page dating back to 1941) will be gone.

Hold on, I am running for tissues.

The following recipe appeared in last year’s Thanksgiving issue.  I was able to make it twice before sugar pumpkins became unavailable.  At least ten people have asked me for the recipe and at least that many people have asked me if I will be making “that stuffed pumpkin thing” again?  My answer: “Yes. Yes.  Oh my God.  Yes!”

Yup, this unassuming pumpkin stuffed with bread, cheese and cream is that good.

Roast Pumpkin with Cheese “Fondue” from Gourmet Magazine, November 2008
Serves 6 (main course) or 10 (side dish)

As the pumpkin roasts, its skin becomes gorgeously burnished, while inside, slices of baguette, Gruyère, and Emmental coalesce into a rich, velvety concoction that is utterly fabulous served with a scoop of tender pumpkin flesh.

1 (15-inch) piece of baguette, cut into 1/2-inch slices (7 oz total)
1 (7-lb) orange pumpkin
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 cup reduced-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
2 1/2 cups coarsely grated Gruyère (6 oz)
2 1/2 cups coarsely grated Emmental (6 oz)
1 tablespoon olive oil

1.  Preheat oven to 450°F with rack in lower third.  Toast baguette slices in 1 layer on a baking sheet in oven until tops are crisp (bread will still be pale), about 7 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool.

2.  Remove top of pumpkin by cutting a circle (3 inches in diameter) around stem with a small sharp knife. Scrape out seeds and any loose fibers from inside pumpkin with a spoon (including top of pumpkin; reserve seeds for another use if desired). Season inside of pumpkin with 1/2 tsp salt.

3.  Whisk together cream, broth, nutmeg, 1 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp pepper in a bowl. Mix together cheeses in another bowl.  Put a layer of toasted bread in bottom of pumpkin, then cover with about 1 cup cheese and about 1/2 cup cream mixture. Continue layering bread, cheese, and cream mixture until pumpkin is filled to about 1/2 inch from top, using all of cream mixture. (You may have some bread and cheese left over.)

4.  Cover pumpkin with top and put in an oiled small roasting pan. Brush outside of pumpkin all over with olive oil. Bake until pumpkin is tender and filling is puffed, 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours.

Cooks’ note: Pumpkin can be filled 2 hours before baking and chilled.

For the original recipe, click here.

To you Gourmet, I raise my glass “cin cin.”  Your writing, recipes, insights and photgraphy will be sorely missed in my home.

Check out A Mingling of Tastes for more tributes to Gourmet.

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