Karen Opalka’s Dinner in a Pumpkin
Prep time: 30 minutes; cooking time:1 to 1/2 hours
- 1 small to medium pumpkin
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 medium leek, cleaned and chopped
- 2 Tbsps. vegetable oil
- 1 ½ to 2 lbs. ground beef
- 2 Tbsp. soy sauce
- 2 Tbsps. brown sugar
- 1 cup mushrooms, (fresh or canned)
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- 1 (10 3/4 oz) can of cream of chicken soup (can substitute cream of celery)
- 1 1/2 cups cooked rice (use your favorite—white, brown or wild rice)
- 1 (8 oz) can sliced water chestnuts, drained (optional)
- Garnish—chopped parsley
- Preheat oven to 350° F.
- Cut off pumpkin top; thoroughly clean out seeds.
- Paint face on pumpkin w/permanent marker or acrylic paint; set aside.
- In large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat; add onions and leeks, sauté until tender.
- Add beef, cook until browned; season w/Salt & Pepper; drain and discard grease from skillet.
- Stir in soy sauce, brown sugar, mushrooms and soup into meat mixture; lower heat to medium.
- Simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally; add cooked rice and water chestnuts.
- Season w/Salt & Pepper (if necessary); spoon mixture into cleaned-out pumpkin shell.
- Cover top of pumpkin w/foil; put whole pumpkin on baking sheet; bake for 1 hour or until inside of pumpkin flesh is tender.
- Put pumpkin on serving plate, spoon out meat mixture and scoop out pumpkin flesh.