Spicy Fall Stew Baked in a Pumpkin

10829medium_0Spicy Fall Stew Baked in a Pumpkin
Serves 2 w/leftovers

Ingredients:
1 medium onion, diced (1 cup)
2 Tbs. olive oil, divided
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch dice
2 cloves garlic, minced (2 tsp.)
1 tsp. chili powder, preferably New Mexican
1 tsp. ground cumin
½ tsp. dried oregano
½ lb. tomatillos, husked and quartered (1½ cups)
1 15-oz. can hominy, rinsed and drained
¾ tsp. salt
1 3- to 4-lb. pumpkin, either sugar pie, cheese, red kuri, kabocha, or buttercup squash
2 oz. grated sharp Cheddar cheese (½ cup packed)
Instructions:
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Heat 1 Tbs. oil in pot over medium heat. Add onion, bell pepper, and garlic. Sauté 7 minutes, or until softened. Stir in chili powder, cumin, and oregano, and cook 3 minutes more, or until spices darken.

2. Add tomatillos, hominy, 1/2 cup water, and salt. Cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, partially covered, 10 to 12 minutes, or until tomatillos are softened. Uncover, and cook 5 minutes more to thicken stew, if necessary.

3. Meanwhile, cut top of pumpkin around stem to make lid. Scoop out pumpkin seeds and strings. Rub inside of pumpkin with remaining 1 Tbs. oil, and sprinkle generously with salt. Sprinkle cheese in bottom of pumpkin.

4. Fill pumpkin with stew, then top with pumpkin lid. Place on parchment-covered baking sheet and bake 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until pumpkin flesh is fork-tender. Remove from oven; let stand 5 minutes.

5. Scoop stew, including pumpkin, into bowls and serve hot, topped with Poblano-Cucumber Salsa (Click here for recipe).

Source: Vegetarian Times

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