Instructions: Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Cut off pumpkin top and clean inside, removing seeds and stringy fibers. Wrap the pumpkin top and the bottom separately with aluminum foil. Place wrapped pumpkin in a large oven-proof dish (i.e. Pyrex) filled with about 2-3 cups of water. Check it periodically to make sure the water doesn’t evaporate completely and crack the dish. Bake it at 425 degrees for about 1 1/4 hours. Remove from oven and let rest. To make sure it’s cooked, insert a fork inside the flesh of the pumpkin. It should yield easily but not be too soft. It will cook more once it’s filled and then will be perfect for scraping with a spoon to create amazing and wonderful flavors in each bite. Cook the rice at this time if you’re serving it with the pumpkin.
Preparation Time: 1 hour and 45 minutes (includes baking)
Number of servings: 8-10 people
1 medium to large pumpkin (the darker ones are sweeter and perfect for this dish)
1 pound fresh or frozen raw shrimp (defrosted)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound fresh or frozen scallops (defrosted)
1 cup diced white or brown onions
1 tablespoon crushed garlic
2 cups diced roma tomatoes
1/2 cup Crème Fraiche (optional)
1-2 pkgs Cream cheese cut lengthwise into 10-12 strips.
1/2 cup coconut milk (optional)
1 cup diced green bell peppers
1 teaspoon chopped fresh jalapeño or a pinch of red pepper flakes
Salt to taste
Chopped fresh cilantro for garnish
Sauté the onions in a large skillet until tender. Add garlic and sauté for about 2 minutes. Be careful not to burn it. Add tomatoes and bell peppers and sauté for 5 minutes. Add shrimp and cook for 2 minutes or until they start to turn pink. Add scallops and cook for 3 more minutes. Do not overcook shrimp or scallops. Add Crème Fraiche and coconut milk. Cook for 3 minutes and season to taste with salt and jalapeño. Coat the inside of the pumpkin with cream cheese slices. Add seafood mixture and bake for 8-10 minutes or until cheese is melted. Garnish with fresh cilantro and serve with flavorful rice such as Basmati or Jasmine. This dish makes a great and unique presentation. It is one that your guests will never forget.