‘Jack Be Little’ Stuffed Mini Pumpkins
Hallowe’en may be over but Autumn is in full swing with all shapes and sizes of pumpkin and squash at our local French market.
It has been pumpkin galore so far with comforting pots of Leek and Pumpkin Soup, or warmed Pumpkin and Parmesan Financiers for pre-dinner drinks, and – one of our family favourites – Pumpkin and Mushroom Chestnut Tart.
Somehow we’re particularly in love with the Potimarron, the tough, thicker orange-reddish-skinned round pumpkin that even tastes nutty like a chestnut and the skin is edible once cooked. Known as onion squash in the UK, Japanese or Red Kuri Squash, it’s less watery, and – crikey, call me mad, but I’ve also made Red Kuri Squash macarons!
Mini Pumpkins – Best Edible Decoration
When it comes to the smaller, mini pumpkins, don’t just put them down to decorating the house or your Autumn table: they are the best edible decoration that are so quick and simple to prepare.
Already I mentioned them to you here on le blog (originally published 15 November 2012) as Jack-be-Little – but they’re also known as Pomarine in France, although they originated in Colorado, USA. Like Potimarrons or Red Kuri Squash, once cooked, the skin is edible and they’re easy to stuff. Their cute size means they’re great as a side-dish for any festive Autumnal table, parties – or what about Thanksgiving?
I didn’t give them enough justice on my creamy lemon sauce recipe for roast chicken or turkey, and realise they need their own recipe post – so here’s the most easy recipe to make ‘Jack Be Little’ Stuffed Mini Pumpkins.
Use your Creativity
Each mini pumpkin is stuffed with a mushroom, a couple of cooked chestnuts, crème fraîche, fresh herbs, a rasher of bacon and cheese but you can simply follow the recipe below and adapt it to your own tastes: Vegetarians or Vegans omit the bacon and cheese, and replace with some cooked wild rice or quinoa and nuts – it’s up to your creativity.
I’m sticking with what my vegetable man at our local market told me to do years ago: simply cook them first in the microwave, slice off their tops, scoop out the middle seedy bit and replace with this delicious filling and then finish off for a few minutes under the grill. It’s as simple as that!
Best Autumnal Party Food
If you’re preparing them for a party, it couldn’t be easier. Just prepare them in advance earlier in the day and when ready to serve, simply finish them off under the grill or bake in a hot oven for 10-15 minutes. And I’ve noticed that everyone so far adores having their own personal pumpkin on their plate! So my Jack-be-Littles, you’re about to be Jill-ed…