A Fall Feast With A Stuffed Pumpkin And Homemade Profiteroles!

Whenever we require a favor from a friend or family member, the way we pay them back is with food. Since buying and moving into our house this summer, we've required a lot of favors and we've paid them back in cookies, pizza, quiche, pie, etc. But when my dad spent two days helping us install our new washer and dryer, we knew we owed him BIG TIME. That is how our fall feast came about! We invited my parents over for dinner and cooked them up a feast including spinach salad with beets, goat cheese, and pumpkin seeds, a stuffed pumpkin with bread and cheese, and profiteroles with hot fudge sauce for dessert. Everything came out fantastic (if I do say so myself), and actually a lot simpler than it sounds.

Spinach Salad With Beets, Goat Cheese, And Pumpkin Seeds

14 oz baby spinach
3 medium beets, boiled, peeled, and chopped into bite sized pieces
3 oz goat cheese
a handful of roasted pumpkin seeds
1 shallot
1 clove of garlic
3 oz olive oil
1 oz balsamic vinegar
1 tsp dijon mustard

  1. Mince the garlic and shallots and whisk with the other ingredients in a container
  2. Put spinach and beets in a bowl and toss with dressing
  3. Sprinkle the top of the salad with pumpkin seeds and crumbled goat cheese
Stuffed Pumpkin
Adapted from Epicurious and Dorie Greenspan
This will serve 4-6 people, depending on how hungry they are :)

1 pumpkin, about 8 pounds
Salt and freshly ground pepper
3/4 of a loaf of Italian bread, stale or baked at 300 degrees for 15 minutes, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
1/2 pound Gruyère, grated
6-7 garlic cloves (to taste), split, germ removed, and coarsely chopped
About 1/2 cup snipped fresh chives
1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
About 2/3 cup heavy cream
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

  1. Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment, 
  2. Cut a cap out of the top of the pumpkin like a Jack-o-Lantern. Clear away the seeds and strings from the cap and from inside the pumpkin. Season the inside of the pumpkin generously with salt and pepper, and put it on the baking sheet.
  3. Toss the bread, cheese, garlic, and herbs together in a bowl. Season with pepper and pack the mix into the pumpkin. Stir the cream with the nutmeg and some salt and pepper and pour it into the pumpkin. 
  4. Put the cap in place and bake the pumpkin for about 2 hours—check after 90 minutes—or until everything inside the pumpkin is bubbling and the flesh of the pumpkin is tender enough to be pierced easily with the tip of a knife. Remove the cap during the last 20 minutes or so, so that the liquid can bake away and the top of the stuffing can brown a little.
  5. Serve by scooping out the stuffing along with the pumpkin meat. Enjoy!

Profiteroles With Ice Cream And Hot Fudge Sauce
Adapted from Bittman and Cooks Illustrated
I promise these are less intimidating than they sound. And they are so delicious. Also, I should note that this hot fudge sauce was so good that my dad ate it plain with a spoon.

Your favorite ice cream (we did this two different times, once with vanilla and another time with pumpkin!)

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/8 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 large eggs

10 ounces semisweet chocolate , chopped
1/3 cup sifted cocoa powder , Dutch process
1/3 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup light corn syrup
1/3 cup heavy cream
Pinch table salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons unsalted butter , cut into pieces


  1. Heat oven to 425 degrees; line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Put the butter in a saucepan with the salt and 3/4 cup water; bring it to a boil over medium-high heat and stir until the butter is melted. Reduce the heat to medium and add the flour; continue to cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture pulls away from side of pan and forms a ball, about 30 seconds. Remove from the heat and let cool for 3 to 4 minutes.
  2. Add the eggs to the slightly cooled flour mixture one at a time, beating well after each addition — the batter will come apart after each egg is added but will reunite as you stir. Transfer the batter to a resealable plastic bag or pastry bag and make a 1/2 -inch cut in one corner. Pipe mounds about 1 inch high and 1 to 2 inches in diameter onto the prepared baking sheet, leaving about an inch of space between.
  3. Bake until puffed and golden, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove the profiteroles from the oven and pierce the bottom of each profiterole once with a skewer, to keep them from getting soggy. Return to the oven; prop the oven door open with a wooden spoon and let the profiteroles crisp up for about 3 minutes. Cool on sheet on a rack.

  1. Melt chocolate in small heat-proof bowl set over pan of almost simmering water until smooth, stirring once or twice. Turn off heat and whisk in cocoa until dissolved; set aside.
  2. Warm sugar, corn syrup, cream, salt, and 1/3 cup water in medium, heavy-bottomed, nonreactive saucepan over low heat without stirring until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to medium-high; simmer mixture, stirring frequently, about 4 minutes.
  3. Turn off heat and whisk in vanilla and butter. Cool mixture slightly, about 2 minutes; whisk in melted chocolate. Serve warm. (Can be refrigerated in an airtight container at least 10 days before serving; reheat over simmering water or in microwave for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes, stirring several times, until sauce is shiny and completely smooth.)
TO SERVE: Use a serrated knife to slice each profiterole in half around the equator, fill with a scoop of ice cream and drizzle with hot fudge sauce


Megan said…
What an amazing pumpkin feast. That salad looks incredible!

Just saw your comment on my gift guide post... I bought one of those isi whippers, but I haven't used it yet. It's such a cool tool... I'm hoping to do a lot with it.
culinarian said…
this all looks to die for, thanks so much for sharing! My mouth is watering. i would love to be able to share what I know with you, so if you are interested, check out my site :)
Medifast Coupon said…
Wow! You guys did all that, awesome.

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