PUMPKIN GRATIN (FRENCH)
After last night's Mediterranean lamb-and-pumpkin stew, I've still got about three pounds of pumpkin meat left from the recycled jack-o-lantern. We really don't care much for pumpkin pies or sweet pumpkin desserts around here; but using it as a winter squash in savory dishes, that's another story!
Tonight, I threw health considerations to the winds and went with a high-fat French concoction as a hearty side dish to a bluefish entree: Gratin de Potiron (pumpkin gratin), based on a recipe in Mireille Johnston's The Cuisine of The Rose, an excellent cookbook of Bourgogne cuisine.
Simmer one pound pumpkin meat cut into large chunks in salted water for 20 minutes. While it's cooking, sautee 1/2 onion and 1 large clove garlic (both minced) for about 10 minutes in a little olive oil. Run the cooked pumpkin, onion and garlic through a Foley mill or equivalent to make a puree, and set it aside in a bowl. Cook 2 thick slices of bacon in the same skillet used for the onion, and crumble it into the pumpkin puree along with one egg. Add salt, pepper and a touch of nutmeg to taste, and turn it into a buttered, ovenproof bowl. Top with about two tablespoons of fresh bread crumbs, 1/4 cup of grated Swiss cheese, and dot with butter. Place in a 375F oven for 30 minutes, until the pumpkin mixture has set and the cheese topping is melted and bubbly, and serve.