LAMB WITH PUMPKIN ("MEDITERRANEAN RIM")
As promised, here's the Mediterranean Rim dinner I fashioned tonight out of last night's jack-o-lantern. Credit Ruth Spear's The Classic Vegetable Cookbook for the general principle, which I tweaked to make it mine.
1 pound lamb shoulder, trimmed of all bone and fat and cut into cubes
1 cup fresh plum tomatoes, skinned, seeded and diced
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
Juice of one lime, about two tablespoons
2 cups homemade chicken broth mixed with 2 cups water
1 large green pepper, seeds removed and cut into 1-inch squares
1 teaspoon fresh mint leaves, cut into fine strips
Salt, pepper and dried red pepper flakes to taste
Prepare the pumpkin by scooping out the seeds, paring off the outer skin, and cutting the remaining "meat" into 1-inch cubes. Combine the lamb, broth and water and 1 teaspoon salt in a heavy Dutch oven and bring to a boil; simmer for about two minutes, skimming off any scum that comes to the surface. Add the tomatoes, garlic and lime juice. Cover and simmer over very low heat for 45 minutes. Add the pumpkin and green pepper and continue at a fast simmer, with the lid set askew so some of the liquid will boil off, for 45 minues more, until the lamb and the pumpkin are very tender. Off heat, stir in the mint leaves, pepper, red pepper flakes and salt (if needed).
I served it over bulghur (1 cup simmered in 3 cups water for 15 minutes with 1 teaspoon salt) and crusty Italian bread and declared it a meal in itself.
I've still got a LOT of pumpkin left. Anybody got any other favorite ways to prepare it as a main dish or vegetable serving rather than a dessert?