There's going to be a new dish on our Thanksgiving table this year, an authentic Native American dish.
I found the recipe in Spirit of the Harvest, by Beverly Cox and Martin Jacobs. After twenty years the James Beard Award Winning book has been reissued. Each section of the book describes the culture, diet and ceremonial use of food by Native Americans in different areas of North America.
The picture of the stuffed baked pumpkin looked so beautiful, I couldn't resist adding it to our menu. This little sugar pumpkin is stuffed with a mixture that is very similar to a Thanksgiving dressing. After giving it a test run, I can hardly wait to place it next to the turkey and cranberry sauce. It's going to make a beautiful presentation and a delicious addition to our table.
I couldn't resist giving another stuffed squash a try while working on a vegetarian dish for my non-meat eating friends. I tried both butternut and acorn squash for this dish. The acorn squash proved to be a better receptacle for the tortellini with pumpkin blue cheese cream sauce. The squash alone is so delicious when roasted. The addition of the pasta and sauce simply doubles the 'goodness'. One acorn squash will provide six side dish servings.
May your table be complete this Thanksgiving, your blessings be many and the spirit of gratefulness fill your holiday.
1 4- to 5-pound sugar pumpkin
2 teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon dry mustard
1 to 2 tablespoons vegetable oil or rendered fat
1 pound ground venison, buffalo, or beef (I used sweet Italian sausage--delicious!)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 cup wild rice, cooked
3 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon crushed dried sage
¼ teaspoon pepper
Put pumpkin in the pan and bake for 1 ½ hours, or until tender. Add more water to the pan as necessary to avoid sticking. Cut pumpkin into wedges, giving each person both pumpkin and stuffing.
Acorn Squash with Tortellini and Blue Cheese Sauce
2 T butter, melted
8 T shredded Parmesan Cheese
1 package cheese Tortellini, cooked one minute less than package directions, and drained
2 cups half and half
1 (15oz.) can pumpkin puree
2 T butter
One-half teaspoon salt
One-half teaspoon pepper
One-fourth teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage
5 oz. Blue cheese crumbles
Fried sage leaves as garnish (optional)
Preheat oven to 350°.