Sunday, January 13, 2019

Chilean Pumpkin or Winter Squash Casserole

Plate of Chilean Pumpkin Casserole on Spinach
Oldie But Goodie Vegetarian

Recipe from Moosewood Cookbook


Way back in 1974, Mollie Katzen hand-wrote, illustrated, and published the first Moosewood Cookbook, with recipes she and other Moosewood Restaurant cooks dreamed up. It became an instant classic for creating satisfying vegetarian meals. Both the restaurant and cookbook have survived the intervening 40-plus years. Many new revised editions have been published, but this recipe, from my original handwritten edition, is delightfully old-school. It's a tasty way to use up leftover pumpkin, either from autumnal displays or from a recipe like Argentinian Beef Stew in a Pumpkin.

Sliced piece of Chilean Pumpkin Casserole
Leftovers Are Firmer and Equally Delish
The combination of the pumpkin, corn and bell pepper, thickened with eggs, South of the Border spiced, and topped with extra-sharp cheddar makes a satisfyingly-textured and tasty main dish, or can be served with meats and other veggies. I doubled the original recipe, since I had twice the amount of pumpkin on hand to use up, which also makes it perfect for potlucks.

For those who have puzzled over the chile ingredient, vs. chili, I offer the following, although internet sources prove somewhat contradictory. Many cooks say that chile, as in this recipe, refers to the pure ground Ancho pepper, and chili means a blend of spices including chile, garlic, cumin, oregano, etc. I used an organic pure Ancho chile powder.

Enjoy this easy and warming winter casserole with any winter squash or pumpkin, or even canned pumpkin.

bright yellow casserole on spinach
Sunshine in Winter
Chilean Winter Squash
serves (4-6) 8 – 10

Butter for greasing pan
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
2 – 3 cloves garlic
1 tsp. ground cumin
½ tsp. pure chile powder
½ tsp. ground coriander
1/8 tsp. more cayenne
1/8 tsp. black pepper
1 cup chopped green bell pepper
1 cup chopped red bell pepper
1 tsp. salt
4 cups cooked pureed squash or pumpkin
2 cups corn, fresh or frozen
4 beaten eggs
1 cup grated sharp cheddar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Butter a two-quart baking pan or casserole dish (I used 9” x 12”).

Sauté onions, garlic, cumin, chile powder, coriander, cayenne, and black pepper in olive oil over medium high heat (375 degrees F.) until onions and garlic are translucent, stirring frequently.  Add green and red bell peppers and salt. Cover and lower heat to medium (325 – 350 degrees F.)

Put pureed squash or pumpkin in large bowl. Stir in sautéed mixture. Stir in corn. Taste and adjust seasoning. When mixture is lukewarm or cooler, stir in beaten eggs. Mix thoroughly.

Spread mixture into buttered casserole dish. Top with grated cheese. Cover casserole dish and bake for 20 minutes.

Uncover casserole dish and bake an additional 15 minutes, until cheese is melted and casserole is hot and bubbly.

Onions sauteing in spices
Katzen's Brilliant Idea: Spice the Onions First
corn, pumpkin, cooked onions and peppers
Colorful Array of Vegetables
casserole in dish ready to bake
A Little Cheesy Topping
casserole baked and complete
A Few Minutes in the Oven and then Perfection!

piece of leftover Chilean Pumpkin casserole on a plate
Delicious Casserole Makes Satisfying Leftovers

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