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As always, I made way too much food for Thanksgiving. We had mashed potatoes and gravy and cranberry sauce and Italian 'Sausage' Stuffing and olives and rolls and smothered cabbage and Seitan Turkey for sandwiches and more stuffing.

The centerpiece of the meal was Pumpkins with wild mushroom stuffing. I made these last year and they were such a hit, that they're already tradition. I pick mushrooms that will give a variety of texture and, this year, I used 8 oz chantrelles and 4 oz shitakes. It didn't seem like as many mushrooms as last year. That may be because shitake mushrooms reduce down so much. You can always just add more. I'm not sure its possible to have too many mushrooms. Also, try to find the smallest pie pumpkins you can. Mine were small enough, that I got 5 pumpkins this year.

stuffed_pumpkins

Leftovers:
This year, I had leftovers (a Thanksgiving MUST!) and a small pumpkin that I baked separately. I scooped out the squash flesh and the stuffing and tossed it together. The resulting pumpkin stuffing, stored more easily in the fridge and still tastes wonderful.

pumpkin_stuffing

Pumpkins with Wild Mushroom Stuffing
Pumpkins:
4 small pie pumpkins (5 if they're real small)
1 tbs olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
Stuffing:
12 oz stuffing cubes
1 cup pumpkin ale
4 tbs Earth Balance Margarine
2 leeks, halved, rinsed and chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
8 oz cremini or button mushrooms
12 oz chantrelle, morrel, shitake or other mushrooms
1/2 tsp dry rubbed sage
1/2 tsp thyme, dry
1/2 cup fresh parsley, minced
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

For the pumpkins, cut the tops off of each pumpkin and scoop out the seeds. Rinse and pat dry, inside and out. Mix a tablespoon of olive oil with 1/4 tsp salt and 1/8 tsp pepper (or a few turns of a peppermill). Rub your fingers in the oil, then coat the inside of each pumpkin. Set pumpkins aside.

For the stuffing, melt the butter over medium-high heat in a large saute pan. Add the leeks, celery, garlic, and mushrooms. Cook, stirring frequently, until the mushrooms have given off their moisture. Stir in the salt, pepper, thyme, sage and parsley. Add the stuffing cubes and poor the ale over the cubes. Toss the stuffing until it is combined thoroughly and the cubes have absorbed all the moisture.

Stuff each pumpkin with the stuffing, pressing down with a spoon to ensure that the pumpkins are well packed. Bake the pumpkins in a preheated oven at 350 for at least an hour, more likely 15 or 20 minutes more.

4 Servings: 611 cal (18g fat, 95g carbs, 18 protein)

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