If you've been around Scrumptious Street a while, you know I love Forbidden Rice. I'm always looking for new ways to make it and this Fall I was watching
(Iron Chef America *blush*) a show which featured chefs cooking against each other. The challenger made my favorite forbidden rice and served it in a little pumpkin. It was so charming and inviting, I had to try it myself. With the abundance of pumpkins this autumn, it seemed appropriate. While I know for a fact my recipe is different -- I don't remember the chef nor their recipe -- I have just borrowed the presentation and worked backward from there. Here is my "Sugar Pumpkin Forbidden Rice".
There could be many variations on how to do this, as well as usage of different kinds of squash or pumpkins. Hell, if I were you I'd try them all! Or, if I were me....The sugar pumpkin was sketchy, I must admit. I roasted it first, because that's what you do to get the best flavor out of pumpkins or squash. Well, after roasting these little guys I wasn't too impressed. Matter of fact, I almost threw them out. But, I hate wasting food and so I put on my best culinary creativity and rescued the pumpkin. I must admit, this turned out terrific!! A little thought to the balance of flavors on the tastebuds and I had a winner. They came in all sizes, I chose two that were individual serving sizes about as big as a large grapefruit.
Here's how it went:
1. Preheat oven to 400˚F. Wrap pumpkins individually in aluminum foil and set on a baking sheet. When oven gets to temperature, bake pumpkins for 1 1/2 hours.
2. Remove pumpkins and let cool slightly. Cut off the top (this is really, really hard, be careful not to cut yourself), scoop out the flesh and seeds with a grapefruit spoon. Wash and save seeds for a later toasted/spiced snack. Cut pumpkin flesh into diced cubes.
3. Add stock to a saucepan and bring to gentle boil. Add rice and reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 30 minutes, until the rice is nearly done. While rice is cooking, thoroughly wash out the pumpkin shells.
4. In another skillet, heat the butter and then add the onion. Saute the onion until it looks glassy and then add the pumpkin. Stir gently about 30 seconds and add the brown sugar, salt and pepper. Cook until the pumpkin firms up slightly, about 10 minutes. Add the fresh lemon juice and stir.
5. Add the cooked rice to the skillet with pumpkin, toss together and do a final seasoning check and adjust for taste.
6. Scoop the rice and pumpkin back into the pumpkin shells and serve.