A Pumpkin Recipe to Try

Illustration by Elizabeth Brown
Illustration by Elizabeth Brown

It’s a Schildhause family tradition to eat stuffed pumpkins every fall. Back when I was a young’un living in Visalia, Calif., we would venture to the fine dining establishment the Vintage Press to feast upon this creation by chef David Vartanian.  He shared his recipe with my family and we now create the dish on our own each fall. The filling, a creamy sauce loaded with chicken and Jarlsberg cheese and topped with peppercorns, tastes great with the softened flesh of a perfect baby pumpkin. Enjoy! Makes 6 servings.


6 whole baby pumpkins

8 ounces smoked chicken breast

2 ounces Jarlsberg cheese, grated

2 tablespoons  chili paste

1 onion, chopped

1 tablespoon butter

8 ounces heavy cream

1 tablespoon chives

1 dash salt & pepper, freshly ground

Lemon Butter Sauce

1 cup dry white wine

1 shallot diced

1/4 cup whipping cream

1/4 pound unsalted butter

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

1/2 tablespoon red peppercorns


With a sharp knife, remove the top of the pumpkin, discard the seeds and season the inside of the pumpkin with salt and freshly ground black pepper in a small sauté pan until soft.  In a bowl, combine the smoked chicken, Jarlsberg, onion and chives.  Mix well, and season with salt, pepper and chili paste to taste.

Fill the pumpkins with the smoked chicken mixture, and pour the heavy cream into each pumpkin.  Place the tops back on each pumpkin, cover with aluminum foil and roast in a 350° F over for 30-45 minutes or until the pumpkins are tender.  To serve, place 1 ounce of lemon butter sauce on 6 plates and place a whole pumpkin on each plate.

Lemon Butter Sauce:

In a saucepan, combine the white wine and the shallots. Reduce over high heat until 1/3 remains.  Add the whipping cream, bring to a boil, and reduce until the mixture thickens slightly.  Reduce the heat and slowly whisk in the butter a little at a time, do not boil. Season the sauce with the lemon juice, salt and peppercorns.

Hungry for more? Check out the Foghorn Online for a great candy apple recipe.



5 thoughts on “A Pumpkin Recipe to Try

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