Recipes: Daniel Boulud's Gratin and Stuffed Pumpkin

In a medium saute pan over medium heat, add the bacon and cook, stirring, until crispy. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon, drain on a paper-towel lined plate and set aside. When the cooked kabocha squash is cool enough to handle, remove the flesh with a spoon and cut into a rough dice. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the Half and Half with 2 tablespoons of Thanksgiving Spice Blend, and salt and pepper to taste.

Sprinkle the inside of the cheese pumpkin with salt, pepper and the remaining Thanksgiving Spice Blend. Begin filling the pumpkin, starting with a layer of bread, then half of the bacon, half of the pecans, half of the pumpkin seeds, half of the chives and half of the cheese. Pour in about half of the Half and Half mixture and lightly press down. Repeat with remaining filling ingredients to reach the top of the pumpkin. Pour in the remainder of the Half and Half to reach the top of the pumpkin. Return the cap to the pumpkin and transfer onto an aluminum foil lined baking tray. Bake for 1½ to 2 hours, or until the cheese pumpkin is cooked though.

Serve warm, scooping a bit of the cheese pumpkin from the sides along with the filling.

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