Add a decorative, flavorful dish to your holiday feast

By Jim Bailey

With the holidays quickly approaching, it seems odd that summer and fall are almost behind us.

These puddings will make the perfect side dish for your big ol’ turkey this year and these mini pumpkins are ready now in stores and orchards and road-side stands everywhere.

6 mini pumpkins (about 8 ounces each)
1 chipotle or other hot pepper
1 small onion, minced
1/2 (10-ounce) pkg. frozen corn, thawed
1/2 (10-ounce) pkg. frozen sliced carrots, thawed
3-4 ounces spicy ham, such as pancetta
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1/2 teaspoon dried, crushed or rubbed sage
1 1/2 cups milk
4 eggs
Salt and black pepper to taste

Cut the top from each pumpkin and scoop out all seeds and membranes with a spoon.

Add a couple tablespoons water in each, place the lids back on and microwave, separately, for 1 minute. Test by pressing against the sides.

If you need more time before they are just tender enough to give, microwave 30 seconds at a time until done. Let each cool enough to handle before continuing.

Preheat oven to 350-degrees F.

In a bowl, whisk together milk and eggs, setting aside.

Cut in half, remove stem and seeds and mince hot pepper; set aside. Dice carrots small.

In a large skillet, mix onion, corn, carrots, butter, minced hot pepper, sage, salt and pepper together well.

Over medium high heat, cook until everything is starting to brown while stirring frequently, about 10 minutes.

Place hollowed out pumpkins on a very lightly greased baking pan and evenly divide corn mixture into each pumpkin, leaving 1 cup aside.

Place tops of each pumpkin alongside each filled pumpkin and bake about 20-30 minutes, or until each pumpkin is soft but not starting to cave in or droop.

Remove from oven and serve, with the additional corn mixture evenly topping each, reheating if needed. Serve with pumpkin tops.

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Filed Under: Community and Arts LifeThe Yankee Chef

About the Author: Jim Bailey is a third generation Yankee Chef, New England food historian and newspaper columnist. His first cookbook, simply titled The Yankee Chef, has been published. He welcomes all feedback, questions or comments at

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