Total time: 1 hour, 40 minutes
There's more to do with pumpkin than put it in a pie, Test Kitchen manager Noelle Carter found during the Thanksgiving holidays. The rich flavors of this stuffing -- nutty seeds, sweet corn and cornbread, and smoky, spicy Spanish chorizo -- make this an amazing side dish at any time of year, and with or without turkey. Pumpkin seed oil can be found at well-stocked supermarkets and gourmet cooking stores. Spanish chorizo can be found at many markets, including La Espanola Meats in Harbor City, Spain Restaurant in Los Angeles, and Surfas in Culver City. For a little extra heat, roast two to four jalapenos with the poblanos, then clean, stem, seed and chop them before adding to the stuffing.
Servings: 6 to 8
Note: Pumpkin seed oil can be found at well-stocked supermarkets and gourmet cooking stores. Spanish chorizo can be found at La Española Meats in Harbor City, Spain Restaurant in Los Angeles, Surfas in Culver City and select Spanish markets. For a little extra heat, roast 2 to 4 jalapeños with the poblanos, then clean, stem, seed and chop them before adding to the stuffing.
10 cups cubed corn bread, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/4 cup pumpkin seed oil, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
1 1/4 teaspoons salt, divided
Freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups shelled pumpkin seeds
4 poblano chiles
6 tablespoons ( 3/4 stick) butter, divided
2 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 pound Spanish chorizo, cut crosswise into 1/8 -inch slices
1 1/2 cups corn, from about 2 medium corn cobs
2 onions, cut into 1/2 -inch dice
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/3 cup dry white wine
3/4 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon Spanish smoked paprika
2 to 3 cups chicken broth
1. Heat the oven to 375 degrees.
2. In a large bowl, gently toss the corn bread with 3 tablespoons pumpkin seed oil, the thyme, oregano, one-half teaspoon salt and several grinds of pepper. Spread the cubes in a single layer on a large, foil-lined baking sheet and toast for 20 to 25 minutes, until lightly golden, shaking the pan every 5 minutes for even coloring. Remove from heat and allow to cool, then place in a large bowl.
3. In a medium bowl, toss the pumpkin seeds with the remaining tablespoon pumpkin seed oil, one-fourth teaspoon salt and several grinds of pepper. Place the seeds on a foil-lined sheet and toast until fragrant, puffed and lightly golden, about 10 minutes. Remove and cool, then add to the corn bread.
4. Meanwhile, roast the chiles on the stove top directly over a hot burner until charred on all sides, about 5 minutes. Remove to a sealed paper bag to rest until cool enough to peel. Peel the charred skin (do not rinse under water as this will remove flavor). Halve the chiles lengthwise, stem and seed. Cut the halves crosswise into one-eighth inch strips. Set aside.
5. Heat a large heavy-bottom skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons butter and the olive oil, then the chorizo and cook until lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Remove the chorizo with a slotted spoon, leaving the fat in the pan, and add the chorizo to the stuffing mixture.
6. Stir the corn and onions into the pan and season with one-fourth teaspoon salt and several grinds of pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the corn is crisp-tender and the onions have softened and are translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until it is aromatic, about 30 seconds. Stir in the white wine and cook, scraping any bits of flavoring from the pan, until the white wine has almost evaporated, 2 to 3 minutes. Cool slightly, then add to the stuffing mixture.
7. Gently toss in the cumin and Spanish paprika, and season the stuffing with one-fourth teaspoon salt, or to taste. Melt the remaining butter and drizzle over the stuffing. Drizzle 2 cups chicken broth over the stuffing and gently toss. Add additional broth as desired.
8. Place the stuffing in a buttered, 13-by-9-inch baking dish or casserole and place in the oven. Cover and bake for 20 minutes, then remove the cover and continue to bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the top is lightly toasted. Remove and serve.
Each of 8 servings: 772 calories; 25 grams protein; 49 grams carbohydrates; 7 grams fiber; 55 grams fat; 18 grams saturated fat; 89 mg. cholesterol; 1,491 mg. sodium.