Powered by Blogger.

A recipe for sausage stuffed pumpkins...and a mid Autumn dinner party menu

I do not know how all the fancy bloggers and instagrammers manage to throw a pretty and delicious dinner party without all their guests getting hangry about posing for photos and not tucking in, but it was not on the cards for me on Friday night. Actually, I do know, 1) they can probably persuade their friends to pipe down one sec when it is their actual income (rather than this teeny tiny side hustle this blog is for me) and 2) they probably are less full of malbec at their dinner party photo taking time than I was, and therefore can feign greater commitment to the blogging cause.

Anyway, I am sorry but the only evidence you have of my (I think rather great) tea light, copper fairy light and jam jars of dahlias Autumn "tablescape",plus that I roasted some squash and pumpkins stuffed with sausagemeat , sage and cheese is the slightly dark photo above, which arguably is mainly of plates. So you will just have to take my word that these squash looked delicious and tasted delicious and therefore you should make them and serve them too. (Maybe for Thanksgiving if you are serving this stateside? Or just any day and every day if you are from this side of the pond cos Autumn so pumpkins so).
Ok fine, I will throw you one completely irrelevant but light and airy interior shot to up the aesthetically pleasing-ness of this post a little bit (plus show off the £12 dahlias I bought from Sainsburys and my new bob.)

Back to the pumpkin and the dinner party menu

Mid Autumn Dinner Party for 6

I cooked this on Friday night, and it was relatively easy, uses a lot of the same ingredients and just has a really lovely Autumnal homely sage and apples and roasted and comfort foodness coming throughout.

To start: Crusty bread with balsamic and olive oil (as you'll have some bread left over from the pumpkins)

Roast chicken
Mixed squash and pumpkin stuffed with sausage, apple and sage stuffing

Frozen custard


1 Roast chicken
500g tub of shop bought fresh custard
Tin (397g) of condensed milk
100g of double cream
Vanilla essence/pod
4 apples
375g pack of sausage meat
Pack (or about 3 handfuls) of fresh sage
325g of ground almonds
275g + 2 teaspoons of sugar
2 lemons
Handful of flaked almond
1 onion (or a big handful of frozen chopped onions if you are lazy like me)
400g fresh sourdough loaf
200g pack of gruyere cheese
2 oranges
1 fennel bulb
Handful of cashews
2 handfuls of broad beans
8 eggs
3 mixed medium sized squash and pumpkins (big Sainsbury's I've found have a great collection in an assortment of colours and flavours)
400g packet of butternut squash slices
Nutmeg, olive oil (and/or other oils or butter if you prefer), balsamic, salt/pepper, garlic cloves for seasoning

 3 hours to go 

1. Season your chicken and place in your slow cooker on 4 balls of aluminium on high (like these people here)

2. Mix shop bought fresh custard (500g) with a tin of condensed milk (397g), a teaspoon of vanilla essence (or a fresh vanilla pod) and 100g of double cream. Pour into a tin lined with greaseproof paper and put in freezer.

3. Peel, core and dice 4 braeburn apples. Place 3 of these apples in a pan on a medium heat with a squeeze of lemon juice, and 2 teaspoons of sugar. Allow to simmer and boil, before reducing heat and placing the saucepan lid for 10 minutes.

4. Meanwhile measure 325g of ground almonds and 275g of sugar for Nigella's recipe.
Place in a bowl. Fry onions in a separate frying pan in butter or oil and when they've started to brown, add other chopped apple. 

5. Once the apples cooked with lemon and sugar have softened, and you've been able to mush them with a fork, and you've finished frying the onions and apples transfer both apple mixtures into (separate) cool bowls to help them cool.

6. Set your oven to 160 degrees celsius. Get your mixed squash and pumpkins. Cut off the tops as "lids". Scoop out seeds and insides and chuck away. Pop the carved out pumpkins and squash on a oiled baking tray. If one or two have curved bottoms and can't sit up properly, slice some of the bottom off (without slicing so much you've made an actual hole in the bottom) to allow it to sit straight. Place chunks of already prepped butternut squash around the pumpkins and squash. Pop a garlic clove in each pumpkin, sprinkle whole tray with a handful of sage leaves, drizzle in olive oil and season with salt, pepper and a hint of nutmeg.

7. Put about half of your 400g sourdough loaf in a blender, and blend to make breadcrumbs. Grate gruyere cheese. 

8. Mix the cooled onions and apple mix with the sausagemeat and another handful of sage leaves, and about 3/4 of the breadcrumbs. Cover bowl and put the mixture aside in the fridge for now.

9. Mix the cooled apple puree with the ground almonds and sugar mix. Whisk 8 eggs separately and add to this mix, stirring in every second egg. Pour total mix into a buttered/oiled cake tin, and set aside.

90 minutes to go

10. At this point it should be about 90 minutes until your dinner is going to be served. Take your chicken out of the slow cooker, and put in a roasting tray, alongside the other half of the lemon (not used in the apple puree) and even the post puree juiced half of the lemon. Drizzle in olive oil (or slap on some butter) and season again with pepper and salt. Add a couple of garlic cloves, and a few torn sage leaves to the roasting tin. Place the chicken in the oven.

11. Chop oranges by removing the top and bottom, and then slicing off the skin (so you have sort of a big hexagon shaped block). Slice into thin slices. Thinly slice fennel. Pop in a salad bowl with recently sliced oranges. 

12. Fry cashews until toasted and cook broad beans in hot water. Drain beans and put aside to cool.

1 hour to go

13. Place pumpkin tray in oven.

4o mins to go

14. Take sausage mix and make into balls. Take the chicken out and place these stuffing balls around the chicken in the roasting tray. 

15. Add your cashew nuts and broad beans to orange fennel salad. 

20 mins to go

16. Pop the bread and cheese out on the table.

17. Remove the pumpkins and chicken from the oven. Take the garlic cloves out of each chicken. In a separate bowl mash with a fork the butternut squash pieces. Add to this bowl the stuffing balls, and 3/4 of your remaining breadcumbs and cheese. Mix together and then fill each pumpkin or squash with the sausage/squash/bread and cheese mix. Sprinkle the remaining bread and cheese on top.

18. Allow chicken to stand.

Time: Call your pals in for bread and oils, while your pumpkins get an extra 15-20 mins in the oven for the cheese to melt, and to get a lovely breadcrumb crispy top.

After 15-20 mins, bring out the chicken to carve, alongside the pumpkins and the salad (which you can drizzle with olive oil and a squeeze of lemon last thing).

Turn the oven up 20 degrees (to 180) sprinkle the cake mixture in the tin with a handful of flaked almonds, and pop in the oven to cook whilst you are enjoying your main course. It should be ready in 40-60 mins in my experience. Transfer the frozen custard to the fridge to unfreeze a little (or just leave out if really frozen!) 

Once everyone has finished their mains your cake should be ready to serve warm with a scoop of frozen custard.

I think a dinner party in only 18 steps is a sort of win no? Or is that just because I am so good at adulting now?

The aftermath..

PS. If you want to see more hurried photos taken by an already relatively stressed host (ie not very good ones) see other hosting ideas here, or real dinner parties I survived hosting here

No comments