Creamy Gruyere Pumpkin Gratin (RR)
As many of you know, Monday brought some very sad news to both the magazine industry and the food world – both of which are clearly important to me. Publishing conglomerate Conde Nast made the very hard but important decision to close four of their titles, as well as requiring the rest to submit budget overhauls coming in at 25% under current costs. Read more from the Times here. As hard as it is for me to imagine Anna Wintour sitting down to go over budgets, it’s harder for me to imagine a (food) world without Ruth Reichl and Gourmet magazine. You see, Gourmet is one of the four titles that has been closed (along with Cookie, Modern Bride, and Elegant Bride). This November’s issue will be the last Gourmet to hit the stands. As you can imagine, the food world is reeling. It’s a sad week indeed.
Working for a magazine, I’ve learned what it takes to put out a book every month. Not only editorially, but cost-wise. Every magazine on the planet has taken huge hits over the last year. Ours included. But somehow we like to think that the big, important magazines, like Gourmet with its 68-year run, will always be around. Not so. Ad sales are ad sales, and that is what pays the bills, no matter how many subscriptions are purchased or newsstand copies sold. That’s a drop in the bucket. Magazines survive on advertising. So if the media buyer from Frigidaire or Barilla Pasta thinks that more Bon Appetit readers will buy his product than Gourmet readers, Bon Appetit will get the sale. Which is apparently how it’s going because B.A. is still around and was saved from the chopping block thus far.
We can all hope that Ruth Reichl will be called upon by some other media group or publication and we can all continue to follow her vision elsewhere. For now, the food world mourns.
How timely, then, that I post an enduring recipe that started way back when Reichl was in her 20s, as a fall/halloween treat for herself and friends, and made it into both Tender at the Bone, and Comfort Me With Apples. First, as a quick mention (“gratin”), and then as an actual recipe (“soup”). Last but not least, it made it into Gourmet in the fall of ’08 as “fondue“. Whatever you call it, it’s rich, creamy, delicious, and perfect for fall. Not to mention a wonderfully creative dish that makes an impression when served whole.
Creamy Gruyere Pumpkin Gratin (adapted from Ruth Reichl and Gourmet magazine, serves 2)
1 Sugar Pumpkin, 2-3 lbs
1/2 – 1 cup Coarsely Grated Gruyere cheese
1/2 – 1 cup Cubed Bread from a toasted baguette (see photo)
3/4 cup Chicken Broth
3/4 cup Cream (I used half & half)
1 tsp Nutmeg
Preheat oven to 450 (make sure the rack is low enough so that the pumpkin fits in the oven, including the stem). Cut the top off the pumpkin, like you would to carve it – aim for a 3 inch hole. Scoop out the seeds (reserve for a snack… that post is coming tomorrow), and the pulp and season the inside with salt and pepper. Layer the cheese and bread inside. Whisk together the broth, cream, nutmeg and some more S&P in a bowl, and pour over the cheese and bread, allowing it to absorb. Leave 1/2 – 3/4 inch at the top.
Replace the top of the pumpkin, and place in a greased baking dish. Brush the outside with olive oil, and bake at 450 for 45 minutes – 1 hour, or until the pumpkin flesh is tender enough to scoop. Serve from the pumpkin, along with toast, and scoop out chunks of pumpkin with the fondue.
Filed under: few ingredients, supper | 16 Comments