A Brazilian classic, this Camarão na Moranga, or Shrimp Stuffed Pumpkin, is a delectable dish to serve for any occasion!
Preheat oven to 375˚F. Cut out the top of the pumpkin. Scoop out pulp and seeds; discard. Brush inside of the pumpkin with 2 tbsp of the oil; season with 1/2 tsp each salt and pepper. Place cut side down on parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Roast for 30 to 35 minutes or until tender but still firm.
Meanwhile, heat remaining oil in a large skillet set over medium heat; cook onions, garlic and jalapeño for 3 to 5 minutes or until slightly softened. Add shrimp, and remaining salt and pepper; cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until shrimp start to curl and turn pink. Stir in tomato paste and diced tomatoes; bring to boil. Remove from heat. Stir in cream cheese and half of the Cheddar cheese and cilantro.
Spoon shrimp mixture into roasted pumpkin; sprinkle with remaining Cheddar. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until Cheddar melts and pumpkin is very tender.
Meanwhile, prepare rice according to package directions. Serve stew on a bed of brown rice. Sprinkle with remaining cilantro.
If desired, reserve pumpkin seeds for roasting. Spread pumpkin seeds in a single layer on paper towel-lined baking sheet. Let stand for 1 to 2 hours or until completely dry. Toss with oil and salt; roast in 325˚F oven, stirring occasionally, for 20 to 30 minutes or until golden and crisp. Let cool completely. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
The Brazilian name for this recipe is Camarão na Moranga, which literally translates to shrimp in pumpkin, and as pumpkins are harvested in the fall, this dish is the perfect seasonal holiday dish! There is no denying that whether you make this for your family, friends or a potluck dinner, this shrimp stuffed pumpkin will be the most interesting and flavorful dish on the table. Make sure to add it to your list of Fall Favorite Comfort Foods.
Although it might sound a bit complicated, this stuffed pumpkin dish is simple and really consists of three main steps:
1. Cut the top and roast the spooned out pumpkin
2. Make filling and stuff roasted pumpkin
3. Return pumpkin to the oven with filling and cheese on to
4. Serve with rice and enjoy!
While your pumpkin is roasting, get your filling together!
Start with a base layer of onions, garlic and spicy jalapeño until they are soft, to cook your shrimp. Once the shrimp and vegetable mix is ready, stir in your tomatoes for more added flavor and liquid along with the tomato paste to increase the thickness. After all of those flavors are blended, add in your fresh and creamy flavors like cream cheese, Cheddar and cilantro.
All of these ingredients will set together even more when roasting in the pumpkin to create a stew-like mixture. We suggest serving over Brown Rice to absorb everything together for flavor in every bite! Swap in your favorite rice variety of choice or use what you have on hand.
If you’re a fan of show-stopping meals, wow your guests with this dish of Butternut Squash stuffed with Pork, Jasmine Rice and Chopped Apple or these Rice and Plantain Rellenitos for a warm and crispy appetizer or sweet dessert!
Alternatively, when pumpkin is not in season, substitute acorn or butternut squash with some of the pulp removed to make room for the stew. For individual-size servings, serve in sweet potato skins.