This is a holiday favorite of mine at Thanksgiving and Christmas. The colors of the ingredients in the dish mark the season of festivity and flavor. The dish is really easy yet unique and always receives oooo and ahhhs! I hope you try it! I also like to make it with parsnips and pumpkin mixed. Enjoy!
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Place pumpkins in microwave; cook on HIGH for 9 minutes. Cut partially cooked pumpkins in half, scoop out seeds and discard (or season and bake seeds). Brush olive oil in each half and sprinkle with garlic salt; roast for 20 minutes or until fully cooked and soft. Place 2 pumpkin halves upright on a cookie sheet. (If needed, pumpkin can be fully cooked in microwave with out the use of a conventional oven.)Peel remaining two pumpkins, and cut into 1-inch cubes. Set aside.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet, on medium-high, fry bacon 8 minutes or until almost crisp; stir in onions and paprika and sauté for 5 minutes or until onions are beginning to soften. Turn heat to medium, add cranberries and maple syrup; stir continually for 1 minute. Stir in orange juice, zest, salt, lemon pepper, and pumpkin cubes; cover, and cook on medium-low for 5 minutes or until pumpkin is fully cooked. Pour into pumpkin bowls and sprinkle with cheese and chives; bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes or until warm throughout and cheese has melted. Sprinkle with toasted pecans or walnuts. Cut pumpkins into quarters to serve.
Variation: If you are feeling festive add 1 tablespoon of Bourbon to the maple syrup!