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Savory Pumpkin Skillet Pie from Chios

This savory pumpkin skillet pie comes from the Greek island of Chios and it is a good example of how much the Greeks, maybe more than any other Europeans, truly savor the pumpkin and use it in so many regional recipes.

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Ingredients:

1 ½ kg pumpkin
2 large onions, peeled and cut into thin rounds
flour
salt and pepper
250 g soft goat's cheese, crumbled

Procedure:

 

1.  Cut off the stem end and the bottom of pumpkin, stand it up on a cutting board, and, using a sharp boning knife, cut away its rind. Scrape the seeds out with a knife or with a long corer. Cut the pumpkin into round slices, about 1/4-inch thick. Lightly salt the pumpkin slices. Layer them in a colander. Place a plate, then a weight on top, and leave them to strain for one hour.

2.  Open a doubled baking sheet and spread two cups of flour onto it. Toss with salt and pepper- or simply use a large bowl. 

3.  Turn the pumpkin in the flour on both sides.

4.  Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large nonstick or well-seasoned cast-iron skillet.

5.  Place the floured pumpkin rounds in the skillet on medium-low heat.

6.  Layer the onion rounds on top and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

7.  Then make a layer of the crumbled cheese, and finally one more with the remaining flour-dusted pumpkin rounds.

8.  Cover the skillet and let the skillet pie cook for about 15 minutes.

9.  Jerk it back and forth from the handle to keep it from sticking. Remove the cover.

10.  Place a plate over the skillet, and -be sure to wear a potholder to do this - flip the pie over onto the plate and slip it back into the skillet to brown on the other side.

11.  Remove when cooked through and golden, about another 15 minutes, and serve immediately.

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