An Ode to the Pumpkin

Well, Halloween just passed and fall is coming to an end. It actually snowed here on Saturday and trick or treat-ers were very few. Apart from candy (ok, ok, not a real food), there are so many “fall” foods that I enjoy and I must say that our happy jack o’ lanterns come pretty darn close to the top! This versatile squash can be used in a large variety of ways, from appetizers all the way through to desserts and this is what makes it so awesome in the kitchen.

I’d like to explain my favorite method to cook and prepare pumpkin, because too often I hear people complaining about how complicated it is. Well it really isn’t! So before you reach for that can, grab a nice big orange one and follow these basic instructions! First we…Slice the pumpkin in half. Yes, just in half. Arm yourself with a bread knife, the serrations seem to help and these knives also tend to be much longer which in this case is an advantage! Two…empty those seeds…and grill them! They are packed with good stuff such as protein and magnesium and with a little bit of olive oil and salt they are really tasty! Three…spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray, flop down both sides of the pumpkin (or one at a time if you chose a huge one) onto the sheet skin side up (meat facing down) and bake in the oven at 450F until skin has browned and pumpkin has collapsed (the pumpkin caves in as it bakes). This can take from around 40mins to 2hrs depending on your pumpkin. It may never collapse… Check it regularly by poking the meat with a fork and watching for water accumulation at the bottom of the cookie sheet. This usually happens when the pumpkin is done. Four… spoon out flesh and use, or freeze! It’s ready for using! Now wasn’t that simple? Here are some of my favorite recipes!

Soups and entrees

Curried pumpkin soup with maple caramelized onions

It’s yummy, and it’s healthy! The site it is posted on will even give you the calories per serving! The above is my version of a recipe I found on here.

Roasted pumpkin … sounds dull, but it is very versatile! You can roast it with maple syrup and get something like this glazed squash recipe or mix it like I did with sweet potato, carrots and brussel sprouts served with chicken, which I was inspired by Kath’s recipe. Eat it hot and serve it cold over salad the next day to get something like this!

Use it as a vegetable! Like in my version of “chana masala”, an Indian chick pea curry dish in which I add cubes of pumpkin and cauliflower florets to the onion and tomato base. It’s also delicious in vegetarian chili!

Nom nom… next post: onto desserts!


Valerie said...

You might want to add that passing the flesh through cheesecloth makes pumpkin pack : It removes excess water and give a wonderful pumpkin purée ready to be used in oatmeal or pies...

My parents used to boil the pumpking, and then puree it. I showed them this way of cooking it and they're never going back ! So simple...

Frédérique said...

True Val, thanks! I also edited the post to include the missing links(oops)!
I put some of your pumpkin pack in my maple yogurt this morning...soooo gooood...

Post a Comment

The Lemon Aid © 2008 | Créditos: Templates Novo Blogger