Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Cooking with Pumpkin
I'm about to turn this year's mantle display into all sorts of deliciousness.
This time of year everyone is getting excited for pumpkin pie, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin bread, pumpkin soup... The canned stuff is fine, but this is cheaper (especially if you've got pumpkins lying around), fresher, and more fun.
Here are a few tips for turning your autumn decor into food.
To select your pumpkins:
Know that smaller, heavier, and harder=better. In other words, use little sugar pumpkins, not Jack-o-Lantern pumpkins.
To roast or bake (Taken directly from The Joy of Cooking):
Bake halves, quarters, or slabs of pumpkin cut side down on a rimmed baking sheet. Remove the seeds and strings before baking. Add 1/4 inch water to the pan and cover the pan with aluminum foil. Bake in a 400 degree oven until tender when pierced. Halfway through the baking, pieces can be turned over with tongs, brushed with butter or mild oil, and sprinkled with brown sugar and nutmeg or other spice. Allow 30 to 45 minutes for small pieces.
Obviously these pieces of cooked pumpkin (or squash) make a delicious side dish for any dinner. Or, if you prefer, you can puree and save the pumpkin to be used in recipes.
To puree and preserve:
Scoop the roasted flesh out and puree in food processor. Freeze in ziploc bags, packed flat.
My favorite pumpkin recipes are:
(I add mushrooms and almost die of happiness with every bite.)
What are yours?