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Eat Those Halloween Pumpkins!


 

Last night our sidewalks, lawns and porches saw the likes of waist-high witches, goblins and fairies in search of chocolates, pennies and nickels, crispy rice treats and other gummy, stretchy, sweet and sour confections.

Whew, it is the morning after and time to sort through the treasure filled pillow cases to figure out what mom and dad get to stash in their pockets and what the kids will no doubt gobble up. It is also time to take down the Halloween decorations and figure out what to do with those fresh, un-carved pumpkins. Throw them out? NO WAY! Here are two quick and delicious recipes for those golden orange gourds.

Harvest Mashed Potatoes
 
4 potatoes, scrubbed, peeled and cubed
1 large apple (color of your choice), peeled, cored and cubed
1 small pumpkin, scrubbed, peeled (use a sharp paring knife) and cubed
2 cups heavy cream (can also substitute half and half or milk)
1 stick unsalted butter
Salt and pepper, to taste
 
Place cubed potatoes, apple and pumpkin cubes in a large soup pot and cover with cold water. Place a lid on pot and bring to a boil. Once water is boiling, tilt lid to remove steam or remove lid completely. The potatoes contain starch which is what causes it to boil over if the lid is closed. Starting with cold potatoes/pumpkins (any kind of root vegetable) and cold water is best as the veggies cook evenly all the way through instead of being super mushy on the outside and firm on the inside. Once a fork or knife easily pierces a piece of pumpkin, drain off all the water and mash everything until it is smooth. Use a potato masher for occasion lumps in the mash or use a stand mixer to incorporate more air and create a perfectly smooth mash. In a small sauce pan, heat butter and cream to a light simmer and then combine with potato mixture. Adding cold butter and/or cold milk to hot potatoes causes them to become starchy and seize up. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with a roasted chicken or pork tenderloin – perfection!
 
 
Simple Curried Coconut Pumpkin Soup
 
1 small pumpkin, scrubbed, peeled (use a sharp paring knife) and cubed
1 15 oz can coconut milk
2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
Olive oil, as needed
1 t curry powder
½ t chili powder
Salt and pepper, to taste
 
Preheat oven to 400 degrees and place cubed pumpkin on sheet tray. Drizzle with enough olive oil to lightly coat and then sprinkle liberally with salt, pepper, chili and curry powders. Toss to coat and roast pumpkin in oven for 30-35 minutes or until a fork can easily pierce a pumpkin chunk. Remove pumpkin from oven and allow to cool slightly then mash by hand or use a mixer (see soup instructions above). Another alternative is to place pumpkin in a blender (what you use to make smoothies and puree) in batches and add some stock to loosen up the mixture and allow it to puree until smooth. Be careful not to fill the blender more than halfway as the pressure from the blender combined with the heat from the pumpkin can cause that lid to pop off and the kitchen ceiling with then be decorated in a festive shade of orange. Once pumpkin is all pureed pour into a soup pan and add remaining stock and coconut milk and heat through. Season with salt and pepper to taste. For some additional flavor and depth, add some caramelized onions, shallot and garlic to the pumpkin while it is being pureed. Yum!
 
And let us not forget roasted pumpkin seeds - scoop them out, rinse off all the strings and spread them on a paper towel lined sheet tray to dry out over night. Toss the dried seeds with 1 t melted butter, salt, pepper, chili pepper..whatever tastes good to you and roast on an unlined sheet pan at 325 degrees for 30 minutes or until golden brown.
 
Keep on Cookin’: Herby Goodness     ~     Kitchen Tips A-Z 

Comments

  • jane 4 years ago

    Thank you for the hint on the cold milk/butter to the hot potatoes. I didn't know that!!!

  • Chef Nancy 4 years ago

    Hey Jane - you're welcome! I learned it the hard way :-)

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