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View Full Version : Pumpkin..... any decent recipes for them ?



fatbloke
10-15-2011, 05:48 AM
Ok, so the commercialisation of Halloween is a relatively recent thing over here (last 10 or so years I think).

Now, while veg like pumpkin, butternut squash, etc seem to be available in a lot of places, and while the good people of the US seem to rave about them for cooking (let alone mead making), the couple of times I've tasted them, they've proven to be pretty bland, characterless ingredients, with a "take it or leave it" sort of taste/texture.

As halloween is looming fast, does anyone have any good recipes for pumpkin, or perhaps one of the squashes (particularly Butternut squash) that I might have a go at, and try and find some redeeming qualities in these veggies ?

Because so far, they just seem like a waste of effort and/or money to me....

regards

fatbloke

Guinlilly
10-15-2011, 09:04 AM
Ok, so the commercialisation of Halloween is a relatively recent thing over here (last 10 or so years I think).

Now, while veg like pumpkin, butternut squash, etc seem to be available in a lot of places, and while the good people of the US seem to rave about them for cooking (let alone mead making), the couple of times I've tasted them, they've proven to be pretty bland, characterless ingredients, with a "take it or leave it" sort of taste/texture.

As halloween is looming fast, does anyone have any good recipes for pumpkin, or perhaps one of the squashes (particularly Butternut squash) that I might have a go at, and try and find some redeeming qualities in these veggies ?

Because so far, they just seem like a waste of effort and/or money to me....

regards

fatbloke

Are you talking mead recipes or food recipes?

calicojack
10-15-2011, 10:41 AM
id like to see some sort of pumpkin mead with spices that produce a warm sensation. not like hot like a jalapeno, but warm like a glass of sangria...

Chevette Girl
10-15-2011, 11:01 AM
If you're going for food ideas, my pumpkin-bacon soup and my pumpkin custard both get good reviews. They're both originally Reader's Digest recipes, if that's what you're after, I'll dig out my notes (having long-since lost the original magazines and adjusted the recipe to taste over the years). I've also substituted any kind of squash in the soup (and for that matter, the custard) they all taste pretty similar. It mostly comes down to texture and spices, for the most part. It's also possible that you just don't like the stuff. <shrug> It happens. I also like to stuff overgrown zucchinis with something akin to a sausage stuffing (ground meat, spices, bread bits, egg), roast it and serve it sliced. I've also used julienned overgrown zucchini in place of noodles in a pasta dish, I just boiled them up like I would have boiled noodles...

My favourite way of preparing pepper squash or butternut squash is to cut it in half, scoop the seeds out, lay the halves open-side-down in a baking dish and add a few centimeters of water and roast until they're done (45 min-1 hour +, depending on sizes and density of the particular squash, if you stick a skewer in, it should slide through like a cooked potato), let it cool a bit and then flip them over, use a fork or spoon to loosen the flesh away from the skin, and then add butter and brown sugar (or maple syrup if you're lucky enough to have some on hand). This will work for most squashes, but if you use spaghetti squash it'll be really stringy:p, for spaghetti squash I prefer to roast it the same way, loosen the strings with a fork, drain any excess water, then dump spaghetti sauce on it.

Soyala_Amaya
10-15-2011, 11:52 AM
Fantastic Pumpkin Pie!

Take 1-2 Pie Pumpkins, cut in half and scrape very clean. Skin, clean, and julienne a butternut squash. Grind fresh cinnamon and cloves, mix with nutmeg, ginger, and a dash of cardamom. Whip spices into about ½ a cup of honey, and mix with squash. Place the squash mixture inside the upturned pumpkin ‘boats’ and bake cut side down @ 350 till soft (45-90 min.) Scoop out your soft pumpkin glop and puree it till uniform.

Add another ¾ cup honey (everything else will have caramelized), 4 eggs, 1.5 cans evaporated milk, ½ teaspoons vanilla. Spice to taste if you didn’t before. Mix well!

Pour into your pie crust, (this will actually make about 2 big pies) and bake @ 425 for 15 min, then turn the temp down to 350 for 45 to 60 min, or until a knife comes out clean in the center.

(A neat trick from my grandma, poke half a dozen holes in the top of the pumpkin and put it in the oven whole. The skin comes off easy, the guts come out in your hand, and no hard pumpkin to cut. And you can eat the seeds! Yay Irish ingenuity!)

ZwolfUpir
10-15-2011, 11:58 AM
If you're going for food ideas, my pumpkin-bacon soup and my pumpkin custard both get good reviews.

I would be interested in that pumpkin-bacon soup recipe. My wifes birthday is coming up and I think this would be good for her party. She is rather fond of pumpkin and squishes {squash}.

Chevette Girl
10-15-2011, 12:26 PM
I've lost the original recipe so I kind of wing it every time I make it and you'll have to go according to taste with respect to seasonings...

5 ingredients: pumpkin, bacon, salt, pepper, cumin (I'm not counting water). Various other squishes should work fine too.

I use fresh or frozen pumpkin for this but you could probably find a way to substitut canned... I peel and chunk the flesh from one medium jack o'lantern pumpkin or two pie pumpkins, (I remove the seeds but not the stringy bits) put all the chunks in a stock pot and about half-cover with water. Cover pot and bring to a boil and then simmer until the pumpkin's done, the chunks will slide off a knife if you stab them. Whatever's not covered with water will steam at about the same rate and you don't want it too watery. I don't usually time it, I guess it'd take somewhere between 20-40 min.

Cook half a pound of bacon until almost crispy (not hard-crunchy), pour off whatever fat you don't want to use (I use all of it because it's so darn tasty), let bacon cool while pumpkin continues to do its thing.

Once the pumpkin's cooked, I purée it with the bacon in a blender (depending on your blender you may have to add more water than what was used for cooking the pumpkin to keep it to a blendable consistency). I usually try to let the pumpkin chunks cool off for an hour or so before I blender them but if you don't, just make sure you put a towel over the blender while holding and opening the lid or you could get scalded or steam-burned. That warning in the blender instructions isn't just for liability reasons :) If you're using a food processor instead, you may want to cool it a bit so it doesn't damage the plastic.

As my blender-batches are puréed, I put it in my thick-bottomed soup pot and add a bit of salt (really depends how salty your bacon is and how salty you like soups) I think I start with 1/2 tsp, a pinch of pepper (you might want more, I don't like pepper much), and start with a half-teaspoon of ground cumin, I add cumin until I can just taste it. How much will depend on freshness of the spice and how sensitive you are to it. Just a hint of curry or chili powder would probably work out too but the original recipe calls for cumin.

If you can't taste the bacon, you can always fry up some more and chuck it in the blender with some of the finished soup.

I usually bring the soup just to a boil (stirring often) once more to get the flavours to integrate, then cover and leave it on the stove until either cool enough to refrigerate or until it's time to reheat and serve it, although I have poured it directly from blender into a slow-cooker set to "keep warm" and that works fine too.

If the soup is thick enough that a spoon will stand up in it, I'll add a little bit of water to thin it out so it doesn't burn in the pot but I don't usually have that problem as my blender needs a fair bit of liquid to do its thing. I usually get a full soup-pot (5 qt, 4.7 litres). It's just as good the day after and I don't think it does anything weird if leftovers are frozen. Providing there's any left over.

fatbloke
10-15-2011, 02:31 PM
Are you talking mead recipes or food recipes?
Food.

It's one of many things I wouldn't dream of adding to a mead (there are many others, but just because I wouldn't make some of the weirdomels that can be read about here, there's no reason for others to try).

Chevette Girl
10-15-2011, 06:31 PM
Well, then. Good for you for giving it a try. I had that same issue with eggplant for the longest time. Finally found a few ways I like it.

If you don't like custards, don't bother with this one. If you DO like custards, the proportion is 1 cup pumpkin purée to one cup evaporated milk to 3 tbsp sugar (or to taste depending on how sweet you like things) and 1 egg for the base custard, nutmeg, allspice, ginger and cinnamon to taste (I start with 1/4 tsp nutmeg, 1/2 tsp each of ginger and cinnamon and however much allspice I feel like grinding that day for each iteration). Purée it in the blender, pour into baking dish.

I just repeat that in the blender until my baking dish is full or I run out of an ingredient, sit my dish in a pan of water and bake in the oven at 325F until the knife comes out clean (takes a while, depends how deep your water bath is, I just find it's necessary so the bottom doesn't burn but the sides seem OK).

Serve warm or cold, I like it with whipped cream. If you want it to be more custard-like and less pumpkiny, you can add an extra egg and shift the ratio by 1/4 cup more evaporated milk and less pumpkin, and adjust the spices however you like. If you add more pumpkin, it will still set but the texture is closer to pumpkin pie rather than a custard. I make it more pumpkin-y for my gluten-intolerant mother because then it's like crustless pumpkin pie.

mccann51
10-15-2011, 11:36 PM
I don't know the exact recipe or procedure, but butternut squash, baked w butter and brown sugar is delicious. Perhaps you've only had straight squash or pumpkin; I can see that being a bit bland.

fatbloke
10-16-2011, 05:35 AM
I don't know the exact recipe or procedure, but butternut squash, baked w butter and brown sugar is delicious. Perhaps you've only had straight squash or pumpkin; I can see that being a bit bland.
Yes, from memory they would have been probably boiled and then mashed with butter and a little seasoning.......

Other than that, roasted shelled pumpkin seeds are wonderful.

wildoates
10-16-2011, 08:45 AM
I like pumpkin in pie and breat and that's about it--well, baked goods in general, seasoned with the usual (to me) pumpkin pie seasonings of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, etc. Not too many things, don't like soup, etc. But I really LOVE it in those few things.

Try something like this for your perusing pleasure: http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/?s=pumpkin

And make sure you get baking pumpkins, not decorative pumpkins, and they taste much better.

TheAlchemist
10-17-2011, 11:51 PM
Try something like this for your perusing pleasure: http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/?s=pumpkin


mmmmouth watering.