10 Ways with Pumpkins
Fall is for pumpkins. And I’m not just talking about jack-o-lanterns and pumpkin pie. Pumpkins are excellent for both savory and sweet dishes, and while cooked pumpkin is unfamiliar to most Americans, it’s easy and delicious to prepare.
When selecting pumpkins for cooking, steer clear of Halloween jack-o-lanterns. Some chefs think they can cook a pumpkin after carving it, but carving causes the meat to rot, making it unsafe to eat.
Too, the pumpkins chosen for carving are rarely the best tasting varieties.
When purchasing pumpkins for food, select smaller varieties (no more than 8 lbs.), because they have the best flavor.
Good varieties include sugar pumpkins, “Lumina,” “Baby Pam,” “Ghost Rider,” and “Autumn Gold.” “Fairy Tale” or “Cinderella” pumpkins are suitable, too, but are more difficult to peel than most other varieties.
10 Ways to Cook Pumpkin
1. Pumpkin Cappuccino
Make pumpkin cappuccino as a refreshing autumn drink.
2. Pumpkin Puree
Create your own pumpkin puree for pumpkin pie and dishes.
3. Pumpkin Risotto
Make risotto flavored with pumpkin.
4. Sander Fillets
Cook up some sander fillets with pumpkin and other types of winter squash.
Roast some pumpkin seeds, sprayed with a little olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepper.
6. Pumpkin Soup
Use pureed pumpkin as the basis for a soup.
7. Small Pumpkins
Cut off the tops of some small pumpkins and remove all the seeds and pulp. Coat the insides with butter. Season with salt and pepper. Replace the tops and place in a shallow baking dish with a little water. Bake until the insides are darkened but the outside is still firm.
Over low heat, combine cream cheese and spinach in a saucepan. When the cream cheese is completely melted, fill the pumpkins with the mixture and top with a thick slice of cheese.
Bake until the cheese is melted.
8. Pumpkin Pancakes
Whip up some pumpkin pancakes by adding a cup of pumpkin puree to 2 cups flour, 3 tablespoons brown sugar, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 1 teaspoon each allspice and cinnamon, ½ teaspoon each ginger and salt, 1 ½ cups milk, 1 egg, 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, and 2 tablespoons vinegar.
9. Roasting a Pumpkin
Try stuffing and roasting a pumpkin. Cut off the top and remove all the seeds and pulp. Stuff with root vegetables and squash, or apples, walnuts, cranberry sauce, brown sugar, raisins, rum, ginger, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Bake until pumpkin is tender.
Add cubes of pumpkin to your favorite stew recipe.
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