Tuesday, October 4, 2011

What to do with Halloween Pumpkins

What to do with Halloween Pumpkins
By: Chef Cristian Feher

It’s officially November 1st and your kids are in a sugar coma. Pirate capes and princess costumes hang on the edge of the hamper, and you’re still trying to get that fake blood off the carpet. But miraculously, no one stole, blew up, or smashed your pumpkins! And it’s a good thing, because you can now turn them into delicious meals for the rest of the week.

The first thing that comes to your mind is pumpkin pie, right? Well I’d like to expand your repertoire, so I’m going to share with you a few ideas that you’ve probably never tried.

Curry Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Hopefully you kept the seeds. This is a very quick and easy snack. I made these for my kid last year, but she found candy and chocolate much more interesting. My wife and I, however, found them quite delightful.

Simply toss the seeds with a little bit of curry powder and salt in a bowl, place them on a non-stick baking sheet, brush with a little Kelapo virgin coconut oil and bake at 325 for about 45 minutes, or until golden brown. The light combination of curry powder (just a little sprinkle) with the aroma of coconut from the coconut oil will make you a batch of roasted pumpkin seeds like you’ve never had before!

As for the rest of the pumpkins: I like to cut off the hard rind and dice or mince the flesh in a food processor. Now you should have a bowl of minced pumpkin flesh, and a bowl of diced pumpkin flesh. I have two great recipes below.

Pumpkin and Ginger Soup

Cook about 4 cups of pumpkin flesh with two garlic cloves, a tbsp of fresh minced ginger, two diced carrots, one diced onion, sea salt, and fresh pepper to taste. Cook this mixture with a tbsp of Kelapo virgin coconut oil for 15 minutes. Add just enough chicken stock to cover the veggies and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes. When all the veggies are well cooked, puree the soup with a hand blender, or a regular blender. Adjust the salt and serve with warm Naan or pita bread.

You can experiment with different flavors by adding a pinch of curry powder, cinnamon, cumin, or nutmeg.

Peach and Pumpkin Ice Cream

Cook the remaining diced pumpkin flesh in a skillet with a little bit of Kelapo virgin coconut oil, and a teaspoon of cinnamon just until the pumpkin gets soft. Take off the heat and let it cool to room temperature. Once the pumpkin is cooled to room temp, you want to spread the pumpkin out on a cookie sheet and freeze it over night. But make sure to spread the chunks so that they freezes in small separate lumps no bigger than a grape without really touching each other too much. You also want to get a bag of frozen peaches and make sure that the pieces are easy to separate. The smaller the better. The next day, you can add 5oz of frozen pumpkin, 5oz of frozen peaches, 1 cup of heavy whipping cream, ¼ tsp of salt, and ½ cup of sugar to a food processor. Turn it on and let it run until you have ice cream - it took me less than 90 seconds to make a batch. Enjoy!

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