Friday, December 14, 2012

A Week of Pumpkin Recipes (all eggless)

*I'm going to depart from my usual topics to share just a bit of our cooking adventures. Baby Boy is just obsessed these days with cooking, so we've been doing a lot of it and keeping busy! A couple of weeks ago, we bought a huge pumpkin at the market: this was the result. (dun, dun, dun)

Day 1:
Making Pumpkin Puree
After coming back from the market with a decent sized pumpkin, M helped me cut it up and I went on a steaming and blending run. It's pretty easy: steam pieces, scoop out of skin, blend in food processor. It took about 5 batches but we ended up with about 14 cups of home-made puree (that's about 8 cans worth).
Since we didn't have much time before dinner, I went with the quickest dish I could think of: pasta sauce.

Pumpkin Pasta
I loosely followed this recipe: http://stolenmomentscooking.com/pumpkin-pasta-sauce/
I didn't exactly measure but replaced: butter with olive oil, shallots with regular onion, fresh garlic with powdered (because of a kid distraction I left it out and then later added the powder), chicken stock + milk with starchy cooking water + a bit of sour cream, no parsley because I was lazy and we were hungry. The verdict: pretty good!


Day 2:
We needed to get some baking going, but I was low on butter and wanted to make sure I used an eggless recipe so that my Sous-Chef Baby Boy could enjoy the results of his efforts (adding ingredients to the bowl, "mixing").

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
I followed this recipe: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/egg-free-chocolate-chip-pumpkin-cookies/
I halved the recipe, replaced butter for the shortening, and had to hand-chop some baking chocolate because I was out of chocolate chips. The verdict: delicious!

Pumpkin Potatoes Au Gratin
I followed this recipe: http://www.loveveggiesandyoga.com/2012/10/pumpkin-and-cheesy-baked-potato-casserole.html
Just looking at it, I knew I would have to make a few adjustments. Because I was using raw potatoes, I knew I needed enough liquid to reach the top of the casserole dish, otherwise the top layer wouldn't cook. So on the top I spiced the potatoes with nutmeg, salt, pepper, tiny bit of garlic, and crushed red peppers. Then I poured on a mixture of mostly milk with a bit of sour cream to thicken it up making sure to infuse the cracks. I topped with a touch of parmesan to crisp up the top. I baked partially covered and mostly uncovered. The verdict: really good!

Day 3:
Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
We tackle the seeds! I used this tutorial: http://allrecipes.com/howto/roasting-pumpkin-seeds/detail.aspx?event8=1&prop24=SR_Title&e11=pumpkin%20seeds&e8=Article%20Search&event10=1&e7=Search%20Results
The verdict: perfect! We added them to a mixed salad- yum, yum!


Day 4:
Black Bean Pumpkin Enchiladas
This is the recipe I followed: http://www.ambitiouskitchen.com/2012/10/spicy-black-bean-chicken-enchiladas-with-pumpkin-sour-cream-sauce/#
The main change I made was making them with rice instead of chicken. So I cooked the rice in the tomato sauce and all the spices and left out the jalapeno out to make it more baby friendly. I used just under 1 cup of rice (uncooked) and when it was ready, added black beans and half the sauce to make the filling. I also changed up the cheese to adobera for a little extra punch of flavor. The verdict: yum!

Day 5:
Pull Apart Pumpkin Cinnamon Bread
I followed this recipe: http://www.newlyweds-blog.com/2011/09/27/pull-apart-pumpkin-cinnamon-bread/
I knew we were headed for trouble once I saw the dough situation. It was way too sticky and I ended up needing to add quite a bit of flour. This of course changed the balance and I don't think it rose quite enough. The filling was delicious but an enormous amount compared to the dough. All in all it was tasty but way too sweet. The verdict: ok.

I know that this is a little post-pumpkin season for most people north of the border, but hopefully not totally out of touch! It was a fruitful cooking week, and I am already looking forward to the next round of pumpkin cooking with all my frozen puree. 

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