Thursday, 27 September 2007

Pumpkin Recipes

Prepare a smallish pumpkin or even a butternut squash by peeling the skin, removing the seeds and cutting into crescent shapes. Baste in olive oil, season with salt, pepper, tabasco, soy sauce, sugar and cinnamon. Roast in the oven (200C/400F/gas mark 6) for about 25-30 minutes until browned and caramelised.
Make a prune and onion confit with about
Heat some olive oil and add 500 g peeled shallots. Fry until brown and golden. Season with salt and pepper and add some whole garlic cloves. Add 400g stoned prunes and enough water to just cover. Simmer on a fierce heat, until it is all absorbed, adding water a little at a time, until the shallots become golden and caramelised all the way through but still maintain much of their shape, and the prunes are soft with some dissolving into the sauce. The whole thing should take about 20-25 minutes. A few minutes before the end, add a handful of blanched almonds and heat. This is better if made before the day you wish to eat the meal.

Serve the roasted pumpkin crescents with a couscous made with saffron and parsley or other herbs and with some of the prune and onion confit. The confit can be kept in a sealed container in the fridge for several days.

Take a small pumpkin. Chop off lid. Keep. Peel off outer skin keeping some skin on the bottom of the pumpkin if you wish. Scoop out all the seeds. Find a round casserole dish that the pumpkin will sit into comfortably. Note that as it cooks it will fall into position!Now make a minced beef stuffing with 300g of steak haché ( minced or chopped beef or maybe lamb) Onions, garlic, red peppers, courgettes etc can be sautéed. The sauté the meat separately. Combine and add seasoning. We added ground coriander but any combination of herbs and / or spices could be interesting. We also added canned red kidney beans. Some tomato purée will help to thicken the vegetables. Put the combined mixture into the pumpkin.
Put the unpeeled pumpkin hat / lid on, including the stalk if it has one and roast until ready. Cover it with foil for part of the cooking time. Take off the lid and add grated cheese and grill or further bake in the oven. We served it with rice. Delicious!
Omit the meat for a vegetarian recipe.
This gave sufficient for at least 4 very generous servings.