Monday, November 10, 2008

Pumpkin Puree 101

I love using pumpkin in recipes, but I always forget to cook the pumpkin, as they make for lovely decorations, and before you know it...rotten :(. This year I made a point to buy a smaller pumpkin so i could cut it up and freeze puree to use in a homemade pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving! I also have a great recipe for squash bread where you can use any squash that you'd like!
One day while getting ready for work I thought: if a pumpkin takes an hour to cook and I take an hour to get ready...why not both get "ready" at the same time! I started by cutting the pumpkin into fourths and then scooping out the stringy insides and pulling out the seeds (for a later roasting job). I then lined a pan with foil and threw them all in the oven on 400 for 45 mins. The pumpkin ended up cooking over an hour before the flesh felt soft enough to take out (it should be soft to the touch). I later read on alot of blogs/sites that you can also season the pumpkin prior to cooking it (salt and pepper was the popular season of choice).
Once I took it out and let it cool for about thirty mins. I started pulling the skin off. It was really simple and the pumpkin just easily fell off. I recently read that many skins of fruits and veggies that we all throw away are actually edible and good for you. Most of us shy away from it due to the texture (can you imagine biting into a banana without peeling it :(. BUT I thought I would try the pumpkin skin because I have eaten acorn squash with the skin and I loved it. It was similar to that experience. No harm done, don't know if I would make a recipe on it. As you can see here there was plenty of skin that did not land in my mouth.
I had to rush off to work so I threw the pumpkin in a container and into the freezer it went...right now it's currently defrosting so that I can puree for use in about a week!!!
Countdown to cooking bonanza!