Fox and Broom

A mom's adventures in keeping healthy, keeping her sanity, and making stuff.

Archive for the day “October 2, 2006”

Pumpkin Stew

Pumpkin Stew


Ingredients

6 cups water (more if necessary)
4 cups pumpkin (see easy instructions below)
2 potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 carrots, large thinly sliced
2 onions, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
pinch tarragon
salt and pepper to taste
1 quart milk
1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 cup parlsey. finely chopped

Procedure

Pour water into a large soup pot. We’re not kidding when we say ‘large.’
You can peel and cube the pumpkin like potatoes if you really want to
take the time to do it, but there is a much easier way to cook pumpkin for
this recipe. Simply scrub the daylights out of the pumpkin shell before
cutting it up into cubes, then put it in the water and let it cook for 30
minutes.
Use a large spoon to scrape the pumpkin pulp right off the shell and
back into the water it was originally boiled in: there is no loss of vitamins
and minerals in the water this way. Now add the potatoes and carrots and
bring to a boil. Add onion, garlic, tarragon, salt and pepper and let
boil for 20 minutes.
Reduce heat and simmer another 20 minutes. Blend the
whole thing and pour back into the pot. Add milk and oil (stirring well), and
over low heat bring to boil again. Simmer for 10 minutes and serve
immediately, garnishing with parsley. Wonderful with cornbread or
favorite biscuit. A tradition in some families is to also roast the scrubbed
pumpkin seeds while the soup is being made: brush them with olive oil and
salt and bake them in the oven for a delicious snack. Sprinkle roasted
pumpkin seeds on the soup for garnish instead of parsley.

Savory Pumpkin Tamales

A savory pumpkin tamale

Makes: 12 tamales

1 pound banana leaves — thawed or Frozen OR corn husks
2 cups (heaping) Maseca corn flour
2 cups to 2 1/2 cups warm chicken stock or water
1/2 pound lard
2 cups pureed cooked or canned pumpkin
1 1/2 teaspoons ground canela (cinnamon)
3 ounces piloncillo — grated or crushed or 1/2 cup dark-brown sugar,
firmly packed.
Salt

Bean Filling
2 cups water
2 teaspoons anise
2 To 3 pasilla de Oaxaca chiles OR dried chipotle chiles or canned
chipotle in adobo sauce.
2 cups To 2 1/2 cups cooked or
Canned black beans, drained
5 To 6 garlic cloves, peeled
2 tablespoons Lard
Salt

Prepare Bean Filling Put water in small pan, add anise and boil until
reduced by half. Strain and reserve infusion. If using pasilla de Oaxaca

or dried chipotles, cover with boiling water and let soak until
softened,
about 10 minutes. Drain and remove stems. Canned chipotles need no
preparation. Working in batches, if necessary, puree beans with chiles,
garlic and anise infusion in blender or food processor fitted with steel

blade. Melt lard in heavy skillet or wide, shallow saucepan over high
heat. When very hot, add bean puree, watching for splatters. Reduce heat

to medium and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally to prevent
sticking, until liquid is evaporated. Season to taste with salt. Cool
to
room temperature.

Assemble Tamales Unfold banana leaves, being careful not to split them
unnecessarily. Wipe with clean damp cloth and pat dry . With kitchen
scissors, trim leaves into 12 to 14 rectangles, each about 14x11inches.
Save some of the longer trimmings for ties. Mix masa harina in a bowl

or pot with enough warm stock to make soft but not sticky dough. Beat
lard
in separate large bowl on medium speed until very light and fluffy. Add
masa harina mixture and pumpkin puree to lard little at time, beating on

medium speed and scraping down as needed. Mixture should be as light as
butter cream. Beat in cinnamon, piloncillo and salt to taste. Place
1
or 2 banana leaf rectangles flat on work space (or soaked corn husks).
Tear off some long, thin strips from reserved banana leaf trimmings.
Place
2/3 to 1 cup masa mixture in center of leaf and with spatula or fingers
spread into 3x4x1/2-inch thick oval. Place 1 heaping tablespoon Bean
Filling in center of oval, Fold left and right edges of banana leaf
toward
center to meet, overlapping little to cover filling , then fold top and
bottom edges to center to make a neat, flat package about 4×5 inches.
Fasten by tying with thin strip of banana leaf. Repeat with remaining
banana leaves, masa and filling. Steam the tamales for 45 – 50 minutes.

Cream of Pumpkin Soup with Curry

This recipe is one of my most favorite fall and winter recipes. If you don’t like pumpkin, you can experiment with a number of other squashes. Acorn and butternut both have really good flavors. One of my favorites was hubbard squash. A whole hubbard is waaaaaaaaay too much for this recipe (or any recipe), so be sure to either be prepared to make loads of soup or share the squash with a friend. Luckily, my local grocery store sells it in pieces when it is in season.

I also wrote a quick blog on using acorn squash with this recipe.

This recipe easily translates to vegetarian by using vegetable broth and you can even go vegan by using canned coconut cream (it is thicker than the refrigerated coconut milks).

Cream of Pumpkin Soup with Curry

Ingredients

4 Tbs. Butter
1/2 Cup Chopped Onions
3 tsp. Curry Powder
5 Cups Chicken Broth
1 Cup Gewurztraminer wine
32 oz (4 Cups) Pumpkin puree
1/4 Cup packed Brown Sugar
Salt, Pepper (white/black), Nutmeg to taste
2 Cups Heavy Cream
Chopped fresh chives or parsley for garnish

Directions

In a 6 to 8 quart pan, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the onions and saute until translucent. Add the curry powder and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.

Reduce the heat to medium and stir in the wine, chicken broth, pumpkin, brown sugar, salt, pepper, and nutmeg (I also added ginger). Cook for 10 minutes. Stir in the heavy cream and cook for an additional 5 minutes.

Cook 10 minutes longer for a thick soup, or add more broth or wine if you prefer it thinner. Adjust the seasoning.

Pour the soup into a blender or food processor and puree until smooth and creamy.

Ladle into bowls and garnish with chives or parsley.

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