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Cookin' With Leo

By Leocthasme

Halloween, Pumpkins, and Putting It All Together

Well, this month Ol' Leo, his self, was lazy, sick, under the weather, out of sorts, and in one way or the other just out of it. So, being in a sulky mood, usually uncommon to my ordinary state of being, I just didn't do anything useful or productive as is my normal state, whichever. So I done the next best thing and surfed a few recipe web sites here and there and found something appropriate for the month of October. Pumpkins, that is. And what to do with them if you want to do something with one in the first place. So, have fun here looking over some good things to do with Pumpkins and Halloween.

Pumpkin! ...a natural flavor carrier...

Americans have been feasting on pumpkin pie since the Pilgrims celebrated their first successful harvest in 1621. Pumpkin pie still is the traditional ending to Thanksgiving dinner.

But the fall fruit also adds color, texture and flavor to everything from soup to pancakes. Pumpkin is a natural flavor carrier that takes on the essence of sweet spices such as nutmeg, cinnamon or ginger, as well as savory ones like curry, sage and turmeric. It's also loaded with vitamins and minerals and is an excellent source of fiber and antioxidants.

"Pumpkin definitely is a major hit this time of year," said home economist Diane Bim, who is one of the authors of "Remember When We Cooked?"

While most people opt for the ease of canned pumpkin, small sugar pumpkins and white "ghost pumpkins" can be baked for pies and other dishes.

"It's a little more time consuming, but not difficult," said Carmen Valdez, "There's nothing as wonderful as the texture and aroma that comes from the real thing."

Libby's Pumpkin Roll

CAKE:
Powdered sugar
cup all-purpose flour
teaspoon baking powder
teaspoon baking soda
teaspoon ground cinnamon
teaspoon ground cloves
teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup Libby's pumpkin
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

FILLING:
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
1 cup sifted powdered sugar
6 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease 15-by-10-inch jelly-roll pan; line with wax paper. Grease and flour paper. Sprinkle a thin, cotton kitchen towel with powdered sugar.

Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves and salt in small bowl. Beat eggs and sugar in large mixer bowl until thick. Beat in pumpkin. spring with nuts.

Bake 13-15 minutes or until top of cake springs back when touched. Immediately loosen and turn cake onto prepared towel. Carefully peel off paper. Roll up cake and towel together, starting with narrow end. Cool on wire rack.

FOR FILLING: Beat cream cheese, 1 cup powdered sugar, butter and vanilla extract in small mixer bowl until smooth. carefully unroll cake and remove towel. Spread cream cheese mixture over cake. Re-roll cake. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least one hour. Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving, if desired.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

LAYER 1
1 16-ounce package pound cake mix
1 egg
2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

LAYER 2
1 8-ounce package cream cheese
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1 15-ounce can pumpkin
2 eggs
teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 cup chopped nuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, combine Layer 1 ingredients until crumbly. Press into bottom of a 15-by-10-by-1-inch jelly roll pan. Beat cream cheese in a large mixing bowl. Gradually beat in remaining ingredients, excluding nuts. Mix well. Pour over crust. Top with nuts. Bake 35 minutes, cover and chill. Cut into bars. Store in refrigerator.

From "Remember When We Cooked?"

Autumn Pumpkin-Sweet Potato Soup

To roast 1 medium "white ghost" pumpkin, cut in half and remove the seeds.

Brew 2 cups of "Constant Comment" herbal tea and add one cup of tea to each pumpkin half. Cover each half tightly with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 1 to 2 hours, depending on size. Remove pumpkin from rind.

Use half for the soup.

The remaining half can be baked as any winter squash with butter, orange marmalade or honey and nuts. Or just puree and freeze in 1 cup measure to be used later in breads, muffins, cookies and other baked goods.

FOR THE SOUP:
roasted white pumpkin
3 to 4 sweet potatoes
onion, diced
2 shallots
Olive oil
cup snipped fresh tarragon.
1 32-ounce box plus half a box chicken broth

Cook 3-4 sweet potatoes by cutting into fourths and place in a medium pot of hot water. Bring to boil, reduce to simmer until fork tender.

Drain potatoes, allow to cool to handle. Remove peels.

In large stock pot saute onion and shallots in olive oil until tender. Add sweet potato and pumpkin and chicken broth. Allow to simmer 15-20 minutes. Add 2 cups heavy whipping cream and salt and pepper to taste.

Stir to blend. Puree in food processor or blender. Return to stock pot. Add tarragon. Stir and reheat gently. If soup is too thick, add a little more broth.

Serve with a few sprigs of fresh tarragon and roasted pumpkin seeds.

Sugar Pumpkin

Wash a 1- to 3-pound sugar pumpkin. Cut off the top, saving the lid and the stem for a handle.

Scrape out the seeds and pulp, wipe out the inside, then brush with melted butter and/or sugar or salt, if desired. Replace the lid and bake in a 350-degree oven for 35 minutes.

Coat the inside flesh again with butter, sugar or salt, and bake another 10-15 minutes until fork tender. Slice into wedges and serve plain.

Pumpkin Curry Soup

(Makes 6 servings)

2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 cup chopped onion (1 small)
2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 teaspoons curry powder
teaspoon salt
teaspoon ground white pepper
3 cups chicken broth
1 15-ounce can Libby's pumpkin
1 12-ounce can evaporated milk

Melt butter in large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic; cook, stirring frequently, for 2 to 3 minutes or until tender. Stir in curry powder, salt and pepper; cook for 1 minute. Add broth and pumpkin; bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to low; cook, stirring occasionally for 15-20 minutes. Stir in evaporated milk. Transfer mixture to food processor or blender (in batches, if necessary). Cover. Blend until smooth.

Serve warm.

Layered Monterey Pumpkin Dip

(Makes 12 servings)

1 15-ounce can Libby's pumpkin
1 8-ounce package reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
3 tablespoons juice from sliced jalapenos
1 8-ounce container light sour cream
1 4-ounce can diced green chilies
2 tablespoons chopped, sliced jalapenos
teaspoon garlic salt
1 medium tomato, seeded and chopped
1 2-ounce can sliced ripe olives
2 green onions
cup finely chopped red onion
Tortilla chips

Combine pumpkin, cream cheese and jalapeno juice in medium bowl. Spread into 8-inch square baking dish. Combine sour cream, chiles, jalapenos and garlic salt in small bowl. Spread over pumpkin mixture. Top with tomato, olives, green onions and red onion. cover; refrigerate for 2 hours. Serve with tortilla chips.


Story by Marty Primeau marty.primeau@amarillo.com
ref: Michael Schumacher
Web-posted Wednesday, November 3, 2004
Favorita Fall Fruit


Click on author's byline for bio.


 

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