I LOVE Fall. It's such a great season. The weather turns a bit nippy, the leaves are beautiful, all the crops have been harvested, beer gets brewed, wine gets made (mmmmm, burčak...) Anyway, I have a tradition (aka, ever since I moved here, so 2 years) that I buy a pumpkin and carve it. For some reason, I always end up going to buy the pumpkin alone. This doesn't make me sad, I actually don't mind it. It's kind of fun to go and ponder over the pumpkins at Tesco (29 crowns (~$1.75) a kilo, by the way. Total steal) Then I pick one, and take it to the check out. The cashier woman/man inevitably always says something like, "Awwww, what a pretty pumpkin!" or "Oh my goodness that's huge! How will you take it home?" Very cute.
So I bought my pumpkin last Sunday, with the intent on hollowing it out soon after. Well, I got a bit lazy and it was only yesterday that I worked on it. Pumpkins are pretty easy to hollow out. You just cut off the top, pull it out, empty all the seeds, and then scoop out the meat with an ice cream scoop. It's a bit time consuming and messy, but fun!!! While I scooped out the pumpkin, I made toasted pumpkin seeds. VERY easy:
Toasted pumpkin seeds:
Chicken/grill/any sort of seasoning
Spread the pumpkin seeds on a baking sheet
Sprinkle seasonings and salt LIBERALLY all over
Bake at 350 about 10 minutes.
Take them out, give them a stir, spread them out again, and put them back in the oven.
Bake another 10-15 minutes until light brown.
That's them on the lower right.
As you can see, I had a MASSIVE bowl of pumpkin meat. All this needs to be cooked down into pumpkin puree. I plan on making cookies, pie, gnocchi, and tonight....Pumpkin Burgers! I found the recipe on foodnetwork.com but I think I already know how I'm going to change it.
So to cook down pumpkin, just take all that meat, put it in a wide saucepan, and cook at medium high heat for about 30 minutes. Basically all the water has to evaporate out of it, which you will see happen.
The only sad thing is that you don't get much puree from the pumpkin meat. I just got this much (about 200 grams) from about 700 grams of meat:
Anyway, I'm excited for Pumpkin burgers tonight! Pumpkin gnocchi this weekend.... :-)