Thursday, October 20, 2011

Pumpkin Recipes

Despite my love of food, I actually don't cook that much. I blame it mostly on law school, which really broke me of the habit during my first year when I was too stressed out and busy to do anything but microwave frozen mac and cheese. (Probably not a good year for my cholesterol.) This year has been much calmer, though. And when fall rolled around, the thought of trying out new pumpkin and squash recipes finally got me back into the kitchen. Here's what I've tried and what I thought:

1. Pumpkin and feta casserole - Mmmmmmmmmmmmm. Review done. . . No, I'm kidding. But you can probably guess this was my favorite. This is the kind of dish that is good the first time, but so much better every time you reheat it for leftovers. It just gets creamier and the flavors blend together more. I made a few modifications to the recipe, but the 2 changes that I would really suggest are 1) add all 4 links of sausage if you buy one of those Aidell's packs (I used this) and 2) switch the cooking order of the pumpkin and zucchini. Zucchini cooks faster so I think the consistency of the pumpkin and zucchini would be better if you started sauteing the pumpkin first. Be warned, though, this dish is a lot of work.

2. Cheesy pumpkin polenta - This was ok. The polenta was tasty but not in a pumpkiny or cheesy way. Those flavors didn't come out strongly. I think the take away for me was: always add more pumpkin! The plus of this recipe is that it is so so so easy. So if you need a quick side, this could be it. I also added shrimp to mine so my dinner wasn't just flavored cornmeal.

3. "Elegant" stuffed pumpkin - I liked this. And despite my doubt about the cheesy title, it did actually look a bit elegant. (I actually think the acorn squash I used might even be more elegant than a stuffed pumpkin!) The prep is not too hard. Most of the time is spent waiting for the thing to bake. The recipe makes a mountain of stuffing (it was probably made to fill a much larger pumpkin), so again there are lots of good leftovers. I wasn't 100% sold on the rice stuffing, though. If I make this again, I might try using just bread. But the cashews and apples in the stuffing are great.

4. Pumpkin bread pudding - And of course, I have to have a dessert at the end. This "bread pudding" is a cinch to make, but doesn't not come out nearly as decadent as real breading pudding. But since it is so quick and easy and since it is still pretty tasty, I have a feeling this will be the recipe I repeat the most. (Look at me cooking again, and still it will probably be a bad year for my cholesterol!)

Do you have any pumpkin/squash recipe recommendations?


Anonymous said...

Nice food presentation. I'll try the squash please.

Anonymous said...

So glad you posted this, was just having a conversation about what kind of non-dessert pumpkin recipes there are. Nicely done, looks delicious!