Food, Recipes

How to Get into the Halloween Madness: Pumpkin

Here in Angola we do not celebrate Halloween but I lived in the States for a while, and I know how big this event is. I remember going through many neighborhoods just to see the decoration of the houses, with Pumpkins. People got very creative in Louisiana (where I used to live), and I loved the kids running around all dressed up. I am sure their favorite part of this date is to get some candy or maybe play some tricks on some people.

When people talk about Halloween, I can only think about pumpkins. The carving is an awesome craft to try, but unfortunately I never had the chance to do it. With its distinct and sweet flavor, it is one of my favorite ingredients for cream soups. My favorite cream soup is with pumpkin, carrots, caramelized onions and a couple of spices. It is such a wonderful cream, perfect for any occasion. Once cooked, the pumpkin is smashed into this beautiful paste giving a magnificent silky texture to the cream soups.

I used to put the pumpkins only in soups, but their turn out to be good side dishes and desserts. Here are some great ways to use pumpkin besides carving and cream soups.

Ways to Make Pumpkin into a Delicious Dish

Pumpkin Pie

Pie: The most popular way to use pumpkin as a dessert. I have only come across this recipe when I was living in the States. It has a creamy filling with several spices such as nutmeg, ginger, cloves and cinnamon. Just thinking about the smell of the nutmeg makes me want to dive into this dessert. My mouth is watering right now. Food is definitely my weak point.

Pumpkin Ravioli

Ravioli Stuffing: Nice sweet recipe for everyone including non-vegetarians. Pumpkin stuffing is made with pumpkin puree, chilli, black pepper, sage and a little bit of heavy whipping cream to smooth out the stuffing a little bit. In reality, you can mix the puree with some other spices you find interesting. After all, this is the beauty of cooking. Be your own food scientist.

Pumpkin Chutney

Pumpkin Chutney: Chutney is such a nice dipping or topping for meat. The chutney that became my favorite so far is the mint. I love how refreshing and addictive it gets after dipping the dosa the first time. Remember when I first tried, I found it so weird after the very first bite but then I was unable to stop. I found this beautiful recipe with pumpkin chutney that I am sure you would love to try. I would, right now 🙂

Muteta: Made with pumpkins seeds seasoned with salt, garlic, pepper, onions and tomatoes, it is used in many Angolan dishes (Smoked Catfish Calulu and Dried Meat Calulu). It will also be hard for you to believe that I have been eating this for years, and only four years ago I found out it was made out of pumpkin seeds. Crazy! 😉 I dare you to try it. Different from what you have tasted, but very tasty.

Pumpkin Risotto

Pumpkin Risotto: Risotto is the top of the rice dishes. It is creamy, rich in flavor and texture. I love to add a little bit of aged Parmesan to it to give a nutty flavor. If you are looking for something fancy but at the same time traditional for Halloween, this is the recipe to look for and DO IT! Do not let the word “Risotto” scare you. It is definitely an easy dish to make but requires a little bit of patience. In the end the results are fantastic. You are a great chef, show your family your Cooking GREATNESS.

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds: For a fast and healthy snack at a Halloween party, I would recommend this pumpkin seeds. You can put the seasonings you prefer which can range from a simple paprika to the fantastic cayenne or nutmeg. It is up to you; use several spices or just one. It should be a great snacks to have while drinking some beer or wine.

I hope your Halloween goes as great as it can be. Have plenty of FUN.

Until next time, Hungry People.

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