The following post was written by my mom, WWW. Thanks, mom!
pumpkin + coconut bread = me shoveling the stuff into my mouth as I edit this post - GGC
“Mom, Have you ever bought a fairytale pumpkin?” Rebecca asked me on Halloween.
She pointed to the buckskin colored Jack-o-lantern resembling Cinderella’s coach carved on her stoop and I gasped with delight. “Wow,” I gushed. “How beautiful it is.”
I had a vague recollection of seeing these pumpkins in the store, but I had never bought one nor did I know anything about them. The next thing I knew she was off to the store, soon to return with another large fairytale pumpkin.
“For you,” she said, handing me the fake looking pumpkin.
“Oh thank you, dear. But today is Halloween. Should we carve it now?”
“No, silly. I thought you might want to COOK with it. While Archer and I were carving ours, I happened to taste the raw pumpkin and it was AMAZING!! Sweet!! Delicious!”
After the Halloween festivities, I brought the pumpkin home, belted in the back seat of my car, and set it on our bar in the family room. Every day I stared at it. Every day I wondered what to do with it, whether I should cook it or just enjoy its beauty. It brought back lots of lovely memories of fairytales and make-believe and, between you and me, I almost could see it on wheels with mice for coachmen. But Rebecca had told me how delicious hers tasted and I was really curious to try it. Finally, last week, I couldn’t stand the suspense any longer and cut it open.
Usually when you open a pumpkin, most of its volume is made of air surrounded by a thin shell of meat. But I found that the fairytale pumpkins are different. They have a very small hollow area and thick sides, more like an acorn squash, so that one pumpkin gives you a lot of pumpkin meat, and by a lot, I mean A LOT. The bright orange flesh (the color of a yam) begged me to try it and as Rebecca told me, it was delicious raw…sweet like sugar and tasted more like a butternut squash than pumpkin. By the time I cut up the entire thing, I had pumpkin everywhere in my kitchen. “Now what am I going to do with all this pumpkin?”
Six days later I had made the following: 2 batches of pumpkin soup, four servings of roasted pumpkin with caramelized onions (cassolita), roasted pumpkin with other root vegetables, two huge loaves of pumpkin bread, two pumpkin pies, and 2 pans of plump pumpkin enchiladas. All of this with ONE PUMPKIN costing $4!! And although I felt like the pumpkin was multiplying in the kitchen and could never be used up, after I had made all of this I thought to myself, what a waste to take these guys and use them for Jack-o-lanterns! Not only that, fairytale pumpkins, it turns out, are the SWEETEST and tastiest squash you can eat.
Their true name is Musque de Provence and, as the name suggests, they’re originally from France. On the outside, they look like they were carved out of wood, but inside of them is an orgy of orange flesh, succulent and delicious. You might be able to still find some at farmer’s markets but pumpkins in grocery stores, unfortunately, have disappeared. (Has anyone else ever wondered where they are whisked off to after Halloween? Pumpkin cemeteries? Pumpkin factories? Pumpkin heaven?) If you can’t find one, grow one next summer—my research shows they are easy to grow—or wait until October and they’ll be everywhere. Buy a couple in early October and cook up the meat, freezing the raw pumpkin or cooked puree for future pies, breads, or main dish meals.
When preparing fresh pumpkin for recipes that call for a puree, either mash with a potato masher and then mash again in a sieve to get rid of excess water, or process in a food processor and then drain in a sieve. Let stand for a half hour, or quicken the process by pushing the pumpkin down with a fork or masher.
Here is my week of pumpkin recipes for you to enjoy:
Day 1: I substituted pumpkin (for squash) in my Squash-Apple Soup
cut pumpkin for soup!
(I made a double batch and froze the extra for future meals)
Day 2: Roasted Cassolita
Day 3: Roasted pumpkin, potatoes, parsnips, and carrots with olive oil and salt and pepper
Day 4: Pumpkin pie
(I made two and froze them before cooking them—used the Libby’s canned pumpkin recipe added less sugar because this pumpkin is SWEET!!)
Day 5: Pumpkin Coconut bread (see recipe below)
Day 6: Pumpkin Enchiladas with Mole Sauce (see recipe below)
Pumpkin Enchiladas with Mole Sauce
(I used the mole sauce recipe from February 1998’s Bon Appetit’s Chicken and Green Olive Enchiladas and then made up my own recipe for the pumpkin filling.)
8 tablespoons (about) olive oil
1 cups finely chopped onions
3 tablespoons chopped garlic
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
5 tablespoons hot Mexican-style chili powder (or a milder chili powder if you wish)
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
1/2 ounce semisweet chocolate
3-4 cups cooked pumpkin, roasted, peeled, mashed and drained in a sieve
1 ear fresh corn on the cob, kernels removed, or 1 cup frozen corn
¾ cup cooked black beans
4 T fresh cilantro
16 5- to 6-inch corn tortillas
1 pound Monterey Jack cheese, coarsely grated (about 4 1/2 cups)
Heat 3 tablespoons oil in large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add onion, garlic, oregano, cumin and cinnamon.
Cover. Cook until onion is almost tender, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Mix in chili powder and flour; stir 3 minutes.
Gradually whisk in 4 1/2 cups broth. Increase heat to medium-high. Boil until reduced to 3 cups, stirring occasionally, about 35 minutes.
Remove from heat. Whisk in chocolate; season with salt and pepper. Cool.
Put in a sieve and mash some more.
Let sit to drain out excess water. When drained, add corn, beans and chopped cilantro. Mix well.
Heat 3 tablespoon oil in medium skillet over medium heat. Add 1 tortilla and cook until just pliable, about 20 seconds per side.
Transfer to paper-towel-lined baking sheet. Repeat with remaining tortillas, adding oil as needed.
Spread 1/3 cup sauce in each of two 13 x 9 x 2-inch glass baking dishes. Lay tortilla in sauce. Spoon 3 T cheese on each tortilla. Add ¼ cup of pumpkin mix and a little sauce on top. Roll up tortillas.
Arrange seam side down in prepared dishes. Repeat with remaining tortillas. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover sauce and enchiladas separately; chill.)
Preheat oven to 375°F. Top enchiladas with remaining sauce, then sprinkle with remaining cheese.
Cover with foil; bake 20 minutes (30 minutes if chilled). Remove foil and bake until sauce bubbles, about 10 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes.... and SERVE!
These are WAY yummy - GGC
I got this recipe from my friend, Mary. It makes 2 large loafs so you can freeze one for later.
Coconut Walnut Pumpkin Bread
3 ½ cups four
2 cups brown sugar (I put ½ cups because this pumpkin is so sweet)
½ cup sugar
2 tsp baking soda
1 ½ tsp salt
1 tsp nutmeg
1 ½ tsp
2 cups pumpkin puree
1 cup vegetable oil
2/3 cup milk or coconut milk
4 large eggs
1 ¼ cups sweetened flaked coconut
1 cup toasted walnuts, chopped
Preheat oven to 350. Butter and dust with flour two 8”x4” loaf pans. Sift into a large bowl the flour, brown sugar, sugar, baking soda, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon. (note…I didn’t sift…I just mixed well with a fork). In a separate bowl, whisk together pumpkin puree, oil, milk and eggs. Stir pumpkin mixture into dry ingredients, mixing only to combine. Fold in coconut and walnuts. Divide batter between the two prepared pans. Bake at 350 until top of bread springs back when pressed gently and a tester inserted in bread’s center comes out clean (50 minutes- 1 hour). Allow bread to cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes before turning out of pans. Allow bread to cool completely on a wire rack.