Thanksgiving is already over but I would like to share here one dish that I made on Thanksgiving. It was a roasted pumpkin and chipotle puree,
that turned out really, really delicious.
Using a technique I learned from Alex
Talbot and Aki Kamozawa of Ideas in Food I roasted a pumpkin whole in a convection
oven at 325F for about an hour and a half. The pumpkin I used was a
French heirloom variety, that in our area has come to be referred to
as a “peanut shell” pumpkin because of
the odd textured patterns
on its exterior that look like peanut shells. It's real name,
however, is ‘Brodé Galeux d’Eysines’ (Cucurbita maxima). Once the pumpkin finished roasting I left it out
to cool before cutting it in half and removing most of the seeds. The
flesh was then easily scooped out and placed in a Vita-Mix blender.
Vita-Mix blenders are a major step up
from home blenders. I'm not sure that a regular home blender or even
a food processor would have done the job that the Vita-Mix did. I did
not worry about scrupulously making sure that all the seeds had been
removed from the flesh as I placed it in the blender, knowing that
the Vita-mix would make short work of the outer coat, which it did. I
was tempted to put more of the also-roasted seeds in for body and
flavor, but I did not want to push my luck. Next time I will add
To the pumpkin flesh I added a short
pour of maple syrup,
the pulp of a vanilla bean, cinnamon shards,
freshly grated nutmeg, salt and a Mexican dried chipotle, filling the
container nearly to the top with all the ingredients. I then blended
the mixture to a fully smooth consistency. The combination worked
nicely with enough chipotle to add complexity, flavor and a touch of
heat with overwhelming the other components. The puree proved a
popular accompaniment to the rest of the Thanksgiving meal, but with
tweaks could be used for other purposes. Thinned out a bit with
chicken stock or some other liquid, it would make a delicious soup.
It could also be made a touch sweeter and with the addition of
hydrocolloids, a nice dessert component.