New post from the pantry.
And savoury pumpkin fritters recipe.
Pumpkin is one of my fav among vegetables and April calls for the latest recipes that can be made with it that, in Italy, we find on the market stalls for a very long period from late August to April.
The pumpkin is one of the iconic vegetables of Autumn and its use reaches its peak in the weeks leading up to Halloween. Then, at least in Italy, it seems that the pumpkin disappears with zombies and ghosts.
Not for me. The pumpkin’s been with me for so many months. And for each season, I prepare new recipes.
Come with me. Let’s take a short trip to my pantry
In addition to flavor, what I love about pumpkin are versatility, color and cost which, despite its weight, is always light. For all these reasons, I buy it non-stop, using it to make many different recipes that are suitable for the current season.
Usually, my pumpkin season starts at the end of summer. The first pumpkin ends up on the grill or in the oven, with a drizzle of olive oil and a little coarse salt (yes, coarse salt) and all the aromatics I have under my hand, those of August, which have an intense and perfect scent. Rosemary and thyme, with pumpkin, on all of them. But also fresh marjoram, sage or basil.
Under the first grey and windy sky, I bring to the table some of that light that is missing from the days that are becoming cooler and shorter with soups that in Italy can be vellutata, minestra or zuppa (in order to understand the difference, look at Maltagliati, Borlotti and Chestnut Minestra).
But among the all-time favorites is pumpkin vellutata with a heart of gorgonzola cheese that I like to accompany with a glass of red wine. Maybe a Sangiovese of Romagna, young and honest.
I don’t really like some of the Halloween recipes. Savory rolls that look like severed fingers, soups that reproduce color and texture of zombie vomit, and cookies like coffins, don’t correspond to my idea of appetizing food. But between October and November, I’m certainly not giving up a slice of pumpkin buckwheat cake.
And when the pumpkin season ends for most people, start for me the best time.
It’s when pumpkin becomes stuffing for tortelli, or a sauce for pasta, or gnocchi but also crispy cubes to season winter salads.
Pumpkin fritters, a new recipe
In the past, with the arrival of April I would have yielded to the charms of broad beans, peas, artichokes, asparagus, onions, spinach and chard. But this year, because of the quarantine kitchen, I make different choices. I resisted the temptation of the early produce and bought some more pumpkin.
I placed it on the table, arranging the groceries and trying to think of a recipe to make it the absolute protagonist.
As I wrote in the post on the Bread Soup Recipe, the quarantine kitchen got me this way. With the desire to cook using few ingredients, trying to get the most out of each dish. And, really, my repertoire was missing a spring recipe with pumpkin.
In the savory preparations I adjust the sweetness of the pumpkin using spices and aromas. These croquettes, where pumpkin and nutmeg are stretched out, are soft inside and slightly crunchy outside.
Once the pulp is cooked, the preparation is quick. Cooking requires a little attention and patience, but only a little bit. And I’ll explain everything in the process.
You can serve them as an appetizer, aperitif or main course (in this case, consider to include a side dish or a salad).
Buona cucina, Monica
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If you prefer, bake in a preheated oven (180C degrees, static function). Cover the bottom of the pan with baking paper brushed with olive oil. Place the croquettes using a spoon and leaving a little distance between one and the other. After 15 minutes, check the baking before turning on the other side (cooking in the oven is longer than in the pan).
Savory Pumpkin Fritters Recipe
serves 4 like dinner
serves 6 like aperitif/appetizer
already cooked pumpkin pulp, 500g
grated Parmigiano Reggiano, 70g
flour (also gluten-free), 70 g
powder yeast, 2g
sea salt and nutmeg
you need: a metal spoon
With a fork, mash the pumpkin pulp and put all the ingredients in a bowl.Mix the mixture well and, if you prefer, help yourself with the immersion blender (which is a fixation of mine, I use it to do everything. I’ll probably use it soon for the hair fold as well). If you’re not convinced, mix ingredients with energy using a whip or a wooden spoon.
Open a bottle of red wine and pour a glass, it will keep you company while you cook the croquettes.
For each pumpkin croquette consider a generous spoonful of dough. And that these croquettes are not fried in the true sense of the word but cooked in a pan greased with olive oil and that you have to grease each time you put new dough.
Let’s go on.
Grease the bottom of a non-stick frying pan with olive oil, heat over medium-high heat, and when it is hot, spread the dough in spoonfuls, leave a little distance between each croquette, and flatten them slightly with the spoon.
Turn down the heat and cook the pumpkin croquettes for 3-4 minutes on each side.
The critical point is when to turn the croquettes.
Too soon, they break. Too late, they blacken.
So what? You’re wondering.
The croquettes should cook about 3-4 minutes per side but the variable is the temperature of your pan and I’m not there with you to check if it’s too high or too low.
Here’s the trick. After a couple of minutes that you have put the first fritters in the pan, move each fritter gently with a spatula and lift it slightly helping you with spatula and fork.
If the part on the bottom comes off without any problem and you see that the crust has formed, turn on the other side and do the same for the pumpkin fritters. Cook for a few minutes, check the croquettes again and when are golden and slightly crunchy (we are not frying), place them on a plate covered with paper.
In about 20 minutes, you’ll have some pumpkin fritters. I suggest you to cook and serve. Otherwise, warm up the fritters in the oven.