Pumpkin has long been a sure sign of autumn, rolling in the winter.
Round and flat, drum-like, oblong and curved, bright orange, yellow and different shades of green, it appears overnight in markets, weekend fairs and in stores.
To the opening of the season Alena Spirina cooked pumpkin souffle.
A pumpkin is a vegetable whose presence does not depend on any sanctions.
Having come to Russia almost before potatoes, the pumpkin firmly settled on the beds, even in areas of high risk farming. Amateur gardeners arrange a real hunt for pumpkin seeds of different varieties, so that the fruits taken in the fall were not only different in color and taste, but also in texture.
After all, a pumpkin can be so different — and sweet, almost fruit, and dense with a slightly earthy flavor, ideal for vegetable stews, and pumpkin-spaghetti, the pulp of which, after cooking, is easily disassembled into long fibers.
For a long winter pumpkin is invaluable unpretentious to storage conditions. It is stored entirely, without wrapping, in a cool dark place.
In a city, it can be a glazed balcony or a garage with a positive temperature.
The cut pieces are wrapped in film and kept in the refrigerator.
The most famous, originally Russian dish — milk porridge with pumpkin, millet or rice, with sugar or honey, sweet or not. For a long time it was almost the only use of this beautiful vegetable.
The company he was perhaps that baked in the oven ground-up pumpkin.
But in the United States, the home of the most delicious pumpkin varieties, things were much more fun: in addition to the traditional sweet pumpkin pie, it has long been used for all kinds of casseroles, side dishes, muffins and bread.
For several years now, pumpkin has become one of the trendy products: cooks, and after them, lovers of delicious food, cooked pumpkin soups and salads, risotto and gnocchi, come up with tricky snacks and even cook chutneys and other confitures. Indeed, pumpkin is an extremely fertile vegetable in terms of compatibility with other products.
Spicy, sweet, sour, spicy — all to her face!
At first glance, it is more convenient to buy a pumpkin in chunks: you can see the color of the pulp, its thickness, and sometimes you can even smell it — a good, distinctly own flavor of a good pumpkin.
This is so if you know exactly what exactly the purchased piece will be used for.
It is much more practical to buy a pumpkin entirely.
She will calmly wait until your plan ripens and your hands reach its realization.
For example, you decide to cook a wonderful pumpkin and cheese casserole. For her need a piece of raw pumpkin. Cut it, and bake the rest of the pumpkin in the oven.
This is the simplest and most convenient thing you can do, because you don’t even have to cut the peel off the pumpkin!
This, by the way, is not the simplest thing: the skin is dense, it can only be cut off with a sharp and heavy knife, and besides, the round sides make the object of application of force very unstable.
And for baking, it is enough to cut the pumpkin into large pieces or at least in half, smear the cuts with vegetable oil, put it on the baking sheet skin down and put it in a preheated oven. Bones can be removed, and you can not bother. Set the oven temperature at your discretion, from 160 to 200 degrees Celsius.
You can generally bake the pumpkin in the oven off, cooling down after baking bread, for example.
Cooking time depends on the temperature, the thickness of the pulp, and the specific oven.
The pumpkin is ready when the fork or the tip of the knife enters the pulp easily, as if in butter.
Cooled flesh is easily scraped off the skin with a tablespoon, no effort is needed.
Be sure to cut off strongly burnt spots from the surface!
If you don’t like the idea of baking, boil steamed pumpkin prepared in the same way or cook in a microwave oven — then there will not even be a tan on the surface!
And now with the pulp can be done in two ways: either to leave it in pieces, or process a blender in a smooth mashed potatoes.
The first option leaves more freedom for further actions, the second allows you to keep on hand a semi-finished product of «high degree of readiness.»
In the same America, canned pumpkin puree is sold in any supermarket.
Pulp or mashed potatoes are conveniently packaged in small plastic containers or cans and stored in the refrigerator — they will hold out for a week for sure. For longer storage, it is advisable to decompose the semi-finished product in plastic bags of 250-300 grams and put them in the freezer.
The bags will take a bit of space, but you will always have a pumpkin on hand, from which you can cook a puree soup, bake a cupcake or pie, add it to the gnocchi dough or mix it with ground seeds and get an excellent vegan pate.
Or make a dessert soufflé.
By the way, the souffle can also be a snack, it is enough to reduce sugar (up to 50 g) in the recipe and replace the «sweet» spices with savory spices, such as black and cayenne pepper, cumin or coriander, smoked paprika. Pumpkin — she is so patient …
Yes, just in case: from 500 g of unpeeled pumpkin you will get about 250 ml of mashed potatoes.
What do you need:
125 ml of milk or low-fat cream
1 tbsp. l starch
1 pinch of ground cardamom
1 pinch ground ginger
1 pinch of ground cinnamon
150 g sugar
250 ml pumpkin puree
squirrels 10 eggs
1 pinch of salt
For the preparation of molds:
1-2 tbsp. l butter
1-2 tbsp. l light brown sugar
What to do:
Grease souffle molds with butter and sprinkle with sugar, shake off excess.
Arrange on a baking sheet.
Mix in a small ladle milk, starch, spices and a tablespoon of sugar.
Bring to a boil and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, for a couple of minutes, until the mixture thickens.
Remove milk mixture from heat and stir in pumpkin puree.
Transfer to a large bowl and cool to room temperature.
Preheat oven to 200 C.
Beat the whites in a strong, shiny foam, gradually adding the remaining sugar. Stir in a third of the whipped proteins into the pumpkin mass, then stir in the remaining proteins.
Stir and spread in molds.
Bake the souffle for 18-20 minutes: it will rise well in molds and become golden in color.
Sprinkle the ready-made souffle with sugar and immediately serve to the table, accompanied by a suitable sauce, for example, caramel or chocolate.
- Pumpkin mixture without proteins can be cooked for a day and stored in the refrigerator.
- Souffle can be spread on the tins for an hour before baking and put in the freezer.
- Baked soufflé can be “restored”, if you put it in the oven, preheated to 200 C, for 10-12 minutes. But you need to serve immediately, because the re-baked souffle falls very quickly.
Photo by Alena Spirina
“I am an activist of seasonal cuisine, according to the precise definition of a Moscow gastropub. Everything that appears in my kitchen is prepared quickly, simply and according to the season. Even my book “52 Cakes” is divided into chapters by seasons.
And I also like to follow the path of simplifying the preparation technology, “cut corners” without harming the taste.
This is possible if one imagines what is happening with the products, understanding — or trying to understand — the chemistry and physics of processes. And then you really want to share your discoveries and discoveries with friends and colleagues.
It’s good that there are opportunities for this — three seasons of the program “Just Delicious” on the channel “Kitchen TV”, a culinary blog, which I have been conducting for 7 years with varying degrees of enthusiasm, and master classes in the culinary studio. ”
Recipes Alena Spirina:
Cake with berries and curd cream
Not all berries are equally well suited for the cake, especially if they fall into the oven with the dough.
Someone irritates the bones of the raspberry — when baking, they are exposed.
My acquaintance with the culinary phenomenon called «vegetable broth» occurred at a time when no one had heard about the Internet ..
On the basis of cranberry jam in a few minutes you can make an excellent sauce based on English cumberland, which is ideal for roast beef.
Cottage cheese and greens pie
Broccoli and zucchini are replaced by young sorrel, fresh spinach and beet tops. Do not restrain yourself in the market, buy spicy watercress.
Drunk cherry cake
About 30 years ago, Alena Spirina, being a very young, but already inquisitive cook, mastered the preparation of a cake called Drunk Cherry in Chocolate.
Eggplant with cheese
Recently, baking has become my favorite way of preparing eggplants.
At home — on a baking sheet in the oven, if possible — on an open fire See below.