Recipes @ Pumpkin Dinner

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Sunday, May 1, 2011

Pumpkin Dinner

Join us for Halloween recipes for an Orange-Pumpkin Flan, Individual Chicken Potpies in Pumpkins and a Crunchy Pumpkin Seed Salad.

Although it predated the arrival of colonists, the pumpkin became associated with settlers from Europe during the colonization of the Americas. Today, it's a Thanksgiving tradition to have pumpkin pie with roasted turkey. However, pumpkins shouldn't be relegated to traditional dessert offerings like pies, which is why I incorporated pumpkin into the salad, main course and dessert of this holiday-inspired meal.

Inspired by the theme of thanksgiving for the growing season and harvest, we've used all parts of the pumpkin in these dinner recipes: the flesh, the outer shell and the seeds. Canned pumpkin puree is the base for the orange-pumpkin flan recipe, a twist on pumpkin pie. For the individual chicken potpies, use small sugar pumpkins for the serving containers. The sugar pumpkin has a sweet, firm flesh that won't become soggy when baked. Don't use large sugar pumpkins; small sizes work best to hold individual servings of a hearty chicken potpie baked inside the pumpkins' interiors. Pumpkin seeds, known as pepitas in Mexican and Latin American cuisine, add crunch and flavor to a healthy salad of fresh lettuce and crispy green beans.



In this custard-based dessert, pumpkin pie (a popular Puritan dish that traces its origins to Colonial America) combines with flan, a traditional Spanish dessert.


A family-dinner favorite everyone enjoys during cool weather, chicken potpie is baked and served inside a hollowed-out pumpkin.


Full of vitamins A and C, pumpkin seeds are nutritious and make a great snack. Called pepitas in Mexican cooking, the seeds are great when toasted and added to a salad.

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