Monday, October 31, 2011

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

In celebration of Halloween, I selected a recipe for toasted pumpkin seeds. 

Whenever I am able I'll mention what magazine or paper a recipe is from.  But, like many of the recipe clippings I saved, I have no idea what publication this recipe came from.  There are many that I can tell just by the print and styling of the recipe but this one is a mystery.

The ingredients are few, which always makes for a simple, easy recipe. 

Pumpkin seeds, olive oil and salt

Preheat the oven to 400°.

Rinse your seeds well of all the slime and strings that come from scraping the innards of your pumpkin.  The pumpkin I used yielded about 1 cup of seeds.

Place the seeds in a small saucepan and add your water and salt.  Add 2 cups of water for every half cup of seeds; so I added 4 cups here (I knew that Arithmetic for Teachers course I took in college would come in handy one day).  For your salt, add 1/2 Tbsp. for each cup of water (more if you like it saltier, but I would start with this formula).  There's nothing worse than something so salty you can't eat it.

Bring the water to a boil then simmer for 10 minutes.

Spread olive oil on the bottom of a jelly roll pan. 

Drain the seeds well and spread them in a single layer in the pan. 

Bake them for 10 to 20 minutes depending on how brown and crunchy you like them.  Remove them from the oven and let them cool on a rack.  Store in an air tight container.

Eat them by themselves for a great snack.  I garnished my split pea soup with them.

My opinion for what it's worth....
These had a great taste and crunchiness to them and I will keep this recipe.  They had a very dull finish to them so they weren't as attractive as others I've made in the past.  What I really liked about this method was simmering them in the salt water, instead of salting them on the pan, hoping you get enough to stick to the seeds.  The only thing I would change in this recipe would be to let the seeds dry after simmering in the salt water and toss with a little oil prior to spreading them on the pan.  You could also add some dry herbs in the toss as well.

Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

  • Seeds from one medium pumpkin
  • Salt
  • Olive Oil
Using a strong metal spoon, scoop out the insides of the pumpkin.  Separate the seeds and rinse well.

Place seeds in a small saucepan, adding about 2 cups of water to each 1/2 cup of seeds.  Add 1/2 Tbsp. of salt to each cup of water (more if you prefer saltier seeds).  Bring water to a boil, turn down heat and simmer for 10 minutes.  Remove from heat and drain the seeds well.  Spread the seeds on a piece of wax paper or parchment paper and allow to dry.

Preheat oven to 400°.  When the seeds have dried, throw them in a small bowl and toss them with a little olive oil (start with 1/2 Tbsp. per cup of seeds and add a little at a time until they are nicely coated but not dripping in oil).   You can toss in dried herbs at this point if you wish.  Spread the seeds in a single layer on the pan.  Bake on the top rack until the seeds are browned to your liking (between 10 - 20 minutes).

Cool the seeds completely in the pan, on a cooling rack.  Store in an air tight container.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

It Started So Innocently

 There are three people during my youth who were responsible for the relationship I now have with the kitchen.  Those people are my Dad, my Aunt Penny, and Julia Child (via Public Television).

In the summer of my 14th year I spent a month with my Uncle Max and Aunt Penny in Richardson, Texas to lend them a helping hand with their new born twins and their toddler.  I recall that I had the best time while I was there.  Aunt Penny made sure I had a good time even though I was technically there to work.  She introduced me to a neighbor girl who was about 3 years older than me.  I thought she was the coolest.  She had beautiful long dark hair and she introduced me to Iron Butterfly's In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida album which we played over and over and over. During that month Penny also introduced me to her Grandma Jordan’s pumpkin bread recipe.

She also bought me this.

My very own binder to collect recipes in.

 It came with cute little dividers. 

The original binder disintegrated years ago and was replaced with a new one but I kept the little dividers.

I didn't limit myself to recipes.  I clipped articles and tables that essentially taught me how to cook over the years.

I have been cutting them out of magazines and newspapers ever since and now this is what I have amassed in the past 40-some years. 
Since the majority of my time on this earth has passed I better get in gear if I’m ever going to experience these recipes.  I have decided that it's time to put these recipes to the test.  Test them, use them, or toss them.  So, as you can see this blog has its beginning out of necessity.

I also adore cookbooks.  I read them like novels and although I am pretty good about cooking from them, I’ll be more diligent in trying new recipes from these as well.
So, that is what I’ll be doing here.  I will attempt to cook my way through these recipes and get that box out of my pantry.  And if you happened to stumble upon these pages, I hope you find something you'd like to try!