Monday, May 23, 2011

Pumpkin Rice and Pumpkin Soup

Although I harvested a pumpkin last weekend, I still have not use it. I am trying to finish up pumpkins that I got from our local fruit and veggie swap earlier this month. It was cold and raining heavily yesterday so I had some time in my hand to search for pumpkin recipes that I can make with things that I have in my fridge and pantry. It has been such a long time that I have not spent much time in the kitchen experimenting, all thanks to the rain yesterday.
Our weekend harvest were sweet corns, chilies, beans, tomatoes, carrots, radishes, baby beetroot, snow peas, first harvest of snowball turnips and might be the last okra burgundy for this year. See what other gardeners from all over the worlds are harvesting this week in Harvest Monday hosted by Daphne's Dandelions.
With all those chilies and tomato harvest, we had sambal belacan everyday. Hope it keeps the flu bug away from this cold weather.
I have to say that I don't grow up eating pumpkin that much. I rarely saw pumpkin in my mama kitchen. I know she probably used a lot of pumpkin for puree and feeding me when I was a baby like I do with my sons. But other than that it is very rare that we have any dishes with pumpkin on it or I was not fond of pumpkin during my childhood and teens. I gave some pumpkin to my vegetarian friend and she said she used them for pumpkin soup. She says her mom used to make pumpkin rice. So I decided to have a go of making pumpkin rice when I remember that A Nyonya' s Kitchen...for all seasons blog shared her pumpkin rice recipe, end last month. This is not vegetarian dish but Ilhan likes to eat chicken nowadays so perhaps I can coax him to have a taste and he won't have a big fuss. Petite nyonya used dried scallops, shitake mushrooms and teriyaki sauce but I don't include this because it was not available in our pantry. Furthermore, we used 2 cups of rice instead of 3/4cup rice .This is because instead of small bowl diced chicken meat, someone use big bowl. I skipped the 'small" when I was reading the ingredients. We add in sliced capsicum, turnips and snow peas into this dish. I like this dish it was easy and did not take much time prepare because the rice cooker will help with the cooking afterwards.
I have always wanted to make western style vegetable soups but I always don't have some of the ingredients in our kitchen when I have the time. For example, for a South-East Asia kitchen any kind of cream, sour or full or light is not a common thing that I would have in the fridge except if I have been planning ahead for some certain dish, this include natural yogurt for cooking too. Sometime I buy them on impulse, maybe this weekend thinking I can try new dish...most of the time it got expired. While waiting for Ilhan selecting his books at the local library, I saw one of Masterchef judge new book~ Gary Mehigan's Comfort Food. I borrowed it for Lenay because she likes to watch Masterchef. I took a peek when we are back at home, Gary's pumpkin soup recipe ingredient are things that we have in the kitchen. So my mission for Sunday dinner preparation was making pumpkin soup.
Gary's pumpkin soup is for 4servings (I only made for 2 serving half of the ingredient below. But it was still too much and we even freeze half of the cooked soup).
~1X1.6 kg jap pumpkin, peeled, seeded, cut into manageable chunk for grating (I used 3 different type of pumpkin because I am trying to finish off the pumpkin we got from the swap JAP, butternut and that giant pumpkin. Moreover I cut it into small chunks and did not grate.)
~125 g unsalted butter, chopped.
~50ml vegetable oil
~1 teaspoon table salt
~1 litre milk
~Freshly ground black pepper, crusty bread or garlic toasts to serve.

Heat butter and oil over medium heat. Add the pumpkin and sprinkle with salt. Cook the pumpkin, covered, gently over low heat for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally until it is soft. Stir in the milk and bring to boil.
Blend the pumpkin mixture in a food processor or blender until creamy and smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
My first home-made pumpkin soup. I am participating Wendy's Garden to Table Challenge.
Another few days, it will be officially winter here. Do you think two of our pumpkins down here will make it until they are mature enough to harvest?

I don't like or hate pumpkin. I don't know much about cooking pumpkin. So I need some motivation and learn more about pumpkin. I know it is a very healthy and nutritious food. Any advice on pumpkin?


cikmanggis said...

ohhh Cm mesti tanam pumpkin kali ini hehe.Kami sangat suka makan Pumpkin..sup pumpkin,nasi pumpkin,sira pumpkin,cekodok pumpkin..ohhh sedappp.Semuanya tentang Pumpkin sedap belaka:)

cikmanggis said...

oh ya lupa..sambal belacan tu nampak sungguh sedap sekali.

shaz said...

Wow, you are harvesting snow peas already? I only just sowed some a couple of weeks ago. Same with cabbage. I like pumpkin soup and I never add cream or milk to it. I just grate parmesan cheese over the top. Pumpkin risotto is pretty good too, or just roasted pumpkin stirred through pasta? Makes a good filling for ravioli too. Good luck with the pumpkin.

Unknown said...

What beautiful harvest pictures and your meals look lovely! I wish I could tell you more about cooking with Pumpkin...I know it is wonderful, but I haven't done much with it myself either.

Beam said...

I have cooked super-delish pumpkin soup with cream cheese or american cheese and tomatoes. I have also used milk with it. But I prefer to spice it up with nutmeg, salt and cayenne pepper( you could use your lovely fresh chillis!). I think Ginger works well with pumpkin, too. Especially if it is a rather sweet kind of pumpkin. Garlic and sage are really nice in pumpkin stir fries - lovely with noodles. I like stuffed pumpkins out of the oven, if they aren't too big! Oh, you can do so many things with pumpkins!I also love their taste - sweet and hearty and it is nice that they keep so long without cooling! Right now I am trying to grow pumpkins on my balcony. I hope I get lucky with that or I'll have to buy pumpkins on every farm that I happen to pass by ;), because fall here is all about pumpkins for me! So looking forward to that! :D BTW - Lovely harvest you got there! I am jealous that you can grow sweet corn! I only have a balcony. Doubt that it would grow in a container! But maybe I'll try that next year! ;o)

tina said...

You make pumpkins look so good and beautiful. Picture perfect picture on the soup. I can see what you mean about having things in the kitchen that you don't normally cook with. Regional differences can be vast. Nonetheless, good hearty soups are always on the spot in the winter. Maybe if you leave the pumpkins on the vine they might ripen?

Barbie~ said...

I love pumpkin, but cooking it takes too much time with my long hours. :-( I enjoy the fall spices with mine - like spice cake with lots of pumpkin, breakfast rolls, pies, etc. Your harvest is very vivid and beautiful!

Lee said...

Hi, looks really delicious. Nice pics too, very sharp and well taken.
Looks like you have a black belt in cooking.
Keep a song in your heart and have a great week.

Daphne Gould said...

I tend to like my pumpkin sweet. So I make pumpkin pie and pumpkin cake. I make pumpkin casserole that is also sweetened.

Garden Mum said...

What a brilliant looking harvest - and your sambal belacan looks delicious - we don't get to eat chilli much these days as the children only like mild heat in their food, however we do use it with roasted pumpkin served with roast duck and pine nuts - it is a really nice way of enjoying pumpkin and makes a change from pumpkin soup.

Mark Willis said...

I think your pumpkin soup would be even nicer made with chicken stock. Also, I think that Nutmeg is a good spice for flavouring pumpkin and squash, so you could try grating some on top of a finished pumpkin soup or risotto.

Bangchik and Kakdah said...

Pumpkin to Kakdah is always "masak lemak"..., once in a blue moon would be "pengat labu".

rainfield61 said...

Your sambal belacan will sure frighten many people away. It is soooo red.

almutarjimah said...

I love pumpkin but not the soup. And, never heard of pumpkin rice hmm should get my mum to make one :)

Wendy said...

they look gorgeous and the rice looks really yummy too! I love that pumpkin can be made sweet or savory. I love curry and pumpkin together too. It's actually really versatile! I do remember making babyfood - purees so nicely.

Charmcitybalconygarden said...

I love that I learn different dishes on your blog! Do you eat sambal belacan like a soup or as a condiment? It looks really yummy! I've developed a taste for spicy food over the years so I would love to try it.

I'm not sure how you feel about fried food, but we used to eat pumpkin fried (tempura). Also there is another dish my mother made where you cook the pumpkin in soy sauce/sake/mirin mixture. In the States, I noticed that people like to eat their pumpkins sweet (pies) rather than savory dishes.

~TastyTravels~ said...

What a lovely harvest!! YUM! Your pumpkin dishes look delicious!! I can't wait for pumpkin season!

Michelle said...

Your harvest looks wonderful and the sambal looks spicy and delicious!

I like to use winter squash in an Italian dish where you pan fry squash slices in olive oil and then you make a sweet and sour (agrodolce) sauce in the pan with some of the remaining olive oil, garlic, wine vinegar, sugar, and a touch of cinnamon. It's good either warm or room temperature.

Mr. H. said...

I cannot wait until some of our curcubits are ready this fall so that I can try out these delicious looking recipes of yours...they look and sound so good. Actually, we are also growing some summer "Papaya Pear" squash so I should be able to make a variation of that wonderful looking rice dish in a month or so.

Shawn Ann said...

very pretty harvest! I have had pumpkins finish ripening inside after picking them, don't know it that would work for all varieties. I love using my pumpkins, I have made chocolate chip and oatmeal cookies with pumpkin and they are yummy! I also have used it in oatmeal. So many good recipes out there!

Robin said...

Beautiful harvest! I make pumpkin's great to serve with cheese!

Cat-from-Sydney said...

Hie MKG,
Oh yes...we loooove pumpkin in this household. Two recipes that never fail in making Dad "tambah nasi" twice. One is, dice the pumpkin, about 1-inch pieces, stir fry with garlic, onion, capsicum, whole peppercorns, ikan bilis or even fresh or dry prawns, salt and little bit of water. yummm...., or masak lemak kuning with cili padi, daun kunyit, suhun, and tahu kering, and dry lily buds (kincham). another round of yumss.... In Dad's village at the East Coast, the ladies there would make sira labu, that is pumpkin cooked in sugar syrup, white sugar or even brown, with cloves and cinnamon as flavouring. It's sweet but OK if its once a year I guess. meowww....Nikki

p.s. am blogging while Angelina's still AWOL.

Malay-Kadazan girl said...

Cikmanggis~ Oh tak tahu pula pumpkin boleh masak dengan cekodok. Campur benda-benda lain juga ke untuk cekodok labu ni.

Shaz~ Now I know that we need to roast the pumpkin first to cook with pasta...hehehe...see how little I know how to cook. I made a mistake, I just knew I harvested pea instead of snow peas. The snow peas too are producing pods now.

Allison~ We can learn how to use pumpkin together this year ;-).

Beam~ Thank you so much for the tips very helpful. I think I saw someone blog that have a success growing sweet corns on her balcony. So it is possible. Good luck growing pumpkin on your balcony!

Tina~ Yeah I probably leave the pumpkin alone on the vein as long as the plant is still alive. It is exciting to try other regional ingrediant that we are not familiar with.

Barbie~ I understand sometime it does take a long time to prepare. Surprisingly the pumpkin soup was rather quick to cook.

Uncle Lee~ Unfortunately I did not go for my black belt test for one of this martial art. So like that technique, in the kitchen I am still brown belt ;-).

Daphne~ The main reason I don't like pumpkin was the sweetness. I am not a very sweet person ;-). How I wish I know how to bake like you. So I can try making pumpkin pie and pumpkin cake.

Garden Mum~ We also don't cook much with chili these days because the children don't tolerate heat like us. Cooking separate dish takes time.That is why we made sambal belacan to spice up our meal.The great thing about sambal belacan that it can stand 3 days so we make a lot don't have to make it each meal.

Mark~ I will stock up our pantry with nutmeg. It is in our grocery list now.

Malay-Kadazan girl said...

Bangchik dan Kakdah~ I don't think I have ever tasted pengat labu before. But I feel like making it so I can know how it taste like.

Rainfied61~ Previous sambal belacan that I posted look like mud bath because I got overboard with belacan:).

Almutarjimah~ You mum pumpkin rice will surely taste better than ours.

Wendy~ I have not eaten vegetable curry for sometime. vegetable curry with pumpkin?

Charmcitybalconygarden~ a condiment, sauce or as a dipping. You can put small amount of sambal into soup to spice it up too. I used to make pumpkin tempura when I was living in Japan that is the only thing I do with pumpkin when I was there:). My Japanese friend used to bring steam pumpkin over to my apato or whenever I visit her. Your mother dish sounds delicious.

Holly~ Hope you have many pumpkin this year!

Michelle~ I like dish which taste sweet and sour. The way you decribe to me that Italian dish makes me crave for it.

Mr. H~ I am looking forward to see how your "Papaya pear" squash look like. I never heard about it before. Very curious.

Shawn Ann~ It is good to hear that it can be ripen inside too.

Robin~ Pumpkin Jam. Wow this is new to me.

miruku said...

My mum told me a secret on growing corns- must keep the mouth shut all time while sowing corn seeds to get neat and full grains. I think you knew it before me ;)
Nice harvest!