Tis the season to eat… Pumpkin!

pumpkinwaffle

These Pumpkin Waffles are scrumptious!  Check out the recipe below

It’s that time of year to pick Pumpkins, carve them, scare people, and eat the innards. If you are not a Pumpkin fan, then recommend this Blog to people that do enjoy the taste! Basically, I love Pumpkin anything:

Pumpkin Cheesecake

Pumpkin Bread (actual bread)

Pumpkin Bread (dessert loaf)

Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin Roll (a very fattening, yet satifying dessert)

Pumpkin Ravioli (with sage butter sauce)

Pumpkin Juice (for the extremely daring Pumpkin aficionado)

Pumpkin Spiced Soy Lattes from Starbucks (Triple Grande size)

Pumpkin Coffee Creamer

Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin Butter (a spread that really does not have Butter)

Pumpkin Soup (I have a recipe with pureed carrots and spiced with Curry)

Pumpkin Ice Cream (If people can sell Garlic Ice Cream at Garlic Festivals, then anything is certainly possible!)

I probably missed a few Pumpkin ideas, but I wanted to introduce the idea of a Pumpkin Polenta.  I believe that Rachel Ray made her version of it, but I do not recall any of the details, much to my chagrin. She is a seriously creative chef despite the fact that she did not graduate from any culinary school. Clearly she has a cooking talent and people just like her down to earth approach to life… server hosting ip Promoting her is someone else’s job and I’ll blog about Rachel in the future… Rather, I’ll just redirect and focus on my version of a Pumpkin Polenta. It could be used as a nice side dish, or a bed to rest meat upon. Also, you can fry solidified Polenta in butter or margarine after it has congealed into some kind of mold, i.e. Ramekin. Then you can melt some type of cheese in the middle (Mozarella, Provolone, etc.). These fried Polenta Cakes (without the Pumpkin) seem to be very popular at street festivals; I believe they are dubbed “Mozzarepas,” a classic South American staple.

So, here is a basic, sweet, and experimental Pumpkin Polenta ala Evan J to serve 1-2 people.  Just double the numbers for bigger portions:

1 cup of H20

1/2 teaspoon of salt

1 generous tablespoon of Butter, Oleo, Margarine, OR Smart Balance (I like this)

1/4 cup (scant) of a high quality Maple Syrup with a Grade Amber (not Aunt Jemima’s or Mrs. Butterworth’s, concentrated corn syrup for diabetics, NOT! )

1 teaspoon of freshly ground cinnamon

4 tablespoons of smooth, ground Polenta (not coarse)

1/4 cup or slightly more of canned Pumpkin Puree (experiment with the amount depending upon the desired potency).

It’s time to cook:

In a 2 quart stock pot, add the H20, salt, butter, and Maple Syrup.  Bring to a boil and then turn the flame down to a simmer.  Slowly add and whisk the Polenta without stopping.  When it starts to congeal and take on a shape, add the Pumpkin Puree and Cinnamon.  Keep on whisking unless you desire massive lumps (not recommended at all, as you will be seriously ridiculed).  You’ll be stirring for about 3 minutes; make sure the flame is low because the polenta will boil and shoot you in the face–OUCH! Taste to adjust for desired seasoning…When it’s done, turn off the heat and serve immediately.  If you have leftovers, place the remaining Polenta in a Ramekin, cover with foil, and put in the refrigerator (remember those aforementioned cakes?)

Pumpkin Waffles for Breakfast:

The Betty Crocker waffle recipe is the best that I’ve experimented with… I strongly believe in citing my sources (it’s that English Teacher thing I just can’t seem to get away from…) Moving onward… My recipe is based on Betty’s, but I made a few changes:

**Instead of Milk, you can substitute Rice, Almond, or Soy Milk (it’s 1 and 3/4 cups)

**Instead of Butter, use Smart Balance oil (you won’t even notice the difference)

**Add a few drops of Vanilla Extract

**Add about 1/4-1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground Cinnamon

**Scrape the Nutmeg mini-grater gizmo 6 times and tap it the 7th time to release the residue.

**Add about 1/2 cup of Pumpkin Puree.  Look at the color after you blend the mix.  A slightly orange color with have a mild Pumpkin taste.  Add more Pumpkin puree if you’re not afraid to be bold with your flavors (the mix will have a darker, rust color)

Finally, it really helps to have a high quality Waffle maker… If not, buy one that turns upside down to evenly cook the waffle.  Years ago, I used to frequent the infamous “Waffle House” in Virginia.  I’ve eaten several dozen Pecan Waffles from there… They used the machine that turns upside down.  Enough about me–start cooking!

Enjoy and please let me know where the food is:  evanj31drum@hotmail.com

BEST, EVAN J.