Monday, October 19, 2009

roasted buttercup puree and seeds

I'm not going to deny it any longer; there is a small army of buttercup squash in my basement and they must be dealt with. How you ask, well first I'm going to cut them all in half, that's right all of them! Then I'm going to pull out every baking sheet I can find and fill them with squash. Cut side down of course. Now like the evil food captain I am, I'm going to ship my army of squash off to oven land (350 degrees) and wait until they come back from their mission, soft and delicious. After which, I'll scoop out their insides and pulse, mash, and whip everything into a light, smooth pile. Muhahahahaha.

As you can see, just like most of us, they love their time in the heat!

I decided last minute to keep some of the seeds and roast them off as well. There are a million ways to go about this; some people suggest air drying the seeds for one or two days before baking, while others suggest a soak in heavily salted water for that same time. Instead of just soaking, some people boil the heck out of their seeds in salted water, while others are using the microwave...strange indeed. I've always just let the seeds dry up a bit naturally, but feeling the need for change I took the plunge and decided to dry-fry them in a skillet. The tough part is getting all the squash goo away from the seeds. Seriously, it took me almost an hour to clean, de-goo and prepare my seeds.

Keeping things relatively simple, all I did was toss the pile of seeds with oilve oil and kosher salt. Into the oven at 325 degrees I kept checking every 5 minutes, giving the pan a shake and flip. It was about 25 minutes in when I decided to pull them. Of course, I then burnt my lip trying to sample the scalding hot seeds. Silly me, I know. But oh so delicious.

Compared with actual pumpkin seeds, I didn't pick up any major difference. If anything, using olive oil was the most notable one as it changed the flavour profile a bit. I'm pretty sure I've used neutral oils in the past. These puppies are addictive, but even better like roasting nuts, you can toss them in whatever you like. Curry power, cumin, chili powder. Experiment a little and I bet you find something so surprisingly good, you will never want to tell anyone your secret.

Enough of the squash seeds though. It's time to bake!

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