Friday, October 29, 2010

It's Pumpkin Seed Time!

Pumpkin Seeds!!! Yum!
I know, I know.  I told you I hated carving pumpkins….but I broke down and bought two pumpkins just so I could make some pumpkin seed recipes.  Guess what?  Two pumpkins just don’t generate enough seeds for two separate recipes.  %$@&!  What did I do?  My neighbor (HI SHERRY!) has four kids AND four un-carved pumpkins sitting on her porch AND she just had her wisdom teeth pulled.  This woman needs me and I need her seeds!  So, here I am with a large knife and five children on my back porch……to make a long story short, I ended up with 4 cups of seeds. Recipe #1 is from my good friend Theresa…..hence the creative name….
Theresa’s Pumpkin Seeds
·        2 cups dried seeds
·        2 tablespoons melted butter or margarine (come on people…use the real butter!)
·        ½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
·        Salt
This recipe is much much much better than your basic roast-n-salt type recipes.  If you do ANYTHING with the seeds, do this recipe.  For goodness sakes you wasted all that time digging the seeds out of the guts and drying them…love them a bit!
Directions:  Mix your seeds with the butter and Worcestershire sauce.  Thank goodness the spell check knows the word Worcestershire or else my brain would explode.  Spread those buttery wo’shired seeds in a shallow pan.  Sprinkle with salt.  Bake at 250 degrees for two hours stirring them occasionally.  They are done when they are brown and crispy.

Now for the great mother queen princess of all pumpkin seed recipes!  I found it in one of those church cookbooks.  I think that is why you can actually taste a bit of heaven in them.  There are very few foods that I think are, “taste of heaven” worthy.  Cheese fondue, red velvet cake, and these seeds are exactly what I am going to eat in heaven. 
Sweet-n-Spicy Pumpkin Seeds

·        One cup dried seeds*
·        5 Tablespoons sugar
·        ¼ teaspoon salt
·        ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
·        ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
·        ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
·        Pinch of cayenne pepper to taste
·        1 ½ tablespoons peanut oil
You need to start out with dry seeds…..dry toasty seeds are the best. *To get dry toasty seeds, put them on a shallow baking stone or a shallow pan lined with parchment paper at 250 degrees for about 15 minutes.  Stir the seeds around and go 15 more minutes.  Stir again.  Then, turn off the oven.  Leave the seeds inside and go to the store and get whatever ingredient you are missing… cumin.  Stop at the salon and buy some shampoo.  The object is to leave your seeds in the oven for about 2 hours untouched.  They will toasty and dry when you get back!

Mix  3 tablespoons of the sugar, salt, cumin, cinnamon, ginger, and the cayenne pepper in a medium bowl.  Make sure it is a pretty bowl like mine.  If you need to, go to Poland and get a pretty bowl of your own.  These seeds deserve a bowl this nice.
Heat the peanut oil in a large skillet on high.  Add your seeds and the last 2 tablespoons of sugar to the oil.  You need to stay with your seeds and stir them constantly.  They will brown very quickly.  Cook them until the sugar begins to caramelize.  This sounds more complicated than it is.  Just pretend you are on Iron Chef and move and stir the seeds until they are nice and brown.
  Quickly, dump the seeds into the bowl with the spices and stir well to coat.  Let them cool or burn your tongue and try some.  You can store in an airtight container for up to one week but you won’t need to.  My one cup of seeds were gone in about 10 minutes.  
Just go and buy a pumpkin right now and make these or de-gut your neighbors like I did.  You can thank me later.

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