I hate mustaches I hope everyone had a perfect Halloween! I bet some of you are wondering, “What should I do with my jack-o-lantern now that his 15 minutes of fame is over?” Well, you’ve come to the right place to find your answer:
If you followed my Four Little Pumpkins posts, you would know that I promised to share my pumpkin puree preserving tips! WELLLL the wait is over!
There are a few different ways to deal with your pumpkin- and they are probably all fine. I do it this way for one reason: it’s how my mom did it! And my mom
created THIS masterpiece is pretty trustworthy, so lets get to it.
Firstlyyyy clean up the outside of your pumpkin- it may have gotten a tad narsty sittin outside for a couple of days! You can clean up the inside of the pumpkin in a later step. Next chop your pumpkin into long slices like this.
Let me interrupt this tutorial to quickly point out that some of you might be thinking “Where are your kids while you are going on all these exciting food and craft adventures?”
I’m glad I grew up with 7 younger siblings. It’s easy for me to tune out the insanity. Plus the kids are cute. I think I’d have a harder time if I had ugly kids. Whatever- everyone thinks it!
Next pile all your pumpkin cubes (including the frozen chunks you threw in the freezer when you were carving Jack Skellington faces) into a biiig soup pot.
Finally, puree that pumpkin! I used my immersion blender- which I LOVE. It is one of my fave kitchen tools! It makes quick work of pureed soups and baby food- it saves so many dishes- it’s amazing. And this sweet kitchenAid model has a metal base which is really great! You can use a normal blender if you just puree the pumpkin in shifts.
You can make it as smooth or as chunky as you want. I made mine pretty smooth because I’ll be using some for baby food for my little niece!
After your pumpkin is pureed, scoop it in one cup portions into some freezer-safe containers. These cute little guys happen to be Tupperware Freezer Mates that I got back in my Tupperware Lady days (LOL I was the worst/best Tupperware lady ever- at a party I’d be like “Ya, this is 80 bucks but I saw one for 5 dollars on Craigslist.” Oh well, I got lots of sweet, cheap samples like these babies.
So I used some freezer bags to store the rest. You’re supposed to keep your pumpkin puree in the freezer for around max 6-8 months. I’ve totally used 1 yr old pumpkin and it’s fiiiiine.
So THAT is how I process my pumpkins folks! I could end here…
…but when I got to the bottom of the pot and saw that there was some puree left -not enough to store, but too much to wash away- I decided to use up some coconut milk I had in the fridge and make a delicious thai pumpkin red curry for dinner! This curry base is so versatile- I’ll share some pics and instructions first then i’ll share a nicely-written recipe at the end of the post 🙂
Next I scoured my fridge and pantry for some veggies etc. I found some scallions, chickpeas, water chestnuts, and a mix of spinach and fresh basil. This is just what I had on hand. In the recipe at the end I’ll give some better ideas of what would work well in this dish.
…like a pumpkin. Hehehe. That’ll do.
After those veggies got all cooky and saucy in the coconutty curry goodness, I served it over rice. And it was so darn good.
My hubby (who is the opposite of vegan lol) loved this meal!!! He was in shock at how good chickpeas and pumpkin could taste! But if I told him what was for dinner he would have pulled the whole “My van broke down in front of McDonalds, so I wont be home for a bit.” thing.
A lot of my recipes wind up vegan- but it is a total accident! It’s just good food! I promise!
Here is my recipe for a simple coconut thai red curry- It works really well with most veggies and proteins so it is a great ‘clean out the fridge’ recipe.
Thai Coconut Red Curry:
1 can of coconut milk (I also used 1/2 a cup of pureed pumpkin this time but that isn’t necessary at all)
1/2-1tsp red curry paste (A Taste of Thai is my fave brand)
1/2 cup stock (chicken, veggie)
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon lime juice
1-2 cups of veggies- bamboo shoots, water chestnuts, thinly sliced red peppers, carrots, spinach, pumpkin chunks, green beans, scallions etc etc. (Optional- but sooo good- 1/4 cup fresh basil)
1 can of chick peas (or 1-2 raw or cooked chicken breasts or thighs, cubed)
salt and pepper to taste
(Get some rice cooking right away- this recipe should only take 20 mins once everything is prepped.)
In a large pot, whisk red curry paste and coconut milk together and bring up to a simmer on medium heat.
Add the stock, fish sauce, lime juice, sugar, veggies and beans or meat, and cook on med-low until the rice is done and chicken is cooked- around 15 ish minutes.
Serve over rice.
*Note* If you bring the curry to a boil after adding the stock and lime juice, it might wind up curdled- it still tastes amazing, but try to keep it under a boil.
*Other note* If you add 6-8 cups of stock and double the veggies in this curry, it makes a delicious coconut curry soup!