SMALL SUGAR PUMPKIN RECIPES

A few days ago, I was walking back from the post office to home when I stopped at my local flower shop trading on the side of the road. I like stopping there. He is not selling a large varieties of flowers and trees but everything he sells is seasonal!

CUCURBITA PEPO

My attention has been caught by small uniform round pumpkins with orange skin, small sugar pumpkin or from their Latin name Cucurbita pepo.

Pumpkin season has started a few days ago as Halloween’s day is approaching rapidly.

At this time of the year, expect to carve pumpkins to decorate the front of your house, some types of pumpkins are great to create delicacies.

So, it’s always tempting to get one of these good looking pumpkins. Not only their shape is great but their flesh too. Orange flesh, sugary sweet flavour and smooth texture.¬†Flesh is said to be one of the best varieties for making pies, it is also good for baking, soups and casseroles.

THE SOUP

When I was working at Trinity Restaurant in Clapham Common, I used to make this soup through the Autumn season.

We used to receive a net of pumpkins every 3 days. Our jos was to take the top off the pumpkins, scoop their flesh out, to reserve the seeds for a later use and finally to make a soup.

It’s one of my favourite soups. It’s a rich soup including butter, cream, milk and a good vegetable stock.

When the seeds are being separated from the flesh, slice 1/2 an onion and sweat it with butter and salt.

Add the pumpkin flesh and cook it in a pan, lid on, rapidly to keep the max of flavour. Stir the soup quite often to make sure that it’s not going to catch on the bottom of the pan. The soup base should be cooked uniformly.

At this stage, add one part of vegetable stock for 1/4 part of cream and 1/4 part of milk. Bring to the boil and blend the soup straight away.

Adjust seasoning. Add a splash of lemon juice and pour the soup into the small pumpkin sugar shell. Top the soup with the pumpkin seeds washed and toasted.

Here we go, a fast and an easy soup to make to impress your guests at home. Something a bit more special than a simple soup and using all the pumpkin from shell to seeds.

SOME READING

Please take time to read the following articles. You will find some interesting information about the large varieties of pumpkins available. From curving to cooking, the list is endless.

30 different types of pumpkins-Facts and Pictures

Mr-Fothergills.co.uk

Cucurbit pepo

MY LATEST POST

Black pudding-Mash-Apple

CONTACT

As Christmas is just around the corner, you might certainly started to create your menu or even thinking to hire a private chef to look after your party. If so, please be in touch with me by clicking on the link below.

CONTACT ME

FINE PLATE OF FOOD: SIMPLICITY

EDIBLE FLOWERS AND TOPS

I am really lucky to have enough space in my garden to grow a small variety of fruits, vegetables and flowers. Edible flowers are trendy at the moment and you must use them accordingly for your dish.

  • Nasturtiums¬†(flowers/leaves) have a slightly acidic peppery flavour; e.g. they are great to accompany a peach dessert.
  • Cucumber flowers: Acidic, use them to accompany summery fish dishes.

I like using wild garlic flowers during spring time. Wild garlic flowers are easy to purchase and they are the perfect accompaniments to a fresh wild garlic soup .

Carrot green tops are great to make a pesto or a chimichurri sauce.

INSPIRATION

I have spent so many hours polishing my skills and inspiration. It’s unbelievable!

Do I need social media to get inspired? No!! Why, I will copy and paste something done already?

A few years ago, we were cooking without having a camera in our pocket. The most important thing was to make the dish right and to assure that the service will go smoothly!

I have always been told to check my seasoning, to send a crispy croquette or to guarantee a hot plate of food. To be honest, it was more important for me to make everything right than to have a nice picture of the dish.

Over the years I have received a wealth of knowledge from all my former Head Chefs. The list of their personal advices is short but effective…….

  • Hard work always pays off
  • Everything is about flavour
  • Don’t over complicate your dish
  • Keep it simple
  • Every ingredient should complement each other
  • Keep reading and focusing on the new trends
  • Taste, taste, taste your food
  • A happy chef makes great food
  • Be sharp from the first minute that you walk in the kitchen
  • Have always a cool and tidy mind. It will help you to go through your day

SIMPLE DISHES

Below, is a selection of simple dishes that I made the last few months. Exploring and trying new or old recipes is my aim at the moment. Food is a joy to cook and great food keeps me happy!

NOTE

Read this article, How to plate dishes worthy of a fine dining restaurant, to understand more the art of plating.

FINE PLATE OF FOOD: PRESENTATION and PLATING

I know, it might look like an empty plate at the moment but how you are going to create this empty plate can make a big difference. So, look at it twice before you send it.

An empty plate

Last week, I started to help you through this journey with a few tips. Today, I will share more.

FLAVOUR AND TEXTURE

Smaller flavour bites are more appreciated than a unique flavour. For example, when I cook game meats like pigeon, I prefer to use only one breast and one leg. Pigeon breast is usually served medium-rare and the leg confit to enjoy every single bite of it. Pigeon is a wonderful meat; gamey, deep, tender so balancing the flavour of the dish is important. For example, a pigeon breast with half of a roasted fig and a few Jerusalem artichoke crisps.

At the same time, I combined various textures. The tenderness of the pigeon breast, the meatiness of the pigeon leg and the crispiness of the jerusalem artichoke crisps.

Or, for example, this refreshing summer dessert. A soft pistachio sponge, a macaroon, the velvet texture of a strawberry sorbet and a soil of toasted pistachio.

Pistachio cake, strawberry macaroon, strawberry sorbet

The recipe of this dessert is available here .

PROTEINS

I have always been told to leave the piece of meat that I cooked to rest for a good five minutes. This avoids blood appearing on the bottom of the plate and it gives a tender texture to the piece of meat soon to be plated.

With fish, I leave the piece of fish, it can be sea bass or cod, carefully on a kitchen towel to absorb any liquids before plating it.

VEGETABLES

One of the best examples of a skilled chef is to taste the vegetables that he/she is prepping. Vegetables are better crunchy than soggy. For example, carrots or broccoli.

To blanch vegetables is not rocket science. But it’s about timing and taste to get them crunchy, tasty and seasoned properly.

BALANCE THE FLAVOURS

Avoid using pungent flavours without balancing them out with milder flavours.

For example, the pigeon breast dish described above.

FINGER PRINTS AND SPLASHES

I always wipe the plates before sending them out of the kitchen. A clean plate without oil marks, drips, splashes or finger prints will make a better impression.