Saturday, November 17, 2007

Spicy Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

We cooked five pumpkins in all for my "food appreciation" classes this week, each one a bit smaller than a bowling ball. That left quite a load of pumpkin seeds.

Several of the kids asked if we would be roasting the seeds. Well, not exactly "we." While we were preparing the pumpkins for baking for our pumpkin and wild rice pilaf (see earlier post), I had the kids carefully separate the seeds from the fibers they scooped out of the pumpkins. I took the seeds home to roast.

First, the seeds need to be thoroughly cleaned. I can report that this is not so terribly difficult, but does require a bit of washing and picking through using a colander in the sink. I then blotted the seeds dry with paper towels and tossed them with extra virgin olive oil in a bowl, just enough to lightly coat.

For seasoning, I used a spice rub that I keep on hand for grilling meats and seafood: powdered chili, garlic salt, onion powder, cumin, cinnamon, coarse salt, black pepper and dark brown sugar. Spread the seeds on a baking sheet in a single layer, then dust with the spice mix (you can make one to your own tastes, of course). Place in a 325-degree oven until the seeds are toasted and crisp, about 20 minutes.

Come to think of it, these would be a great thing to put out with hors d'oeuvres for Thanksgiving. But I do have to remember to save some for the kids when "food appreciation" resumes after the holiday.


Ellen said...

I've also been experimenting with roasting pumpkins seeds, with mixed results. I tried the recipe in Amy Goldman's The Compleat Squash, which is simple: clean, toss with oil and salt and bake, but I think I baked them too long, as they tasted a bit burnt.

I also tried boiling the cleaned seeds in salt water for a few minutes before drying them, and oiling them, then baking. Got closer to pumpkin seed nirvana, but made the mistake, again, of baking them too long.

My goal is to find the right oven temp/ baking time that results in a seed coat dry enough to easily break open with my incisors, and flesh that is plumped from the heat, but not yet papery-dry.

Ed Bruske said...

Ellen, you obviously have a more refined taste for pumpkin seeds than I do. My wife did observe that she thought my roasted pumpkin seeds were a bit on the dry side. I'd love to sample your idea of a perfect roasted pumpkin seed. Thanks for the tips.

MA said...

Ed, Made the short ribs. OMG. They were fab. Made sure they glistened properly. They did. Awesome recipe.

Lost your address, do you mind re-sending it to me via regular e-mail? Maybe then, I could get the beans in the mail to you.

Loved the ribs!