Thursday, September 21, 2006

FMR: Turkey Breast and Roasted Pumpkin



Just wanted to remind you all keen on sending me your pumpkin recipes, today is the final day for all your entries.

Here's mine!




There are so many things one can make with pumpkins. However one always tends to stick with the muffins, pies and soup. I know I often do too.

Let's play a game! I'll say a word and you say the first thing that comes to mind, OK?

Pumpkin!

See! How many of you thought "Pumpkin Pie" as the first thing. Or soup? C'mon folks at the back there lemme see your hands too!

No, now don't go hiding your soups and pie dishes from me! I can never get enough of the stuff and am always on the look out for new adaptations to a good pie. Especially now when the season is just right. Besides that, any recipe with this extremely healthy ingredient is good enough to eat - LOL!


Pumpkin (Winter Squash)
Pumpkins or Winter Squash belong to the Cucurbitaceae family and are related to the melon and cucumber. Did you know that? So, when I read that, I was wondering what is a pumpkin then, a fruit or a vegetable? Can you tell me?

Pumpkins are available from October through to March, but the actual season for them is October to November.
They come in a large variety and range in color, size, shape and even taste. Due to the protective hard skin, they have a storage life of 6 months (I have never stored a pumpkin for that long!).

They are usually red in color, however you will certainly also find some that are yellow or green. Pumpkins taste creamy, sweet and nutty and can be used in a variety of dishes - sweet and savory.

They also contain high levels of antioxidants and carotenes, especially vitamin A, C and E, and can lower cancer risk, heart disease, cataracts and strokes. The bright orange color reveals that it is loaded with beta carotene which helps us fight free radicals. What's more, Pumpkins are really low calorie food.

They are also a very good source of folate and omega-3 fatty acids.

Selecting and Storing
It is important to select winter squash before buying very carefully, as it is easily prone to decay. You should go for those that are heavy for their size and firm. The rinds should be dull and not glossy. Soft rinds indicate that the pumpkin is watery and might therefore lack flavor.

Winter squash have a longer storage life and depending on the type you buy, they can be stored for between a week to 6 months. They should not be exposed to direct light or extreme heat or cold.

Once cut, store in the fridge wrapped in cling film or plastic wrap. They should keep for one or two days. If you want to freeze these, the best way is to cut and portion them in individual recipe sizes and freeze in airtight containers.

For my recipe I used my favorite type - the Hokkaido pumpkin. There are two varieties of Hokkaido pumpkin. One has a deep orange color and the other has a light green skin. Hokkaido pumpkins have a tough outer skin and are very sweet inside. I used the one with the bright orange skin.

For the Pumpkin theme of From My Rasoi, I present a wonderful dish. Lovely succulent turkey breast in a wonderfully creamy sauce spiced with the flavors of ginger, turmeric and star-anise. Topped off with soft roasted pumpkin chunks.


Events on WFLH:
Mixology Monday: Exotic Drinks - Deadline October 16
Monthly Mingle: Take Two - Deadline October 12



Music while Cooking

Christina Aguilera - Ain't No Other Man - New on my iPod
Album: Back To Basics

* Artwork and music courtesy of iTunes



Ingredients:

2 onions - finely chopped
1 garlic clove - finely chopped
30 g ginger - finely chopped
1-2 fresh bay leaves - cut into strips
600 g Turkey breast
Salt, pepper and sugar
4 tablespoons oil
1-2 teaspoons turmeric powder
200 g cream
5 Star-anise
800 g pumpkin - peeled, cleaned and cut into cubes
lime juice from 1/2 lime




Method:

Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large pan. Place the turkey breast in the pan and fry from all sides till slightly brown. Add salt and pepper. Add the onions, garlic, ginger and turmeric and saute for a few minutes.

Pour in the cream 1/4 l water and mix well. Now add the bay leaves and the star-anise. Bring to a boil, then with the lid covered, simmer for approx. 20 minutes.

In the meantime steam or boil the pumpkin cubes in salt/salt water for 10 minutes. Drain.

In another pan heat up the remaining oil and roast the pumpkin in small portions for about 4-6 minutes, until they take on a light gold color. Salt, pepper and sugar to taste. Pour the lime juice over this.

Cut the turkey breast in thick slices and serve on a large platter with the sauce and the roasted pumpkin cubes spread over the top. Decorate with a star-anise. This can be served with Basmati rice.



Verdict:
Creamy, velvety and purely good. This is a great Sunday lunch with a difference. If your crew is anything like mine, you'll get funny looks at first when you repeat the menu. However, as they tuck in you'll get nothing but approving looks.
This was such a delicious meal. The pumpkin perfectly harmonized with all the ingredients and spices. It never seizes to surprise me at just how versatile this wonderful ingredient really is.

For my vegetarian readers I can recommend to try this out with larger mushrooms like Portabella.



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13 comments :

  1. Help, plenty of ideas, and soo little time. I even found a recipe of pumpkin lasagna, so my guess is that is what you made.

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  2. Stew or a soup? AM just send you my entry- and a very ethnic one at that!

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  3. Ohhh this looks so darned good!! I, too, love cooking with pumpkin in both sweet and savory dishes. I love the combination of spices you used with it.. this will do on my list of to try recipes, for sure! Thanks for sharing, sweetie :D

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  4. hey meeta - every time you talk to 'those people at the abck' i squirm a little squirm and feel like a school teacher caught me red handed about something! anyway with this comment i am now a 'commenter' and no longer one of the 'people at the back'!
    love
    d

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  5. Hi Meeta, lovely photos. I've linked to your blog, hope it's alright with you.

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  6. This is by far the best recipe photo! The orange background paired with orange pumpkins and the white of the turkey is just fab! Just wanted to know if the pumpkin made the dish too sweet, since there are no HOT spices in the dish.

    I love the pictures as usual.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I love seeing pumpkin recipes - the sign of fall is soon to come!

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  8. Isis No Lasagne. That's on another post!

    Nandita No soup either.

    Anu Yes I did!

    Lisa Glad you liked it sweetie! Let me know what you thought of it!

    D hehe! Yeah .. but it is not meant in any condescending way. Just joking around with you all.

    SRA Thank you very much.

    Ms. Iyer ;-) Thank you. No it was not sweet in any way. It was spiced not in the HOT sense but with the other spices. Perfect.

    Joe Yes, I love pumpkin too. Look forward to what you whip up on your blog!

    ReplyDelete
  9. For your recipe and photos, I've got one word for you: AWESOME!

    Paz

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  10. Where can I buy a Hokkaido pumpkin. I live in Rhode Island and I have been looking for over a year now....Please someone help me!
    Marie

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  11. Hi Marie! I would not know where one could get a Hokaido in Rhode Island - maybe the Farmer's Market. Howevre you can substitute any pumpkin - for the Hokaido. Roasted pumpkin works well with many other sorts too!

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for visiting What's For Lunch, Honey? and taking time to browse through my recipes, listen to my ramblings and enjoy my photographs. I appreciate all your comments, feedback and input. I will answer your questions to my best knowledge and respond to your comments as soon as possible.

In the meantime I hope you enjoy your stay here and that I was able to make this an experience for your senses.

Hugs
Meeta