It all began with a tiny little craving.
My favorite wine bar in town (Plonk) often has pumpkin seeds as a condiment to accompany the cheese board.
And, as you know, the cheese doesn’t like to stand alone.
With pumpkins a’ plenty in the markets currently, this was the perfect time for said craving.
I thought I would try my hand at cooking pumpkin seeds.
And so I did.
Yet, it wasn’t very pretty or linear. I will explain.
Step One: I purchased a pumpkin, brought it home, washed it, dried it and photographed it (as a blogger, everything gets its photo taken.)
Step Two: I plunged a knife into the hard pumpkin skin, and proceeded to cut in a circular motion around top of pumpkin – and then, off with its head!
Step Three: (This is the slimy and yucky part) I scooped out the innards, and then picked through the gut-pile to dispense the seeds.
Step 4: I painstakingly took each little seed, and laid it next to its neighbor, side-by-slimy-side, on a cookie sheet, and popped them into a 250* oven for 45 minutes.
Note: I found a recipe on line, but didn’t save the web site or write the entire recipe down, but rather scribbled the necessary ingredients on a note pad. I think I wrote it down wrong?
Step 5 – 7? This is when the roasting/cooking process took a dire turn.
First, I forgot that higher elevations require longer cooking time. I roasted the seeds for approximately 45 minutes, and took them out of the oven. The appeared “done.”
In the meantime, the recipe that I wrote down called for olive oil and sugar to be cooked on the stove-top, but the concoction I made looked like a disaster.
I dumped out the first batch, and tried a second batch (this is the brilliant part.) I wanted to taste the brew – assess it - so I pulled the pan off the burner, and stuck my finger in it! Genius! Hot oil burns skin. And it burnt mine fairly well.
After some soaking in ice-water, I went back to the stove. This batch didn’t look any better than the first. Yet, at this point, with a sore finger, I wasn’t about to attempt a third batch, so I proceeded to dump hot oil and sugar onto the waiting pumpkin seeds.
The hot mix gobbed onto the seeds, making some seeds stick together, and try as I might, I couldn’t get the sugary glue to dispense evenly. Adding to the sticky mayhem, I threw in the necessary dry ingredients (sugar, chili powder, cinnamon.)
And I stirred and mixed – mixed and stirred. Lather, rinse, repeat.
Then I tasted my roasted pumpkin seeds.
They were chewy, not crunchy.
So, I went to my “expert taste-tester” and asked his opinion.
After popping a few seeds in his mouth, Sexy Hubby says, “They just need to be cooked longer, put them back in the oven.”
You can’t bake seeds with a sticky coating all over them, can you?
Doesn’t matter, those suckers went back on the cookie sheet, and back into the oven. I roasted the crap out of them.
They actually were fairly tasty. And crunchy. A slight mix of savory and sweet.
I let out a sigh of relief.
Next time I attempt to cook pumpkin seeds, I will use another recipe, and one I write down word-for-word.
(Sexy Hubby, this is exactly the reason I do not write a cooking blog.)
Enjoy these previous pumpkin gut-retching times from the archives.
If you have a fool-proof pumpkin seed recipe, Lord knows, I need it!