PUMP up the flavour! There are still 11 days to Halloween but UK households have already spent £2million on pumpkins, according to new figures from deals site Alertr.
Once only popular with our friends – or should that be fiends – in the US, pumpkins are a versatile option that does not have to wait until October 31.
Try these tasty recipes that are perfect for warming up autumn nights – and all at a price you won’t find scary.
Pumpkin chilli – £1.56 per serving
Preparation time: 15 mins; cooking time: 52 mins
- 1 small/medium pumpkin or 2 butternut squashes
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 2 red peppers, chopped
- 1 onion, large
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tbsp tomato puree
- 500ml vegetable stock
- 800g chopped tomatoes
- 1 red chilli
- 400g red kidney beans, drained
- 100g frozen sweetcorn
- 1 tbsp chilli powder
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 dash salt
- 1 dash fresh ground black pepper
- 2 dashes balsamic vinegar
- 1 handful jalapenos, sliced
- 1 tub soured cream
- 1 good handful spring onions, chopped
- 1 handful coriander
METHOD: Peel the pumpkin or squash and cut into 1in-thick pieces.
In a large pan, heat the olive oil over a medium heat, add the onion and red peppers and cook for five minutes. Add the pumpkin and garlic and lightly brown. Add the chopped chilli, chilli powder, cumin and cinnamon and cook for two minutes then add the tomato puree and stir this in.
Add the chopped tomatoes, vegetable stock, red kidney beans, sweetcorn, salt and pepper and bring to the boil.
Reduce the heat and cook for 45 minutes or until the pumpkin is tender.
When cooked, add a dash or two of balsamic vinegar.
Serve with chopped spring onions, jalapenos and a bowl of sour cream.
Pumpkin scones – 70p per serving
Preparation time: 25 mins; cooking time: 20 mins
- 40g butter
- 200g pumpkin flesh, cut into small pieces
- 225g self-raising flour, plus extra for dusting
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 handful grated cheddar
- 1 small handful fresh coriander
- 4 tbsp milk, plus extra for brushing
METHOD: Preheat the oven to 200C/fan180C/gas 6. Rub a little butter on a baking sheet to grease.
Cut the pumpkin into pieces and put into a saucepan with enough water to cover.
Bring to the boil and simmer for ten minutes. Drain and mash with a fork then leave to cool.
Put the flour and baking powder into a bowl. Add the butter and rub together until you get a breadcrumb-like consistency.
Add the pumpkin into the mixture then add your cheese and herbs. Also add enough milk to make a dough.
Sprinkle flour on to your work surface and knead the dough for 30 seconds.
Form the dough into balls and cut out the scones with a rounded cutter, roughly 3cm thick. Place on a baking tray, making sure they are spaced apart. Use the spare bits of dough to cut out the remainder of the scones and brush with milk.
Bake the scones in the oven for around 12 minutes, until they are a golden colour. Then remove and cool.
Roasted pumpkin with mushrooms traybake – £1.42 per serving
Preparation time: 10 mins; cooking time: 40 mins
- 1 medium pumpkin
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 pinch black pepper
- 250g mushrooms
- 2 sprigs rosemary
- 1 handful walnuts
METHOD: Slice and deseed the pumpkin then put in a large roasting tin with 1 tbsp olive oil and a pinch each of salt and black pepper.
Roast for 30 minutes at 220C/200C fan/ gas 7.
Toss the mushrooms with another tbsp olive oil, a few sprigs of rosemary and a handful of walnuts.
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