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Entries in pumpkin (3)


Andrew's Roasted Delica pumpkin with garlic, herbs and chilli

Pumpkin is not something I often choose to cook. I generally prefer something more savoury. But the Delica pumpkin from Natoora really is exceptional. They are grown in Mantova, Lombardy following traditional methods that involve a final curing process in heated warehouses that maximises the sugar contents and reduces the amount of water in the flesh.

My colleague, Andrew, made this recipe for the Natoora autumn seasonal meeting and it was a hit. Gone in seconds. It's a simple recipe which makes the most of the Delica's sweet and tender flesh. Roasted with garlic, herbs and chilli, it caramelises beautifully in the oven.

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Tomyumpkin soup

“Daa-aa-aad. What’s for dinner?”

I remember pumpkin soup being one of the most disappointing answers to this daily question when I was a kid. It wasn’t that I didn't like it. It's just that my Dad's a chef and in a house full of delicious things pumpkin soup was, well...


Until recently, I never cooked it for myself. Then my friend, Alex, made me pumpkin soup with tom yum paste in it. It was a revelation.

Adding tom yum paste to pumpkin soup turns it into something special. I now look forward to it and make it often, and I have converted others along the way.

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Stephanie Alexander's Moroccan-inspired chicken

About halfway through making this dish I thought I might have another Dalmatian disaster on my hands. Part of me was thinking what a waste of good ingredients, while the other half of me was eagerly imagining the comic potential of another culinary catastrophe. In the end I was left disappointed on both fronts; I was able to save the dish from disaster but not from the dull and the ordinary, the result being that I still felt I had squandered good ingredients on a dish that turned out to be perfectly pleasant, but rather plain and where is the comic value in that?

So why, you may ask, am I sharing it with you? Faith. And a lack of it. 

Faith: This is the first time I have ever been disappointed with a recipe from Stephanie Alexander’s The Cook’s Companion. It seems so unlikely that a recipe with so many sumptuous spices could fall flat. Caroline Dewe of the Mostly Undaunted Cook certainly rates it (“Love this dish”) calling her post ‘Thank you Stephanie: Morrocan inspired chicken’.

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