ersatz_read (ersatz_read) wrote,

a party-size barrel of pumpkin pancakes

Holiday dinner was pumpkin-urad pancakes with multiple toppings:  labna (labneh), cinnnamon caramelized walnuts, and a drunken berry sauce.

The berry sauce was assorted dried berries simmered in a mix of cider, bourbon, honey liqueur, spices, and salt.  I added chopped wedges of navel orange after the heat was turned off.  It's the kind of sauce that would work on roast pork or on ice cream.

I chose one of the larger squash, and ended up with 48 pancakes (about 4" each) and some squash left over, but pancakes freeze well.

Pumpkin-urad pancakes

Cook a squash, allow to cool, then scoop out and mash the meat.
My squash contained about 4 cups of meat, and I used about 3 cups in this recipe.
This is a modification of a couple of online recipes, tripled.

In one bowl, combine:
3 C squash
4 C milk
5 eggs
2 T oil
1 T balsamic vinegar

In a larger bowl, combine:
3 C urad flour
3 C white flour
9 t baking powder
1 t salt
brown sugar (I didn't measure...maybe 1/4C, not packed)
spices (cinnamon, ginger, turmeric, and a little allspice)

Add pumpkin mix to larger bowl, and stir until well-combined.  I don't worry much about over-mixing, nor is it the end of the world if there are a few lumps.  After it's mixed, you can let the batter sit for a while to help dissolve any dry pockets of flour.

Start by making one test pancake - to test the griddle temperature as well as the consistency and the flavor of the batter.
After the test pancake, I added another half cup of milk and a lot of salt.

These weren't overly spiced or sweet, which was intentional:  this was dinner, not breakfast.
Texture-wise, they were moist but fluffy.

For the walnuts I melted some white sugar, cinnamon, and a little honey, then added the walnuts, and salt at the end.  In hindsight, I would have roasted the nuts first, then just stirred them into the caramel; I think the walnuts got too soft and the flavors were blurred.  But they tasted good.

The main thing to keep in mind is that every squash is different, especially in terms of moisture content.  The one I used was moderately watery - certainly more so than canned pumpkin.  This squash was not stringy, luckily; if it had been then I would have taken the immersion blender to it.

People used to worry about me being alone for Thanksgiving, but the people that matter now understand that it's by choice.  The tradition started the first Thanksgiving after I broke up with my ex.  I was 2500 miles from family; friends invited me to their houses, but I declined.  Instead, I made my own personal fancy dinner (stuffed cornish hens, I think).  It's an intermittent tradition:  when we do manage a family gathering, it's often at Thanksgiving.

Mom's much the same way - perfectly fine with being on her own, much to the puzzlement of the other senior widowed women in town.  But I'll give her a call tonight - it is a holiday, after all.

Yesterday afternoon at work, the white noise generator blinked out momentarily, and then the network went down (so, the new phones too).  Apparently the building security system failed too.  Since it was 3pm on the afternoon before a holiday, we decided it was our cue to go home.
Tags: food/cooking
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