Even though we are pressed for time, and on unfamiliar ground ingredient-wise, we are again dismissing submitting our niece's "squashed" food for this event. (We dismissed submitting it as our Joust entry.)
This event, of course, is Weekend Wokking.
This month's ingredient: pumpkin.
Although, I must say that what we're submitting is not too far off -- hee! But bear with us, our Weekend Wokking entry is really much more sophisticated than our niece's boiled and mashed squash.
We present to you our Pumpkin Congee with Pumpkin "Beignets" and Sesame-Roasted Pumpkin Seeds.
We do not usually make congee (sometimes called "rice soup" or rice porridge) at home, getting congee instead from kind neighbours and friends. Once in a blue moon, we'll make our Yaya's version of arroz caldo, a delicious concoction of chicken, vegetables and rice in a congee incarnation. One of these days, we'll whip up a potful of it.
Our entry, however, is inspired by the congee we get outside the home. We were debating whether to do a "breakfast" congee take or a "late night" congee take with our pumpkin. The congee for both versions stay the same, but the accompaniments differ.
Given the time constraint, we decided to go the breakfast route.
So let's make pumpkin congee. Actually, as evidenced in the photograph below, we used kabocha pumpkin and a small sugar pie pumpkin. (I put a piece of unpeeled kabocha in the pot for illustration purposes.)
Of course, as you know, we love these dump-everything-into-a-pot dishes. So that's what I did. In the pot went rice, diced kabocha and pumpkin, a couple of ginger pieces (which I didn't bother slicing) and a couple of pieces of dried scallops (on the right). Not pictured is the water.
I brought the mixture to a boil, then lowered the heat and covered. Easy, right?
We let it cook for perhaps about 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Near the end, I was afraid that the rice in the congee looked very distinct and separate, so I mashed the rice against the side of the pot a few times. I think letting cook for even longer would result in "creamier" congee.
In the meantime, we got to work on the "breakfast" accompaniments.
We actually thought of our Weekend Wokking entry before our Joust entry, so coming up with churros for our Joust entry was actually our way of using up our squash/pumpkin-flavored donut dough.
Chinese donuts -- you tiao -- are a traditional accompaniment to congee. Of course, I know that using choux paste isn't close to the traditional you tiao recipe, but hey, time constraints, remember? ;) Since we weren't using the conventional dough, I also couldn't make that distinctive you tiao shape. (Watch a video here.)
Hence, "pumpkin beignets" they must be called.
I made a choux paste dough flavored with squash/pumpkin purée. (For method, click here. For recipe, click here.) This time, I cut off a larger hole in my Ziploc bag-cum-pastry bag. Um, as you can see, the resulting shape isn't that attractive.
No matter. We would be cutting these up anyway. =)
Sesame-Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
Instead of the usual peanut accompaniment, we decided to go with toasted pumpkin seeds for crunch.
We simple drizzled a little of sesame oil onto the raw pumpkin seeds, then tossed it with salt. Into the (toaster) oven they went for a little bit, and they were ready.
To complete our breakfast congee, we decided to have more accompaniments. Some sliced century eggs (preserved duck eggs), some pork floss, and we have our very pumpkin breakfast.
Pork floss is the best! =D
Clockwise from top: pumpkin beignet, century egg, pork floss.
We were halfway through the pot of congee when I realized that I forgot to add the pumpkin seeds! I had to act quickly before all the congee was gone. I made another bowl with the pumpkin seeds this time (for photo purposes).
We really liked this! I've never had pumpkin congee before, although this idea came from our father reminiscing about congee with sweet potato.
Wow, congee with sweet potato, you say? Mmm.
(Please see recipe below for suggested accompaniments.)
eatingclub vancouver Weekend Wokking posts:
Ravioli "Caprese": Tomato, Basil, Bocconcini
Pumpkin Congee w/ Pumpkin "Beignets" & Sesame-Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
Chicken, Broccoli and Cheese w/ Pipián Verde
Adobo Mushroom Tart
Duck and Orange Crêpes with Orange-White Wine Sauce
Almond Eggplant "Bisteeya" (Bastilla)
"Mashed Potato Beef Burger" (Red-skinned Potato Salad in Taiwanese Sacha Cheeseburger)
Korean Soybean Sprouts Pancake (Kongnamul Jeon)
Lemon Chamomile Tiramisu
Strawberry Cilantro Salsa, on Grilled Flank Steak
Duck Enchiladas with Chipotle Peanut Salsa
Clear Oxtail Soup with Corn, Cabbage and Potatoes
Beijing Pickled Cabbage
Salsa Romesco ("Queen of the Catalan Sauces!")
Aguadito de Pollo (Peruvian Chicken Soup)
Bangus Belly à la Bistek (Milkfish Belly with Onions, Calamansi and Soy Sauce)
White Pork with Garlic Sauce, Two Ways (蒜泥白肉)
Mr. Zheng's Soupy Tomatoes and Eggs with Tofu (蕃茄雞蛋跟豆腐)
Steamed Fish and Tofu with Chinese Black Beans
Spinach and Cheese with Puff Pastry, Three Ways
Makes 4 servings
1/2 cup rice
1 1/2 cup fresh pumpkin (or fall squash), in small dice
6 cups water
2 pieces ginger (approximately 2-inch pieces)
1-2 pieces dried scallops
salt to taste
Place all ingredients in a pot. Bring to a boil, then cover and let it simmer for about 2 hours. Discard ginger pieces before serving, if desired.
This is akin to plain congee, so it should be served with various accompaniments such as you tiao (Chinese donut), pork floss, century egg, salted duck egg, peanuts, preserved turnips, bamboo shoots, preserved chili radish.
Or, one can serve this with such dishes as clams in black bean sauce, oyster omelette, any "spicy salt deep-fried" items, or any aggressively-flavored dish.
Wikipedia reference guides
You Tiao (Chinese Donut)
Century Egg (Preserved Duck Egg)
Chow Times Pork Floss recipe
This is the only time I've seen anybody make pork floss.
We're submitting this recipe to Weekend Wokking, a world-wide food blogging event created by Wandering Chopsticks celebrating the multiple ways we can cook one ingredient.
The host this month is Ning of Heart and Hearth.
If you would like to participate or to see the secret ingredient, check who's hosting next month.
Check out all Weekend Wokking Roundups.
We're submitting this to Culinarty's Original Recipes.
More information here.
The Round-ups here.