Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Pumpkin and Pork Stew


It is Fall. I love Fall. I love Fall in New England. Fall in California isn't so special but in New England it is beautiful. Really beautiful. All the trees are turning colors and it nearly takes me breath away. Um, yeah... I have a huge case of homesickness for the never changing California, but if I have to choose the season I want to be here most it is Fall.


So, I decided that I wanted Pumpkin Seeds. I bought a couple of little pumpkins. I wanted to make my Abracadabra Pumpkin Seeds. They are addictive so be careful. There was no way that I would let the pumpkin go to waste so I made a pumpkin stew for dinner.


I used pork ribs for this dish. They get parboiled to get some of the schmootz off of them for a cleaner taste.


Then cooked in magic sauce. Oh stop, I will give the recipe for the "magic".


In my book these got an A+++ Not sure that Dr. Food felt the same. Then again he doesn't like pumpkin all that much.


The next day I opened up my preserved lemons. I am a hoarder. I hoard my canned goods. Opening these was hard for me to do. Yes, I can make more but I dunno. Makes me feel weird actually using them. I didn't say that I didn't have issues. If I was going to open them it had to be for something great. Since I got the new Paula Wolfert cookbook I had to make something from it. I decided on the Roasted Chicken with Preserved Lemons, Carmelized Onions and Olives.


This dish did not disappoint. You need to get out there and get this cookbook. I love you Paula!


Note: I grew these plymouth potatoes. They are amazing. Ok, I just had to tell you that.


Ohonemorething.... I might have bought a "As Seen on TV" Gizmo. It was supposed to make hardboiled eggs with no shell to peel. Shut up! It sounded good.


Imagine my surprise when the instructions said that you had to grease the gizmos (not spray) with oil. Um, well isn't that as much of a pain as taking the shell off? Not only that but my feeble little brain didn't want to believe that there were other issues.


Like they don't really look like an egg? Ok, so this gizmo will go in the cabinet with the other gizmo that makes square hard boiled eggs. Sigh.

Abracadabra Pumpkin Seeds
2 cups Pumpkin Seeds
2 Tbl Melted Butter
Garlic Salt
1 Tbl Worcestershire Sauce

Preheat the oven to 275 degrees F.

Clean pumpkin seeds and spread onto pan. Put in oven to dry for about 15 minutes.

Stir the pumpkin seeds and butter together, in a large mixing bowl, and add the other ingredients. Stir until everything is well combined, then again spread the pumpkin seeds in one layer on a baking sheet.

Bake for 30 minutes and then turn seeds. Bake for another 30 minutes and then remove from oven and let cool.

These roasted pumpkin seeds can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 6 weeks.

(Makes 2 Cups)

Braised Pork Ribs with Pumpkin
adapted from Food Endeavours of the Blue Apocalypse

Printable Version

Peanut oil
2.5 Pork spare ribs (cut into pieces or boneless cut into pieces)
Pork stock or water (to just cover)
3 Star anise
Garlic, 3 cloves smashed
Ginger, 2 slices with skin left on
10-15 small dried red chillies, soaked until softened
Curry powder, 1 tablespoon
Hoisin sauce, 1 heaped tablespoon
Ground Bean paste, 1 heaped tablespoon
Dark soy sauce, ½ tablespoon
Shaoxing wine, 1/3 cup
Salt, 1 teaspoon
Sugar, 3-4 teaspoons
Pumpkin, quarter of a whole pumpkin chopped into bite sized pieces

1. Par-boil the pork cubs and rinse with cold water.

2. Heat peanut oil in a wok. Add in garlic, ginger, star anise, chillies, Hoisin sauce, Chu Hou paste, Ground Bean paste and fry over medium heat for 1-2 minutes until aromatic.

3. Add the pork cubes into the wok and fry for 7 minutes until the pork pieces are browned and coated in the sauces/pastes.

4. Then add in the curry powder and dark soy sauce and fry for 1 minute.

5. Add in the Shaoxing wine to deglaze the wok and fry for 1-2 minutes.

6. Transfer the pork to a pot and add in hot stock or water to just cover the pork.

7. Bring to boil and then simmer on low heat for 1.5 hours until the pork pieces are tender.

8. Bring to boil again to season with a little salt and sugar to taste.

9.Then add in the pumpkin pieces (move to the bottom of the pot) and cook for 15-20 minutes until tender.

Serve with rice


  1. I love this! I also feel the same way about the stuff I can..i am always reluctant to open one..because  because it's summer in a jar..right?? and you can't get it back again.
     Think about giving that egg thingamajig to someone as a white elephant christmas/ channuka re-gift. Just don't send it to me

  2. You really have a thing against peeling the shell off a hard-boiled egg don't you?

  3. Margaret Murphy TrippOctober 18, 2011 at 5:27 PM

    Haha! I loved this post.  I am located in New England.   I grew up roasting and eating pumpkin seeds.  I LOVE THEM!  This stew recipe looks very inviting, and is different than any that I've made before (but what the heck is shoaxing wine?).  I have made some savory dishes with pumpkin that came out fabulous (ex: pumpkin risotto) so I'll have to give this a try.  And I know exactly what you mean about using your canned good.  It's so satisfying to see all the filled jars lined up like jewels on the shelves.  But then I remind myself how much I hate to waste anything and I try to use them up in a year.

  4. Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love.October 18, 2011 at 11:24 PM

    I think this stew sounds really awesome! My husband is not a pumpkin fan either, but I won't let that stop me from enjoying it! lol

  5. I almost bought you those Eggies!  You kept saying you really wanted them, but I saw them at Bed Bath and Beyond and just KNEW they were not going to work.  I still love my egg pot a lot better (the one you gave us that landed Dennis in the Emergency Room, but that I replaced :)   Do you still have the square egg maker? Cool!  Love you, Sis.

  6. Hmmm.  You never know.

  7. Where in New England are you, Margaret?

  8. Thanks anyhow sis.  I started making eggs in coffee mugs.  Comes out pretty good.  I do indeed still have that square egg maker.  Do you have yours?

  9. Margaret Murphy TrippOctober 19, 2011 at 10:53 AM

    Shoreline, SE Connecticut

  10. This pork stew looks really tasty. I love your post, your sense of humor, and of course the fall season in the East Coast!

  11. I wish I could triple buzz things!

  12. I love the Fall, too. And I love the idea of combining pork ribs and pumpkin. The flavors marry perfectly. 

  13. I picked up the "Eggies" too... what a disappointment! Recipe looks fantastic!

  14. That looks amazing, warm & inviting for cold days & nights!

  15. I love this hearty stew. I have one more kabocha left in my back yard and I will use that for this recipe.