Monday, October 31, 2011

To Roast or Not to Roast? Let There Be No Question.

Last night we watched Hocus Pocus.  It was as amazing then as it was when I was ten.  (wait... I was only TEN when that came out?  What?!?).  So good.

Also, there was pumpkin carving.  Fantastic pumpkin carving, at that!  I mean... I'm not about to say I'm the most creative pumpkin carving genius on the planet.  That title goes to these people.  But I'll show you what Cori and I came up with:

From the left:  Rocky Molar, Ace Dentura, and Edward Incisorface.  It's a good crowd.

Those vampire teeth kill me.  Every time I see them I make a teeth-baring face and a pirate "arrrrr" noise.  I'm a bit nuts.  So what?

If you're any kind of red-blooded Halloween-loving person like I am, you'll expect to hear about the roasted pumpkin seeds that immediately followed the carving.  Those seeds are like... a bonus round.  An extra level to your festivities.  The cherry on the pie of the Halloween season.  You MUST roast them (or give them to me, and I'll roast them).   

This year... we got creative.  We found flavors we didn't think could exist... but they do. Ohhhh they do.

Cleaning the seeds is easy.  After a good rinsing and draining, they were spread out on a pan and baked to dry them out.  Pumpkin dude "Ace Dentura" is here for... moral support.

Deciding to make two different flavors, Pumpkin dude "Rocky Molar" shows us the simple ingredients to make the barbecue flavor (he can't spell... don't judge).

For the second flavor, Pumpkin dude "Edward Incisorface" helps feature the ingredients for the smoky seeds.  

He's a bit... *special*.

Each of the seeds get dressed up in their flavorings with a little bit of additional olive oil.  Ace Dentura makes sure they are evenly mixed.  Thanks, Ace.

Seeds get roasted again.  Um... Ace?  You can't go in the oven, buddy.  You gotta move.

And finally, we have our roasted pumpkin seeds.  I've no idea where the Pumpkin dudes went... but I'm pretty sure they'd be excited with the final product.  I know I am!

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

the seeds from 2 pumpkins
olive oil

For the Barbecue Seeds:
olive oil (more)
smoked paprika
brown sugar
chili powder
sea salt

For the Smoky Seeds:
olive oil (more)
smoked paprika
freshly ground pepper
sea salt

1. Remove all the pulpy bits from the pumpkin seeds.  Place the seeds in a colander and give them a good rinsing to remove any excess slime (there's not other word for it, I'm afraid).  Allow to drain and dry.  

*preheat oven to 300 degrees*

2. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and drizzle olive oil all over.  Spread the seeds out in a single layer and lightly toss in the olive oil until coated.  Roast for 30 minutes to dry out the seeds. Once they are done, let sit on the pan to cool off.

3. Meanwhile, mix together your flavorings.  There's no rhyme or reason to the measuring of these ingredients, so I will say this:  keep in mind your strongest flavors (i.e. cumin, smoked paprika) should be used  more sparingly.  Also, don't be afraid of the salt.  The last thing you want are under-salted seeds.  No bueno.

4. When the seeds have cooled a bit, mix them into your flavorings.  If the seasonings aren't sticking, add a touch more olive oil.  Spread back out onto the pan (I made a sort of "wall" with the foil to prevent them from mixing), and roast for 20 more minutes.  Allow to cool.  Eat by the handful.

Happy Halloween, kids.  Keep it spooky.

Yours truly as good old HP.