I love the summer and when fall comes around the corner the only thing that cheers me up about it is the pumpkin season. But it’s not about any pumpkin, it’s about a very special one and in Germany we call it “Hokaido pumpkin” while here it seems to be called “Red Kuri“. This Red Kuri has a better taste than any other pumpkin and tends to be a little sweet with a slightly tart note …
hard to explain but when you try it you will know what I mean. I just tastes the way that fall feels like – if that make sense to you.
At our grocery store they ask me every year what I am going to cook with this pumpkin or whether it’s for decoration. Red Kuri is a lot smaller than other pumpkins so people think it’s just pretty, so I explain that it has a great taste and how to cook and eat it. Well, as a result it gets harder and harder for me to find this pumpkin at our grocery store since I am not the only one any more who wants it. I planned to grow my own pumpkins this year but I didn’t succeed so I was pretty glad to find two Red Kuri yesterday at Randall’s. If you can find one: Don’t hesitate, claim it, buy it and enjoy it!
My personal history with these pumpkins is that my two youngest kids basically started eating “solid” foods with Red Kuri and potatoes. I cooked this pumpkin mash and they loved it! It is very healthy and low on allergens and easy to digest – just right to start with for babies and so much better than carrots.
In theory Red Kuri can be thrown into a pot with water and boiled until soft and one can eat it including the skin – but that’s not how I do it. Instead I cut it in halves, remove the seeds (and keep them, hoping for next year’s harvest) and cook them in the oven. Sometimes I use the skin, too, but usually I just scoop out the soft flesh and use it in soups or even pure or in this most favorite fall dish of mine.
The saussages on the picture are “Nürnberger Rostbratwürstchen” which I was able to hunt down at Aldi. They don’t always have them so I buy and freeze them in bulk because they are my favorite saussages. If I don*t haeany brats, I love the pumpkin mash with fried egg as an alternative – this is literately the most you can do to get all essential amino acids and therefor is a great source of protein.
Nürnberg is a town in Bavaria, Germany and I have at least three good reasons to love that town:
1. Nürnberger Rostbratwürstchen
2. Nürnberger Lebkuchen
3. my friend Melanie and her family live there
I’ve been told that the Christmas market in Nürnberg is one of the most beautiful ones and I believe it’s true although I must admit that the only time I’ve been to Nürnberg was when my train stopped there at the central station.
But back to the pumpkin mash: I would serve it with some pumpkin oil drizzling on top and a few roasted pumpkin seeds. I didn’t have any of this so I used some walnut oil that a friend brought me from Germany and instead of pumpkin seeds I used sunflower seeds. It was as good as my original serving method! You will need sunflower seeds soon, anyway, because I will be sharing my favorite cookie / Lebkuchen recipe in just a few weeks and it requires sunflower seeds!
Mashed potatoes here in Texas are often with cream cheese or grated cheese in it and I think that is delicious. However, I need to fit into my jeans so I go with the “low fat” version that we have in Germany, though I’d love some cheese in my pumpkin mash … like always: Decide for yourself.
Pumpkin Mash - Kürbisbrei
- 1 Red Kuri (size accordion to your families appetite)
- 6 potatoes (size/amount accordion to your families appetite)
- some milk
- some Butter
- 1-2 tbsp pumpkin oil or walnut oil
- 1 tsp pumpkin or sunflower seeds, roasted
- 4-6 brats or more if you have Nürnberger Rostbratwürstchen
- some salt
- Heat the oven to 350!F.
- Cut the pumpkin into halves.
- Remove the seeds - keep them if you want them for the vegetable garden or if you want to roast them later.
- Daub the cut with some oil.
- Cover a baking tray with parchment paper, turn the pumpkin halves with the cut side down on it.
- Place in the oven and set the timer to about 30 - 40 minutes for a small Red Kuri or to 50 - 60 minutes for a larger Red Kuri. Check with a fork for softness.
- In the meantime peel the potatoes.
- Wash the potatoes, put them in a pot that is large enough to add the pumpkin later.
- Add water and a little more salt than you would usually use. Bring to a boil and let boil until potatoes are soft (about 15-20 minutes).
- About 10 minutes before the pumpkin and the potatoes are ready, start to heat a frying pan.
- Fry the sausages on medium heat.
- Mash the potatoes and ad a little bit of milk to it. Stir.
- Remove the pumpkin from the oven and let stand for a few minutes. Then turn the halves.
- Scoop the pumpkin pulp out of the skin with a spoon. If you accidentally have some of the skin with it, don't bother to remove it, you can use it, too!
- Mash it all together. Add salt to taste if necessary and a piece of butter. Optional: Add some cheese or cream cheese.
- Whisk until it is all mixed and has a nice, soft texture.
- Serve an a plate with the brats, drizzle some oil and seeds on top of the pumpkin mash. "Guten Apetit!"