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Mini Pumpkins

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Canned pumpkin is like a specialty food here in the UK. I've been searching high and low for this at the local supermarkets that I frequent, but to no avail. I know you can order it online but the the cost of delivery is more expensive than the item. £7 for a can of pumpkin puree?! You must be kidding me. That's 2 tubs of Haagen Dazs ice-cream! I could make fresh pumpkin puree like what I did for the pumpkin cornbread but the whole town seemed to be sold out of freaking pumpkins because of Halloween!

No pumpkin but there are loads of butternut squash.

Butternut Squash Rice Balls 2
Mini butternut squash

I came across this recipe over at Foodspring, a food resource site featuring a variety of gourmet specialty foods and recipes. The idea is to create small orange balls that resemble mini pumpkins using butternut squash. I used more butternut squash puree and less rice as I wanted the squash flavour to be stronger. Coated the little balls with panko and mixed herbs and omitted the cinnamon sugar as I wanted it to be savoury. The wild boar hates the idea of "sweet rice". It turned out really good, crusty exterior with a "squashy" interior. The rice gave it a nice bite. Very addictive. How I wish I made more.

Butternut Squash Rice Balls
Mini pumpkins and mini butternut squash.
  • 1 cup leftover cooked rice
  • 1/2 small butternut squash (makes 1/2 cup puree) - de-seeded
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tbs grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 tsp salt (more or less to taste)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 tbs panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 tsp mixed herbs

To roast butternut squash:
  • Pre-heat oven to 200℃.
  • Place butternut squash half on a large baking sheet flesh side up. Rub butter on the surface of the squash. Roast for about 20 mins, or until flesh is fork-tender.
  • Remove from oven. Leave until it's cool to touch.
  • Scrape the flesh out and mash.
For rice balls:
  • Pre-heat oven to 220℃.
  • Mix together rice, butternut squash puree, egg, cheese, salt and black pepper. Form into 1-inch balls.
  • In a separate plate, mix together panko and mixed herbs.
  • Roll the rice balls in panko mixture, coat evenly.
  • Arrange on a baking sheet.
  • Drizzle each ball with a little olive oil.
  • Bake for about 20-25 mins or until golden brown.
Butternut Squash Rice Balls 1
Butternut Squash Rice Balls

I stuffed some button mushrooms with the butternut squash and rice mixture. These were baked at 200℃ for about 30 mins. Served them with some Kewpie mayonnaise and chili flakes.

Butternut Squash Rice Balls with mushrooms

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