Pumpkin Chestnut Puree Recipe
I prepared a pumpkin with fresh chestnuts today for baby Aria and she absolutely loved it. The texture was a little too thick, so I thinned it with mashed plantains and a bit of milk. The pumpkin chestnut purée was as nutritious as it was delicious.
Who said "baby" food can't be tasty? I’ve made an effort to prepare homemade baby food ever since Aria started eating solids. She's already 16 months old and loves trying new foods. My motto is that I won’t serve anything to her that I wouldn’t eat myself. She seems to appreciate it and has become quite the little foodie! She even says “mmmmm” when we’re watching The Cooking Channel. Bobby Flay and the Iron Chef are her favorites!
Yields: 6 servings2 ripe plantains
1 pumpkin (see tips), peeled and cubed
8 ounces fresh chestnuts
3 green onions, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1¼ cups milk, warm
2 tablespoons butter
¼ teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated
1¼ teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon white pepper
Boiling the pumpkin and plantains:
Peel the pumpkin, seed it and cut it into 2-inch pieces; place them in a large pot. Add the whole, unpeeled plantains. Fill the pot with cold water. It's important to start with cold water so the pumpkin cooks evenly. Bring to a boil, add salt and reduce the heat to medium-high. Cook for about 20-25 minutes.
Remove the plantains; the skin should be totally dark and they should split. Once the plantains are cool enough to handle, peel and slice them.
The pumpkin should be fork-tender. Remove from the pot and drain; allow the pumpkin to cool for at least 10 minutes.
Boiling the chestnuts: Place them in a small pot, add water and bring to a boil. Once the water boils, cook for 5 minutes. Drain and let cool. Cut them in half, then scoop and gather the flesh using a teaspoon.
Pan-frying the bananas:
In a large non-stick pan, heat the oil. Cook the green onions until nicely golden. Toss for a minute until fragrant. Transfer to a plate, leaving as much oil as possible in the pan. Heat the pan and add the plantain slices. Cook until lightly golden. Turn off the heat.
Assembly time: Using a potato ricer (or a potato masher), mash the plantains. Add the pumpkin and press until you obtain a coarse texture. Slowly add the warm milk. Stir well, using a wooden spoon. Add the chestnuts. Using an immersion blender (or transfer to a food processor), pulse until smooth. Add butter, nutmeg and green onions. Season with salt and white pepper. Stir until well distributed. Check the consistency and adjust seasoning to your taste.
I used bí đỏ, which is a kind of Vietnamese pumpkin that has a starchy texture. You can use any other variety of pumpkin if you can't find this particular one.
The plantains give a subtle sweet flavor. Without them, I find the purée pretty bland.
For the "baby" version, I thinned the purée with an additional ¼ cup milk.
I buy fresh chestnuts at Ranch 99 Market.
For more mashed vegetable recipes, check out the link.Published By: on March 15, 2013.