Roasted Ayote and Pumpkin Puree

Ayote

So Sunday I went on a bit of a cooking spree. I had a few recipes I wanted to try out that I knew would take most of the day. Most days with the construction going on I don’t have four or more solid hours to spend in the kitchen. So these things have been piling up in my To Do list. Sunday seemed an ideal day to play in the kitchen since everyone here takes the day off. So I spent the day baking bread, making jam (it’s still not quite right) and roasting coffee.

But after the day of baking I still needed to make dinner. I’ve been seeing so many posts lately on facebook about pumpkin picking and pumpkin recipes on Pintrest I was feeling a bit jealous. So the other day, I had bought what is here called an ayote, and is a pumpkin. I had been hesitant to buy one before because they are large and I cook only for the two of us. But Pinterest has inspired me to be creative. So last night I decided to cut into it and roast it up. For dinner we had Sesame Encrusted Sea Bass with a Ginger Mango sauce and Roasted Ayote over brown rice.

I cut the Ayote in half and then into quarters. I coated the wedges with coconut oil (it’s warm enough here that it is liquid). Then I seasoned all four wedges with a little salt. I decided two would be enough for dinner and the other two I would puree. The two for puree, I only oiled and salted but the other two I added some cinnamon and some sugar. I put all for on a baking sheet and through them a 425 F over for about an hour until fork tender.

After dinner I shredded the cooled wedges with a fork. Then all I did was throw the shredded pumpkin into a mason jar and use my immersion blender to blend it until smooth. In the end it was super easy and the flavor is amazing. Now I just need to decide what to make with the puree.

Roasted Ayote

1/4 Ayote  (green  pumpkin) cut into wedges

Coconut Oil

Cinnamon

Salt

Sugar

Pre-heat oven to 425 F

Place pumpkin wedges on baking sheet and coat with oil

Sprinkle salt, sugar, and cinnamon on wedges.

Cook for 45 mins- 1 hour untill fork tender

Pumpkin Puree

Roasted pumpkin wedges oiled and salted

Scrape the roasted pumpkin from the skin from a pan

Put in blender or food processor (I used an immersion blender) and blend until smooth

You can add water to thin out the puree

Pumpkin Puree

Coconut Bread French Toast with Caramelized Pineapples in Sauce

Coconut French Toast with PineapplesWell, it seems like a lifetime since I last blogged here. For a while there I wasn’t cooking and then as they say, life just kind of got in the way. Since I last wrote we have bought property out here on Isla de Ometepe and finally started on construction of our dream, an organic farm with an Eco Bed and Breakfast. Part of the plan is to have a restaurant that will ultimately feature food grown on the property and locally. We’d like our menu to feature a fusion of American comfort foods re-envisioned with tropical flare. You can check it out at www.facebook.com/eljardinometepe

To that end I have been experimenting a lot with tropical fruits lately. Guava Balsamic Reductions for our steaks, Pineapple Mango Ginger Steak Stirfry, Sesame Encrusted Bass with Mango Salsa, that kind of thing. We have a guava tree on our property and currently we have guava coming out our ears, so I’m trying to master guava jam. When I get it figured out I’ll share it with you. Anyway, the other day I bought some fresh coconut bread from a small comedor (local restaurant) and I had been dreaming of putting guava jam on it. Unfortunately after four long hot in the kitchen I wound up with guava paste as opposed to guava jam. So the coconut bread has been sitting on my counter for a few days. Last night we sliced off a little to eat with the Pineapple Mango Ginger Steak but it was getting pretty stale.

So I decided this morning I would use the last of it to make some french toast. Since I can’t get real Maple Syrup here and I’m out of honey at the moment I thought I would fancy it up a bit. So I chopped up some pineapple and whipped up a syrup and viola- we have coconut bread french toast with caramelized pineapples in syrup. We enjoyed a lovely Saturday morning breakfast on the patio watching the butterflies.

Coconut Bread French Toast Recipe

I used half a loaf of local coconut bread for this. I would say in size and shape it most resembled a baguette but a bit denser. I sliced the loaf in half lengthwise and then in half again so I had four slices.

For the french toast batter I mixed two eggs, a splash of milk, about a teaspoon of vanilla extract and a teaspoon of cinnamon. Whisk together. Dip the slice in the egg mixture one at a time until saturated. Make sure you coat both sides of the bread. Then cook on hot skillet. Cook each side until golden brown. When ready put on a plate, add caramelize pineapples and drizzle with syrup.

Caramelized Pineapple in Sauce

1 in slice of fresh pineapple cored and diced

2 TBSP butter

3 TBSP sugar

2 TBSP water

2 Tsp cinnamon

splash vanilla extract

I just added everything to small sauce pan and cooked it down until the pineapples were soft and the syrup was a beautiful golden color. I think next time I’ll melt the butter first, then add the sugar and pineapple and judge how much water is needed based off how juicy the pineapple is. However it turned out great just dumping it all into a pan.

I started the sauce and then made the french toast and both were ready at the same time. It was super quick, super yummy and it looks really pretty.

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