Wednesday, November 3, 2010

In The Halloween Spirit

I love Halloween. This year I wanted to go with the orange and black theme for our Halloween dinner. It was a simple meal but with fun flavors and colors.

Roasted Sweet & Spicy Pumpkin Seeds


To go with a nice Fall beer selection I had to make roasted pumpkin seeds. There are so many great flavor combos. I went with a variation on our favorite: sweet & spicy. The hot pepper is a nice "back-of-the throat-burn" compliment to the sweet maple syrup.

I rinsed the pumpkin seeds from our jack-o-lantern and blotted them dry. Seasoned them liberally with nutmeg, clove, cinnamon, allspice, salt, cayenne pepper, maple syrup and olive oil. Mixed everything around and spread the seasoned seeds out on a rimmed baking sheet. Popped them into a 275 degree oven for 45 minutes.

Roasted Orange Cauliflower with Rosemary & Garlic
served over Wild Rice


I really wanted to make this with black Forbidden rice, but I couldn't find it anywhere. (FYI: Boxed Goodes sells a black rice blend, however I didn't think of this dinner idea in enough time to purchase from them.) My second choice was squid ink pasta, which I also couldn't find at the last minute. So, I had to go with wild rice. Great taste, but not optimal for my color theme. Next year I will better prepare.

In a saucepan I boiled 3 1/2 cups chicken broth, added 1 cup of wild rice. Brought it back up to a boil, put on a lid, and reduced heat to low. Let it cook for 45 minutes. While the rice was doing it's thing, I rinsed a large head of cauliflower and cut it into small florets. Tossed the florets in a bowl with some olive oil, salt, pepper, rosemary and minced garlic. Spread the seasoned florets onto a rimmed baking sheet. Roasted them in a 400 degree oven for 25-30 minutes. When the rice was finished cooking I stirred in a few pats of butter and seasoned with a touch more salt and a little pepper. I served the roasted cauliflower on top of the rice.
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