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Recipe: Millet with Pumpkin

Jenni, this one is all for you.  I haven't tried it, and I'm not sure that I really want to.  If you make it, give us a report back, okay?


Millet with Pumpkin (Pshonnaya Kasha s Tikvoy)


From:  Please to the Table: The Russian Cookbook, by Anya von Bremzen and John Welchman



This is a breakfast dish.



6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, or more if desired

1 ½ cups diced, peeled, fresh pumpkin

2 ¾ cups milk

1 cup hulled millet seeds

Small pinch of salt

1 tablespoon honey, or more to taste



1.      Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.


2.      Melt the butter in an ovenproof casserole, over medium-low heat.  Add the pumpkin and sauté, stirring, until the pumpkin just begins to soften, about 5 to 6 minutes.  Add the milk and bring to a gentle boil.


3.      Place the millet in a large, heavy skillet and stir over medium-high heat until the seeds turn golden, about 5 minutes.  Combine with the pumpkin, then add the salt and the honey and stir until it is dissolved.  Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until the liquid is almost absorbed but the millet is still moist, about 15 minutes.


4.      Place the covered casserole in the oven and bake until the millet is dry, 25 to 30 minutes.  Add more butter, if desired, fluff the millet with a fork, and serve.



Serves 6



( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 3rd, 2005 08:26 pm (UTC)
Plese come to San Francisco and cook for me. I'll set up a cot.
Dec. 4th, 2005 12:15 pm (UTC)
Re: *salivates*

As you can see, I take requests for recipes to be posted. So if there's anything special you want, just ask. :-)

I need to find some kind of food or cooking related icon for the recipe posts. *wanders off to look*
Dec. 4th, 2005 01:38 pm (UTC)
Why am I not surprised that this is from a Russian cookbook? Can just imagine:

Peasant1: WTF is this?
Peasant2: Millet... and pumpkin.
Peasant1: And WTF are we supposed to do with it??
Peasant2: ...
Jen: That's what I said.

(Am taking it home to have a look.)
Dec. 4th, 2005 02:24 pm (UTC)

Here I am, trying to be helpful, and look at the thanks I get ...

Just remember that there's still time to tell Santa to fill your Christmas stocking with coal this year.
Dec. 5th, 2005 11:56 am (UTC)
Guess what I had for breakfast today...
And it's good! Okay, well, it's not... bad. But see, these are all ingredients I had in the house, whereas in Ukraine I can't just wander down to, well, to any of the shops in town, even the large-ish foreign grocery chains and buy a packet of proscuttio and of chunk of parmesean. I know, if someone had told me, I wouldn't have believed it either. It's like the couscous thing, though - if I went to any grocery store in Calgary, I would probably be presented with about fifty different kinds of couscous. Fifteen years ago, this probably wouldn't have been the case. I'm still asked here (and in Russia) if we eat potatoes in North America, or if the staple side dish is rice! Rice, though, is making major inroads here, though, because as I was patiently looking over and over the aisle for couscous (millet looks a LOT like couscous, hence my millet problem), and this is in a large chain supermarket, there were about fifty different varieties of rice. It's really quite fascinating, the differences. So yes, fifty types of rice and no freaking couscous. I'll keep trying different supermarkets, maybe some closer to downtown, or find out where the foreigners shop (though $$$ will be a concern there), but I am determined (well, sort of) to find couscous - all I ask for is a nice but of tabouleh.

Funny story, though - when I made tabouleh in China (where on Earth did I find couscous in China???) for my German-French friend, she couldn't believe that I made it with fresh parsley. In Calgary, this is the only way I've ever had tabouleh. Anyway, I asked her why she was so stunned, and she said that as far as she knew, from her experiences cooking with her Tunisian boyfriend, tabouleh was made with chopped fresh mint. Ha ha ha ha ha!, I laughed. So perhaps in Germany you can pop down to the supermarket or the weekend market and pick up a sprig of fresh mint, but in Canada you'll a) have a difficult time locating it in the first place and b) have to pay an arm and a leg for it. So parsley it is. The odd thing I find here (in Ukraine and Russia) is that there is nearly no spinach - only the frozen kind. I tried buying fresh spinach in Moscow and ended up with, well, I don't even know what it would be called in English, some sort of leafy thing, but not spinach. Apparantly you boil it in soup. But the thing was, I asked for spinach, and it was understood what I was asking for, and that's what I got.

Anyway, so just thought I'd share a bit of cross-culturalness there. If I had that recipe even before I found myself with an excess of pumpkin and millet, and had gone down to the shop, I could have bought every single one of those ingredients with no problem (they don't salt their butter here - if you want me to tell you why, just ask, but that will be another post!). What interests me is - how easy will that be anywhere else? In LA for example, or New Orleans, or Lyon (I'm not sure where anyone else who might be reading this is from), if you went down to the supermarket and asked for millet, I'm thinking you'd get one of two responses: 'What is millet?/I'm sorry, we don't have any of that...' or 'Aisle ten, birdseed.' Prove me wrong!

A few cooking tips:

1. It might LOOK like there's not enough millet to absorb all that liquid, but don't worry, there definitely is!!! So don't go adding too much more millet.

2. 'Pumpkin' can just be any orange, sweetish squash. Best fresh, this wouldn't work with tinned.

3. Go easy on the salt. If you're using salted butter, I'd suggest no salt.

4. Easy on the honey - the squash is already quite sweet.

Enjoy if you try it!
Dec. 7th, 2005 04:35 pm (UTC)
Re: Guess what I had for breakfast today...
Lovely! You tried it and it worked. :-)

Now, about your couscous problem. I can easily send something like that to you. I can get the instant couscous (stir it into boiling liquid, cover, remove from heat, let stand for five minutes, fluff with a fork and serve) just by walking across the street to my local supermarket. (It's what I always use.) If you need traditional couscous that requires special equipment and a whole long steaming process, that might be a bit harder (but should certainly still be doable in L.A.; this, by the way, is one reason I may take exception to your characterization of the U.S. as being in the "assimilation" camp ... er, that discussion should be saved for another post, I guess).

Now, a little bit about my personal cooking rules:

1. Make things from scratch whenever possible.

2. Use fresh ingredients whenever possible.

3. Use unsalted butter.

And guess what? You've given me an idea for my next recipe post. :-)
Dec. 8th, 2005 10:54 am (UTC)
Re: Guess what I had for breakfast today...
No, don't worry, I won't be here long enough - I'll be back in Canada and able to make all the tabouleh I want, lol. But thank you for the offer! The thing is, there should be couscous here... I just have to find it...

Oh yay - you actually READ the... well, whatever post it was I brought up the assimilation thing... or that was in the FT article reply? But it's true, dear, I'm sorry - the US is multicultural, but does not espouse a policy of multiculturalism... maybe biculturalism... we really do need to go for a coffee and talk! :-)

*anticipates next recipe post*
Dec. 8th, 2005 11:08 am (UTC)
Re: Guess what I had for breakfast today...
Oh, I always read your posts; my problem is that I never have time to write proper answers for them, so they just go into my "To Be Answered Later" folder.

When are you going back to Canada? Is that back to Calgary? And is it just for a visit or back for good?
Dec. 8th, 2005 11:16 am (UTC)
Re: Guess what I had for breakfast today...
Going back for good between end of January and March. (Long story about why when.) But have decided my city needs me! (how pretentious is that?)
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )