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Chef Higgins from George Brown Chef School in Toronto gives us some tips on how to peel and cut up a pumpkin. You can then ...
use it to make soup, pie, or cook as a side dish.
Tags:How to Cut and Peel a Pumpkin,Cut and Peel a Fresh Pumpkin,How to Peel a Pumpkin,how to peel and cut up a pumpkin,How to Prepare a Pumpkin,Le Gourmet TV
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How to Cut and Peel a Pumpkin
Chef John Higgins: Needless to say, we’re going to be making some pumpkin soup. So, how do we go about breaking this wonderful vegetable or fruit that the farmer has given us? So, we always have to look at how we break it down. So again, not different for the tomato or the onion; there’s always a way to do it and to ensure your hands are safe, correct chef?
Chef Oliver Li: Absolutely chef.
Chef John Higgins: Okay. With this here, I am just going to take the top off. So again, I’m going to hold and I’m going to keep some pressure here. And again, I’m going to watch all the time what is going to happen. So, I’m trying to give this -- it’s rocking, it’s like -- I keep this steady and what I could actually do is put a little towel in the -- so it does not move to give you some stability. I’ve got one here and just in case because they’re bigger, trust me; I’ve been working in the kitchen, what you need is only a towel. So again, already you can see that you got some stability which is great.
Take the sharp knife again. Take this. All I am going to do is take it and I’m going to cut right through here. Now, I’ll put in a lot of pressure but I am being consistent, so when do cut this, it comes off. To the bottom, the top is going to disappear, simple, so that’s gone. So now, I can take away the cloth.
So now again, if this was a grapefruit, a tomato or an onion, do prepare for the same thing. Now, I’ve got some stability. I normally cut to just follow the outside of the skin. So again, you have to be pretty patient. You don’t push this too hard. So, I’m going to again go around, almost like what I do with a grapefruit.
If for instance you’re not too sure of how to do this and you feel very uncomfortable or unsafe, do not cut yourself. Just take a potato peeler for instance. What you can do with the potato peeler, you can actually go with the potato peeler and get right around but personally, I find as a chef, it’s so easier to do with a knife.
So again, with this here, what I am going to do is get right around, being patient. You can see that very little flesh on the pumpkin. Again, the secret is a steady, sharp knife, a steady hand and a good eye. So again, now we’re done with the same thing. Again, we’ll break it down. I’m going to get it again, so stable. I'm going to take the knife and I’m going to be right for the center of the pumpkin. Some people actually do half but I feel like I’m going right through the center. Turn around again and now, I’ve broken it down.
I’m going to make sure it’s stable again. So, respect to the product, again, you can see I was breaking it down. All I’m going to do is take this here and I’m going to assure that it comes out. So again, pulling it down using my spoon. The reason I personally don t like to use a knife for this is because I do not want to loss any of the flesh and those beautiful juices. That smells absolutely wonderful.
So, I’m going to take it and make it half again. I’m going to look at what I’m going to use this for. If I’m going to use it for a soup, I’m going to say “Okay, I wanted the same dice.” So, I’m going to take this end off here to balance this. I’m going to large dice. So, all I’m going to do here is just take it. I can see -- turn around and I want to use it to feel comfortable. So, for instance, the dice comes in large chunks. It’s going to be for a pumpkin soup. You cook it in for a puree or a pumpkin pie.
So now, what we’ve got is what I’ve taken from that original size being so top to tail to -- took the skin out of the outside, halved it. See? We scooped it, broke it down and now, we have a nice even dice to use for a soup, for a pie, whatever we’re going to be using for.