Everyone's tried a pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving — but pumpkins are useful for so much more than just pie. This year, my family will free up the oven by deep-frying the bird — and since the oil will be hot, why not try something new and cook up some pumpkin fries?
I served my first few batches of pumpkin fries with a spicy aioli, but a cranberry dipping sauce would be a great alternative as well. If you're in the mood for something sweet, sprinkle the last batch with cinnamon and sugar. These fries are easy to prep and fry just before the big feast, especially with the fryer already hot. If you're ready to give up the pie and start with a fry, then keep reading for the recipe.
1/2 medium pumpkin, sugar or baking variety
1 cup corn starch
Canola oil, to fill pot 3 inches
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Spicy Aioli *
1/2 cups mayonnaise
1/8 cup fresh lemon juice
3 large garlic cloves, minced
1 to 2 teaspoons chili powder, to taste
- Peel pumpkin and remove seeds and stringy flesh. Cut remainder into thick sticks.
- Toss pumpkin in corn starch; discard remaining starch that doesn't stick.
- Fill a large, heavy-bottomed pot with 3 inches of oil; heat over medium-high heat. To test the oil for readiness, put one fry in the oil. When it browns quickly, and the oil bubbles vigorously, about when the oil reaches 350 degrees, it is ready. Fry pumpkin until golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes.
- Remove from oil with a slotted spoon; place on paper towels to absorb remaining grease. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- For the aioli,* mix all of the ingredients together until well mixed.
*For sweet pumpkin fries, skip the aioli all together and sprinkle with 1/2 cup sugar or brown sugar and 1 tablespoon cinnamon.
- Vegetables, Side Dishes
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