By Samantha Lim, Staff Writer
One thing to look forward to at this time of the year is the seasonal produce, pumpkin being one of them. Pumpkin finds its way into pies, muffins, lattes, and a multitude of sweet treats, but it's a starch that's often overlooked in savory options. That is, until now. French fries and sweet potato fries grace the menus of eateries everywhere, but have you ever had pumpkin fries? Now you know what to do with those leftover pumpkins from Halloween that escaped the fate of being carved into Jack-O-Lanterns. Skip the mustard or the ketchup and pair these fries with a tart homemade cranberry sauce. This student-friendly recipe was adapted from Oprah.com.
Prepare the cranberry sauce before cooking the fries. That way, you can enjoy the latter fresh out of the fryer. Sauté the cranberries, gelatin, water, sugar, and salt in a deep pan. Turn the heat down low and allow the mixture to simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring every so often. Allow the cranberry sauce to cool before transferring it into a small saucer or bowl.
You may peel the pumpkin if you please, but once fried, the peel doesn't make much of a difference. Cut open the pumpkin and discard its seeds and stringy flesh. Slice the pumpkin into fries. Empty a cup-full of cornstarch onto a large plate. Toss the cut fries with the cornstarch so that each fry is nicely coated.
Turn the burner on medium-high heat. Place a pot on the burner and fill it with enough vegetable oil so that the fries will be completely submerged. Test the temperature with a single fry; if it sizzles and darkens quickly, the oil is hot enough. Fry the pumpkin fries for 3-5 minutes or until they turn a light gold-brown.
Line a plate with paper towels. Use a rounded spatula to transfer the fries to the plate. Lightly pat the fries with more paper towels. Sprinkle with salt and cayenne pepper to taste. For the purpose of presentation, roll a piece of cardstock into a cone and tape the sides. Fill it to the brim with pumpkin fries and serve with your prepared cranberry sauce.