Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Death Dusted Pumpkin Seeds

Habanero Death Dust Pumpkin Seeds
Death Dusted Pumpkin Seeds

Awhile ago Oakridge BBQ offered up a limited time release of a special rub they make, called Habanero Death Dust. Now, any of you that know me know I like things with some heat to it, so I decided to give this stuff a try. I sent in my order and a few days later... package #20 of the limited run of 150 showed up on my door step.

Normally, even though I like heat, I steer away from anything "habanero" as it just means "heat" but not a lot of flavor. A little finger tip sample of this showed that it was different though. While it had some nice heat to it, there were also some nice subtle flavors that gave it an overall pleasing taste. Even my cat seemed to like it. Well at least until he made that funny face and ran around the room and ended up sitting in the corner licking his lips!

So I spent some time trying to decide what to try this out on, and being Halloween time, I figured why not try some Death Dusted Pumpkin Seeds? Now, the downside to this plan is the pumpkins. For whatever reason the guts of the pumpkins are my kryptonite. Just the smell of it makes me gag. Somehow I was able to talk my lovely wife into gutting the pumpkins for me. Thanks Honey! Otherwise this experiment probably never would have happened.

After she removed all the seeds from the two pumpkins we had, I gave them a good rinse and then spread them out on some paper towels to dry for about an hour or so. Then I placed them in a medium bowl, and added about a tablespoon of olive oil and gave them a good shake and stir to coat them in the oil. I added 2 teaspoons of Death Dust, one at a time, and gave things a good stir to mix it all up. They didn't quite get as evenly coated as I wanted to, but it all worked out in the end. The oven was fired up to 350 degrees, and I got out my trusty old baking sheet. Well actually I grabbed the new one since it's not as scratched up. I gave the sheet a good coat of butter, yes, real butter, to keep things from sticking and then spread the seeds out in a even layer.

Into the oven they went, and baked for about 25 minutes. At about the 15 minute mark I gave them a good stir and then back in the oven until they were done.

After cooking I let them cool for a little bit and then gave them a taste test. Hmmm. Not exactly what I expected. Most of the subtle flavors of the Death Dust were gone. Just tasted like plain roasted pumpkin seeds, and some nice heat on the back end. I was a little disappointed to tell you the truth. Maybe I didn't use enough Dust. But oh well, I like the taste of plain roasted seeds and these had some heat to them, so not all was lost. I put them in a zip-top bag and let them sit on the counter. The next day I grabbed another handful, and WOAH, what a difference! That great flavor was back and the pumpkin seeds were awesome! With a really nice heat kick at the end. I'm not sure what effect letting them sit overnight had, but they are definitely much better. Maybe when they were still warm the temperature was covering some of the flavors. Whatever it was, these are really good now. My only wish is I had a couple more pumpkins to make more seeds, as these won't last long!

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