pumpkin

All posts tagged pumpkin

Shawna Coronado's Pumpkin Harvest

Shawna Coronado's Pumpkin Harvest

Also, happy World Pasta Day!  Good grief, so much going on.  We better get right into

Penne with Basil and Pumpkin Bechamel

Wow…so let’s see…  This recipe is my #meatlessmonday post for Meatless Monday. 

It’s also the last of the 2009 Nude & Eco-Cheap Cooking recipes for this year (boo!  I know, I’m bummed.)  I’d team up with the awesome Shawna Coronado for any cooking challenge anywhere and I am going to miss all her delicious veggies.  Still, as winter touches the Midwest, all her nude (no chemicals) eco-friendly veggies are going away and without the veggies, it’s hard to feed a family of four for less then $10.50! 

But, if she’s up for it, I’m would love to see a 2010 Nude & Eco-Cheap Cooking Initiative!

Oh, and before I forget,  it’s also World Pasta Day, which can only be celebrated by eating pasta.  Which is how we get to this crazy recipe  I dreamed up.  Continue Reading

Shawna Coronado's Pumpkin Harvest

Shawna Coronado's Pumpkin Harvest

Yep, that’s right.  It’s another #meatlessmonday and another installment of the 2009 Nude & Echo-Cheap Cooking Initiative.  Today we’re making

Pumpkin Soup

If you’re not familiar with the 2009 Nude & Eco-Cheap Cooking Initiative, that’s where I take the delicious veggies grown by the always awesome Shawna Coronado and turn them into a meal for a family of four that costs less than $11.50.  Can I do it?

Yes I can with this easy, but delicious pumpkin soup.

I actually love pumpkin season.  I think it’s kind of a shame that it only seems to be popular for about two months.  Still, every year people go NUTS for pumpkins: pumpkin desserts, pumpkin soups, pumpkin coffee drinks, pumpkin pizza, and so on.  Then even before the Thanksgiving leftovers are done…BOOM… everyone’s on to peppermint or sugar cookies or some other Christmas phase.  Anyway, I’m ranting.

The good news is that for the next month or so we can continue to enjoy pumpkin recipes like this one.

Continue Reading

For unResolution month, sometimes we need to drink our calories, too.  That’s why I turned to Natalie from The Liquid Muse, who directly inspired this very blog you are reading now and who is the finest mixologist/cocktail blogger I have ever read.

I knew if I needed to find the official drink of unResolution month, she would have it.  And, as usual, I was not disappointed:

Pumpkin Pie Preggatini

Though this recipe was featured on her blog, she also has a book out called Preggatinis: Mixology for the Mom-to-be, a collection of non-alcoholic drinks which look absolutely delicious. And while the book says its for the mom-to-be, it’s also great for anyone who does not drink or cannot have alcohol for whatever reason.  (Personally, I would have called it Delicious Designated Driving but that’s just me…)

Anyway, when I was mapping out what I was going to do for the “A month is four weeks, which is 28 days BUT January has 31 days so I need to find 3 more days worth of delicious but unhealthy foods” section of unResolution month, I just knew this was the drink for me because I love pumpkin and this one does not shy away from the calories.

Continue Reading

One of my Tweeps, Felicia Slattery, responded to one of my pleas for inspiration with the suggestion of talking about what you can do with pumpkin other than make pie.  Since the appearance of pumpkin en masse in grocery stores, I’ve taken an interest in this myself (see my recipe for Pumpkin Baingan Bharta) and  I have fallen in love with pumpkin as a savory ingredient.

Recipe: Pumpkin Risotto

For some reason, there is just something right about combining creamy risotto with pumpkin.  I think it has to do with the fact that even though I have been cooking with pumpkin a lot recently, in my head, pumpkin is still synonymous with pumpkin puree, which is creamy itself, especially when combined with eggs, butter, and sugar.

How to Cook Pumpkin

However, before we get into the recipe, let’s take a minute to talk about cooking with pumpkin.  It’ll be painless I promise.

There are a number of ways to cook pumpkin: boiling, steaming, and stir frying.  However, the method that always works well for me is roasting it in the oven.  Every time it produces well-cooked, juicy, and delicious pumpkin.  Roasting is also easy, but it is time consuming.

To roast all you need to do is cut your pumpkin in half, clean out the seeds, cover in a little olive oil, salt, and pepper and bake in a 450 degree oven for 45 minutes.

How to Pick a Pumpkin

One other note.  Then recipe, I promise.

When you are looking to eat pumpkin, look for sugar pie pumpkin or organic pumpkin from a quality grocery store like a Whole Foods.  Most of the pumpkins that you find in a pumpkin patch or in a lot of grocery stores were bred to be hardy and stay together as scary faces are cut into them.  This makes for tough, stringy pumpkin and not good for eating.

Pumpkin Risotto

Phew!

Okay, now without further ado…Pumpkin Risotto.

  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup cooked pumpkin (1/5-1/8 of a cook sugar pie pumpkin) finely diced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 cups arborio rice
  • 4-6 cups of veggie or chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese (optional for non-vegans)
  • 4 tablespoons of butter (optional for non-vegans)
  • Nutmeg for garnish

Put a high sided skillet or sauce pan over medium heat and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil.  Wait until the olive oil is hot and add the garlic.  Saute for 30 seconds and add the pumpkin and a good pinch of salt.   Saute for about three minutes and set aside.

Add the remaining olive oil and wait until it is hot.  Add the onions and a pinch of salt and cook until translucent, 4-5 minutes.  Then add the arborio rice.  Stir well, making sure the onions and rice are covered in oil.  Toast the rice for another 3 minutes.

Bring the heat down to medium.  Using a soup ladel or measuring cup, add about two ladels (somewhere between a half cup and a cup) of broth into the rice.  Give the rice a stir.

The broth should start to boil and will soon be absorbed into rice.  When the rice is dry, ladel in more broth.  Repeat until the rice is no longer able to absorb any more liquid.  (It’s better to over do it, in my opinion, than under do it so don’t worry about adding too much.  If the risotto is too runny, just cook the risotto a little longer.)

When the rice is at capacity, let it cook for another minute, then stir in the cheese and butter.  Once the cheese has been incorporated, add the cooked pumpkin/garlic mixture and stir well.

Serve immediately with some nice crusty bread and side salad.

Enjoy!

Baingan Bharta is my third favorite Indian dish (after the Rucci fry at Rucci in Overland Park, KS) and Cauliflower Manchurian, also known as the greatest meal ever.  For those not familiar with the dish, baingan bharta is an eggplant curry made from ginger, garlic, chilies, and cilantro.

But You Said Pumpkin

That’s right.  Baingan Bharta is traditionally made with eggplant, but this is Fall and stores are so full of pumpkin that there is no room for shoppers.  So, in the hopes of eating seasonal, I thought it might be fun to swap out eggplant for pumpkin.  (This is, of course, not a decision I take lightly, me since I really love eggplant.)

I also played with the spice blend just a little.  Whenever I cook with pumpkin, I try to use nutmeg, allspice, and sometimes cinnamon because those spices typically go with pumpkin (think pumpkin pie.)  In this case, I added ground coriander because it can be used as a nutmeg substitute and it is very Indian.

Pumpkin Baingan Bharta

  • 2.5 pounds pumpkin, cut into 1 inch squares
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 can of plum tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 cup, yogurt or heavy cream
  • 1 Serrano chili, diced
  • 3 tablespoons cilantro, finely chopped

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

Coat the pumpkin in 2 tablespoons of olive oil, salt, and pepper.  Bake the pumpkin in the oven for 45 minutes.

Mix the garlic and ginger in a food processor with just enough water to form a smooth paste.  This can be done with any quantity of ginger and garlic.  It can also be made by mashing the garlic and ginger with a knife.

Put the remaining oil in a skillet and heat over a medium flame.  Toast the cumin seeds for 1 minute.  Add the onions and cook until they become soft, which usually takes 3-5 minutes.

Add the garlic ginger paste, curry powder, coriander, and chopped tomatoes.  Reserve the tomato juice.  Cook for 2 minutes.

Add the pumpkin, tomato juice, yogurt, and chilies.  Cover and cook for five minutes.  Remove the lid and continue cooking until the sauce thickens, typically about 10 minutes.

Add the cilantro and cook for another thirty seconds and serve with rice and naan.

Okay, the following recipe is not mine…at least not completely.  I came across this recipe one day as I was flipping channels and happend to pass by the Food Network.  There, in primetime no less, was the lovely Paul Deen staring back at me over a mixing bowl.

With her Southern belle smile, she announced she was going to make a pumpkin cheesecake.  While she had me at “Hey y’all,” I sat in rapt attention as she made this recipe.

I had never made a cheesecake before.  I made that cheesecake.

I can bake.  Who knew?

If you decide to try it, follow the baking instructions exactly.  That’s my best advice.  My second best advice would that next time I make the recipe, I am going to add a half cup more sugar and double the spice.  I like my pumpkin pies bold with big flavors.  Paula’s pumpkin cheesecake was good, but it did not explode with sweetness, nutmeg, and clove like I prefer.  That is not Paula’s fault.  Everyone else who has tried the recipe loved it and wanted more. 

And besides, it’s a Paula Deen dessert.  You know it has to be good!