Friday, December 30, 2011

Pumpkin Gorgonzola Flans

This recipe comes from the cookbook Around my French Table by Dorie Greenspan, which I own. She has a bloggers group that makes her recipes, but are not allowed to give out the recipes. This recipe can be found many places on the web, such as here,  so I don't feel like I'm giving out secrets by providing it here. We had this on Christmas Eve with Beef Wellington. It played to mixed reviews by the six people at the table. Girls liked it, guys not so much. I don't think it was the flavor the guys didn't like, but the temperature. It's supposed to be served at room temperature and everyone felt it should be warm if not hot. The funny thing is that I ate the leftovers later in the week after heating them up in the microwave and really liked it hot. I was so happy I didn't have to share.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Pumpkin Chipotle Mash

Our pumpkin chipotle mash started with this recipe. It veered off this recipe when none of us could figure out what  a 1/4 crown pumpkin was. I thought it was some kind of measurement so I asked the boys to google how many ounces in a 1/4 crown. But it isn't - apparently what we call a fairytale pumpkin in Great Britain is called a crown prince pumpkin. But this still doesn't really help because these pumpkins come in sizes from 3 to 20 pounds. Anyway I used equal amounts of potatoes and pumpkin. I also used chipotle chilies in adobo sauce instead of  the red chilies. Otherwise, I followed the the directions by frying the onions and adding the cream, then mashing the cooked potatoes and pumpkin with the onions/cream mixture. I also followed the serving suggestion of having it with brisket. It was delicious.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

We made this pumpkin chocolate chip ice cream for dessert one Sunday afternoon. The Hub and I made the base the day before and chilled it in the refrigerator overnight. It's easy to make but with five egg yolks and two cups of heavy cream, not exactly good for you. Several of us found the chocolate chips distracting and would have enjoyed chocolate swirls instead. Nobody loved it or asked for seconds so I doubt I would make it again.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Pumpkin Fried Rice

I started out making this from a recipe I found online. I baked the pumpkin for 20 minutes to parcook it and cooked up a big pot of rice. But as I got to reading the recipe more, I saw that was about it for ingredients: pumpkin, rice, scallions, mushrooms, salt and pepper. Hmm sounded really boring. Looking around in my cookbooks I found Guy Fieri's BBQ Duck Fried Rice in Guy Fieri Food. Not having any BBQ duck handy, I adapted it to this fabulous veggie pumpkin fried rice. It made a huge platter, and we all loved it.

Pumpkin Fried Rice
Adapted from BBQ Duck Fried Rice by Guy Fieri

3 cups cooked brown or white rice
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup oyster sauce
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
2 cups fresh pumpkin, parcooked and diced
1 sweet onion, diced
1 cup green cabbage, thinly sliced
1 cup shitake mushrooms, diced
1 tablespoon minced ginger
1 tablespoon minced garlic
3 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup chopped green onion
1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted

Parcook the pumpkin by baking at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. When cool enough to handle, dice into 3/4 inch cubes.

Combine the soy sauce, oyster sauce and sesame oil in a small bowl.

Heat 2 tablespoons of the canola oil in a skillet or wok over high heat until the oil almost begins to smoke. Add the ginger, onion, cabbage, pumpkin, and mushrooms and stir fry for 7 minutes until the vegetables are softened. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Transfer vegetables to a plate and heat 1 tablespoon more oil in skillet or wok, add the rice and cook for 6 minutes to allow it to crisp. (Do this in batches if your pan will not hold all the rice without crowding.)

Add the eggs and mix rapidly so that the eggs do not stick to the sides of the pan. When the eggs are cooked, add the soy sauce mixture. Mix thoroughly, then add the reserved vegetables. Stir to combine and warm thoroughly.

Garnish with the green onion and sesame seeds.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Pumpkin Custard Profiteroles with Maple Caramel

I'm sure these pumpkin custard profiteroles with maple caramel from Bon Appetit are wonderful. I, however, will never know. I only got as far as the profiteroles, which looked perfect going into the oven and came out flat as pancakes. The Hub thought we could still try to cut them in half and pull them into the correct shape. I was not willing to risk the many expensive ingredients and time consuming instructions needed to try and salvage them nor was I willing to make this part again. It about broke my heart the first time because they were so gorgeous. Many of the recipe reviewers on the website also had trouble with different parts of the recipe. I love the idea of pumpkin profiteroles so maybe I'll try them again sometime with a different less complicated recipe.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Pumpkin Butterfingers Bread

I couldn't wait to make this bread for Andrew, whose favorite candy is Butterfingers. For international readers Butterfingers are candy bars with a crunchy peanut butter center and chocolate coating. Who thinks these recipes up anyway? Apparently Madison at the web page Espresso and Cream does. I made four mini loaves instead of one large loaf. I'm not sure you could actually detect Butterfingers in it, but the loaves were delicious. Andrew gave it a two thumbs up below. He also thought they got better with a few days age.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Pumpkin Rice Croquettes with Tarragon Mayonnaise

This recipe from the blog Al Dente Gourmet is one of my favorites this month. It uses grated pumpkin and cooked rice to make little patties that are pan fried and served with tarragon mayonnaise or in my case buttermilk ranch dressing from Pensey's. It can (and is recommended) be made ahead of time. I used panko for the breadcrumbs and they stayed relatively crispy even through multiple reheatings. Ann, the Hub and I were taste testers on this. The Hub was having a hard time wrapping his head around when you would serve these. Ann suggested as the starch component in a regular meal. I saw them as hors de oeuvres or with a salad for lunch, too. In fact I did eat them for lunch for several days because the recipe makes quite a few. This is an easy, yet restaurant grade, recipe.


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Pumpkin Ale Cupcakes

This recipe for pumpkin ale cupcakes comes the blog My Baking Addiction. They don't have any actual pumpkin in them except what's in the ale. These are sophisticated cupcakes for adults. The cake is chocolate with a faint aroma of pumpkin spices. The recipe is supposed to make 24 cupcakes, but I made 40. One look at the frosting recipe, which contains a pound of butter and two pounds of powdered sugar to frost two dozen cupcakes, and I decided to half it and could probably have quartered it. I know it's currently in vogue to pile the frosting as high as the cupcake, but in deference to my family and coworker's health, I just gave them a thin layer of frosting. The frosting smells of ale, pumpkin spices and vanilla and is quite delicious. They didn't go as fast, at home or at work, as some of the other things I've made.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Pumpkin Cookie Mix Challenge Pillsbury vs Betty Crocker

I decided to do a taste test of these seasonal offerings from Pillsbury and Betty Crocker. They both add a stick of butter and an egg to the package mix and make three dozen two-inch cookies. Betty calls her cookies pumpkin spice, and they do appear a little darker in color. The first ingredient on the Pillsbury box is sugar. Wow! more sugar than flour. Betty at least has flour first, but its followed by sugar, brown sugar and then corn syrup. Pillsbury lists pumpkin as the last product before the "less than 2%" ingredients and after partially hydrogenated soybean oil. Betty lists pumpkin between dextrose (is that another sugar?) and baking soda. So there really isn't a whole lot of pumpkin in either one of them.

My dedicated taste testers at Discovery Creative took their work seriously. Unable to help themselves they also critiqued the packaging, with Pillsbury winning that contest. After a long day (actually it took less than an hour), 24 taste testers decided it was a tie. 12 for one and 12 for the other. Some felt I should be the tie breaker and asked me which one I liked better. But I didn't like either one so it was a tie for me too.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Thanksgiving Muffins

I made these muffins from the King Arthur Flour website for Kevin to take back with him after Thanksgiving. I think it's kinda clever to have cranberries and pumpkin in the muffin and then call them Thanksgiving. I didn't add the cranberries, but did use their cinnamon Flav-R-Bites, which is their version of cinnamon chips. They tasted great the day I baked them. Maybe we can get Kevin to weigh in here on how they traveled.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Pumpkin Lasagna

I started out with a recipe for this, but soon strayed from it so far I guess this would be considered an original recipe. There were four tasters on this and we all liked it. You could just use your own lasagna recipe and add extra layers of pumpkin.

no-boil lasagna noodles
spaghetti or marinara sauce
cottage cheese
Parmesan cheese, grated
Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
fresh pumpkin
salt & pepper to taste

I used a mandoline to slice the pumpkin into 1/8 to 1/4-inch thin slices. I arranged the slices on a platter and microwaved them for 3 minutes. Just enough to soften the pumpkin, but not enough to turn it to mush. Layer the ingredients (according to the size of your dish) in this order. Sauce, noodles, cottage cheese (I use lower calorie cottage in place of ricotta.), Parmesan cheese, pumpkin - then sprinkle with salt, pepper and a little Gorgonzola. (I used about 3 tablespoons per layer of a 9 x 13-inch pan.) Repeat as many times as you want, ending up with sauce. I would go easy on the Gorgonzola so as not to overwhelm the other milder flavors. Bake for 50 minutes at 350 degrees F. Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Crock Pot Pumpkin Butter

This recipe for pumpkin butter made in a slow cooker is easy and tastes great. I found it on the website Taste for Adventure, which puts up recipes by a slew of talented food bloggers. I doubled the recipe and cooked it on low in my slow cooker for about 5 hours. Every time I would take the lid off to stir, I was careful to not allow the condensation to run back in the butter. I also wiped the inside of the lid before replacing it - pumpkin has a lot of water in it.

It's a great addition to my English muffin at breakfast, and a whole lot cheaper than the tiny pricey jars sold at kitchen stores in the fall.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Pumpkin Toffee Cheesecake

I served this Pumpkin Toffee Cheesecake from Libby's at a Thanksgiving dessert buffet for 18, along with an apple pie, pumpkin icebox pie, white chocolate bread pudding (from the Nordstrom's cookbook), pumpkin brownies, pumpkin pizelles and other assorted cookies. It came in tied with the bread pudding at first place as a fan favorite.

The recipe uses a shortbread cookie crust, pumpkin cheesecake center topped with Health bar bits and sour cream. Optional is a caramel topping, which I had, but forgot to put out. It is fairly simple and can be made a couple of days in advance and stored in the frig.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Pumpkin Yeast Rolls

We had these rolls from the blog One Perfect Bite with our salads at Thanksgiving dinner. I had made them earlier and kept them in the freezer. They have a three to one all purpose to whole wheat flour ratio and a mild pumpkin flavor. Everyone liked them, but no one raved. Roger commented that he liked the fact they didn't have too much pumpkin. The meal had so many other highlights, it was easy to get overshadowed. Notice the biscuit cutter I used to cut them:  my 85-year-old father made it in shop class in high school. My grandma kept everything and so now I have it.