Loading…
Saturday, August 23, 2014
Current Weather
Loading Current Weather....
HomeA&EFood
Published: Saturday, 10/12/2013

Pumpkin goes beyond pies, cookies

BY GRETCHEN McKAY
BLOCK NEWS ALLIANCE

When it comes to pumpkin, why stop at pies, cookies, and tarts? A low-calorie food that adds protein, fiber, and mega amounts of vitamin A to your diet, pumpkin lends itself to an endless variety of dishes.

If you want to make pumpkin puree from scratch, remove seeds, cut into large chunks, rub with oil, and roast at 400 degrees for 45 minutes. Or, cut into wedges and microwave on high for 5 minutes or until easily pierced with a fork. Take off skin and puree cooked pumpkin by pulsing it in a food processor or mashing it with a potato masher. One pound of fresh pumpkin yields about 1 cup of puree.

Pumpkin-Pie Margarita

1 cup Siempre Azul blanco tequila

½ cup Grand Marnier

Juice of 4 limes

Juice of 1 orange

½ cup pumpkin-pie puree (yes, from a can)

½ cup apple cider

¼ teaspoon cinnamon

Barest dash of nutmeg

Fill blender 2/​3 with ice. Add all other ingredients. Puree until smooth. Rim glass with salt, sugar in the raw, or nothing. Drink!

Serves 4. Source: Chef Bill Fuller, Big Burrito

Pumpkin Spice Latte

½ cup brewed espresso or ¾ cup strong coffee

2 cups milk (1 percent or whole)

2 tablespoons canned pumpkin (not pumpkin-pie filling)

½ teaspoon pumpkin-pie spice or ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/​8 teaspoon cloves, 1/​8 teaspoon nutmeg, and a tiny pinch of ground ginger

2 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons vanilla extract

Whipped cream and 2 cinnamon sticks, optional garnish

Use a 2-quart slow cooker. Add coffee or espresso and milk to the stoneware.

Whisk in pumpkin, spices, sugar, and vanilla. Cover and cook on high 2 hours. Whisk again. Ladle into mugs and garnish with whipped cream and additional cinnamon.

Serves 2. : SourceMake It Fast, Cook It Slow: The Big Book of Everyday Slow Cooking by Stephanie O’Dea, (Hyperion, 2009)

White Bean, Chicken, and Pumpkin Chili

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 large onion, chopped (about 2 cups)

4 cloves garlic, minced

¼ teaspoon white pepper

1½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch cubes

1 to 2 teaspoons salt

1½ pounds fresh pumpkin, seeds and fibers removed

15-ounce can chicken broth

3 20-ounce cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

4-ounce can chopped mild green chiles

2 to 3 teaspoons cumin

1 to 2 teaspoons green Tabasco sauce

¼ cup minced cilantro

Sour cream for garnish

Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Cook onion 1 minute. Add garlic and pepper, and cook 1 minute longer. Add chicken and salt, and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Microwave pumpkin on high for 3 minutes. When cool enough to handle, peel and cut into ½-inch chunks to measure 3 cups. Store any remaining pumpkin in refrigerator for up to a week or in freezer for up to 3 months. Stir in broth, beans, pumpkin, chiles, cumin, and Tabasco sauce; cook for 15 minutes over low heat, until chicken is done and pumpkin is easily pierced with a fork. Taste and adjust seasonings.

Serve while hot, topping each with a pinch of cilantro and dollop of sour cream.

Serves 8. :SourcePumpkin: A Super Food for All 12 Months of the Year by DeeDee Stovel (Storey, 2005)

Spiced Pumpkin Pecan Pancakes

1½ cups all-purpose flour

1/​3 cup packed dark brown sugar

2½ teaspoons baking powder

1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon

¾ teaspoon fine salt

½ teaspoon ground ginger

½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

1/​8 teaspoon ground cloves

1¼ cups whole milk

½ cup pumpkin puree

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

½ cup toasted pecans, coarsely chopped

3 to 4 teaspoons vegetable oil

Butter and maple syrup, for serving

Heat oven to 200 degrees and place a baking sheet on one of the racks.

Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves in a medium bowl until evenly combined. Set aside.

Whisk milk, pumpkin, butter, eggs, and vanilla in a large bowl until evenly combined. Add flour mixture and pecans and stir until just mixed and moistened (batter will be lumpy), about 30 strokes. Set batter aside to rest while pan or griddle heats.

Heat a large, seasoned cast-iron skillet, nonstick frying pan, or griddle over medium heat. Test to see if pan is hot enough by sprinkling a couple drops of cold water in it: If water bounces and sputters, pan is ready; if it evaporates instantly, it’s too hot.

Once pan is ready, add 1 teaspoon of oil and tilt the pan to coat. Ladle batter into pan in 1/​3-cup portions. Cook until golden brown on bottom, about 3 to 5 minutes. Using a flat spatula, flip pancakes and cook until second side is golden brown, about 2 to 3 minutes more. Remove to the baking sheet in oven to keep warm. Repeat with remaining batter, adding 1 teaspoon oil to pan between batches. Serve immediately with butter and maple syrup.

Makes 10 pancakes. Source: Chow.com

The Chugging Pumpkin Soup

Cook’s note: The original recipe called for soy milk and vegan cheese. Feel free to leave out the rum, if you’ll be serving it to kids. To toast pumpkin seeds, toss with a little oil, add salt and bake in a 250-degree oven for about an hour, checking and stirring every 15 minutes.

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil

½ cup finely chopped shallots

5 cups vegetable stock

2 cans pumpkin puree

1 medium russet potato, peeled and chopped into ½-inch chunks

1 large carrot, peeled and sliced crosswise into ½-inch pieces

1 tablespoon dark brown sugar

2 teaspoons molasses

Finely minced zest of 1 orange

2 teaspoons curry powder

1 cup milk or half-and-half

½ cup dark rum

Dash of Tabasco sauce

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

Toasted pumpkin seeds for garnish

1½ cups grated sharp cheddar cheese

In a large saucepan over medium-low heat, warm olive oil with sesame oil. Add shallots and saute them, stirring occasionally, until they’re translucent, 3 to 4 minutes. Add stock, pumpkin, potato, and carrot, raise the heat to high, and bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 25 minutes.

Using an immersion blender, puree soup until very smooth, or (carefully!) puree in batches in a blender with a towel placed over the lid. Stir in brown sugar, molasses, orange zest, and curry. Over low heat, stir in milk, rum, and Tabasco. Taste carefully. Season with salt and pepper and add nutmeg.

Serve in warm bowls and pass with toasted pumpkin seeds and cheese for sprinkling.

Makes 6 servings.

Adapted from The Tipsy Vegan by John Schlimm (Da Capo, 2012)

Pumpkin Dip

2 cups pumpkin puree (canned or fresh)

8-ounce package cream cheese, softened

1 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon pumpkin-pie spice

Place pumpkin puree and cream cheese in a large bowl and mix together. Add all other ingredients, and mix until smooth and creamy. Refrigerate at least four hours or overnight.

Makes about 2 cups. Serve this kid-friendly recipe with crackers, celery or carrot sticks, or slather it on a toasted bagel.

Source: Pumpkinnook.com

The Block News Alliance consists of The Blade and the Pittsburgh Post Gazette. Gretchen McKay is a writer at the Post-Gazette. Contact her at: gmckay@post-gazette.com



Guidelines: Please keep your comments smart and civil. Don't attack other readers personally, and keep your language decent. If a comment violates these standards or our privacy statement or visitor's agreement, click the "X" in the upper right corner of the comment box to report abuse. To post comments, you must be a Facebook member. To find out more, please visit the FAQ.

Related stories