Archive for the ‘Winter Dishes’ Category
Howdy everyone, this is Elena, and I’m going to share with you a very simple way to make pureed pumpkin. The best cooking pumpkin is a Sugar Pie pumpkin which is different from the type you carve into a Jack-o’-latern at Halloween. Smaller and sweeter, these pumpkins are also easier to manage. Pumpkin is a great source of vitamin A and fiber and it’s great to put into soups, pies and pancakes for a special seasonal treat.
Don’t be intimidated; the process is relatively simple and when you’re done you can brag to all your friends that you pureed it all by your self – I did!
1 Sugar Pie Pumpkin
Little bit of vegetable oil or cooking spray
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cut the pumpkin in half, lengthwise and scrape out all the seeds (and save them for roasted pumpkin seeds). Cover a 13 x 9 baking dish with foil and give a quick spritz of non stick spray and place the pumpkin halves face down on the foil.
Roast, uncovered in the oven for 45-55 minutes. When the pumpkin is pierced easily with a fork, it’s done. Let the pumpkin cool for a bit and then carefully peel off the skin. This is pretty easy to do with a paring knife and your hands. Chop the pumpkin into chunks and put into your food processor. Puree the pumpkin for about 30 seconds, or until it becomes smooth. Transfer it to a clean jar and keep in the refrigerator. It will stay good until it starts to smell funny or gets fuzzy, about 1-2 weeks.
Makes about 4-6 cups of puree, depending on the size of your pumpkin.
Local ingredients used
Sugar Pie Pumpkin from the Dallas Farmer’s Market, this farmer is great and he has a ton of them.
This is a new favorite in my house. This combo is so magic. The flavors are so freaking cozy and warming, it is like a big polish woman hugging your tummy. The perfect winter dish for the middle of the week because this goes together fast and there is little clean-up. The origin of this dish in America is Pittsburgh, where traditionally it is scratch made egg noodles and cabbage. My version is a little easier, cheesier and little bacon-ier. Try it you’ll like it. If you are a vegetarian or vegan then just leave the stuff out that thou dost protest.
1/2 head of cabbage, coarsely chopped
1/2 a yellow onion, sliced thin
1 cup shredded cheddar
2 strips of bacon (I recommend a good nitrate free bacon)
1/3 to 1/2 package of wide egg noodles
Garlic Powder (no measurements just have your bottle handy)
Get water heating up to cook the egg noodles. Cook the egg noodles as directed on package. When done, drain the noodles. But go ahead and follow the directions below while they are cooking.
Use the largest skillet you have because your are going to cook everything in here. I used a 13 inch nonstick. Cook bacon until crispy and set aside on a paper towel.
Wipe the bacon grease from the pan. Heat pan on a medium high heat and add a little sliver of butter and a little canola oil when oil is hot add the sliced onions and season with some garlic powder salt and pepper. After the onions have started to caramelize add the cabbage and a little dab of butter, and season again with garlic powder. salt and pepper. Make sure not to over do it with the salt and also add a little oil or butter if the skillet gets dry. Add a 1/4 cup of water and stir. When water has evaporated check the texture of the cabbage, it should be tender but not mush. If it is still hard then cook longer in the skillet, add a little more water if you want. When cabbage is done and the water has evaporated add in the egg noodles, and more garlic powder and black pepper and stir and let the egg noodles crisp just a little. Stir in the cheddar and crumble the bacon on top and stir in until melted. Adjust the salt and pepper before you serve. Eat it and love it.
Tip: Don’t over do it with the oil in this dish.
Winter means new crops and Butternut squash is one of my favorites to experiment with. Here is a recipe I came up with one day when an empty fridge was staring me in the face. I love cooking with very limited ingredients some of my favorite meals come from those times. The squash makes this so velvety and smooth without any cream. It is the perfect winter warmer.
An immersion blender really makes this better (this one was rated #1 by Cooks Illustrated).
1 small Butternut squash (you could use an Acorn squash or a Sugar Pie pumpkin but a Butternut is a little creamier), peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
1/2 medium Onion, chopped
1 Carrot, chopped
1 stalk Celery, chopped
2 cups shredded cheese (I used some cheap yellow cheddar, I am sure fancy cheese would taste fancier)
1 Tbls flour
2 cups chicken stock (I used low sodium)
1 Beer, something you like (I used a local amber lager Rahr & Sons Buffalo Butt)
A big pinch of dried thyme
A big pinch of my Cajun seasoning
A regular pinch of mustard powder
A few dashes of Cajun Hot Sauce like Crystals, Franks, Tabasco ( I used my own Cajun Hot Sauce)
Salt & Pepper
Butter or Canola Oil
I like air popped popcorn but homemade croutons would be good.
In a dutch oven heat a little canola oil or butter (I used a small mix of both). On a medium heat saute veggies until the onion starts to become translucent, stir frequently to prevent burning. Add flour and spices and stir to incorporate, cook for a minute don’t let anything burn. Add chicken stock and beer, salt, pepper. Don’t over salt you can always adjust later. Turn heat on high and bring to a boil, stir, reduce the heat to low and cover. Cook for 20-30 minutes.
Test veggies to make sure they are very tender, if they are not then cook some more. If they are done, add the hot sauce, then taste and adjust salt and spice.
Remove from heat. Use immersion blender to blend the soup completely smooth, while the blender is going add the cheese a handful at a time. Blend until completely smooth. Top with popcorn or croutons. Enjoy.
Local Ingredients Used:
Butternut Squash from the Dallas Farmers Market
Rahr & Son’s Beer