Winter Squash Archive

Friday, November 7, 2008

silky smooth pumpkin pie

pumpkin pie, under attack

Is pumpkin pie as we know it broken? This is what I was asking myself at 10 p.m. last night as I had words I will only express in asterisks going through my head as I was in my twentieth minute of trying to push a pumpkin pie filling through a very fine mesh strainer.

my first canned yams, evervegetable, dairycooking the fillingadding the dairy

The source of the recipe, as some of you may have guessed by now, was the November 2008 issue of Cook’s Illustrated, wherein seeking to make a more complex and less grainy pie, those clever people up in Vermont came to a few conclusions. Swapping out some pumpkin puree with canned yams resulted in a better pumpkin flavor, as did concentrating the flavor by cooking the filling on the stove top before filling the crust. They also found that a mix of a higher and lower baking temperature kept the pie’s custard from curdling (making the filling a bit coarse). And then they found that passing the filling through a fine mesh strainer resulted in a less grainy filling.

straining the filling

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Friday, October 17, 2008

pumpkin swirl brownies

pumpkin swirl brownies

When I first saw this recipe on the homepage of marthastewart.com last month, my first thought was “ooh, how perfectly fall!” but then a second later, “wait, this can’t be right.” I mean, chocolate and pumpkin together? I have to admit, it sounds off to me.

everything starts with buttermelting chocolate with butter

In my overly-analytical head, pumpkin goes with nutmeg and cinnamon and ground ginger and pecans and bourbon and cream cheese and gingersnaps; chocolate, however, goes with a whole different slew of things, like scraped vanilla beans and walnuts or mint or peanut butter or cream cheese and maybe occasionally some chipotle powder. They’re different, you see, different, different, different.

making brownie batteradding the pumpkin layer

And then? Then I said “my god, Deb, you’re such a square!” and I made them anyway. Because seriously, can one possibly have too many recipes for brownies? There’s no way. I worry too much about these things. Every single person who tried them, loved them and in a way, they’re the quintessential fall indulgence.

Continued after the jump »

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

acorn squash quesadillas + tomatillo salsa

acorn squash quesadilla

A few weeks ago (oh, you didn’t think that meant I was all caught up, did you?) a friend and I went to a cooking demonstration at a great little modern Mexican restaurant named Dos Caminos. I know very close to nothing about Mexican cooking, despite adoring the flavor palate–the sour and tangy citruses against smoky peppers and hearty beans and meats and seriously, I don’t know why it has taken me so long to try to learn a few new things. Chalk it up to intimidation.

acorn squashacorn squash, sliced thincharring the poblanosliced skinned poblanos

The focus of the demonstration was on fall meals, which was particularly awesome because I think we largely associate Mexican cooking with warm weather, a la pico de gaillos and fresh corn everything. I learned a ton. Like, did you know that Mennonites brought cheese to Mexico and that muenster is a great cheese to use in quesadillas? Did you know that tomatillos are the same family as potatoes? Seriously, I was just swimming in information.

lightly roastedred and green jalapenosmuenstersauteeing filling

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Friday, March 7, 2008

roasted acorn squash and gorgonzola pizza

roasted acorn squash and gorgonzola "pizza"

All right, this is just not pizza. I mean, maybe it is pizza-like or pizza-esque or even pizza-ish, but I have a terrifically hard time calling it pizza. In fact, when I saw Giada DeLaurentis make this on her Food Network show last weekend (I seem to have broken a seal with her, no?) all I could think was “that’s not pizza!” and then hmm, that would be a fun Sunday night dinner. So, I did the only rational thing: I decided to not call it pizza. In fact, as soon as I started to think of this as a flat bread, an open panini or an assembly of some of my favorite things, the deliciousness near-overwhelmed me.

flatbread

So, let us take this apart, shall we? We start with a thin layer of pizza dough. You can use my easy-as-sin one, though I have myself moved onto the just as easy wine-and-honey version I updated a few months back. If you don’t feel like making your own, I’m really not doing my job here, but nevertheless, feel free to pick up one from your local pizza joint (what, you don’t have one on your block?) or grocery store. The recipe calls for a one-pound dough, though my homemade one clocked in at 13.5 ounces and, lo, the world did not end.

acorn squashroasted acorn squash

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Sunday, November 11, 2007

pumpkin waffles

 pumpkin waffles

I warned you, didn’t I? I have a lot of fresh pumpkin puree to use up. Call it my late German grandmother communicating her values to me from the great beyond, but I hate throwing away food. It literally makes me sick to my stomach, that in this land of excess and in a city that appears at times to have run out of ways to spend money so it churns out new ones daily that I am part of this ridiculousness, so frequently throwing away old eggs, milk days before its inevitable demise, fruit and vegetables we always forget about, elaborate dishes that bored me too much to eat twice.

This pumpkin, it’s gonna get used.

 pumpkin waffles  pumpkin waffles

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