- Butternut Squash - - Carrots - Vegetarian - Soups - [Pumpkin Vegetarian]
Pumpkin is versatile, delectable and nutritious. I prefer fresh pumpkin. It is good to always have Pureed Pumpkin on hand, It freezes very well in smallish portions (in baggies) and can be the base for anything, with the right seasoning - nutmeg, ginger, allspice, rosemary, roasted garlic - and additions (could be broth, milk, eggs, parmesan or mozarella, breadcrumbs, potato, crumbled amaretto cookies, dried cranberries - depending on what you're making) Pumpkin can be served as hot or cold soup, sweet or savory ravioli/lasagna filling, or in quiche. Pumpkin adds body to vegetable soup, as a substitute for tomato sauce. Pumpkin turns muffins and pancakes into gourmet items. It's great for improvisation. Whatever you make with pumpkin always looks pretty and tastes rich and substantial.
Lee's Pumpkin Collection [Squash]
See New York Times article "Pumpkin Escapes from the Pie" for pumpkin cookery tips
Pumpkin Recipes from New York Times (external links)
Pay Articles from New York Times
Recipes Around the Web
Carving a Pumpkin
Adapted from David Wurth, Savoy
Time: 30 minutes
1/4 cup toasted walnuts
1/2 pound peeled cheese pumpkin or sugar pumpkin, cut
into 8 half-inch wedges
1 tablespoon olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 pound mustard greens, trimmed and washed
2 tablespoons walnut oil
2 teaspoons herb vinegar
1/4 pound fresh curd goat cheese.
Yield: 4 appetizer servings.
Adapted from Babette Audante, 27 Standard
Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
4 tablespoons butter
1. In a large flameproof casserole over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter. Add artichokes, onions, celery and garlic. Saute until tender, about 10 minutes. Add stock and bring to a boil. Add potatoes, reduce heat to low and simmer 45 minutes.
2. While soup is simmering, preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a small pan, melt 2 remaining tablespoons butter. In a medium-size bowl, combine pumpkin and melted butter, tossing until pumpkin is well coated. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper, and spread the pumpkin on the sheet in a single layer. Sprinkle with brown sugar. Bake until tender and lightly browned on the edges, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from oven, and set aside.
3. Add heavy cream to soup, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer in batches to a food processor, and puree until smooth. Adjust seasoning.
4. To serve, place a small mound of the pumpkin in the center of each of 6 bowls. Ladle the soup around pumpkin, and sprinkle each bowl with about a teaspoon of the chives.
Yield: 6 servings.
Adapted from Damon Brunette, Picholine
Time: 1 hour 30 minutes, plus 4 hours' refrigeration
3 cups milk
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a small pan, combine 2 cups milk, with the 2 cinnamon sticks and the vanilla bean. Bring to a boil, and immediately remove from heat. Allow to steep 10 minutes. Remove and discard cinnamon sticks and vanilla bean.
2. Slice tops from pumpkins, as close to the top as possible. Remove seeds and pulp. Place pumpkin bottoms cut side up in a roasting pan, and fill each pumpkin with heated milk, about 1/4 cup per pumpkin; reserve remaining milk. Place pumpkin tops in roasting pan cut side down. Cover pan with aluminum foil, and bake until tender, about 40 minutes. Remove from oven. When cool, discard liquid.
3. In a medium pan, combine remaining milk, cream, maple syrup and gelatin. Bring almost to a boil; remove from heat and allow to cool. Fill pumpkin shells with this mixture, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate at least 4 hours, or overnight.
4. Place star anise, 2 remaining cinnamon sticks, cloves and allspice on a piece of cheesecloth. Tie securely with kitchen string. In a medium-size saucepan, combine the dried fruit, wrapped spices, orange juice, Armagnac and 2 cups water. Bring to a boil over high heat, and reduce heat to low. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until fruit is tender and there are about 6 tablespoons of liquid left in the pan. Discard spices.
5. Allow pumpkins to come to room temperature before serving. Place a pumpkin in the center of each of 6 plates, with a pumpkin top leaning against it. Spoon a little fruit and juice around each pumpkin, and serve.
Yield: 6 servings.
NEW YORK -- During its brief season, the pumpkin lives literally for the holidays. Most people know it as pie -- flaky pastry with a dark, miraculously heavy filling of spices, cream, pumpkin and sugar. Traditional, yes. But pumpkin has much more to offer.
Next to the potato, the pumpkin is the most malleable and perhaps the most dynamic of autumn foods. It can be cut into cubes and sauteed so that it remains firm. It can be braised in a meat dish, absorbing the cooking juices and slackening its shape. It can be mashed and left chunky and starchy. It can be pureed and thinned to a silky sauce.
And perhaps most interesting of all, it teeters between sweet and savory, fruit and vegetable. Though it tastes vegetal, it welcomes sugar as readily as salt and herbs.
But it does not sink into the shadows of a dish. The pumpkin has big flavor, which allows it to withstand both adornment and austerity. Consider two dishes at the restaurant Etats-Unis on Manhattan's Upper East Side. In a pot roast of beef with apples, chilies and bacon, slabs of pumpkin soak in the cooking juices, absorbing some of the heat of the chilies but maintaining their own raw integrity. And in a twice-baked souffleed pumpkin pudding, cubes of pumpkin are enveloped in a rich, creamy cloud flavored with Roquefort. But the pumpkin is not lost: you can taste a little in every bite.
Of course, a pumpkin is nothing without a creative cook. Pumpkin puree and pumpkin soup are on the menus at countless New York restaurants, but a few chefs have managed to extract its essence in original ways -- ways that may prompt a reconsideration of the Thanksgiving menu.
Terrance Brennan, the chef at Picholine, on West 64th Street, makes pumpkin-prune pancakes that are absolutely ethereal. Oddly shaped and thin, they are as light as whipped cream on the tongue, their rich, buttery pumpkin flavor a sly touch. Brennan serves them with slices of venison and shredded Brussels sprouts sauteed with minuscule cubes of bacon, apple and pumpkin. But Brennan said the pancakes, which he drops like batter into a nonstick pan and quickly sautes, would also go well with turkey.v
At 27 Standard on East 27th Street, Babette Audante, the chef, takes an unusual tack with soup, using pumpkin as a garnish rather than the base. Chunks of bright orange roasted pumpkin rest like an island in the middle of an earth-colored Jerusalem artichoke soup. It is soothing and rich, and the sweetness of the artichokes challenges that of the pumpkin, keeping each bite interesting.
A dish at Savoy in Soho is a reminder that pumpkin can also stand alone, honest and untethered. David Wurth, the chef de cuisine, roasts slices of pumpkin with a little olive oil, salt and pepper and serves them alongside a leafy salad of mustard greens sprinkled with nut oil and walnut pieces and a smear of soft curd goat cheese.
Wurth, Brennan and many other chefs favor the cheese pumpkin, an heirloom variety that has been resurrected in restaurant kitchens over the past few years. It is flat, with a pinkish-tan skin, and usually weighs five to eight pounds.
Though the cheese pumpkin is not widely available, it is sold in many green markets and some specialty stores. Joel Patraker, the assistant director of the Greenmarket program in New York City, suggested looking for one without gashes or bruises and with the stem still attached. If it has soft spots or discoloration, but all you're planning to do is chop it up for soup, "then just negotiate for a better price," he said.
Chefs have also taken to a small, squat pumpkin called the Jack-Be-Little. It is about the size of a bagel and its meat is gently flavored and plentiful, so it can be roasted or steamed whole, and it makes a perfect serving for one. It is available at most green markets and grocery stores, and even at garden centers. (Some Jack-Be-Littles, though, are grown for decorative purposes, so it's best to ask if they have been treated with chemicals.)
Bill Telepan, the chef at Judson Grill, on West 52nd Street, has created a devilish dish with this tiny pumpkin, inspired by a recipe by Andre Daguin, formerly a chef in Auch, France, in which a large pumpkin is baked with foie gras. Telepan fills a Jack-Be-Little with foie gras and roasts it. Once it cools, he scrapes the fat off the top and mixes it with chopped hazelnuts, walnuts and herbs. The pumpkin is served warm, with quenelles of the hazelnut mixture on the side. Warm, thin toast is provided for transporting it all. It's too bad beds aren't, too, because, though the dish is delicious, that's about all you can handle afterward.
When it comes to dessert, chefs find themselves on shakier ground. Tempted by heady spices like nutmeg and cinnamon and rich fillers like eggs, evaporated milk and heavy cream, it is just too easy to make a stodgy pumpkin dessert -- like many pumpkin pies, pumpkin cheesecakes and pumpkin mousses.
Early American settlers are not to blame for the leaden pumpkin pie that started it all. "Actually, contrary to popular wisdom," said Karen Hess, a culinary historian in Manhattan, "pumpkin pies were made in England long ago, in the late Elizabethan period." And though the pumpkin pie was not part of the original Thanksgiving meal, she said, settlers probably began making it soon after for the holiday. "It's the right season," she said. "The pumpkins were there and ready to go.
A couple of hundred years later, chefs are beginning to toss tradition aside. The pumpkin desserts at Picholine, for instance, are exuberant and refined, and only tinged with nostalgia. And they can teach anyone a thing or two about pumpkin. For instance, while most pumpkin ice creams are all about pumpkin and spice, Damon Brunette, the pastry chef, makes one that is like an eggy custard. The flavor of pumpkin surfaces only after a few moments. He serves it with a scoop of equally subtle chestnut ice cream on top of a flat sugar-coated puff pastry cookie.
And his roasted Jack-Be-Little pumpkin with a maple panna cotta is so gorgeous you almost don't want to eat it. First he bakes the miniature pumpkins, filled with a spiced milk to infuse the flesh. He discards the milk, then refills them with a maple cream that is so fragile an autumn breeze could break it apart. Around the pumpkin are strewn a compote of glistening prunes, apricots, figs and cherries like a scattering of fallen leaves.
Source: New York Times Magazine November 18, 1998 by Amanda Hesser
Pie Spices - Up - - Lee's Recipes -
Pumpkin Pie Spice II
Ideas for Pureed Pumpkin
Always have some Pureed Pumpkin on hand, It freezes very well in smallish portions (in baggies) and can be the base for anything, with the right seasoning (you can try nutmeg, ginger, allspice, rosemary, roasted garlic) and additions (could be broth, milk, eggs, parmesan or mozarella, breadcrumbs, potato, crumbled amaretto cookies - depending on what you're making) - it can be hot or cold soup, sweet or savory ravioli/lasagna filling, quiche, adds body to vegetable soup, as a substitute for tomato sauce - it's great for improvisation, and whatever you make with it always looks pretty and tastes rich and substantial.
Pumpkin Fast Dessert.
Lighten a sweetened puree with whipped cream spiked with the usual pumpkin pie spices. Eat immediately ,sprinkled with a touch of nutmeg and sugared cranberries or drizzle some cranberry syrup on top.
Bring one cup coconut milk to a boil, add 1/2 small pumpkin (peeled and cubed into 1" squares 1/2" thick, also add a pinch of salt and 2 tbsp. sugar. Simmer briefly, until pumpkin is soft. Serve in small bowls