Category Archives: Pumpkin

All things pumpkin!

Pumpkin Bolani

Pumpkin Bolani

Pumpkin is kind of an obsession for me, so let me start by proclaiming Pumpkin Month on StreamingGourmet. Some of you may remember 31 Days of Pumpkin from last year. Well, since then, I have found even more pumpkin recipes that think outside the pie, starting with Pumpkin Bolani. Stayed tuned throughout the month.

Recently, I was at the Whole Foods in Mill Valley (the new one), and I wandered over to the cold case looking for something to bring home for lunch. I stumbled onto Bolanis (sometimes spelled, Bulani or Boolawnee). They are similar to Indian paratha, ie, they are flatbreads stuffed with yummy things. Typically Afghani Bolanis are stuffed with leeks, but the ones available at Whole Foods from the company, Bolani: East and West Gourmet Afghan Food, come in four different varieties: Spinach, Lentil, Potato and… wait for it… Pumpkin.

I brought home the pumpkin version and absolutely adored them. They didn’t have that pumpkin pie flavor at all. There was quite a spicy kick, in fact. They are incredibly low in fat and calories, very filling, and happen to be vegan. All pluses for me.

They are available from Bolani: East and West Gourmet Afghan Food. The company is based in Concord, CA, which is just across of San Francisco in the East Bay. You can order their products online and they will ship anywhere in the US. Perishable products are shipped in insulated styrofoam-lined packages and filled with ice packets.

I decided I had better try to recreate them at home and I am here to share with you the results of that endeavor. This does not represent the East and West Gourmet Food recipe (I have not been in contact with them).

Pumpkin Bolani
Makes 4 Bolani

Ingredients

For the pastry
2 Cups All-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cup cold water
1 tsp olive oil

For the pumpkin filling
1/2 of a 15oz can of pumpkin purée
1/2 tsp salt
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
2 Tbsp finely diced onion
1/4 tsp (I used 1/2 tsp) minced Jalapeño or Serrano Chili pepper
1/2 tsp minced fresh ginger
1/2 tsp ground coriander
Fresh ground black pepper

Olive oil for frying

Method

1. Mix the flour and salt together in the mixing bowl of a stand-up mixer (if you have one) or just a large bowl. Make a well in the middle of the flour and add the water slowly. Add the teaspoon of oil and mix the dough together, kneading it a little until it forms a ball. If the dough doesn’t come together in a ball, add a little bit more water. Once the dough is formed, using the dough hook of your stand-up mixer (or doing it by hand), knead it for 10 minutes. Cover the dough with a cloth and let it rest for 1 hour.

2. In the meantime, prepare your ingredients for the pumpkin filling. Mix together all of the ingredients either in a bowl, or in a food processor to ensure that they are fully blended.

3. Once the dough has rested for an hour, divide into 4 balls. Flour a large, wooden cutting board and roll out the dough into a flat disc with a rolling pin. It should be about 10 inches in diameter and as thin as you can make it. Spread 2-3 Tbsp of the pumpkin mixture on one half of the dough circle, leaving a small border around the edge and the other half empty. Fold over the dough and press it together to form a seal. Repeat for the remaining 3 balls.

4. Heat about ¼ cup of oil in a 12-inch sauté pan over medium-high heat. Make sure that the pan is just hot enough so that the bolani will sizzle when it hits the pan. Brown the bolani about 3-4 minutes on each side, until golden brown. They can either be served immediately, or for a party, you can slice them into appetizer slices and serve them a little warmer than room temperature.

Spice Pumpkin Custard with Orange-Infused Granola

Spice Pumpkin Custard w. Orange-Infused Granola

Spice Pumpkin Custard w. Orange-Infused Granola

Day 27 of 31 days of pumpkin and I have to say this recipe is a real highlight. How could it not be? I’ve taken a layman’s stab at a recipe in Claire Clark’s stunning book, Indulge: 100 Perfect Desserts.

Who is Claire Clark, you ask? Why, she is simply one of the world’s greatest pastry chefs. Back in London after spending 4 years as head pastry chef of The French Laundry in Yountville, CA, she’s currently working on a project of her own which is set to open in the Spring 2010. Indulge is an amazing book, as is the French Laundry Cookbook itself.

The granola on top of the custard is literally one of the best tasting things I’ve ever put in my mouth and I’ve eaten at The French Laundry. Twice. That I can make this at home anytime I want is a true revelation. Now I’m thinking I should do a mega marathon, like cook through her entire book of 100 recipes in a year or something. Oh wait. That’s been done already.

Spice Pumpkin Custard w/ Orange Infused Granola

Spice Pumpkin Custard w/ Orange Infused Granola

I read in the French Laundry Cookbook that Thomas Keller dictates that a liquid in his kitchen should never pass from one pot to another without first passing through a sieve. Claire Clark’s recipe reminded me of that today and the pumpkin custard passes through a sieve TWICE. I love it. It really makes a difference and is something I want to do more in my everyday cooking life.

Spice Pumpkin Custard w/ Orange Infused Granola

Spice Pumpkin Custard w/ Orange Infused Granola

Spice Pumpkin Custard with Orange-Infused Granola
Serves 6

This is my simplified version of Claire Clark’s recipe. She of course, uses real pumpkin in her version and has you boil it in milk and use some of the reserved milk. Yum. She also reports all of her measurements by weight. I’ve converted many of them here to volume measurements for ease of use, in case you don’t have a kitchen scale (I do and I was so happy to have it today). If you want the real Claire Clark recipe, you’ll have to buy the book.

Ingredients for the Custard

1/2 cup milk
13 oz canned puréed pumpkin
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
3 medium eggs
2 1/4 oz caster sugar
1 1/4 oz dark brown sugar
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
3 1/2 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted

Ingredients for the granola

1/2 cup demerara sugar
1/4 cup honey
2 Tbsp maple syrup
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1.5 oz dessicated coconut
3 oz pecan nuts, roughly chopped
3 oz slivered almonds
4.5 oz large rolled oats
2 Tbsp canola oil
grated zest of 2 oranges

Method for the Granola

1. Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Put the sugar in a large pan with the honey, maple syrup, butter, and vanilla extract and bring slowly to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. I started out on very low heat, and as everything melted and dissolved, I increased it to medium-low heat.

2. Remove from the heat and add the coconut, pecan nuts, almonds and the oats. Mix well, and then quickly stir in the canola oil and orange zest. Work fast because the sugar starts to harden pretty quickly.

3. Turn out onto a rimmed baking sheet sprayed with nonstick cooking spray (or covered with a nonstick baking mat) and spread out evenly. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until golden brown, turning frequently to ensure even coloring. Remove from the oven and, as the granola cools, break it up into pieces. After it cools, store the granola in an airtight container.

Method for the Custard

1. Preheat the oven to 325˚F and bring water to boil in a teakettle. In a large saucepan, whisk together the cream, eggs, and milk. Warm it up over very low heat. While it is warming, add the pumpkin purée by passing the canned pumpkin through a sieve on its way into the mixture. Then add the caster sugar, brown sugar, all of the spices and mix well. Stir over very low heat until sugars are dissolved. You’re only heating it to help the sugars dissolve. Remove from heat and whisk in the melted butter. Pass the mixture through a sieve again.

2. Divide evenly among 6 ramekins and lay them in a roasting pan. Place the roasting pan in the oven and then pour near boiling water into the pan until it reaches about 1/2 of the way up the sides of the ramekins. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until set. The tops should spring back when you press lightly on them. Remove the dishes from the roasting pan and let cool, then transfer them to the refrigerator where they should chill completely. Serve with the granola sprinkled on top.

Pumpkin Pound Cake

Pumpkin Pound Cake

Pumpkin Pound Cake

Day 26 of 31 days of pumpkin and we come to one of my all-time-favorite desserts: pound cake. I love old recipes. This one is so simple. A pound of each: butter, sugar, flour, eggs. The rest is embellishment. And for me, I can’t enjoy a piece of pound cake without a cup of tea to go with it. I don’t know why exactly. It just completes the tableau somehow.

In my pumpkin version (which is a half-pound cake actually), I simply added 1/2 cup of pumpkin purée and upped the flour content by 1/4 cup. The pumpkin spiced flavor is subtle, but definitely there. I am glad it still tastes like pound cake. I worried it might somehow come out tasting like Pumpkin Bread, but not-to-worry. This pound cake recipe has four times as much butter and more than three times as many eggs as my Pumpkin Bread Recipe. It’s bound to be its own thing.

Pumpkin Pound Cake

Pumpkin Pound Cake

Pumpkin Pound Cake
Yields 1 loaf

Ingredients

1/2 lb butter, softened (2 sticks)
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1 cup granulated sugar
5 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
1/2 cup canned puréed pumpkin
2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 350˚F and spray a 9 x 5 baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.

2. Mix the dry ingredients and set aside.

3. With an electric or stand mixer, cream the butter until smooth. Add the sugar gradually and continue mixing until fluffy. Now add the egg yolks, one at a time, beating each of them in completely. Add in the pumpkin and vanilla and mix until well incorporated.

4. Remove the bowl from the stand mixer and add in the dry ingredients in three batches, mixing by hand to incorporate each addition completely.

5. In a medium bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks appear. Fold the egg whites gently, but thoroughly into the batter. Transfer batter to the prepared baking pan and bake for about 1 1/4 hours. Let it cool completely before you slice it.

Pumpkin Pound Cake

Pumpkin Pound Cake

Ruth Reichl’s Cheesy Bread in a Pumpkin

Roast Pumpkin with Cheesy Bread Inside

Roast Pumpkin with Cheesy Bread Inside

Day 25 of 31 days of pumpkin and we return to the fondue concept and get it right, with a little help from Ruth Reichl, God Bless her. She was interviewed by Terry Gross for Fresh Air on NPR on October 14, 2009. I was deep into this pumpkin project and in the kitchen, in fact, when I heard Ruth Reichl start to describe this mouth-watering concoction. I immediately added it to the cue and now the day has finally come when I get to taste it and share my version of her recipe with you.

If you want to hear the exact moment that Ruth describes this dish in her interview, advance to 9:13 when you click on the NPR audio link.

She describes a recipe that appears in her new book, Gourmet Today: More than 1000 All-New Recipes for the Contemporary Kitchen and that recipe is reprinted on the Gourmet website. In my adaptation, I cut the recipe in half, used solely Gruyère, and used half-and-half instead of heavy cream as per Ruth Reichl’s description.

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Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes

Mini Pumpin Cheesecake

Mini Pumpin Cheesecake

Day 24 of 31 days of pumpkin and we come to a fun, easy video recipe provided by the Karo Company, the corn syrup makers. The clever trick here is baking the cheesecakes in muffin tins lined with paper and lined with gingersnap cookies. Mini-crusts for mini cheesecakes. Genius.

I feel guilty using corn syrup since I read Michael Pollan’s books, but I wasn’t sure how to substitute my way out of it here. If you have an idea, please share it in the comments section. In the end, I figured one recipe a year can’t be all that bad. Right?

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Ultimate Pumpkin Bread

Ultimate Pumpkin Bread

Ultimate Pumpkin Bread

Day 23 of 31 days of pumpkin and let me tell you, there are a lot of pumpkin bread recipes out there. This one is the best. I’m not lyin’. The difference between this one and some of the other good ones? It’s made with 100% real butter baby. Not canola oil, not vegetable oil. Butter. Melted. It’s got all the sugar and twice the fat, but if you’re going to eat a piece of Pumpkin Bread, why do it any other way?

Since this recipe yields two loaves, I decided to throw 1/2 cup of chopped pecans into one of them. Love it. Until I tasted this Pumpkin Bread, I thought Starbucks® really had something. They got nothin’.

Enjoy.

Pumpkin Bread

Pumpkin Bread

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Pumpkin Ricotta Gnocchi with Sage Cream Sauce

Pumpkin Gnocchi

Pumpkin Gnocchi

Day 22 of 31 days of pumpkin and I am really moving out of my comfort zone now. I’ve never made gnocchi before, or any fresh pasta for that matter, but I was inspired by a beautiful cookbook I have, A16 Food + Wine, the cookbook for the restaurant A16 in the Marina district of San Francisco. It’s called A16 after the highway in Italy between Naples and Canosa. The book is a beautifully designed and photographed tome that I am just getting into, but when I spotted a recipe for Ricotta Gnocchi, I thought, “I could put pumpkin in that,” and that’s what I did. And it worked.

Choosing the sauce to go with pumpkin gnocchi was a no-brainer: it has to be a sage cream sauce. Pumpkin and sage, they’re like Abbot and Costello, Brad and Angelina, Click and Clack (you know, the Tappit brothers).

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Pumpkin Yeast Rolls

Pumpkin Yeast Rolls

Pumpkin Yeast Rolls

Day 20 of 31 days of pumpkin and I’m heading into new territory again. I’m really not a bread baker, but I wanted to do a recipe with yeast before the month was over so I hunted around and cherry picked different parts from several existing recipes to make my perfect Pumpkin Yeast Rolls. The result is a slightly sweet, light and airy roll with definite pumpkin flavor. I feel like a whole new world has opened up to me now that I can confidently add bread baking to my repertoire. I know I’m late to the bread making party, but better late than never.

Place dough balls in muffin tin

Place dough balls in muffin tin


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Pumpkin Seed Encrusted Lamb Loin Chops

Pumpkin Seed Encrusted Lamb Loin Chops with Mashed Yams

Pumpkin Seed Encrusted Lamb Loin Chops with Mashed Yams

Day 17 of 31 days of pumpkin. We’re on a roll, people. Yesterday, I made these spicy, savory pumpkin seeds and today we get to coat lamb chops with them and fry them up. I have a confession to make. While I coated lamb chops for me, I coated chicken breast strips for my children. They absolutely loved them. So coat and fry whatever you want. Lamb, chicken… I bet eggplant slices would be great fried this way too.

One of the things that I like about doing these recipes every day is the fact that my kitchen tools are really getting a workout. I like that I’m finally making a dent in my cinnamon, ginger, allspice, cloves and mace collection and that my small appliances are making it out on to the counter. Like this one, my Cuisinart mini-prep, which got a workout today chopping and grinding the roasted pumpkin seeds.

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Spicy Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Spicy Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Spicy Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Day 16 of 31 days of pumpkin and we arrive at the roasted pumpkin seed. I love how seasonal these are. I mean, on what other day of the year do you roast your own pumpkin seeds but on about October 29? This year, I’ve decided to coat my pumpkin seeds with savory spices, but believe me, pumpkin seeds are divine when roasted with just a little bit of olive oil and a LOT of salt.

Getting the seeds out of the pumpkin wasn’t as hard as I thought it was going to be. If you paw through them while you rinse them, the remaining pieces of pulp come right off.

Rinsing the Seeds

Rinsing the Seeds

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