Since my last post, I’ve seen pumpkin everywhere. Clearly it’s a trendy food this year. I’ve had pumpkin beer at the Strathcona, eaten pumpkin risotto and our pumpkin muffins at home, seen pumpkin recipes in the current issue of Eat Magazine, on the Bon Appetit website (11 Ways to Use Canned Pumpkin) and in today’s Time’s Colonist, and read Don Genova’s pumpkin blog post (check out his recipe for Tortelli di Zucca)
This weekend I’m planning on winding up my current pumpkin-fest with pumpkin cupcakes with cranberry filling and (probably) cream cheese icing. I haven’t tried the combination of cranberry and pumpkin before, but I think that they should contrast nicely.
Speaking of more adventurous flavour combinations, pumpkin is incredibly versatile. As per The Flavor Bible, it goes well with many different things: bay leaves, ginger, coconut, cumin, curry, citrus, rum, shellfish, nuts, duck, cranberries, cheese, chile peppers, garlic and caramel – to name a few. So instead of making the same pumpkin soup that you’ve always made, why not use the same technique, but replace the seasonings. For example, you could add minced Thai chilies, ginger and lemongrass, chopped cilantro as seasonings, and replace some of the broth or other liquid with coconut milk and get a totally different tasting soup.
Be adventurous; try these recipes “as is” or experiment with some of the other pumpkin flavour matches. These are the last pumpkin recipes for this year – I promise. 🙂
Pumpkin Bran Muffin
From King Arthur Flour’s website (recipe no longer on their site)
Yield: 12 muffins.
Note: must start at least four hours ahead of serving. These freeze well
- 1 15 oz. can pumpkin or 1 ¾ cup cooked, drained & puréed fresh pumpkin
- 1 cup bran cereal
- 1/4 cup butter, melted or canola oil
- 1/2 cup (3-1/2 oz.) sugar
- 2 Tbsp. (1 oz.) brown sugar, packed
- 2 large eggs
- 3/4 cup buttermilk
- 1-1/4 cups (5 3/8 oz.) unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. ginger
- 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. allspice
- 1-1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1 cup (6 oz.) raisins
- Demarara or coarse sugar for sprinkling
- In a large mixing bowl, combine pumpkin, bran cereal, butter, and sugars. Stir in the eggs and buttermilk.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, spices, baking soda and baking powder. Stir into the pumpkin mixture, and then stir in the raisins. Cover the bowl and refrigerate the batter for 4 hours or overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly grease or line the wells of a muffin pan with papers. Scoop the batter into the pan, using a heaping 1/4 cup of batter for each. Sprinkle the tops with sugar if desired, and then bake in the preheated oven for 25-28 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean.
- Remove the muffins from the oven and allow them to cool in the pan for five minutes before taking them out of the pan to finish cooling on a rack.
- Replace raisins with chocolate chips, chopped dried apricots or chopped dates.
- Replace raisins with 1 cup of dried or fresh cranberries and ¼ cup finely chopped candied ginger
Nutritional Information: Per muffin: 150 cal, 3g fat, 3g protein, 19g complex carbohydrates, 12g sugar, 4 g dietary fiber, 41mg cholesterol, 348mg sodium, 288mg potassium, 881RE vitamin A, 2mg vitamin C, 3mg iron, 69mg calcium, 127mg phosphorus.
This is my standard risotto recipe. Sometimes I make it with pumpkin, sometimes with beets, sometimes with mushrooms or other vegetables. I vary the spices and cheeses to match the vegetable (rosemary and blue cheese with beets; thyme and gruyere with mushrooms).
Yield: 2-3 first-course or side-dish servings
- ½ sugar pie pumpkin, peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes (about 3 cups)
- 1 ½ teaspoon chopped fresh sage or ½ dried
- 2 tablespoon olive oil, divided
- 1 shallot, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup arborio rice
- 2 tablespoon dry white wine
- 2 cups (or more) low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
- Small pinch cloves
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons whipping cream, optional
- 1 tablespoons butter
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 tablespoon pepitas (roasted pumpkin seeds), optional.
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Toss pumpkin with sage, salt and pepper and 1 tablespoon olive oil and place in a single layer on rimmed baking sheet. Roast until pumpkin is tender and light brown around edges, stirring occasionally, about 45 minutes. DO AHEAD: Can be made 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.
- Put aside 1 cup of the pumpkin cubes. Purée the remaining pumpkin. Put the pumpkin purée and the broth in a medium saucepan and heat to a low simmer.
- Heat remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add shallot and cook until beginning to soften, about 5 minutes.
- Add rice; stir 1 minute, making sure to coat the rice with the oil. Add wine and stir until almost all liquid is absorbed, about 1 minute.
- Add ½ cup of the hot broth-pumpkin mixture. Simmer until broth is almost absorbed, stirring often, about 4 minutes. Add more broth, ¼ cup at a time, allowing each addition to be absorbed before adding next and stirring often, until rice is tender and mixture is creamy, about 20 minutes longer.
- Stir in roasted pumpkin cubes, butter, cheese and cream, if using. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish with pumpkin seeds, if using.