Monday, October 24, 2011

Pumpkin Carving Ideas

Expressive Halloween Pumpkins

Polynesian Halloween Pumpkins

Glowing Halloween Pumpkins

Halloween Pumpkins Cooler

Fishy Halloween Pumpkins

All from Southern Living 2011

Pumpkin Chili Mole

About 6 1-cup servings
Vegan, Dairy Free

Ingredients This recipe recommends organic ingredients... of course. 
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, pressed
14 sweet peppers or 2 bell peppers, chopped
1 hot pepper of choice, diced (optional) such as arbol
1 15 oz (425 g) can kidney beans
1 15 oz (425 g) can black beans
1 15 oz (425 g) can pumpkin puree (or butternut squash puree)
1 28 oz can fire roasted diced tomatoes if cannot find fire roasted, use normal diced tomatoes and add hot pepper flakes
1 12 dark beer

Seasoning Mixture
1 tsp raw cacao powder (or unsweet baking cocoa)
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp chipotle powder
**Add salt to taste.  I didn't add any as with the canned beans and tomatoes it was salty enough.

1. Heat a Dutch Oven or large stock pot over medium high heat; spray with cooking spray, add onions and peppers; saute about 7 minutes. Reduce heat to medium; add garlic; saute an additional 2 minutes.
2. Meanwhile mix spice mixture in a small bowl.
3. Add spice mixture to pot and all remaining ingredients; bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer 45 minutes.

Recipe posted on Florida Coastal Cooking Blog. See it

My thoughts.... Beef Chili > Pumpkin Chili. 
Disagree? I'd be glad to take the challenge and try out your pumpkin or vegetarian chili recipe. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Butternut Squash Lasagna

Recipe posted on Yummy Mummy Kitchen; originally taken from Food Network's Giada De Laurentiis. 
Delic. But I did not layer enough.

Total Time: 2 hr 10 min  ★  Prep: 30 min  ★  
Inactive: 15 min  ★  Cook: 1 hr 25 min  ★  Yield: 8 to 10 servings

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 (1 1/2 to 2-pound) butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch cubes - I disagree, 2.25 lb was not enough (pre-peeled, seeded & cut) was not enough. Next time try 2 squashes, total of 4.5 - 5 lb. 
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup water
3 amaretti cookies, crumbled or macaroons, or biscoff... whatever is in your cupboard. 
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 1/2 cups whole milk
Pinch nutmeg
3/4 cup (lightly packed) fresh basil leaves
12 no-boil lasagna noodles
2 1/2 cups shredded whole-milk mozzarella cheese
1/3 cup grated Parmesan

Heat the oil in a heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the squash and toss to coat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Pour the water into the skillet and then cover and simmer over medium heat until the squash is tender, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. Cool slightly and then transfer the squash to a food processor. Add the amaretti cookies and blend until smooth. Season the squash puree, to taste, with more salt and pepper.

Melt the butter in a heavy medium-size saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk for 1 minute. Gradually whisk in the milk. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the sauce thickens slightly, whisking often, about 5 minutes. Whisk in the nutmeg. Cool slightly. Transfer half of the sauce to a blender*. Add the basil and blend until smooth. Return the basil sauce to the sauce in the pan and stir to blend. Season the sauce with salt and pepper, to taste.

Position the rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees F.

Lightly butter a 13 by 9 by 2-inch glass baking dish. Spread 3/4 cup of the sauce over the prepared baking dish. Arrange 3 lasagna noodles on the bottom of the pan. Spread 1/3 of the squash puree over the noodles. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese. Drizzle 1/2 cup of sauce over the noodles. Repeat layering 3 more times.

Tightly cover the baking dish with foil and bake the lasagna for 40 minutes. Sprinkle the remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses over the lasagna. Continue baking uncovered until the sauce bubbles and the top is golden, 15 minutes longer. Let the lasagna stand for 15 minutes before serving.

*When blending hot liquids: Remove liquid from the heat and allow to cool for at least 5 minutes. Transfer liquid to a blender or food processor and fill it no more than halfway. If using a blender, release one corner of the lid. This prevents the vacuum effect that creates heat explosions. Place a towel over the top of the machine, pulse a few times then process on high speed until smooth.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Lazy Man Bibimbap

Defined as mixed meal, this pretty Korean dish has quickly become one of my favorites. This recipe is my first attempt to make bibimbap with ingredients I normally buy for my weekly grocery shopping. The next round of trials will include making my own sauce*, beef, adding cucumbers to the mix and eating with chopsticks!.

cherry tomatoes, halved
sauteed onions with scallions
thick shredded carrots
sauteed shitake mushrooms
sauteed zucchini slivers with sesame oil, garlic powder and sesame seeds*
90 second brown rice
Fried sunny side up egg, well done

*A few sauce recipes to try:

**Step by step directions taken from the blog beyond kimchee:
Cut zucchinis into 2" logs and peel the green part of the skin carefully from the side. Discard the white part. 
Saute them in oil, add salt, garlic, sesame oil, and sesame seeds until they get softened yet still green.
Slice them into about 1/4" sticks. If you are not comfortable peeling off the skin, just slice the whole zucchini into whatever size you like.