Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving to ALL! (Spiced Pumpkin Pie)

Your holiday season just got a little bit tastier!
This recipe is SO good that it hurts a little bit to share it!!!  
It's the spiced pumpkin pie recipe that I make year in and year out.   It's so good in fact, that I don't simply reserve it for Thanksgiving Day, I make a whole bunch of extra pumpkin puree and then I make the pies all winter long and even into spring!

It comes out almost a little bit custard-like. It's not a firm pie.
First- you will have to make the puree. I usually do this in the fall once pie pumpkins start showing up at the Farmer's market.  You should need roughly 1/2 to 2/3 of a pie pumpkin to equal ONE pumpkin pie.  You want to be sure to use PIE pumpkins, not regular pumpkins, since the natural sugar level is different.  Pie pumpkins are those cute, little ones.  You will want to seed and quarter them, and then lay them in a deep pan in the oven with about a 1/2 inch of water in the bottom of the pan.  Bake at 350 degrees until you can insert a knife in the pumpkin and there is no resistance, all the way through it.  It is better to go a little bit beyond what you're thinking you should bake it to than to under bake it, because you won't get the same caramely flavor and it won't puree as nicely if it is undercooked.    When the pumpkin is ready, scoop it out of its peel, puree it while it is still warm.   Weigh it out to portions of 250 grams (fits snugly into a 1/4 deli container), label and freeze until you are ready to use, or use right away.  It'll keep for a good 6 months in the freezer.

To make the pie-     Partially Bake off a pie crust according to recipe instructions.  Cool almost completely. 

1/2 c brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1 can or 250grams of fresh pumpkin pie puree.
1 1/2 c (12 oz) heavy whipping cream

Whisk brown sugar and eggs until well blended.  Add cinnamon, ginger, salt, cloves, nutmeg.  Add pumpkin puree and cream.   Whisk until smooth.  Pour into par-cooked pie shell, keeping in mind that it will rise about 1/3".  Don't overfill.  

Bake at 350degrees until the filling is slightly risen and firm in the middle.  35-45 minutes.  Transfer to a rack to cool.  Serve room temp or slightly warmed.   Top with fresh made whipped cream! (whip heavy whipping cream, a little bit of vanilla bean, vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract and some powdered sugar.)

Yummy!   Enjoy!
Oh- and it helps to have sweet little kitchen helpers!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Thanks to the awesome guys at One on One Bike Shop!!!!

How amazing is technology? This isn't a normal cooking blog post, but rather a shout-out to the fantastic people over at One on One Bike Shop!   Here's the story:

I apparently dropped my iphone in front of Rapit Print in Mpls this afternoon, where it was promptly run over.  Unbeknownst to me, a very sweet bicyclist "Dan P" picked it up, thinking, "my friend James at One on One can maybe fix this"..    They tried to figure out who the phone belonged to - and came across my blog post from today.  They posted this on their website for One on One: 

Just found Erin The Food Fairy phone. It was run over, but still kinda works. If u know her, get in touch.

Anyhow- they called my last call- Shannyn, who called my dear husband Eric, who then called James at the bike shop, and I turned around and headed back to pick up my ran-over but semi working phone.  As I walk in to the shop- they said "Oh- you're Erin the Food Fairy."  HA!

I rushed out of the bike shop because I was still so flustered from having lost/broken my phone, but I just came home to look at their website because I'm certain Eric and I will be back there. It looks like an amazing bike shop, and what do I see on their website-- but the twitter they posted when they found the phone.  I love technology!   

Sorry no recipe, but I wanted to pass on a reminder that there are so many great people out there in the world- that you may not have met yet. 

Dan is going to be the recipient of a Spiced Pumpkin Pie I'm going to bake him this weekend! I'll post my very secret and delicious recipe as well as a pic of the pie this coming weekend.  

 My thanks again to Dan, James and One on One Bike Shop !!!!!!!!!  Hooray for good people!

Oh- and shop here:

Awesome, Easy Asian Marinade for Beef, Salmon, Chicken, Pork.... Also- Seasoned Roasted Pumpkin Seeds!

How convenient is it to have ONE awesome Asian marinade recipe that you can tweak to use for darn near everything?  Two weeks ago, I was looking for just the thing- and I found it!  I used the marinade with Salmon- and it was such a hit that I'm sharing it with you!  Everything goes into a food processor. That's it.  Nothing else to it! I like it!  I made the marinade actually AS people were walking in the door for dinner, and it still came out great, and took no time!  The second recipe I want to share with you is something I came up with this past weekend. I usually roast off pumpkin seeds each year when Fall comes around, but this year, I added some spicy garlic seasoning. What an improvement on an already great classic fall snack! While it takes a little bit more time to do- because you want them to soak for a while, it's certainly not labor-intensive.  Happy Early Thanksgiving! Please share photos and recipes of your favorite Thanksgiving dishes you make this year!

Asian Marinade
(Sorry no photos- wasn't planning to blog this!)

2 garlic cloves, peeled
1/3 cup chopped green onions
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 TB Chinese rice wine
1 1-inch piece of fresh, peeled ginger
2 tsp sugar
2 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp Asian chili sauce/paste

In mini food processor, blend garlic, then add rest of ingredients.  Blend until it's as smooth as you can make it.  Taste and season with salt and pepper.

If you are using Salmon, you don't need to marinate as long as you would for other proteins.  Marinate salmon for 5-10 minutes, saving all extra marinade. Marinate beef, pork, chicken at least 4 hours to overnight. 

Cook your protein.  I grilled my salmon.  Take any additional marinade that is left and bring it to a boil over medium heat in a small saucepan. (Keep warm)  When your meat is cooked, take the hot marinade and glaze the meat.

Spicy Garlic Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

 Rinse fresh pumpkin seeds to remove all pulp. 
Add kosher salt to water until it tastes like seawater. 
Soak fresh seeds in saltwater-brine 6-8 hours.
Pour the seeds and brine into a medium-sized pot. Add: 
1 tsp Red Chili Flakes
1 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp cayenne

 Bring to a rolling boil. 
Blanch seeds for about 3-5 minutes, depending on softness of seeds.  You want them to be much less tough than when raw, but nowhere near mushy- because you are still going to roast them.   

Gently drain seeds in a mesh strainer.  Toss in a bowl with more chili flakes, garlic powder and cayenne.  Let the bowl sit for 15 minutes or so.  You want the seeds to be relatively dry before you roast them, so they don't steam instead.
When sort of dry, spread seeds onto a large baking sheet (or two) in a single layer.  
Roast at 350 degrees, tossing once, until the seeds begin to turn slightly golden.  Remove from sheet pan immediately and toss in a bowl, tasting and adding more seasoning if needed.  Seeds will keep at room temp in an air-tight container for quite a while. They should look like this: