Archive for October 2013

Fall goodies

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Alex came over last night and we had dinner:

Creamy squash and kale pasta

Take 2 packages of butternut squash cubes from Trader Joe’s, mix with olive oil and roast in a 400-degree oven until soft.

Chop 1 yellow onion and saute in butter. Add a few cloves of garlic, chopped, and a few leaves of fresh sage cut into ribbons. Add 1/2 bunch of curly kale leaves, chopped into pieces, and cook till wilted. 

Add the squash cubes. Cook, stirring, till they are somewhat broken up.

Grate a generous amount of Parmesan into the pan, and season with nutmeg, salt, pepper, fresh parsley, and fresh oregano.

Cook 1 package fusilli in the meantime.

Add a large splash of heavy whipping cream and a large splash of pasta water to the squash pan. Stir and cook for a moment until reduced, then stir in the pasta.

Blend up a 6-inch piece of sourdough baguette and then toast in a skillet with 1 Tbsp butter and 2 cloves minced garlic, until fragrant and golden brown.

Top each serving of pasta with a sprinkle of the breadcrumbs.

Mushroom pasta:

Chop 1 small red pepper and 1/2 red onion. Saute in butter till fragrant.

Finely chop 1 basket of white mushrooms in the food processor. Add to the pan and continue to cook until the liquid comes out and then is reduced, and you have a kind of dry paste.

Season with fresh herbs, salt, and pepper, and stir into pasta with a bit of the cooking water.

Roast chicken and vegetables:

Cut up 1 yellow onion, 4 carrots, and 3 Yukon Gold potatoes into big chunks. Toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and spread over the bottom of a foil-lined cast iron skillet.

Rinse a 5-pound chicken and pat dry with a paper towel. Cut up 1/4 stick of butter or so into little pieces, and chop up some garlic and fresh herbs (sage, oregano, parsley). Separate the chicken skin from the body and shove bits of butter and herbs under the skin. Rub the chicken skin with olive oil, sugar, and salt. Put a quartered peeled onion in the body cavity along with a quartered fresh lemon, reserving 1/4 to 1/2 of the lemon for after cooking.

Roast at 400 degrees for an hour or so, until the thigh temperature is around 200 degrees and the skin is crisp and crackling. Squeeze the remaining fresh lemon over the chicken and serve.

Nigella Lawson’s translucent apple tart, made with some green French heirloom dessert apples from the farmer’s market and pie crust from scratch, served with whipped cream.

Cheese straws–made with the leftover pie crust and some grated sharp cheddar, baked at 350 for about 20 minutes and then at 400 for maybe another 10 mins. Till golden and crispy, basically.

Roasted pumpkin seeds–wash and strip off as much pumpkin goo as possible. Spread out on a Silpat. Toss with one of the following options:


olive oil

black mustard seeds

curry leaves



cayenne pepper


East Asian-style:

soy sauce


sesame oil



Roast at 300 degrees for about an hour, until caramelized and crisp.


I also made some hot apple cider with cinnamon sticks, and Alex brought over Pumking beer and a pumpkin stout and a maple syrup beer.


Written by orata

October 21, 2013 at 3:24 pm


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So appealing.

Pumpkin popovers:

1 cup pumpkin

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp salt

2 Tbsp grated Parmesan

1/2 tsp snipped chives

3 leaves sage

1 cup whole milk

2 eggs

1 cup flour

1 Tbsp + 2 Tbsp melted unsalted butter

Cooking spray

Makes 14 popovers

1. Blend the milk, eggs, pumpkin, 1 Tbsp melted butter until well blended and frothy. 

2. Add the flour, salt, nutmeg, herbs, and cheese and mix well.

3. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. 

4. Put the muffin tins into the oven for 2 mins to warm. Remove from oven and divide the remaining 2 Tbsp of melted butter between the cups. 

5. Spray the inside of the muffin cups with cooking spray.

6. Fill the muffin cups with batter (fill each about halfway)

7. Bake the popovers for 15 minutes. Do not open the oven door.

8. Turn the heat down to 350 degrees and bake for another 15 minutes. 

9. Remove popovers and pierce the bottom with a knife to allow steam to escape.

These came out more like crustless pumpkin pies surrounded in a slightly crackly cheese crust. Yummy but not very airy or popover-like.

Pumpkin carbonara:

Cook 1 package ramen (using a broccoli-and-oyster-flavored Chinese brand, I think, but it tastes just like plain ramen) in salted water, without any additional flavorings. Or substitute regular pasta like a normal, classy person.

In the meantime, heat about 1 Tbsp butter in a cast-iron skillet till it starts to brown. Add 3 fresh sage leaves, snipped, and 2 garlic cloves, chopped. Cook till the garlic is starting to brown, then add about 1/2 can pumpkin puree. Stir. Grate in about 1 Tbsp Parmesan, season with salt, black pepper, and nutmeg. 

Drain the pasta, add it to the pumpkin stuff with a splash of the pasta water, stir together, break 2 eggs over it and stir them in, cooking till the eggs are pretty much solidified.

Written by orata

October 15, 2013 at 2:17 pm

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