I recently saw one of those ubiquitous online memes that said something to the effect of, “America: the only country with so much food that we have a whole month dedicated to cutting it up and using it as decoration.” It was referring to the unsurprisingly wasteful American tradition of pumpkin carvings, and the tossing out of all that delicious pumpkin pulp.
Yes, people toast the seeds and occasionally make a little pumpkin bread, but any pumpkin carving gathering inevitable ends up with pounds upon pounds of edible trash. So for this Halloween edition of Time Out, I thought I’d come up with a few pumpkin recipes that go slightly beyond the basics. Enjoy!
2 tablespoons butter
1 onion, diced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
1 apple, peeled and diced
2 cups fresh pumpkin, roasted and diced, see note below
1 tablespoon sage leaves
3 cups chicken stock
1 cup cream
Salt and freshly ground pepper
In a stockpot over medium heat, melt butter and saute onion, carrot, apple, roasted pumpkin, and sage until all are tender, about 8 to 10 minutes. Puree the mixture in a food mill; if you do not have a food mill, then puree in a food processor or blender. Return the puree to the stockpot, add the chicken stock and simmer for 15 minutes. Then add the cream and simmer for 5 more minutes, lowering the heat if necessary so it does not boil. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.
Note: To roast pumpkin, preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Cut whole pumpkin in half and then cut each half into several pieces. Discard seeds or reserve for another use. Place pumpkin on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Roast in oven until tender but not falling apart, about 30 to 40 minutes. Let cool, peel away skin, and dice
Pumpkin Pizza with Crispy Sage
Yield: 1 pizza (the dough makes enough for 2)
For the pizza dough:
2 1/4 teaspoons rapid rise yeast
1 cup warm water
Pinch of sugar
3 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
Corn meal for spreading on pizza peel
Canola oil, for frying sage leaves
10 fresh sage leaves
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Salt and black pepper, to taste
2 cups shredded Gouda cheese
To make the pizza dough:
1. In a glass measuring cup or small bowl, combine yeast and 1 cup warm water. Add a pinch of sugar and let sit for 5 minutes.
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the flour and salt. Mix the ingredients until combined.
3. Add the yeast mixture to the flour mixture. Next, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Mix until combined. Switch to the dough hook and knead for about 5 minutes on medium speed.
4. Spray a large bowl with cooking spray. Form dough into a ball and place in the bowl. Cover pizza dough with a damp towel and set in a warm area to rise. Let the dough rise for 1 hour or until dough has doubled in size.
5. While the pizza dough is rising, fry the sage leaves. Heat 1-inch canola oil in a small pan over medium-high heat until surface is shimmering slightly. Add a few leaves at a time and cook until crisp, but still bright green, about 30 seconds. Transfer to a paper towel to drain. Season with salt.
6. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F or as high as your oven will go. If you have a pizza stone, place the pizza stone in the oven to get hot.
7. Cut the dough in half. Take one piece of dough and punch it down on a lightly floured surface. You can refrigerate or freeze the other half of the dough or make 2 pizzas, if you wish. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out into a circle. Place the pizza on a pizza peel or pan that has been generously coated with corn meal.
8. In a small bowl, mix together pumpkin puree, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Spread pumpkin mixture evenly over pizza dough. Top with Gouda cheese.
9. Place the pizza in the oven-directly on the pizza stone, if using one, or on the oven rack. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until pizza crust is golden and cheese is melted.
10. Remove the pizza from the oven and place crispy sage leaves on top. Let the pizza cool for a few minutes and then cut into slices and serve warm.
Pumpkin Mudslide Milkshake
1/2 oz. whipped cream vodka (I use Pinnacle Whipped)
1/2 oz. Kahlúa
1/2 oz. Irish cream liqueur
1/3 cup pumpkin puree
1 dash ground cinnamon
1 pinch ground ginger
1 smidgeon ground cloves
3 scoops vanilla ice cream
Chocolate sauce, to taste
Whipped cream, to taste
Swirl chocolate sauce on the inside of your glass; set aside. Place liquor, pumpkin and spices in a blender, and pulse a few times to smooth out the pumpkin. Add ice cream and blend until smooth. Pour into prepared glasses and top with whipped cream. Some mini chocolate chips would also add a nice touch to the top.