Month 2 of a love affair with pumpkins – Let’s eat!

  

 

We have now entered the second half of pumpkin madness in the USA! The illuminated version of the pumpkin – Jack o Lanterns, which I love , are gone and now we can get down to the serious business of eating pumpkins!  I think I love this tradition even more. 

 

We have carved out pumpkins and decorated with them, so what does November offer?  We eat them!  Today and maybe next week I am going to share delicious ways to eat pumpkins, aside from  the iconic pumpkin pie.

This is Pumpkin Bisque.  All I am going to say is, “Yum.”

Pumpkin Bisque Cooking time:25 minutes

 2 tsp (30 mL) olive oil

 1 small onion finely chopped

 3 cloves garlic, minced

 1 small sweet potato (about 6 oz / 170 g), peeled and thinly sliced

 2½ cups (625 mL) water

1 can (15 oz / 416 g) pumpkin purée

1 tbsp (15 mL) light brown sugar

1 tsp (5 mL) salt 3/4 tsp (3 mL) ground pepper

 ½ tsp (2 mL) rubbed sage

1 cup (250 mL) fat-free half-and-half

 2 tbsp (30 mL) grated Parmesan cheese

 4 pinches cracked pepper

 Directions 1.Heat oil in large nonstick saucepan over low heat. Add onion and garlic, and cook, stirring frequently, until onion is tender, about 5 minutes.

2.Add sweet potato and 1½ cups (375 mL) of the water to pan. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook until sweet potato is tender, about 10 minutes.

 3.Stir in pumpkin purée, brown sugar, salt, ground pepper, sage, and remaining 1 cup (250 mL) water, and bring to a boil.

 4.Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook until flavours have blended, about 5 minutes. Working in batches if necessary, transfer to food processor and purée until smooth. Return to saucepan and stir in 3/4 cup (175 mL) half-and-half. Cook until heated through, about 2 minutes.

5.Spoon into soup bowls. With a spoon, drizzle remaining half-and-half over soup. Use the tip of a knife to create a pattern.

6.Sprinkle Parmesan and cracked pepper on top. Serve with Italian breadsticks and follow with roast poultry and steamed spinach.

On a personal note, I ate a version of this in New Orleans at Emril’s and he added bourbon. Bam!

Let’s hear it for the pumpkin!

Next week I’ll share a fabulous “pumpkin pie” cake recipe. You’ll thank me.

If you have an unusal, tasty pumpkin recipe please send it to me!

Let’s spread the joy!

 

Dianne Ross

Interior Designer / Phelan’s Interiors

363-9634

CRANBERRY PARFAIT – Thanksgiving Perfect!

  

Parfait (pronounced [paʁfɛ]) is a French word literally meaning “perfect” that began referring to a kind of frozen dessert in 1894.

 

Cranberry (pronounced tart red yummy thingies) is an American word which has dominated the fruit popularity contest for the last decade.

 

Last year I talked about a rather unusual item that has joined our Thanksgiving table of bounty.  Pink is the heavenly color of this parfait  and even though pink is not considered  “an autumn hue”, there it is on my table. “Perfect”.

 And there it has been for the last 37 years.

This came to be one Thanksgiving when I was 8 months pregnant and unable to travel more than 3 blocks. A person who tuned out to be  a life long friend, as well as godmother to both my children, invited my husband and I to join her family for dinner.

On her table were gorgeous goblets filled with cranberry parfait!

Her French mother met and married her dad who was an American serviceman.

As time passed, a French Christmas treat soon became a Thanksgiving tradition  in Iowa. She passed it to her daughter who passed it to me.

“Perfect”.

 

My family has loved it ever since.

So to those of you who asked again for this recipe:

 

 CHRISTMAS FRENCH CRANBERRY PARFAIT

 

Grind 1 package fresh cranberries and 4 cored apples.

 

Add 1 can drained, crushed pineapple.

 

Add sugar to taste – it will depend on the tartness of the apples.

HINT: Remember this will get sweeter when the whipped cream is added.

 

Whip heavy cream and add a bit of vanilla and a bit of powdered sugar.

(No cool-whip please!)

 

Mix about half cranberry mixture and half whipped cream in a separate bowl. Then spoon into each goblet.  You can also invent different ways to layer the mixture! Serve immediately or refrigerate.

  

 

The fruit mixture can be made days ahead and refrigerated.Mix with the whipped cream at the last moment. My family likes this a bit on the tart side, so play with the flavors.

 

It is a beautiful light pink delight! Taking the que from my dear friend I always place these goblets on the table as part of the setting, even though it is very much a parfait dessert! 

“PERFECT”! 

Giving thanks from my heart,

 

Bon Appetit!

 

Dianne Ross

Interior Designer/Phelans Interiors

363-9634