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Posts Tagged ‘Pumpkin’

We cooked this for dinner on Halloween, you need a good eating pumpkin, like Crown Prince, rather than a carving pumpkin. The oxtail is a bit of a fiddle but it’s worth it and you can do all the fiddly bits well in advance. The result is fabulously rich and tasty.

Wine Suggestion: to cut through the richness you need a red with both a bit of acidity and tannins and a favourite of ours for this purpose is Chianti. Tonight the Pian del Ciampolo from Montevertine in the Chianti Classico region who have stepped outside the system but still use the classic grapes for the appellation. Young and joyful but with a serious backbone and a good match for the dish.

Oxtail stew with pumpkin and cinnamon – serves 6

  • 2kg oxtail pieces
  • 200g shallots, roughly chopped
  • 3 large carrots, roughly chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 400ml red wine
  • 2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
  • 10 sprigs of thyme
  • 5 sprigs of rosemary
  • zest of ½ an orange, peeled into long strips
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 star anise
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 500g pumpkin, cut into 2.5 cm cubes (you could use butternut squash but try and get pumpkin if you can)
  • 300ml water

FOR THE GREMOLATA

  • 2 tbsp roughly chopped parsley
  • grated zest of 1 large lemon
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed

Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas Mark 4.

Heat a large heavy-based pan over a high heat, it needs to be big enough to hold the whole stew later, and add 2 tbsp of olive oil. When the oil is smoking hot add some oxtail pieces and fry until well browned on all sides. You will need to do this in batches and don’t put too many in at once or they will start to stew rather than fry. Transfer the browned pieces to a colander so the excess fat can drain off.

If there is a lot of fat in the pan, tip some of it off, then add the shallots, carrots and garlic. Cook these over a medium-high heat for about 10 minutes, until golden brown.

Add the wine to the pan and scrape the base with a wooden spoon to get any crusty tasty bits off the bottom. Bring to the boil and simmer until almost evaporated, then add the tomatoes. Tie the thyme and rosemary sprigs together and add to the sauce, then add the orange zest, bay leaves, cinnamon, star anise, black pepper and some salt. Transfer the sauce to a deep baking dish or roasting tray big enough to take the oxtail in a single layer. Set the oxtail pieces on top. Put a sheet of baking parchment directly over the oxtail, then cover with a tight-fitting lid or a couple of layers of tinfoil, then bake for 2-3 hours or until the meat comes away easily from the bone.

Lift the oxtail out of the sauce and into a large bowl, then leave to cool slightly. When it’s cool enough to handle, pick all the meat from the bones and put into the heavy-based pan that you used to brown it in, discard the fatty bits and the bones. Add the sauce from the baking tray to the meat along with the pumpkin cubes and the 300ml of water. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes or until the pumpkin is soft. Season to taste.

To make the gremolata, mix the parsley, lemon zest and garlic together. Transfer the stew to a serving bowl and sprinkle the gremolata on top.

(Original recipe from Ottolenghi the Cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi, Ebury Press, 2008.)

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Sometimes on Sundays we do a sort of a roast dinner but without the roast. It usually consists of a few different vegetable dishes, something green and something creamy, and roast potatoes are essential. We really loved this recipe by Nigel Slater as it gives the pumpkin a super soft, almost fudgy texture, and the creamy sauce is delicious.

Wine Suggestion: This meal goes great with richer reds or whites. Jerome Coursodon’s Etincelle Blanc, a blend of Roussanne and Viognier from the St Joseph vineyards in the Northern Rhone, was super expressive and had a wonderful balance of being rich and powerful while at the same time being crisp and taught.

Pumpkin with mustard & cream – serves 4

  • 2kg of pumpkin, leave the skin on – our favourite variety is Crown Prince
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 litre of hot chicken or vegetable stock
  • 200ml double cream
  • 1 tbsp grainy mustard
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard

Heat the oven to 200C/180 fan/Gas 6.

Cut the pumpkin in half and cut the halves into large wedges. Scoop out the seeds.

Heat the olive oil in a large, deep, roasting tin over a medium heat. Lightly brown the pumpkin on the cut sides.

Pour the hot stock over the over the pumpkin, then cover with tin foil and seal tightly. Bake for 45 minutes, then remove the foil, turn the pumpkin wedges and baste well with the stock. Return to the oven and cook for another 45 minutes.

Lift the pumpkin from the stock and keep warm. Put the tin with the stock over a high heat and let it reduce to about 200ml. Pour in the cream, stir in the mustards and season. Spoon the sauce over the pumpkin wedges to serve.

(Original recipe from Greenfeast by Nigel Slater, 4th Estate, 2019.)

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Curried Squash, Lentil & Coconut Soup

It seems like there’s a storm every weekend in Ireland at the minute. Stuck indoors again it’s an opportunity to make some soup. This is the soup we made for Storm Jorge.

Curried squash, lentil & coconut soup – serves 6

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and diced
  • 200g carrots, diced
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 100g red lentils
  • 700ml veg stock
  • a tin of reduced-fat coconut milk
  • coriander and naan bread, to serve

Heat the oil in a large pot, then add the squash and carrots and toss around for a minute before stirring in the curry powder and cooking for a minute more. Add the lentils, the vegetable stock, coconut milk and some seasoning, then bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15-18 minutes or until the vegetables are soft.

Blitz the soup with a hand blender or food processor. Check the seasoning and serve with the coriander over the top and some naan bread on the side.

(Original recipe by BBC Good Food).

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Pork, Roast Squash, Apple & Chestnut Salad

Could there be a more autumnal dish? We went completely overboard with a roast pork last weekend and have been searching for great recipes to use it all up. Love your leftovers!

Wine Suggestion: Pork and apples are a happy match for a good Chenin Blanc. Tonight we had Bernard Fouquet’s, Domaine des Aubuisieres Vouvray Silex. Fresh and appley to complement the salad with a lovely clean, dry finish; a soft and friendly wine with good persistence and layers of texture.

Pork, roast squash, apple and chestnut salad – serves 4

For the salad:

  • 50g butter
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • 1kg squash or pumpkin, peeled and cut into slim wedges
  • 2 tsp caster sugar
  • 2 apples, halved, cored and cut into wedges
  • 100g cooked chestnuts (vacuum-packed work fine)
  • 100g spicy pork sausage, cut into chunks
  • 200g leftover cooked pork, cut into chunks
  • 25g hazelnuts, toasted (roast for 20 minutes or so until they smell toasty, the skins will rub off easily with a clean tea towel)
  • 150g watercress or baby spinach

For the dressing:

  • 1½ tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • a tiny bit of Dijon mustard
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp hazelnut oil (we didn’t have any hazelnut oil so used extra virgin olive oil instead)

Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/gas mark 5.

Melt 25g of the butter in a saucepan. Add 3 tbsp of the olive oil, the cinnamon and ginger. Put the squash into a roasting tin and drizzle over the spicy mixture, tossing to coat. Season the squash, then sprinkle over half of the sugar. Roast for 25 minutes, or until tender and slightly caramelised.

Whisk the dressing ingredients together in a bowl, seasoning with salt and pepper.

Melt the rest of the butter in a large frying pan and sauté the apples until golden. Add the chestnuts and heat through, then set aside. Add the rest of the oil to the same pan and sauté the sausage until cooked and nicely browned, then add the pork and heat through – a few toasty brown bits on the pork will taste good too. Season.

Toss the warm squash with all the salad ingredients and the dressing.

(Original recipe from Food by Plenty by Diana Henry, Mitchell Beazley, 2011.)

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Roast pumpkin & fennel with mushrooms

Such a beautiful autumnal side dish. We served this with some grilled pork but it would be nice with roasts or with some potatoes and greens if meat’s not your thing.

Roast pumpkin and fennel with mushrooms – serves 6

  • 2 fennel bulbs, cut into thin slices
  • 1 small pumpkin/squash, peeled and diced
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 300g portobello or field mushrooms, diced into big chunks
  • butter
  • a few sprigs of tarragon
  • 100ml double cream
  • 1 tsp Dijon

Heat the oven to 200C/Fan 180C/Gas 6.

Toss the fennel and pumpkin/squash with the garlic, bay leaf and some olive oil and plenty of seasoning. Roast for 20-30 minutes or until completely tender.

Meanwhile, fry the mushrooms in butter until any liquid they have released has evaporated.

To serve, heat the cream in a small pot, then stir in the mustard and tarragon. Spoon the squash and fennel mixture onto a platter, toss through the mushrooms, then drizzle with the creamy sauce.

(Original recipe by Matt Tebbutt in BBC Olive Magazine, December 2010.)

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Thai pumpkin & chickpea curry

Thai pumpkin & chickpea curry

A really good veggie curry and yet another use for the never-ending tub of Thai red curry paste. We’re very excited for pumpkin season and not because we want to make lanterns.

Pumpkin & chickpea curry – serves 4

  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 3 tbsp Thai red or yellow curry paste
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 3 stalks lemongrass, bashed with the back of a knife
  • 6 cardamom pods
  • 1 tbsp mustard seeds
  • 1 piece pumpkin or a small squash (about 1kg)
  • 250ml vegetable stock
  • 400ml can reduced-fat coconut milk
  • 400g tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 limes
  • large handful mint leaves
  • steamed rice and/or naan bread, to serve

Heat the oil in a sauté pan and gently fry the curry paste with the onions, lemongrass, cardamom and mustard seeds for a few minutes or until fragrant. Stir the pumpkin or squash into the pan and stir to coat in the paste, then pour in the stock and coconut milk. Bring to a simmer, add the chickpeas, then cook for about 10 mins until the pumpkin is tender.

Squeeze the juice of one lime into the curry, then cut the other lime into wedges to serve on the side. Tear over mint leaves to garnish and serve with steamed rice or warm naan bread.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

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Sage brings an unexpected element to this soup that really works. Super warming and homely.

Pumpkin and sage soup – to serve 8

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 3 onions, chopped
  • 2 tbsp chopped sage
  • 1.4kg of pumpkin or squash flesh
  • 1 tbsp clear honey
  • 1.5 litres vegetable stock

Melt the oil and butter in a large pot. Add the onions and sage and cook gently for about 15 minutes or until really soft. Add the squash and cook for another 5 minutes. Add the honey and stock. Bring to a simmer and cook until the squash is soft.

Cook before processing until smooth. Season and add a bit more stock if its too thick. Reheat to serve.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

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Try and find a tasty pumpkin (i.e. not one of the huge varieties grown to make lanterns) or failing that a butternut squash will do. This makes an absolutely delicious starter or  lunch served with some crusty bread.

Roasted pumpkin and thyme soup – to serve 4

  • 1.5kg unpeeled pumpkin, or butternut squash
  • sunflower oil
  • 40g butter
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • leaves from 4 small sprigs of thyme, plus a few extra to garnish
  • 1.2 litres vegetable stock
  • 150ml single cream
  • 75g Gruyère cheese, coarsely grated

Preheat the oven to 200ºC/Gas Mark 6.

Cut the pumpkin into chunky wedges and scoop out the fibres and seeds. Rub with oil, season well with salt and pepper and put into a small roasting tin, skin-side down. Roast for 30 minutes or until tender.

When the pumpkin has cooled down a bit, slice away and discard the skin and cut the flesh into small chunks.

Melt the butter in a large saucepan, add the onion and half the thyme leaves and cook gently for about 10 minutes or until very soft but not browned. Add the roasted pumpkin, any pumpkin juice from the plate, the stock and ½tsp of salt. Cover and simmer gently for 20 minutes.

Leave the soup to cool slightly, then blend with the rest of the thyme leaves until smooth. Return to a clean pan and bring back to a gentle simmer. Stir in the cream and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Serve in warm bowls with a pile of grated cheese and a few thyme leaves in the centre.

(Original recipe from Rick Stein’s French Odyssey, BBC Books, 2005.)

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