Pumpkin Gnocchi with Sage-Apple Chicken Meatballs in a Spinach Vermouth Sauce

12265847_779290548826_2173721953493967764_oPumpkin Gnocchi with Sage-Apple Chicken Meatballs
in a Spinach Vermouth Sauce

Ingredients:

Pumpkin Gnocchi
2 Russet Potatoes, skinned, cubed
1 cup prepared Pumpkin
1/4 tsp Nutmeg
1/4 tsp Cinnamon
1/8 tsp Black Pepper
1/8 tsp Salt
1 – 2 cups All Purpose Flour
1 Egg

Sage Apple Chicken Meatballs
1 lb Ground Chicken
1/2 cup Sage, finely chopped
1/2 Vidalia Onion, minced
1/2 Granny Smith Onion, skinned & minced
2 cloves Garlic, minced
1 Tbsp Maple Syrup
1/8 tsp Salt
1/8 tsp Black Pepper, coarsely ground
1 Egg
Olive Oil for cooking

Spinach Vermouth Sauce
6 cups Baby Spinach
1/2 Vidalia Onion, Sliced
1/2 Granny Smith Apple, sliced
1/4 cup Vermouth
2 Tbsp Butter
1/4 tsp Crushed Red Pepper
1/8 tsp Oregano
1/8 tsp Salt
1/8 tsp Black Pepper

Shaved Parmesan Cheese

Directions:

  • Prepare the Gnocchi: Bring a pot of salted water to a boil, and boil the potatoes until fork tender.
  • Drain the potatoes and mash in a large bowl.
  • Incorporate the Pumpkin pulp, Spices, & Egg.
  • Start incorporating the Flour into the mixture. You may not use all the flour, or you may need more. What you are looking for is a dough forming that you can handle, and roll. It should be cohesive to itself, but not sticky.
  • Divide the dough into six parts.
  • On a floured surface, start rolling each part into a rope, about 1/2″-1″ thick in diameter.
  • Start cutting into 1/2″-1″ pieces. Think little pillows for the shape. You do not want to saw, you want to come down with your knife.
  • Repeat with the remaining dough. Set to the side.
  • Prepare the Meatballs: Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix with your hands.
  • Form into 1 1/2″ balls.
  • Heat the Olive Oil in a skillet on medium heat. Add the balls to the oil, but do not over crowd them.
  • Let the balls cook a minute and then roll them to a raw side. Repeat until all sides are cooked. Let cook an additional minute so that they cook through. Remove to a plate and repeat until all meatballs are completed.
  • Cook the Gnocchi: Bring a pot of salted water to boil.
  • Add all the Gnocchi. They will sink.
  • As the Gnocchi start to float, they are done, and can be ladled out.
  • Prepare the Sauce: Using the skillet that was used to cook the meatballs, deglaze with the Vermouth, and add the Butter.
  • Add the Onions and Apples, and cook till tender.
  • Add the Oregano and Crushed Red Pepper.
  • Toss in the Spinach until it wilts.
  • Salt and Pepper to taste.
  • Add the Gnocchi and Meatballs and toss well.
  • Plate and garnish with shaved Parmesan.

Serves 6.

NOTES: Gnocchi are simple to make for scratch. I’ve seen many recipes that exclude the use of Potatoes, but in my opinion, it is the Potato that makes the Gnocchi.
This dish was inspired by a recipe that I found through a cooking club, but I decided to improve upon it and make it in my own way.

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Pumpkin Seed and Sage Crusted Tilapia with Roasted Garlic

Pumpkin Seed and Sage Crusted Tilapia with Roasted Garlic

Ingredients:
2 heads of Garlic
2 tsp Olive Oil (for roasting)
1 tsp Salt (for roasting)
4 Tilapia fillets
Salt and Pepper to Taste)
1 cup Pumpkin Seeds
1 Tbsp dried Sage
2 Tbsp Olive Oil

Directions:

  • Preheat the Oven to 400°F.
  • Take a 12″ x 12″ square of Aluminum foil and crinkle into a nest or bowl, big enough to support the heard of Garlic.
  • Using a chopping knife, cut off the top of the Garlic head, exposing the tops of the cloves.
  • Place the Head in the nest, and drizzle the Olive Oil over the exposed Garlic cloves.
  • Sprinkle with Salt.
  • Place nest on a baking sheet, and bake for 30 minutes or until the Garlic is tender to the touch. Remove when done and set aside.
  • While the Garlic is roasting, place the Pumpkin Seeds and Sage in a food processor and pulse until mealy, like bread crumbs.
  • Salt and Pepper both sides of the Fillets.
  • Place the Pumpkin Seed crumbs in a bag, and dip the Tilapia filets one at a time, pressing the crumbs onto the fillets.
  • Heat the Olive Oil in a large skillet on medium heat.
  • Fry the Fillets for 3-5 minute on each side, until golden brown.
  • Remove the fish and rest on a cooling rack or paper bag to remove excess Oil.
  • Plate the Fillets.
  • Using the Aluminum foil to hold the Garlic, squeeze the cloves out into a bowl, like a paste.
  • Top the Filets with the Roasted Garlic paste.

Makes 2-4 servings, depending on the size of the fillets.

NOTES: Pumpkin Seeds are an almost forgotten ingredient, but used as a breading they add a healthy nutty crust. I love this dish also because it smells so good while its being prepared–tips hat to roasted Garlic. Though there are a lot of “steps” to the roasting of the Garlic, this is actually a rather simple yet flavorful meal–the best kind.

Pumpkin Gnocchi in a Maple Sage Sauce

Ingredients:VegetarianNut Alergy Warning
2 Russet Potatoes, skinned, cubed
1 cup prepared Pumpkin
1/4 tsp Nutmeg
1/4 tsp Cinnamon
1/8 tsp Black Pepper
1/8 tsp Salt
1 – 2 cups All Purpose Flour
1 Egg

Maple Sage Sauce
1/2 cup Butter
1 Tbsp Maple Syrup
2 Tbsp Sage, minced

Garnish:
1 cup Walnuts
Grated Parmesan

Directions:

  • Bring a pot of salted water to a boil, and boil the potatoes until fork tender.
  • Drain the potatoes and mash in a large bowl.
  • Incorporate the Pumpkin pulp, Spices, & Egg.
  • Start incorporating the Flour into the mixture. You may not use all the flour, or you may need more. What you are looking for is a dough forming that you can handle, and roll. It should be cohesive to itself, but not sticky.
  • Divide the dough into six parts.
  • On a floured surface, start rolling each part into a rope, about 1/2″-1″ thick in diameter.
  • Start cutting into 1/2″-1″ pieces. Think little pillows for the shape. You do not want to saw, you want to come down with your knife.
  • Repeat with the remaining dough.
  • Bring a pot of salted water to boil.
  • Add all the Gnocchi. They will sink.
  • As the Gnocchi start to float, they are done, and can be ladled out.
  • In a saucepan, start heating the stick of Butter on low heat. Use low heat to prevent smoking
  • As the Butter melts, it will start to caramelize along the edges.
  • Stir in the Maple Syrup and the Sage, cooking for an additional 30 seconds or so.
  • Pour on the Gnocchi, and garnish with Walnuts and Parmesan.

Serves 6.

NOTES: Gnocchi are simple to make for scratch. I’ve seen many recipes that exclude the use of Potatoes, but in my opinion, it is the Potato that makes the Gnocchi. This is a dish that is great for an Autumn night. I recommend it with a side of green beans.

Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin Pie

Ingredients:Vegetarian
3 large Eggs
1/2 cup Brown Sugar
2 cups Prepared Pumpkin
1 tsp Cinnamon, ground
1 tsp Nutmeg, ground
1/4 tsp Ginger, ground
1/4 tsp Cloves, ground
1/4 tsp Allspice, ground
1/4 tsp Cornstarch
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 cup Heavy Cream
1 Pâte Brisée

Directions:

  • In a large bowl, cream the Eggs with the Sugar.
  • Slowly incorporate the Pumpkin pulp.
  • In a second bowl, add the Spices, Salt, and Cornstarch, and whisk together so there are no clumps.
  • Slowly whisk in the Heavy Cream.
  • Whisk the Cream mixture into the Pumpkin Mixture.
  • Preheat the Oven to 425°F
  • Roll out the Pie Crust and place into a pie pan. Crimp edges as desired.
  • Place the Pie pan on a cookie sheet.
  • Pour the Pie filling into the crust.
  • Place the Pie in the oven, and bake for 15 minutes.
  • Reduce the heat to 350°F, and bake for 40 to 50 minutes. The traditional way of testing is to use a knife inserted into the center. If it comes out mostly clean, it is done.

NOTES: Pumpkin Pie is a very American dish, pumpkins naturally growing in North America. I’ve read that pumpkins were first exported to France and England, where the pie was actually developed by chefs, but that it never became popular there. For many pumpkin pie is all about the Holiday time, and for me it is especially. It connects me with the romanticized idea of family eating desert by a warm hearth.

I have no problem using canned pumpkin, so long as it is PURE pumpkin. Some cans will use other squash types. If you want to do real pumpkin on your own, the best option is to get a small pumpkin and slice it, de seed it, and steam it. Then scoop out the pulp and puree it in a food processor.

Pumpkin Bread

Pumpkin Bread

Ingredients:Vegetarian
2 cups prepared Pumpkin pulp
4 Eggs, beaten
1 cup Vegetable Oil
1/2 cup Water
3 1/2 cups all purpose Flour
2 cups Granulated Sugar
1 cup Brown Sugar
1 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Salt
1 1/2 tsp Cinnamon, powder
1 tsp Nutmeg, powder
1/2 tsp Cloves, powder
1/2 tsp Allspice, powder
1/2 tsp Ginger, powderDirections:

  • Preheat Oven to 350° F
  • In a large bowl combine Pumpkin, Eggs, Oil, Water, and both Sugars, mixing well.
  • In a second bowl combine all dry ingredients and mix well.
  • Carefully add the Dry Ingredients to the Wet Pumpkin Mixture, mixing as you go. Do this in portions and mix well before adding the next portion.
  • Grease two loaf pans.
  • Pour the batter into the pans.
  • Bake for about 45 minutes to an hour, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Makes 2 loaves.

Pumpkin Cookies

Ingredients:Vegan VariationVegetarian
1 1/2 cups Granulated Sugar
1 cup Butter
1 Egg
1 cup Pumpkin, cooked and mashed
1 tsp Baking Soda
3 1/2 cups All-Purpose Flour, sifted
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp ground Cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground Nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground Ginger
1 cup Raisins

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 400°F.
  • In a large bowl, cream the Butter, Sugar, and Egg. Slowly incorporate the Pumpkin, mixing well.
  • In a separate bowl, sift Flour, Baking Soda, Salt and Spices.
  • Add sifted ingredients and Raisins to Pumpkin mixture, mixing well.
  • Place parchment on cookie sheet.
  • Place teaspoonul of cookies on sheet, about 2 inches a part. Bake for 8-10 minutes.
  • Remove to racks to cool.

Makes about 6 dozen cookies.

Variations:
Ṽ›Ɣ – Substitute Margarine for the Butter.