Thursday, October 23, 2014

Two of the million ways to cook a pumpkin

Another one of my favourite vegetables are pumpkins. So if you do not want to read my hymn for the pumpkin, I recommend strongly other articles of my blog. :-) One of the main reasons why I love pumpkins so much is that they possess a slight own very fine sweet taste and with this taste and their special texture they are able to absorb a whole amount of additional aroma: of the herbs you add, of the salt you put on them, of the side dishes you serve with them. Pumpkins are like a warm, well heated ground floor for a lot of dishes in autumn.

There are two kinds of pumpkins I prefer: the orange pumpkin we call "hokaido" and the butternut pumpkin. A huge variety of other fantastic pumpkins has to be left out here. The best way ever to get close to their own characteristics is to experiment with them. My following recipes are built for the hokaido, the most common one of the eatable pumpkins here.

Pumpkin Capellini with celery 

I developed a very nice pumpkin pasta recipe for one of my last dinner guests. I love to have Capellini with it, the very very thing Spaghetti, of you get them buy organic fresh ones for that dish or make them on your own. Capellini go very well with light sauces and that´s why i choose them this time.

What you need for the gaumenperlen
pumpkin sauce How to cook it

1 very small orange hokaido
3 very little onions, better shallots
1 fresh celery stalk
Homemade garlic salt
1 glass of white wine
Peel of a half lime
Knife point of homemade chili flakes
crushed black pepper
Creme fraîche

How to cook it

Peel the shallots and cut them into very, very fine slices. Wash the celery stalk put the leaves of and cit the stalk also into very fine slices and the leaves into bigger slices.
Wash the pumpkin, cut it and put the inner pits and stuff away. According to the size of your hokaido and the guests on your table use it half or completely.
Cut the pumpkin into small pieces.

Put enough oil into a pan and give medium heat to it. Fry the shallots until they become lucent. Add the pumpkin, the celery stalk pieces and half of the cut leaves, all the spices, the lemon peel and steam it fry it for 10 minutes stirring it permanently. Deglaze it with the glass of wine, if necessary add another one. Put the lid on. After 10 up to 15 further minutes it should be ready.
Open the lid, add the creme fraîche and taste if there is some more salt necessary. Mix the cooked Capellini with the sauce and serve it immediately.

Oven pumpkin with 
cashews and thyme

Another fine and easy recipe is the gaumenperlen oven pumpkin with fresh thyme and cashews. Here as well the homemade garlic salt is used to enhance the taste without adding an overlay of garlic to the dish.

What you need 

1 small orange hokaido
Homemade garlic salt
100 grams of cashews 
Bunch of fresh thyme
Black pepper
Good organic oil to fry things
Baking paper
A dash of fresh lime juice

How to cook it

Wash the pumpkin, cut it and put the inner pits and stuff away. According to the size of your hokaido and the guests on your table use it half or completely.
Cut the pumpkin into long slices of 2 cm. 
Put baking paper on your baking tray. Lay all the pumpkin slices down. Pour enough oil over each slice. Add salt, pepper and the cashews over the pumpkin slices. In the end add a lot of fresh thyme leaves over it and bake it for 25 minutes (depending on the thickness of your slices) in the hot oven until it gets a bit crispy and the cashews are not too brown.
After your tray has left die oven, take a lime half and add a dash of lime juice over every slice of pumpkin. The acid rounds up the sweetness of the pumpkin. Serve it hot with a nice glass of white wine which covers well the thyme aromas.
Enjoy your meal!

dolce vita ahoi • monika ebert • mobile minds


Beetsalad forever!

Beetroot is one of my favourite vegetables. Their sweetness combined with a fine peatiness is a wonderful autumn basic to be enhanced with salty, sour and spicy tastes.
For one of my last dinner for friends i crated a combination of a classical homemade beet salad and radicchio with a parsley dressing enhanced with pistachio.

My guests liked that combination so much, that i decided to blog this gaumenperlen recipe here.

What you need for 4 appetizer salads

2 medium sized beetroots
a bunch of parsil
a little peace of radicchio
one clove of garlic
fine sunflower oil
10 salted pistachios
sea salt
fine white and dark balsamic vinegar
a good dash of fresh lime juice
spicy dijon mustard
dark honey

How to do it

Steam the unpeeled beetroots slowly in enough water. Normal steaming time is about 15 minutes, so they stay "al dente".
Let them cool down, peal them and cut them into little sticks.
Put them in a flat bowl, add a lot of mild sea salt and let them rest for an hour. Afterwards make a dressing out of salt, a tea spoon of mustard, a teaspoon of honey, salt, oil, lemon juice and dark balsamic vinegar. The dressing has to cover the beets nearly totally so prepare enough. Pour the dressing over the beetroot, mix it and let it rest one whole night at a cool place, but not in the fridge!
The next day wash the radicchio and cut the dried leaves into small slices. Produce a fine dressing in a mixe with white 
balsamic vinegar, parsil leaves, a little bit of crushed garlic, seasalt, sunflower oil and the pistacchios. 
This dressing poure over the radicchio slices. Not over the beetroot.-)

Serve it together on a plate with the beetroot. A sancerre/sauvignon blanc goes very well with this autumn entrée. Enjoy your meal!

dolce vita ahoi • monika ebert • mobile minds

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gaumenperlen - a label by mobile minds, monika ebert::: gaumenperlen is a diary about affairs of the heart. I´m addicted to delicious food, unique and extraordinary places as well as valuable things, fine arts, design, music, tango argentino and interesting people. The focus of this diary is food. Delicious food is much more than nutrition, health or prestige. it is the basis of your body& soul, it is at the core of your way to think, to live and act, it is your attitude towards nature. For me cooking is a wild, joyful, creative process with the objective to share the result in the end. This process is surrounded by a bunch of exciting encounters - nevertheless where I am:: at the markets, talking to producers, at the book stores, in restaurants, in my kitchen. That´s why I love cooking and travelling.