Now THIS is an Ice Cream Sandwich!

brownie butter pecan ice cream sandwich_n

Creamy, homemade butter pecan ice cream sandwiched between chewy, chocolatey, frozen brownies – a guaranteed cure for winter-darkness doldrums! 

Store-bought ice cream sandwiches have the right idea – it’s fun to eat ice cream with your hands. The problem is that the outside layers of the store-bought variety leave much to be desired. We wanted a delicious brownie that would be more than just an edible barrier between ice cream and hands. So we created a not-too-thick brownie that retains its chewiness when it’s frozen. For the ice cream filling, we chose butter pecan to add the texture and flavor of the nuts we like best in brownies. Turned out to be the best ice cream sandwiches we’ve ever had!

Brownie & Butter Pecan Ice Cream Sandwiches

Ingredients

  • 2 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter
  • 3 eggs
  • pinch salt
  • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • butter pecan ice cream (see recipe below)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two 9″ x 5″ x 3″ loaf pans with foil. Butter the foil. Set pans aside.
  2. Melt chocolate and butter in a double boiler over simmering water. Mix completely. Let mixture cool slightly.
  3. Beat eggs and salt in a mixing bowl.
  4. Gradually beat in sugar and vanilla.
  5. Mix in cooled chocolate.
  6. Mix in flour.
  7. Pour half of the batter in each loaf pan.
  8. Bake for 25 minutes. Brownies are done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool for about 15 minutes.
  9. Gently lift brownies with foil out of loaf pans and place in freezer.
  10. Place one of the empty loaf pans in freezer.
  11. Scoop out several scoops of butter pecan ice cream* into a bowl. We used about six.
  12. Stir ice cream with a rubber spatula to soften a little. You want ice cream to be spreadable, but not soupy.
  13. Retrieve one brownie and frozen loaf pan from freezer.
  14. Place brownie back into loaf pan.
  15. Spread all the ice cream evenly on brownie.
  16. Retrieve second brownie from freezer. Remove foil.
  17. Press second brownie atop the ice cream layer. Place sandwich in freezer to set, about 30 minutes.
  18. Remove sandwich from pan and place on cutting board. Using a sharp knife, slice sandwich into slices of desired size.
  19. Let sit for about 5 minutes to slightly thaw before serving.

*If you want a top notch filling for this sandwich, try making your own butter pecan! Here’s how:

Butter Pecan Ice Cream

Ingredients

  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1 cup pecan halves, chopped slightly
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup whole milk

Directions

  1. Melt butter in a heavy pan over low heat.
  2. Add pecans and salt and sauté, stirring constantly until pecans start to brown.
  3. Set pecans aside to cool. Leave melted butter in pan.
  4. Whisk eggs until light and fluffy.
  5. Whisk in sugar a little at a time until completely blended.
  6. Pour in cream and milk and whisk to blend.
  7. Add reserved melted butter from pan. Mix well.
  8. Complete by following the directions of your ice cream maker or method. Add buttered pecans near the end of the ice cream maker’s cycle, when the ice cream has thickened.

Roasted Salted Pistachio and Cherry Biscotti

pistachio cherry biscotti_n

This crisp cookie bursts with the flavors of salty, roasted pistachios and tart, sweet cherries. Its attractive green and red colors would make it a welcome addition to this season’s offerings.

We picked up a bag of roasted and salted shelled pistachios last summer at Costco. The large bag of nuts was quickly opened, but we know that a rapidly expanding waistline can be the price for eating too many pistachios in too short a time. So, we put the bag in a mailing tub to be shipped north only partly consumed and forgot about it till recently. To our surprise, the nuts have remained amazingly tasty. Before they fall from grace, we wanted to make good use of them. Enter a biscotti recipe that celebrates their unique flavor. The roasted and salted aspect adds a delicious juxtaposition to the sweet tanginess of the dried cherries. We think these biscotti should be eaten all year ’round, in spite of their seasonal colors.

Roasted Salted Pistachio and Dried Cherry Biscotti

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 tbsp light olive oil
  • 1 tbsp dried orange zest
  • 2 tsp dried lemon zest
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 1 cup dried cherries, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup roasted and salted pistachios, coarsely chopped

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. Combine first 6 ingredients in bowl of stand mixer fitted with a paddle.
  3. Mix on low speed until ingredients are well combined.
  4. In a separate bowl whisk eggs with next 5 ingredients.
  5. Add egg mixture to flour mixture. Beat on low until combined.
  6. Fold in cherries and pistachios.
  7. Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface.
  8. Divide dough in half.
  9. Using floured hands, shape each dough half into a 16″ long log.
  10. Place logs on parchment covered baking sheet, about 5″ apart.
  11. Flatten logs to a strip about 2″ wide, so you have two logs that are 16″ x 2″.
  12. Bake cookies until browned and set, about 30 minutes.
  13. Let cookies cool in pan placed on wire rack for about 15 minutes.
  14. Reduce oven temperature to 250 degrees F.
  15. On a cutting board, using a serrated knife, cut logs into slices, about 2/3″ thick.
  16. Place slices back on the parchment-lined baking sheets, cut side down and close together.
  17. Bake for 20 minutes.
  18. Flip the cookies to the opposite side and bake again for 20 minutes.
  19. Let cool completely before serving. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Recipe adapted from BON APPÉTIT

Homemade Dreamy Creamy Orange Vanilla Ice Cream

dreamy creamy orange vanilla ice cream n

Our young hand-models enjoyed orange peel halves stuffed with dreamy creamy orange ice cream in exchange for their work. (Hey, modeling is hard work!)

Today is winter solstice. Two-hundred miles north of the Arctic Circle it is 1 degree F, but the frigid breeze makes it feel like -13. The sun set fifteen days ago and hasn’t peeked above the horizon since. The official beginning of winter is the perfect day to enjoy a taste summer. This ice cream was inspired by the orange covered vanilla popsicles we enjoyed as kids.

Dreamy Creamy Orange Ice Cream

Ingredients

  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • ⅓ cup frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Whisk eggs until light and fluffy.
  2. Whisk in sugar a little at a time until completely blended.
  3. Pour in cream and milk and whisk to blend.
  4. Add juice concentrate and vanilla and blend well.
  5. Complete by following the directions of your ice cream maker or method.

Pumpkin Ice Cream – For Pie, Lattes or Shakes!

pumpkin ice cream n

Perfectly spiced pumpkin ice cream adds another layer of delicious pumpkin to a classic fall dessert.

Fall is always accompanied by the need to satisfy pumpkin urges: pumpkin bread, pumpkin lattes, pumpkin risotto and even pumpkin pasta. As we add to our collection of ice cream recipes, pumpkin seemed an appropriate seasonal choice for a dessert that never seems too cold, even if the outside Arctic temperatures are plunging below zero. For this recipe, I turned to Ben and Jerry for advise. If the gurus of ice cream recommend using canned pumpkin, who am I to argue? The only change we made to the master recipe was the use of organic pumpkin from a box instead of non-organic from a BPA-lined can.  After following their recipe to the T, we were really pleased with the creamy texture and spiced-just-right flavor. We enjoyed a scoop atop a piece of freshly baked pumpkin pie and can also imagine it in coffee or in a milkshake.

Pumpkin Ice Cream

Ingredients

  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup unsweetened organic pumpkin purée
  • 1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon

Directions

  1. Whisk eggs until light and fluffy.
  2. Whisk in sugar a little at a time until completely blended.
  3. Pour in cream and milk and whisk to blend.
  4. In a large bowl, mix purée, nutmeg and cinnamon. Stir to blend.
  5. Stir half of cream mixture into pumpkin mixture. Mix well.
  6. Pour in remainder of cream mixture and mix well.
  7. Complete by following the directions of your ice cream maker or method.

Pumpkin Risotto with Spicy Scallops

risotto w scallops n

Creamy risotto flavored with seasonal roasted pumpkin and topped with spicy scallops warm up an icy Arctic evening.

With our shared goal of making risotto this year, Arborio rice went on the annual shopping list, and recently when a tiny, 1.5 pound pumpkin arrived in our Full Circle Farms box, we decided to make it a featured ingredient in our first attempt at homemade risotto. The idea to pair spicy scallops with the risotto stemmed from the visual impact we thought they’d have: white scallops dusted with ground peppers, nutmeg and cinnamon atop a mellow-orange base. The visual was complimented by the blend of textures and flavors of this dish. Compared with more usual methods for preparing rice, the risotto was a bit labor intensive. But the results left us anticipating making this dish again soon, perhaps next time with Alaska sweet shrimp.

Pumpkin Risotto with Spicy Scallops
Serves 4

Ingredients: (We use our own blend of spices, but any good Thai-style blend such as Penzeys Spices Bangkok Blend works well.)

  • 1¼ cups pumpkin purée
  • 2 tbsp heavy cream
  • 1 tbsp spice blend, such as Penzeys Bangkok Blend
  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter, divided
  • 5 cups chicken broth (We use Better than Bouillon.)
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 cups Arborio rice
  • 2 tbsp goat cheese, softened
  • ¼ cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • seared scallops (see below)
  • candied bacon (see below)

Directions

  1. Stir together pumpkin purée and cream in a small pot and bring to a simmer. If it seems too thick, stir in a few tbsp of chicken broth.
  2. Simmer for about 5 minutes. Remove mixture from heat. Season with spice blend, salt and pepper.
  3. Add ¼ cup of butter to the pumpkin mixture, 1 tbsp at a time. Stir until smooth.
  4. Pour the pumpkin mixture into a bowl and set aside.
  5. Pour the chicken broth into a medium pot and warm over low heat.
  6. Place a large pan such as a sautoir (a sauté pan with high, straight sides) or a pot over medium heat and melt the remaining 2 tbsp butter and olive oil.
  7. Add the onion and garlic and sauté for about 3 minutes.
  8. Add the rice and sauté for 3 to 5 minute or until each grain of rice is coated in oil and there is a white dot in the center of each grain.
  9. Begin adding the warm broth to the rice, one ladleful at a time, stirring frequently.
  10. Each time the liquid evaporates, add another ladle of broth and continue to stir.
  11. Continue to add liquid and stir until the rice is al dente, 20-25 minutes.
  12. Stir in the pumpkin mixture until completely combined.
  13. Stir in the goat cheese and parmesan until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
  14. Place 3 seared scallops atop a portion of risotto.
  15. Finish dish with candied bacon just prior to serving.

Spicy Scallops

Ingredients

  • 12 large scallops, cleaned
  • 1 tbsp spicy seasoning mix, for example Penzeys Bangkok blend (Optional: add sesame seeds to the spice blend)
  • salt to taste

Directions

  1. Heat oil in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Lightly roll each scallop in spice mix and sprinkle with salt
  3. Using tongs or chopsticks to maneuver scallops, quickly sear each one on each side – a few seconds on each side. Do not overcook.
  4. Serve immediately.

Candied Bacon

Ingredients

  • 4 strips of thick cut bacon, chopped into micro pieces
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar

Directions

  1. Heat skillet over medium high heat
  2. Add the bacon to the pan and cook until the fat has rendered off and the bacon has just become crispy.
  3. Drain all but 2 tsp of grease from the pan and return to the stove, over medium heat.
  4. Sprinkle brown sugar over the bacon and stir vigorously until the sugar melts and coats the bacon.
  5. Spread the candied bacon onto a sheet pan lined with parchment and allow to cool and slightly harden.

Pepperonata Breakfast Pizza: Healthy, Tasty, Easy

pepperonata breakfast pizza n

Individual-sized breakfast pizzas are a fun way to start the day. These can be whipped up in a sailboat galley, a mountain cabin, a lakeside camp, or virtually anywhere else. Who says pizza isn’t healthful?

The essence of pepperonata is stewed tomatoes, bell peppers and olive oil. In our Arctic kitchen and on our sailboat, the tomatoes are no problem. Although we occasionally get fresh tomatoes, we more often rely on diced canned tomatoes which, when cooked, are virtually indistinguishable from fresh. Finding good bell peppers at a reasonable price has been another matter. That’s where Penzeys Spices dried red bell pepper flakes shine. Cut into 3/8″ (1 cm) pieces, when hydrated these peppers come alive with aroma and flavor.  A four-ounce bag goes a long way, making them perfect for kitchens where getting to the market isn’t always feasible.

Small pizza crusts are generally available in supermarkets, but we make our own. These days, our favorite dough is a 50/50 blend of whole wheat and all-purpose flour. Crusts made from this balance have an excellent consistency and deliver a hearty flavor. We always keep on hand a few pizza crusts in both 5″ and 12″ size. To do this, we pre-bake our crusts for 10 minutes at 400 °F and then seal them in plastic bags and freeze them. When we’re ready to use the crusts, we pull what we need from the freezer, let them thaw while we’re preparing the topping, top them, and then bake them for the same 10 minutes at 400 °F. Pizza stones make a big difference; we even have a pair of small ones for our sailing vessel, Bandon that fit nicely in the small galley oven or on the boat’s propane grill. While we don’t have refrigeration or a freezer onboard, we’ve found shelf-stable pizza crusts that keep for months.

Pepperonata can be modified to accompany many dishes. Anchovies, olives, capers, herbs, spicy peppers and other vegetables can easily find their way into this versatile, chunky sauce. It’s an excellent topping for white fish and poultry, and is a perfect topping for toasted bread, too.

And the fried egg? We use a Swiss Diamond non-stick pan, low heat, and good olive oil. We like our sunny-side up eggs lightly salted with a grind or two of cracked pepper and a pinch of Italian seasonings, cooked in a covered pan till the whites are just firm.

Pepperonata Breakfast Pizza

Ingredients: (For 2 servings)

  • two, 5″ pizza crusts
  • 16 oz can of diced tomatoes, most of liquid drained (or 1 1/2  cups fresh tomatoes, diced, seeds and pulp removed)
  • 2 tablespoons Penzeys dried pepper flakes (or 1/2 cup diced red, orange or yellow bell pepper)
  • 1/4 cup sliced kalamata olives
  • olive oil
  • sea salt
  • freshly cracked pepper
  • Italian seasonings such as oregano, thyme, basil, etc. to taste
  • Two eggs, fried any style
  • finish with freshly grated parmesan and capers

Directions:

  1. Bake pizza crusts according to directions.
  2.  Hydrate dried bell peppers (if using dried).
  3. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add tomatoes and a pinch of salt. Cook until tomatoes are tender and stew is thick. (About 10 minutes for canned. About 20 minutes for fresh.)
  4. Add bell peppers. Cook until tender.
  5. Meanwhile, prepare fried egg.
  6. When tomato mixture is cooked to desired consistency, add olives, seasonings and additional salt, if desired. Stir to mix thoroughly.
  7. Spoon mixture onto warm pizza crusts. Add capers. Add egg. Top with grated parmesan. This pizza is easiest to eat with a sharp knife and fork.

Cherry Almond Bagels

Cherry almond bagel_n

Laced with the essence of cherry and the crunch of toasted almonds, these bagels were chewy perfection waiting for a favorite schmear, cheese or creamy nut spread .

Every week or so I make a batch of yogurt for our breakfasts. Usually there’s nothing to it: I a bit of the previously made yogurt as the starter for the next batch, and in this way yogurt begets yogurt. And even though I use powdered milk (a blend of whole and nonfat) the flavor is excellent.

The ability to easily whip up a batch of yogurt from powdered milk is handy since our little Native store in the Arctic bush doesn’t stock plain yogurt and since milk goes for about four times what it does in places connected by roads. But last week, something strange happened. The yogurt came out, for lack of a better word, weird. It separated into yogurt and way too much whey. The yogurt tasted fine, but the consistency was off-putting. Always loathe to toss out food, I strained the entire batch through cheesecloth overnight, hoping for yogurt cheese. The next morning, we had a taste and agreed it had turned out delicious. So, add another culinary feat to the list: homemade yogurt cheese.

At this point, we needed bagels.

This week’s cherry almond bagels were inspired by our desire to spread yogurt cheese onto a bagel leaning slightly more toward sweet than savory. Dried cherries and almond extract seemed like a perfect combination to mix into the bagel dough. A 20 minute baking time is just right to toast the almond slices which added a very satisfying crunch to each bite – and no, the almond slices did not crumble off; they adhered quite well and were there till the last bite. These bagels are the sweet counterpart to savory favorites such as onion bagels or “everything” bagels.

Cherry Almond Bagels

Ingredients

  • 1  1/2 cups water
  • 4 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp almond extract
  • 4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries, chopped
  • 3 quarts boiling water
  • 3 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • sliced almonds for topping

Directions

  1. Place first 7 ingredients into bread machine pan in the order recommended by the manufacturer. Select dough setting.
  2. When cycle is complete, turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and let rest.
  3. Bring 3 quarts of water to a boil. Add 3 tbsp of sugar.
  4. While water is coming to a boil, cut dough into 8 pieces. Roll each piece into a ball. Flatten balls into discs about 1/2 inch thick. Poke a hole in each disc and twirl the disk around your finger to enlarge the hole. Place bagels back on the lightly floured surface to rest until the water boils.
  5. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  6. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  7. When water is boiling, place bagels in water. Boil for 1 minute, then flip to boil for an additional minute. (I fit 4 bagels at a time in my pot.)
  8. After bagels have boiled, remove them from the water with a slotted spoon or strainer spoon made for frying. Place bagels on a clean, dry towel.
  9. Arrange bagels on baking sheet. Brush tops of bagels with beaten egg. Sprinkle with sliced almonds.
  10. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes, until well browned.

Try bagels 3 ways if you’d rather have a savory version.

Pecan Persimmon Upside Down Cakes

pecan persimmon upside down_nCrunchy on the outside, moist in the middle, and topped with a mixture of caramel and persimmon, this small batch of individual-sized cakes will warm up a chilly fall afternoon.

Hachiya persimmons can be tannic and astringent, according to Full Circle Farms. After eating two raw with breakfast, Jack and I were not excited about the lingering mouthfeel, a term we’ve adopted from our culinary professors. They were beautiful and tasty on the first encounter, but left an acidic dryness. I thought the process of baking the fruit would retain the delicious flavor and eye appeal, and that by releasing sugars, the acidity might be reduced.  Since we only had one persimmon remaining, I opted for mini-cakes baked in a muffin tin. The result was six perfectly-sized individual cakes with a crunchy texture on the outside, a moist and flavorful inside, and caramel-glazedl baked persimmons on the top.

Pecan Persimmon Upside Down Cakes

Ingredients

  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature, divided
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 6 whole half pecans
  • 1 persimmon, sliced and then quartered
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • pinch salt
  • generous 1/4 cup chopped pecans

Directions

  1. Grease a six muffin tin (regular sized).
  2. Melt 2 tbsp of butter in a pan over medium heat.
  3. Add brown sugar. Stir until sugar is melted and begins to bubble.
  4. Divide sugar mixture into bottom of muffin tin.
  5. Place a half of a pecan into center of sugar mixture, upside down.
  6. Place sliced persimmon quarters in a circular fashion on top of the sugar and pecan. Set aside.
  7. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  8. Beat 4 tbsp butter and granulated sugar until fluffy.
  9. Add in vanilla. Mix thoroughly.
  10. Mix in egg.
  11. Mix in milk. Continue mixing until fully blended.
  12. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt.
  13. Pour sifted mixture into wet ingredients.
  14. Mix until just blended, do not overmix.
  15. Fold in chopped pecans by hand.
  16. Scoop 1/6 of batter on top of each persimmon layer.
  17. Bake for 25 minutes. Cakes are done when they pull away from sides and an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  18. Let cool for 5 minutes in baking pan.
  19. Invert cakes to present. Enjoy with mugs of steaming hot tea.

Yam, Goat Cheese and Shallot Tart

yam goat cheese tart_n

The sweetness of yams and sautéed shallots, the creamy tartness of goat cheese, the zip of parmesan, and a sprinkle of thyme make this savory, aromatic tart perfect served as an appetizer, as a light meal, or as a side dish.

Our CSA (Full Circle Farm) sends a regular delivery of fruits and vegetables to our remote home in Arctic Alaska. In addition to the fresh, organic produce, they insert a recipe flyer into each box. Every recipe we’ve tried has been fantastic. And just in time for Thanksgiving, their test kitchen absolutely nailed a savory vegetable tart. Although we used yams, a number of substitutes came to mine as we were enjoying this tart with falling-off-the-bone tender pork ribs that Jack had slow cooked in the oven. Carrots, turnips, and especially parsnips would all work well. We love parsnips!

Yam, Goat Cheese and Shallot Tart

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup shallots, finely chopped
  • 1 1/4 lb yams, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp thyme
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated
  • 1 cup goat cheese, crumbled

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. In a medium pan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add shallots and sauté until soft (about 2-3 minutes). Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. Grease a springform pan.
  4. Place yam slices in overlapping layers, starting at outer edge and spiraling inwards to make one layer.
  5. Sprinkle some of the thyme, shallots, cheeses, salt and pepper.
  6. Repeat process 3 times to create 3 layers.
  7. Cover top of tart with cheese.
  8. Bake until top is golden brown and tart is easily pierced with a fork, about 45 minutes.
  9. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes.
  10. Remove from pan and cut into wedges to serve.

Pumpkin Pasta with Pumpkin Chanterelle Sauce

pumpkin pasta_n

Do not adjust the color! This penne pasta gets its deep orange-yellow color from fresh pumpkin purée and was the perfect base for a tasty alfredo-style pumpkin and chanterelle mushroom sauce.

With a pumpkin arriving in our most recent box of produce from Full Circle Farms, I eagerly anticipated creating a dish of pumpkin and chanterelle lasagne. The idea was to layer slices of pumpkin and mushrooms between wheat lasagne noodles along with cheese and a cream-based sauce. When I pitched this menu to Jack, he wrinkled his nose and said something about taking the fall pumpkin spirit too far. So there I was with a beautifully ripe pumpkin, a couple of cups worth of aromatic chanterelles, and an unsatisfied craving for a pasta experiment.

So I decided to make a twist on my original idea by creating a pumpkin pasta and a sauce to accompany which would bring together the flavor of pumpkin and chanterelles. To avoid being vetoed again, I offered to give Jack a night off from cooking and create the dish as head chef. This way he could relax and I could satisfy my craving. He remained skeptical, but was willing to go along. Win-win, right?

pumpkin pasta w sauce_nA savory, satisfying meal of pumpkin penne served with a creamy pumpkin chanterelle sauce and slices of chicken apple sausage warmed up a truly blustery Arctic night. No flights in or out of Point Hope the past couple of days, and hurricane force gusts punctuated gale and storm force winds. Freshly grated parmesan cheese and a dash or two of Cholula sauce finish the dish. 

Throughout the whole meal, Jack kept mmmm-ing in approval and muttering about how different the combinations of flavors were and how beautifully they worked together. Although I added mildly spicy chicken sausage, this recipe would work equally well sans meat. When thickening a sauce such as this, we have found that rice flour is superior to other thickening agents.

Pumpkin Penne with Pumpkin Chanterelle Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1 lb pumpkin penne pasta (see below)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 shallots, finely sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 cups chanterelle mushrooms, chunked
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock (we use Better than Bouillon)
  • 1 2/3 cups pumpkin purée (fresh or canned)
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tsp Cholula sauce
  • freshly grated nutmeg, to taste
  • pinch cinnamon
  • salt and pepper
  • chicken apple sausage, sliced
  • 1 tsp sage
  • parmesan cheese
  • (optional) thickener, such as rice flour or wheat flour, as needed

Directions

  1. Heat water for pasta.
  2. Heat oil and sauté shallots, garlic and chanterelles for about 3 minutes.
  3. Stir in chicken stock, pumpkin purée, whipping cream, Cholula sauce, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Add sliced sausage.
  5. Let sauce simmer and thicken. If it needs to be thickened, add a rice flour 1 tbsp at a time till desired consistency is achieved.
  6. Cook pasta al dente.
  7. Stir sage into drained pasta and toss with some olive oil.
  8. Place pasta on individual plates, add sauce, and finish it with grated parmesan cheese and a splashes of Cholula sauce.

Pumpkin Pasta Dough

Ingredients

  • 2 cups semolina flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup pumpkin purée
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • water as needed

Directions

  1. Whisk together eggs and pumpkin.
  2. Place semolina flour in a large bowl.
  3. Make a well in the middle of the semolina flour.
  4. Pour egg mixture and olive oil in well.
  5. Use a fork and scramble eggs into flour.
  6. Keeps scrambling until dough resembles large curds. Add small amounts of water if needed.
  7. When all the dough looks like large curds, knead dough several times in order to form a dough ball.
  8. Cover dough tightly with plastic wrap and let rest for 20 minutes.
  9. Follow pasta machine manufacturer’s directions to form noodle shape of choice.