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Pumpkin pasta sauce

We just roasted the last of our pumpkins. With tons — or at least pounds — of puree on my hands, I’m looking for something new to do with it. My friend Jenn recommended a recipe from Cooking Light, which I made the other night and loved.

Here’s my slightly modified version:

Pumpkin with fettuccine

8 ounces uncooked fettuccine
2-4 ounces of rotisserie chicken, chopped
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh sage, divided
2 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 cup canned unsalted pumpkin puree
2 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated (about 1/2 cup)
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons heavy cream

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain, reserving 3/4 cup cooking liquid.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons sage and garlic, and cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in pumpkin puree, Parmesan cheese, chicken and pepper. Add pasta, reserved 3/4 cup cooking liquid, and heavy cream; toss to coat. Cook 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Taste and add salt if needed. Sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon sage.

Buttermilk biscuits

buttermilkbiscuits

Here are my biscuits, made with the first real buttermilk I’ve ever had.

My friend Jenn gave me buttermilk the other day. It’s the first real buttermilk I’ve ever had. I confess, I didn’t know what to do with it, so I did the obvious: I made biscuits.

They were amazing.

When Greg tasted them, all he said was, “They taste like butter.” Then he entered them into his diet app on his iPad and started pressuring me to give the rest away. So, they are filled with calories. But so, so, so delicious.

Buttermilk Biscuits

2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon fine salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
8 tablespoons cold unsalted butter (1 stick), cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 cup cold buttermilk

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.

Put all the ingredients except the buttermilk into a food processor. Process until the butter is cut into the flour, creating a sand-like consistency. Add the buttermilk and stir.

Drop spoonfuls of dough onto the baking sheet. Bake for 15-17 minutes, until very lightly browned.

Beer and other mustards

Homemade Honey Mustard

1/2 cup yellow mustard seeds
3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup water
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 cup honey (you can cut to 1/2 cup if you want)

Soak the mustard seeds in the vinegar and water, making sure the seeds are covered by the liquid. Leave soaking overnight.

Add the sugar and honey to the seeds mixture. Blend mixture until it reaches desired consistency, adding water if needed.

Ladle into quarter pint jars, leaving 1/4″ headspace and process in water bath for 15 minutes. The mustard will at first seem extremely spicy, but will mellow out after about a week.

Basic Mustard

1/4 cup brown mustard seeds
1/4 cup yellow mustard seeds
3/4 cup cider vinegar
1/3 cup water
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon dried spice (basil & lemon, or cardamom & fennel, or allspice & tumeric)

Soak the mustard seeds in the vinegar and water making sure the seeds are covered by the liquid. Leave soaking for 2 days.

Add the salt and spices to the seeds mixture. Start by adding about 1 tsp. of each spice. Blend mixture until it reaches desired consistency, adding water if needed. When you do a tasting, if you need more spice, add it by 1/2 teaspoons.

When you are satisfied with the taste, ladle into quarter pint jars and process in water bath for 15 minutes.

Cranberry Mustard

Makes about 7 40-ounce jars

1 cup red wine vinegar
2/3 cup yellow mustard seeds
1 cup water
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce (can be omitted for gluten issues)
2 3/4 cups cranberries (fresh or frozen; or substitute cherries)
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

In a medium stainless steel saucepan, bring vinegar to a boil over high heat. Remove from heat and add mustard seeds. Cover and let stand at room temperature until seeds have absorbed most of the moisture, about 1 1/2 hours.

Prepare canner, jars, and lids.

In a blender or food processor fitted with a metal blade, combine marinated mustard with liquid, water and Worcestershire sauce. Process until blended and most seeds are well chopped. You want to retain a slightly grainy texture. Add cranberries and blend until chopped.

Transfer mixture to a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to medium-low and boil gently stirring frequently, for 5 minutes. Whisk in sugar, dry mustard and allspice. Continue to boil gently over low heat, until volume is reduced by a third, about 15 minutes. Ladle hot mustard into hot jars leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Remove air, wipe rims. Add hot lids/rings and process in a water bath canner for 10 minutes once the water has come back to a full boil.

English Mustard (with cherries)

Adapted from Homemade Mustards – Martha Stewart Recipes

1/2 cup brown mustard seeds
1/4 cup yellow mustard seeds
1 cup dark beer or cider or wine
1 1/4 cups white-wine vinegar (make sure its 5% acidity)
1 cup mustard powder, combined with 1 cup water (let sit 20 minutes)
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/4 teaspoon ground mace
1/4 cup cherries

In a nonreactive container, combine mustard seeds with alcohol (beer, wine, or sherry; according to recipe) and vinegar. Let sit 48 hours. Check periodically to make sure seeds are covered by liquid; add more if necessary.

Transfer seeds and liquid to a food processor. Add remaining ingredients. Process until seeds become creamy, 4 to 6 minutes. Ladle into hot jars and leave 1/2″ headspace. Process in water bath for 15 minutes. Wait 5 days before using.

Spicy German Mustard

1/4 cup yellow mustard seed
2 tablespoons black or brown mustard seed, heaping
1/4 cup dry mustard powder
1/2 cup water
1 1/2 cups cider vinegar
1 small onion chopped
2 tablespoons firmly packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 garlic gloves, minced or pressed
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon dried tarragon leaves
1/8 teaspoon turmeric

In a small bowl, combine mustard seed and dry mustard. In a 1- to 2-quart stainless steel or nonreactive saucepan, combine remaining ingredients. Simmer, uncovered, on medium heat until reduced by half, 10-15 minutes.

Pour the mixture into the mustard mixture. Let mixture stand, covered, at room temperature for 24 hours, adding additional vinegar if necessary in order to maintain enough liquid to cover seeds.

Process the seeds and mixture in a blender or food processor until pureed to the texture you like; this can take at least 3 or 4 minutes. Some prefer whole seeds remaining, others a smooth paste. The mixture will continue to thicken. If it gets too thick after a few days, stir in additional vinegar.

Scrape mustard into clean, dry jars; cover tightly and age at least 3 days in the refrigerator before using. To water bath, ladle jars, leave 1/2″ headspace and process 15 minutes. Makes about 1 1/2 -2 cups.

Spicy Guinness Mustard

1 12-oz. bottle Guinness Extra Stout
1 1/2 cups brown mustard seeds (10 oz.) (can use a combination of yellow and brown seeds)
1 cup red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

Combine ingredients in a nonreactive mixing bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 1-2 days so that the mustard seeds soften and the flavors meld.

Transfer the mixture to the bowl of a food processor and process, stopping occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula, uritil the seeds are coarsely ground and the mixture thickens, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a jar and process for 10 minutes in a water bath.

Grainy Porter Mustard

(makes 6 ounces)

1/8 cup yellow mustard seed
1/8 cup brown mustard seed
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar (and 1 1/2 teaspoon for later in process)
1/8 cup porter beer
2 teaspoons honey
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Transfer mustard mixture to a small food processor and process until mostly smooth. Add the 1 1/2 teaspoons vinegar along with the honey, salt and process until mixture reaches desired consistency.

Transfer to jar. Process 15 minutes 1/2 inch headspace.

Spicy Smooth Mustard

(makes 6 ounces)

1/2 cups mustard powder
1/4 cup cold water
6 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon tumeric
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon brown sugar (to taste)

Place mustard powder in a small bowl. Add the cold water all at once and use a small whisk to stir together until it forms a smooth paste. Gradually add the vinegar, whisking constantly to avoid lumps. Stir in the tumeric, salt, paprika, and garlic powder. Add the brown sugar to taste,

Spoon into jars. 1/2 inch headspace. Process 15 minutes.

Honey Mustard

(makes 6 ounces)

1/2 cup mustard powder
1/4 cup boiling water
6 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 teaspoon tumeric
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon honey

Place the mustard powder in a small bowl. Add the boiling water, using a spoon or small spatula, to stir the mustard and water into a smooth paste. Stir in the vinegar. Switch to a small whisk and whisk in the tumeric, salt, paprika, and garlic powder until the mixture is smooth. Stir in the honey.

Spoon into jars. 1/2 inch headspace. Process 15 minutes.

Wine & beer, jam & jelly

These recipes come courtesy of Christina Ward of Kick Out The Jams. I took a great class in wine and beer jellies from her through Milwaukee Recreation.

Wine Jelly

3 cups wine (about 1 full bottle)
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon bottled lemon juice
2/3 cup low-sugar pectin

In stainless steel pot add Wine and turn the heat on high to get the wine simmering. Measure the sugar and add the sugar all at once. Add lemon juice and bring contents up to a boil. Add pectin. Stir. Return to boil. Boil “hard” for 1 minute. Turn off heat. Check for set.

Sterilize 4-5 half pint jars and ladle the jelly into the jars. Clean rims and add lids and rings. Process in water bath for 10 minutes. Remove and let sit on a dish towel overnight.

Beer Jelly

4 cups Beer (your choice)
2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons bottled lemon juice
2/3 cup low-sugar pectin

In stainless steel pot add Beer, heat on high until beer is simmering. Measure and add the sugar all at once. Add lemon juice and bring contents up to a boil. Add pectin. Stir. Return to boil. Boil “hard” for 1 minute. Turn off heat. Check for set.

Sterilize 5-6 half pint jars and ladle the jelly into the jars. Clean rims and add lids and rings. Process in water bath for 10 minutes. Remove and let sit on a dish towel overnight.

Blueberry Guinness Jam

4 cups blueberries
4 cups Guinness Stout (With spirits, use this amount or reduce by half)
4 cups sugar
4 tablespoons bottled lemon juice
1 cup low-sugar pectin

In stainless steel pot add blueberries.Cook until simmering. Puree blueberries with immersion blender. Add the Guinness and Lemon Juice; return to boil. Measure and add the sugar all at once. Return to boil. Add pectin. Stir. Return to boil. Boil “hard” for 1 minute. Turn off heat. Check for set.

Sterilize 10-12 half pint jars and ladle the jelly into the jars. Clean rims and add lids and rings. Process in water bath for 8 minutes. Remove and let sit on a dish towel overnight.

No-sugar jam

I got this recipe from my canning teacher, Christina Ward of Kick Out The Jams.

Ingredients:
4 cups of fruit (blueberries, strawberries, etc.)
2 cups Splenda
2 tablespoons of bottled lemon juice
2/3 cup (or 2 boxes) low-sugar pectin

If you use berries, mush them to make sure you have four solid cups.

Combine the berries, sugar and lemon juice in a pot. Bring the contents to a boil. Add the pectin. Stir. Return the jam to a boil, and boil “hard” for 1 minute. Turn off heat. Check for set.

This will not keep as long as regular jam because there’s no sugar to act as a preservative.

Chicken Paprikash

I’ve been making chicken paprikash for years using a recipe from an old Betty Crocker cookbook. I recently came across an alternative version in Bon Appetit, which I’ve modified slightly.

Ingredients:
1 chicken, cut into 8 pieces (remove skin)
1 tablespoons butter
1 thinly sliced onion
5 teaspoons sweet Hungarian paprika
1 teaspoon hot smoked Spanish paprika
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Melt the butter in an ovenproof skillet just large enough to hold the pieces in one layer. Brown the chicken, but don’t cook through.

Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside. Reduce the heat to medium, and add the onion and paprika. Cook, stirring often until the onion is soft.

Add chicken broth to the skillet and bring to a simmer.

Return the chicken to the pan and transfer to the oven. Bake until the chicken is cooked through, 25-30 minutes.

Remove pan from oven, remove chicken from pan. Bring the liquid to a boil and cook until it is reduced by a third (5 to 7 minutes). Remove from the heat and whisk in the sour cream and lemon juice.

Spoon sauce around chicken and serve.