Sunday, October 17, 2010

Dictatorship of autumn

Lately, the Internet has just exploded with recipes featuring pumpkin. And apples. But mostly pumpkin.

I've never cooked with fresh pumpkin, nor do I particularly care to try, but I felt that I should grudgingly give in and do the pumpkin thing just once at least. Tonight seemed like a good time, because:

a. we have an exam the day after Halloween, and this is close enough to Halloween that I can celebrate the pumpkiny goodness of it all without endangering my studies.
b. whenever Andy is here, I eat copious amounts of food that is not very good for me, so I felt like I could round that off tonight by making whatever I wanted.
c. organic canned pumpkin was on sale at Trader Joe's.

I used half a can of the pumpkin (roughly 7.5 ounces) to make pasta with pumpkin cream sauce. Well, cream-ish. I used a smidgen of milk and about a tablespoon of goat cheese (yes, that stuff is sticking around!) rather than heavy cream and lots of cheese, and sure, the sauce was less runny and smooth, but it tasted fine and will do a lot less damage calorie-wise. I caramelized some onions with a bay leaf, then added some sage, nutmeg, red pepper, and salt with the pumpkin and dairy items, tossing in the pasta (too much, actually; the leftovers will feed me for two lunches, easy). Pine nuts and/or parsley for the top would have been nice, but I'm not complaining! Simple steamed green beans were a great foil (Look at those tasty-looking green beans. I love fresh green beans. Seriously. I could eat a pound at one go).

The rest of the pumpkin went into a half-recipe of these pumpkin pie bars. I diminished the amount of sugar and upped the spices, adding a smidgen of anise and a lot of cloves for good measure. I reheated Zeno's Mug of Green Tea that is always sitting on my desk and enjoyed one for a late-night dessert as I wrote some HFT other arts questions and listened to a little of the opera about which I was writing. Tomorrow, it's back to work... this time on host-defense! Viruses! Bacteria! Parasites! I am so very excited!

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