My apologies that the recipe section on this blog has been neglected for quite some time, simply because all the recipes I've written for the last 6 months have gone into my upcoming cookbook, 'Have you eaten?'. So last thing I needed to do was to come up with more recipes for the blog.
But speaking of which, the cookbook is finally all finished and sent to printing! Happy days! It is due out in September, I can't wait to hold it in my hands! If you are following ATFT page on facebook, or already signed up to our ATFT Titbits newsletter update, then you would have seen a sneakpeek of the cookbook. There will be more exciting news about the cookbook in the upcoming months including a competition with a fantastic prize! Also, if you would like to receive a copy of the cookbook for reviews, so please make sure to sign up to the cookbook newsletter and I will keep you posted! Thank god things are finally slowing down at my end before the next storm hits which will be around September for the book tour.
I feel great to have the spare time and jump back into the kitchen to get creative again. I was given a large 4kg pumpkin by my gardener two weeks ago and it's been sitting on the kitchen bench since. Tell you what, pumpkin is like an invention test, I had to come up with so many different recipes to fully use up the whole pumpkin before it starting to rot. So for the last 10 days, I've been cooking with nothing but pumpkin! But nothing complaining since pumpkin and winter are the perfect match.
Here's a tip, if you are planning to just use a wedge of the pumpkin but doesn't want to rest to go off, cut them into big chunks, steam until cooked then store in the fridge. Then all you have to do is to reheat them, or puree them to make pie, soup or gnocchi like these recipes.
So, what is your favourite pumpkin recipe?
Pumpkin gnocchi, leek, shiitake & sage burnt butter sauce (Serve 6 - 8)
500g pumpkin, peeled and cut in 3cm cubes
1/2 cup pecorino, grated; plus extra
2 cups plain flour, plus extra for dusting
1 egg yolk
a pinch of salt
2 tablespoon olive oil
100g leek, white part, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
6 shiitake mushroom, soaked in hot water for 1 hour, drained then thinly sliced
1 bunch sage leaves (about 10-15)
A handful of pine nuts, toasted
salt & pepper
extra-virgin olive oil
Methods 1. Steam pumpkin for 20 min or until soft. Blend pumpkin in a food processor into puree. If the puree is to wet, cook the puree in a fry pan on medium heat for 10 mins until it dries out a little then let cool completely.
2. Sift flour, salt together and make a well in center then add puree, cheese and yolk. Use a fork, slowly bring all ingredients together to form a dough. If the dough is too wet, add more flour a tablespoon at a time and mix into the dough. The dough should be soft but not sticky and come off the side of the bowl. Wrap the dough in plastic
wrap and let it rest in refrigerator
for 20 minutes.
3. Cut a small portion of the dough and place it on a lightly floured surface. Roll the dough into a long thin noodle, about 1cm thickness. Cut the dough into 3cm pieces with a sharp knife. Transfer the pieces to a tray lightly dusted with flour and set aside. Repeat with remaining dough until all rolled and cut.
4. Fill a saucepan about 2/3 full with water, add salt and bring to a rolling boil on medium-high heat. In batches, drop the gnocchi pieces into the water and cook for 1-2 minute. Once gnocchi float to surface, let it cook for a further 30 seconds before scooping them out with a slotted spoon and set aside.
5. Add olive oil to a fry pan on medium-high heat, sauteed garlic and leek until soften. Add mushroom and cook for a further minute, tip them out into a bowl. With the same pan, fry the gnocchi until coloured and crispy on edges, about 3-5 minutes. Tip them out into the same bowl.
6. Wipe the fry pan clean with paper towel, melt butter over medium heat. When the butter turns light brown with nutty fragrant, add sage leaves and fry for 30 seconds. Then add gnocchi and everything else back into the pan, give it a quick stir. Seaon with salt and pepper.
7. Transfer to individual serving plates, grate parmesan on top, sprinkle with pine nuts and give it a splash of good quality EVOO.
Spicy pumpkin & lemongrass soup (serve 4)
2 tablespoon olive oil
3 small bulbs eschalots
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 lemongrass, white parts only, thinly sliced
1 bird's eye chilli, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1kg pumpkin, cut into 3cm cubes, steamed until soften
1 cup chicken stock
Salt, to taste
4 tablespoon thickened (heavy) cream
extra-virgin olive oil, to taste
sesame seeds, as garnish
parsley leaf, as garnish
1. Add olive oil to a wok on medium-high heat. Add eschalot and garlic, cook until soft and translucent. Then add lemongrass, chilli and turmeric powder, cook for a further minute until fragrant.
2. Add pumpkin, squash them a little with the back of a spatula, pour chicken stock into the wok, cover with lid and turn heat down to medium, simmer for 10 minutes. Turn heat off and let cool for 5 minutes.
3. Tip everything in the wok into a jar. Use a stick blender, blitz the pumpkin into puree. Season well with salt.
4. Pour into individual serving plates, drizzle with thickened cream and olive oil, sprinkle with sesame seeds and garnish with parsley leaf.
Note: You can dilute the soup to your liking with more chicken stock and bring to simmer on wok again. You can also serve the soup in a cobbler.
Sweet shortcrust pastry (make 2 pie crusts)
200g unsalted butter, chilled, cut into
50g caster sugar
320g plain flour
a pinch of salt
1 teaspoon white vinegar mixed with 100ml of chilled water
500g pumpkin, cubed and steamed
100g brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
300ml thickened (heavy) cream, plus 250ml extra for whipping
50g icing sugar
1. To make the pastry, put butter, flour, sugar and salt into the bowl of the food processor, pulse in 1-second bursts until it resembles fine crumbs. While still keep pulsing, slowly pour the water into the mixture in a steady stream until it just comes together. Tip mixture onto a surface lightly dusted with flour. Gather the crumbs together and form a dough. Cut dought into 2 portions. flatten both into discs then wrap in plastic wrap and transfer to refrigerator to let it set for an hour.
2. Place 1 dough on a lightly floured surface, roll it out into a flat round disc, about 3mm thick. Drape it over a pie tin and line the tin with pastry. Transfer the pie tin to refrigerator and let it set for 20 minutes.
3. Preheat the oven to 200C. Blind bake the crust for 20 minutes. Remove the baking weights, poke the base of the crust with a fork a few time and transfer it back to oven and bake for a further 15 minutes. Remove and set aside to let cool.
4. Puree the pumpkin then cook on a fry pan over medium heat for 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.
5. Preheat the oven to 180C. Add brown sugar, spices and thickened cream to a medium saucepan and cook over medium-high heat, stir well until all sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat once the mixture starts to boil.
6. Lightly beat eggs and yolk in a large mixing bowl until combined. While still whisking, slowly pour the hot cream mixture into the eggs. Then add pumpkin puree and mix well. Pour the mixture into the cooled pastry tin and bake for 40 minutes. The centre should be just set. Remove and set aside to cool.
7. Whip cream and icing sugar in a mixing bowl until soft peak. Once the pie is cool enough, pipe the whipped cream around the rim of the pie.