Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Sweet and Hot for Halloween

My previous posting covered how to buy and prep a pumpkin. Now here is the pay off, two favorite recipes that should suit both Jack Spratt and his wife.

PUMPKIN TREATS – Make these as custards or as mini-pies. Either way they satisfy that pumpkin craving. Make them richer by substituting low-fat or regular evaporated milk and serve with a dollop or two of whipped cream. These are not too sweet and depend on the spices to temper the pumpkin’s natural astringency. My inexact calculation puts both versions in at about 100 calories per serving.

Makes 12 mini-pies or four custards

2 large egg whites, 1 whole egg, beaten
1 cup pumpkin puree
¾ cup fat-free evaporated milk
5 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon light maple-flavored syrup
1 tsp. ground cinnamon, ¼ tsp. ground ginger; ¼ tsp ground nutmeg; ¼ tsp. ground allspice; 1/8 tsp. salt
Optional -- ½ tsp very finely minced orange peel

For Mini-Pies:
12 ginger snaps

· Combine and mix all the filling ingredients in a medium bowl.
· For the mini-pies, line 12 cupcake tins with FOIL liners (the filling’s moisture will seep through paper liners). Place a gingersnap in the bottom of each tin and fill each about 3/4ths or a bit more with the filling. Bake in a preheated 375-degree oven about 25-30 minutes until the center feels firm and not sticky and a knife comes out clean. Serve warm (not hot), room temperature or cold. Store in the refrigerator. Makes 12 treats. Serving size is one mini-pie. Enjoy within a day or so.
· For custards, pour filling in 4 heatproof baking or custard cups. Place cups in a large baking pan, add about one inch of boiling water to the pan to surround the cups (you are making a water bath or bain marie to prevent the custards from cracking.) Place in a preheated 325-degree oven for about 50 - 70 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. The timing really varied in my test runs, so check at 50 minutes, but be prepared to cook them longer. Remove cups from water. Serve warm or cold. Makes four servings.

PUMPKIN CHILI – This recipe is hearty, filling and is probably what I’ll serve on All Hallows Eve.

2 tablespoons oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 minced serrano or jalapeno pepper (seeded if you want a milder chili)
1 pound ground turkey (7 percent fat)
1 ½ to 3 tablespoons chili powder. (I use 3)
1 ½ tsp. dried oregano,
1 ½ tsp. ground cumin
1 cup chopped celery, 1 cup chopped carrots, 1 cup bell pepper, chopped and 2 cups chopped brown (crimini) or white mushrooms
3 cups stock, water or mix of two
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2-15 oz cans chopped tomatoes with liquid
4 cups raw, peeled pumpkin, cut into 1” cubes
1-16 oz can white beans, drained and rinsed
2 chipotle peppers in adobe sauce (canned), drained, chopped (Use additional jalapeno or serrano chiles if they are not available)
Salt and pepper to taste
½ cup chopped cilantro

Heat oil in large, deep pot or dutch oven. Add onion and sauté until softened. Add garlic, jalapeno or serrano chile(s), bell pepper, celery and carrots. Stir often and cook until softened a bit. Add turkey and sauté until brown. Add chili powder, cumin and oregano. Add mushrooms and sauté mixture a minute or two. Add pumpkin chunks, tomatoes and liquid, tomato paste, water and/or stock, and the chipoltes. Cook covered, stirring occasionally until pumpkin begins to soften. Add beans, stir well, replace cover and cook for about 20 minutes or until the pumpkin is almost cooked through. Take the cover off and simmer until pumpkin is done and the chili is thickened (about 3 to 5 minutes). Using a fork and without removing the pumpkin from the chili, mash about a half cup of the cooked pumpkin chunks into the chili into a rough puree (this helps give the chili body). Season with salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro. Serve with chili toppings. About eight or more servings.

By the way, the pumpkin postings are part of Slashfood’s Great Pumpkin Day challenge. Check out for more pumpkin delights from other food bloggers and websites.


Justin said...

Definitely going to try that chili.

Alanna Kellogg said...

Congrats on the Slash Food award, the chili sounds great for Sunday! If you're interested in more exactness with nutrition calculations, I used a product called AccuChef (no this isn't spam and no I don't wor for them!) that's a little clunky but is more flexible than others I've seen.