Pasta with Sage Pumpkin Cream Sauce

Pumpkins generally mean dessert in my mind. Its not like I’ve never made savory dishes that highlight pumpkin before, but still, that association is a stubborn one in my head. So I thought I’d try once again to shake it off by making a pumpkin sauce. In this case, a sage pumpkin cream sauce to go with pasta, sausage, and bacon.

This seemed like a good idea, but I had no idea how good it was going to be. For how simple this seemed, the flavor really blew me away–this was awesome. The sauce was incredibly thick–bordering on macaroni & cheese style thick (granted, I did enrich it with a healthy portion of Parmigiano Reggiano)–and the flavor was surprisingly rich. If I had to describe it in just one word, I would say “autumn” (which means a lot in hot Florida at this time… click to read more…

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Cream Cheese Swirled Pumpkin Bread

I’m not a big breakfast person, and probably in keeping with my sweet tooth, more often than not, you’ll catch me reaching for a pastry over an omelette. This was my nod at being seasonal and keeping my weekday breakfast interesting: a loaf of pumpkin bread with cream cheese swirled in the middle.

This was a delicious bread, kind of like a banana bread (which I’m sure we’ve all had before), but well, pumpkinny instead of banana-y, and richer in color. I included some of the usual suspects as far as pumpkin-friendly spices and a mix of nuts (walnuts, pecans) and chocolate chips. I’ve had images of deliciously frosted pumpkin cupcakes in my head for a while, so I also thought a swirl of cream cheese throughout the loaf would go nicely while still making a decent claim at this being breakfast friendly and not all out… click to read more…

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Honeyed Balsamic Braised Chicken with Figs

I thought I should explore some savory applications of fresh figs rather than just going dessertcrazy. For some reason, a Morrocan chicken I’d made several months ago kept popping up in my head, so I decided to follow a similar tact and braise a chicken with figs and see where it took me.

I began by breaking down a whole chicken. I strangely enjoy this and seem to get better at it every time I do it, so if this is something that intimidates you, there’s only one way to get better at it so do it! With the chicken in more manageable pieces, I then braised it in a flavorful broth of wine, balsamic, honey, leek, herbs, and figs. The result was absolutely delicious–the chicken was incredibly tender and the sauce was sweet, honeyed, with a surprisingly well-rounded, balanced,… click to read more…

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Caramelized Apple and Cinnamon Cream Tart

With autumn upon us, one of my absolute favorite desserts (and one of the first pastries to get me baking) is a good old fashioned apple pie. I had a spare rosemary graham cracker crust from my recent Mascarpone Fig Tart, so I decided to see where these two ideas would take me, and a very delicious creation was the result: a Caramelized Apple and Cinnamon Cream Tart

I’ll admit, I’d had my fingers crossed with each step of this one, hoping that it would all come together, and boy did it ever deliver. The flavor was just like a comfort food orgasm. Its kind of like apple pie meets ice cream meets cheesecake. The cream filling began with a fantastically flavored cinnamon creme anglaise which was then worked into a whipped cream cheese/whipped cream filling. The top layer:… click to read more…

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Fig, Fennel, and Prosciutto Pizza with a Shallot Cream Sauce

The rampage of figgy foods continues! As I looked for inspiration for other fun, new things to do with figs, I chanced upon an amazing looking fig and fennel pizza that I knew I had to try. I changed things up a bit and was quite pleased with the outcome. Its one thing to say that I love pizza, but I really loved this pizza.

Fresh figs, fennel bulb, prosciutto, and leek for toppings, roasted shallot cream sauce, and gruyere–yeah, what’s not to love in that mix? These might sound like a lot of big flavors to all have together, but they really all have a phenomenal affinity for one another. Figs and the anisey sweetness of fennel, figs and prosciutto, figs and cheese, figs and the sharpness of shallot and leek–they are all fantastic on their own, and taken together all at once, it was one cohesive,… click to read more…

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Sweet Sesame Broiled Kona Kampachi

Having enjoyed two different raw preparations of my Kona Kampachi recently, I thought it was time to explore how this fish cooks. Being a Hawaiian fish, my first inclination was to aim for something Polynesian in nature, but then I drifted towards Asian flavors. I also wanted to give this fish a good sear, but not cook much beyond medium-rare. Combining these two ideas, I decided on a sweet, spicy, light sauce to glaze the fish during its brief vacation under the broiler.

I was inspired by one of my favorite Asian food bloggers take on this fish, so I thought I’d try to take that idea in another direction. This glaze had distinct Asian flavors (to speak in such broad strokes. I… click to read more…

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