Liberian Pumpkin with Cock Sauce

liberianEven though I’ve been cooking for two months now, my idea of what is “a cinch to throw together” is still miles away from what the editors at Simply in Season consider “a cinch to throw together.”

First, for this recipe, one must peel and cube 2-3 C of butternut squash (or you can use pumpkin). I usually peel my butternuts with a vegetable peeler, as a knife is tricky to maneuver.

Then, you have to chop an onion and saute’ along with the butternut squash “until translucent.” This is the second recipe today where it’s supposed to get translucent. Problem is, it’s kind of hard to tell when it’s translucent when the other stuff is in there (it also calls for either hot chili peppers or hot sauce; I took this occasion to try out my new bottle of Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce).  Plus it started to burn so I went ahead and added a little of the chicken broth so it didn’t burn while it was cooking, covered. When the butternut squash was tender, I added the rest of the cup of broth and covered again and cooked for the 10 minutes it called for. Meanwhile I browned the 1 lb of sausage (the recipe calls for 1 C but hey, might as well use the whole package) and started on the egg noodles.

While I’m waiting, let me tell you about Sriracha Hot Sauce. I first learned about it at an Indian cooking class at my CSA, and quickly discovered that it’s quite well known among foodies, and is nicknamed cock sauce because of the rooster on the front. I’ve since noticed it at lots of restaurants.

OK, so the 10 minutes is up, and it says to now add the sausage and cook uncovered until all the liquid is absorbed. It’s absorbed. So I put the pot on simmer until the egg noodles are done. You can serve this over any kind of noodle or rice, but DH and I were in the mood for egg noodles tonight.

The verdict: Definitely not “a cinch to throw together,” but not much chopping. The taste is definitely different, the sweet butternut plays off the spicy sausage and cock sauce. As DH said, the sauce makes your tongue tingly. Not sure if I’ll make this again soon, but it’s not a bad way to use up butternut squash.


Nutty Pumpkin Bread

pumpkinbreadThis was the only autumn bread recipe from Simply in Season that I can eat/make since I’m allergic to cranberries (keep an eye out for guest bloggers, though!)

Dry ingredients: 1 1/2 C flour, 1 1/2 C whole wheat flour, 1 C wheat germ, 1 C sugar (I ran out and used about 3/4 C sugar and 1/4 C stevia for baking), 1 C brown sugar, 2 tsp baking soda, 1 1/2 tsp salt, 2 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp each ginger, nutmeg, cloves (optinal). Mix together and make a well.

Wet ingredients: 2 1/2 C pumpkin, 4 eggs (slightly beaten), 1/2 C oil, 1/2 C pecans or other nuts, 1 C raisins or dates (chopped, optional). Add to the well and mix until just moistened. Pour into 2 greased 9×5 inch loaf pans and bake at 350F until toothpick inserted in center of loaves comes out clean, 50 minutes. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Loosen edges and turn the loaf out onto the rack to cool completely before slicing.

The verdict: Seriously yummy. Couldn’t even tell that I used part stevia.

Pumpkin Sausage Pasta

This is another recipe that I wouldn’t have tried were it not for the challenge of cooking every recipe in Simply in Season. Pumpkin? Sausage? Pasta? Oh well, it has wine in it, if it tastes bad I can always finish off the bottle!pumpkinsausage

  1. Cook 1 lb of penne pasta and set aside.
  2. Brown 1 lb of bulk sweet italian sausage in a large frying pan. Remove, drain fat, and set aside.
  3. Add 1 medium chopped onion and 4 cloves of minced garlic and saute for 3-5 minutes, until soft.
  4. Add 1 bay leaf, 2 T fresh sage, 1 C dry white wine or chicken broth (I used Barefoot Chardonnay). Add and cook about 2 minutes, until half the liquid evaporates. When I added the sage, I knew that would be the ingredient that tied the flavors together.
  5. Add 1 C chicken or vegetable broth and 1 C pumpkin (cooked & pureed or just canned). Mix in, and stir until sauce bubbles. Add sausage and reduce heat.
  6. Add 1/2 C evaporated milk, 1/8 t cinnamon, 1/2 t nutmeg, salt & pepper to taste. Simmer 5-10 minutes to chicken. Remove bay leaf. Pour sauce over cooked pasta, combine sauce and pasta and toss over low heat for 1 minute. Garnish with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

Serves 6, approx. 414 calories per serving if you use turkey sausage.

The verdict: I knew that my palate wasn’t used to pumpkin in anything other than pie or doughnuts or latte, so I tried not to think of that when I took my first few bites. Ahhh, it was actually quite good. At first my husband was a bit confused, he wasn’t so sure about pumpkin in his dinner. After the second bowl he said it wasn’t bad, but he wasn’t sure if it was something he’d order twice in a restaurant. I found it kind of fun, very autumn. I served it with Barefoot Chardonnay, which is a great low-priced white wine.