a flurry of cooking
For the recipe you’ll need a large baking (cheese) pumpkin (5-10 lbs.), a loaf of day-old crusty bread such as a sourdough or French Baguette, Gruyère cheese, olive oil, Italian or bulk sausage, shallots, garlic, dry white wine, spinach or Swiss chard, eggs, half-and-half (can use combination of heavy cream and whole milk), Dijon mustard, kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper and Parmesan cheese.
I didn’t weigh my pumpkin before starting, but the filling was more than enough for the cavity. The extra filling was cooked in a casserole dish. When removing the pumpkin seeds, I found the inside to be quite stringy, hence my substitution suggestion of spaghetti squash. Baking time is one to two hours with the “pumpkin lid” on and an additional 30-45 minutes with it off. As I was preparing this to eat (the following day), one hour baking time allowed for a tender pumpkin shell. When preparing this for supper the following day for my husband and myself, I cut the pumpkin in half and baked for 30-45 to allow the filling to get hot. I stood the pumpkin on its side in a tall-sided casserole dish with aluminum foil balls to hold it upright. This worked out perfectly.
The bread pudding filling was delicious. The sausage provided moisture and flavor while the cheese and other ingredients gave it substance. The rich filling was most appealing, in fact I wouldn’t mind this as a base for breakfast topped with a poached egg. While pumpkin may not appeal to everyone, I think spaghetti squash could serve as a vessel for the bread filling. Tuck this recipe away for next fall, you won’t be disappointed.
The next recipe I prepared over the weekend was Easy No-Yeast Cinnamon Rolls. This recipe appeared in The New York Times supplement “Brilliant Baking;” it’s the second recipe I’ve made. This recipe was adapted by Margaux Laskey based on the one that appears in the cookbook, “At Home with Magnolia: Classic American Recipes from the Owner of Magnolia Bakery” by Allysa Torey. What better way to use up extra cream cheese than to make cinnamon rolls? For the recipe you’ll need unsalted butter, light brown sugar, ground cinnamon, chopped pecans, all-purpose flour, baking powder, fine salt, baking soda, canola oil, butter milk, cream cheese, confectioner’s sugar, whole milk or heavy cream and pure vanilla extract.
The dough was very easy to prepare. I used a ruler to get the dough the proper size and rolled it tightly to seal in the filling. The rolls are baked in a cake pan which is lightly greased (I use butter wrappers that I save). The rolls bake in 20 to 25 minutes. I removed my already made frosting from the refrigerator to soften, but added a bit of heavy cream to make it the proper consistency for spreading. Oh, my goodness, were these ever so good! My husband couldn’t wait to try one! The rolls were tender, had just enough sweetness and the cream cheese frosting made these rolls over the top. There is only so much indulging my husband and I can do, so I shared them with our neighbor who said, “Your cinnamon buns were so good! Finished them up today with tea! Delicious! Thanks so much!!”
I have my sister-in-law and her husband visiting in May. I shall be making a batch and freezing them for baking at a later date.
Since I was on a roll, I also baked off my weekly stash of Chocolate Sugar Cookies for me and for my husband, Banana Everything Cookies. Overall, a productive weekend!
Savory Stuffed Pumpkin with Sausage and Gruyére
Recipe by Nealey Dozier, published October 26, 2015
From the website The Kitchn
Adapted from Dorie Greenspan via Epicurious
Yield: 4 to 6
1 large baking pumpkin (approximately 5 to 10 pounds)*
1 (1-pound) day-old crusty bread, such as sourdough or French baguette
1-1/2 cups (about 5-1/2 ounces) grated gruyére cheese
2 tablespoons neutral cooking oil, such as canola
1-pound uncooked Italian sausage or bulk sausage, any casings removed
3 large shallots, thinly sliced
2 to 3 large cloves of garlic, minced
¼ cup dry white wine
2 to 3 heaping cups spinach or Swiss Chard, coarsely chopped
4 large eggs
2 cups half-and-half (or 1 cup heavy cream and 1 cup whole milk)
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more to taste
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
Freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese, for the top.
This recipe can easily be tripled or doubled, but instead of getting a larger pumpkin, use multiple pumpkins. The bake time will take longer, but start checking it at the times the recipe calls for.
*Note from Donna: Try substituting spaghetti squash for the pumpkin.
Easy No-Yeast Cinnamon Rolls
Recipe by Allysa Torey
Adapted by Margaux Laskey
Adapted from “At Home with Magnolia: Classic American Recipes from the Owner of Magnolia Bakery” by Allysa Torey
Yield: 8 servings
Time: 45 minutes
FOR THE FILLING:
½ cup/113 grams unsalted butter, very soft, plus more for greasing the pan
½ packed cup/110 grams light brown sugar
1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
¾ cup/90 grams chopped pecans, toasted (see Tip)
FOR THE ROLLS:
2 cups/256 grams all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon fine salt
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ cup/54 grams canola oil
¾ cup/180 grams buttermilk
FOR THE GLAZE:
4 ounces/113 grams cream cheese, very soft
1 cup/102 grams confectioners’ sugar, sifted if lumpy
1 teaspoon whole milk or heavy cream
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
“Tip: To toast the pecans, place on a baking sheet in a 350-degree oven for 6 to 8 minutes, or until lightly browned and fragrant.”
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A former teacher, shop-a-holic, empty-nester redefining quick, family approved dinners.