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Pumpkin Chiffon Pie

This decadent pie is remarkably simple. It’s a great dessert for Thanksgiving, but we think it’s okay to make any time of the year. It’s great as a last minute dessert that requires no cooking!

Pumpkin Chiffon Pie

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Serves 6 to 8

1 jar (11 oz.) New Canaan Farms Pumpkin Butter

1 5.85 oz Instant Vanilla Pudding

1-pt. heavy whipping cream

1 graham cracker-pie crust

Garnish: whip cream, ground nutmeg, toasted pecans (chopped)

In a 2-quart bowl, mix pumpkin butter with vanilla pudding mix. With electric mixer, slowly add whipping cream to pumpkin-pudding mixture. Beat until mixture forms stiff peaks. Spread into piecrust and chill at least one hour before serving.

Garnish with whipped cream and a sprinkle of nutmeg and pecans.

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Our Favorite NEW Thanksgiving Side Dishes

We love trying a new recipe each year for Thanksgiving. These are two that we’ve discovered are a few of our family’s favorites, and now a tradition at our Thanksgiving gathering.

Sweet Potato with Raspberry Chipotle Sauce

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Yield: 6 servings

6   medium      Sweet potatoes
1/3 cup            Butter
1/4 – 1/3 cup   Heavy whipping cream
1/2 – 1/3 cup   Delicae Raspberry Chipotle Sauce
2 – 4 Tbsp.      Brown sugar
Salt, to taste

Topping:

1/3 cup        Pecans, if desired
1 Tbsp.         Butter

Boil the sweet potatoes until tender and drain.

Mash potatoes until fluffy, with butter and cream.

Mix in Raspberry Chipotle Sauce and brown sugar.

If too stiff, add more cream.

Taste and add salt or more brown sugar to taste.

Keep warm.

Sauté pecans in butter over medium heat for 3 – 4 minutes.

Top potatoes with pecans before serving.

Winter Salad with Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Apples, serves 8

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  • 1 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoons Taste Elevated Tangy Mustard Seeds
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons firmly packed light brown sugar, honey or maple syrup
  • Pinch of red pepper
  • 2 tablespoons candied rosemary orange zest
  • 1 Tbs. sherry vinegar or Champagne Vinegar
  • 5 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 lb Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
  • 1 cup walnuts, toasted
  • 1 1/2 red apples, such as Fuji or Gala, cored and thinly sliced

Directions:

To make the salad, in a large bowl whisk both mustards, vinegar, brown sugar, pepper, the candied rosemary orange zest, vinegar, 5 tablespoons of the olive oil, salt and pepper.

In a large nonstick fry pan over medium-high heat, warm the remaining 2 Tbs. olive oil. Add the brussels sprouts, salt and pepper. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sprouts are just tender and lightly browned, about 11 minutes. Transfer to the bowl with the vinaigrette, add the walnuts and apples and toss. Season with salt and pepper. Arrange on a platter and serve.

 

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Red Curry with Pumpkin or Butternut Squash

We love the balance of sweet and spicy in this seasonal curry. It’s a great recipe to start with if you’re looking to incorporate new spices into your dishes.

Red Curry with Pumpkin or Butternut Squash

Serves 6 -8

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Ingredients

CURRY

1 1/2 Tbsp coconut oil or avocado oil

1 shallot, minced

2 Tbsp minced fresh ginger

2 Tbsp minced garlic

1 small jalapeno pepper, stem + seeds removed, thinly sliced

1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced lengthwise

3 Tbsp red Thai curry paste

3 1/2 cups peeled and cubed pumpkin or butternut squash

2 14-ounce cans light coconut milk

2 Tbsp brown sugar

1 tsp ground turmeric

Healthy pinch sea salt

1 Tbsp coconut aminos or soy sauce

1 cup chopped, fresh broccoli

2 Tbsp lemon juice

2/3 cup roasted cashews or peanuts

 

FOR SERVING optional:  Fresh basil or cilantro, Lemon juice & Jasmine rice, Brown rice, Quinoa, or Cauliflower Rice

 

Instructions

  1. Heat a large pot over medium heat. Once hot, add oil, shallot, ginger, garlic, and pepper. Sauté for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently.
  2. Add bell pepper and curry paste and stir. Cook for 2 minutes more. Then add pumpkin/butternut squash and stir. Cook for 2 minutes more.
  3. Add coconut milk, sugar, turmeric, sea salt, and coconut aminos/soy sauce and stir. Bring to a simmer over medium heat.
  4. Once simmering, slightly reduce heat to low and cover. You want a simmer, not a boil, which should be around low to medium-low heat.
  5. Cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, to soften the pumpkin and infuse it with curry flavor.
  6. At this time, also taste and adjust the flavor of the sauce/broth as needed. Don’t be shy with seasonings – this curry should be very flavorful.
  7. Once the broth is well seasoned and the pumpkin is tender, add broccoli, lemon juice, and cashews and cover. Simmer for 3-4 minutes more over low to medium-low heat.
  8. Optional: Scoop out half of the broth/sauce and half of the pumpkin (try to exclude the broccoli) and blend until creamy and smooth in a blender for a thicker, creamier curry. Return to pot and warm for a few minutes before serving.
  9. Serve as is or over rice, quinoa, or cauliflower rice. This dish gets elevated with the addition of fresh lemon juice and Thai or regular basil or cilantro for serving.
  10. Best when fresh, though leftovers will keep in the refrigerator up to 3-4 days or in the freezer for 1 month. Reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave until hot.
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Our Favorite Holiday Appetizers

One can never have enough favorite appetizer recipes. Here are a few of ours – enjoy!

Bruschetta with Roasted Tomato, Pesto and Mascarpone

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Makes 24

2 pints cherry tomatoes

2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for brushing

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1 baguette, cut on the diagonal into 3/8” thick slices

8 oz marscarpone or whipped cream cheese

½ cup basil pesto

 

Preheat oven to 425. On a large rimmed baking sheet, toss the cherry tomatoes with 2 tablespoons olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast the tomatoes until they collapse and are lightly browned, about 20 minutes. Set aside.

 

Preheat the broiler. Brush both sides of the bread with olive oil and place on a baking sheet in a single layer. Place 6 inches under the broiler and brown on both sides (3 to 4 minutes total).

Spread a liberal amount of mascarpone on each slice of toasted bread, top the mascarpone with a thin layer of pesto, spoon a dollop of the roasted tomatoes in the middle of each slice, making sure not to completely cover up the pesto.

 

Apple, Pear & Walnut Brie Bites

Makes 10 -12

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1 8 oz  wheel of brie, some rind removed, cut into 1 ½” pieces

1 package puff pastry, thawed in the refrigerator

½ cup Apple Cranberry Chutney

1 egg plus 2 tablespoons water, slightly beaten

 

Preheat oven to 375. Cut the puff pastry into 4-5” squares. Place one piece of brie in the center of each piece of pastry and top with 1 tablespoon of chutney. Gently gather the edges of the pastry up around the brie and twist at the top. Brush with egg wash and place on parchment on a baking sheet. Bake for 18 minutes or until golden brown. Serve immediately with crackers and apples slices.

Warm Rosemary Olives

Makes 2 Cups

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12 oz kalamata olives

Zest of 1 lemon, grated or cut into fine slivers

Zest of 1 orange, grated or cut into fine slivers

Several sprigs of fresh rosemary

½ cup extra virgin olive

¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1 teaspoon fennel seed

 

Place olives, lemon and orange zest, rosemary sprigs, olive oil, red pepper flakes, and fennel seed in a saucepan and heat until the herbs sizzle. Remove from heat and let sit at room temperature for about 5 hours. Before serving, remove the browned herbs and replenish with fresh, serve garnished with Rosemary Sprigs.

 

  • Make ahead – this will keep for 2 weeks in refrigerator. Allow the olives to come to room temperature before serving.
  • For a bit of Spanish pizzazz, serve these olives with Almonds and a medium bodied dry sherry.

Karyn’s Broiled Shrimp with Cherry Tomatoes and Green Olives

Serves 6 – 8

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1 # med shrimp, peeled and deveined

12 large green olives, pitted & sliced

8 oz sweet cherry tomatoes, halved

2 T garlic, minced

1 T fresh or dried thyme

1 t salt

1 t black pepper

1 T lemon juice

4T olive oil

Preheat broiled to high. Place all ingredients in mixing bowl and toss to coat. Place ingredients in a baking dish (safe for the broiler) and broil for 5 minutes. Remove dish from oven, stir ingredients to expose uncooked portions of shrimp and return to oven for 2-3 minutes. Serve with crusty bread.

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One Pot Minestrone

Reasons why we love this soup:

  • Ready in 30 minutes
  • It’s a one pot dish
  • A perfect recipe to use up leftover fresh veggies
  • It’s delicious!

One Pot Minestrone Soup

Serves 8

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Ingredients

2 Tbsp Olive Oil

1/2 white or yellow onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 large carrots, peeled and sliced into thin rounds

1 1/2 cups fresh green beans, trimmed, roughly chopped

1 Tbsp All Purpose Seasoning

sea salt & black pepper + more to taste

1 small zucchini diced into 1” pieces

1 15-ounce can diced fire-roasted tomatoes

6 + cups  vegetable broth

2 tsp dried basil (or 1 Tbsp fresh)

2 tsp dried oregano

1 Tbsp Parmesan + more for serving

½ Tbsp (or more) Pizza Seasoning

1 Tbsp sugar or honey

1 15-ounce can white beans or chickpeas, rinsed + drained

2 cups pasta noodles, like penne, macaroni, or rotini

1 cup baby kale or spinach, roughly chopped

 

Instructions:

  1. Heat a large pot or dutch oven over medium heat and then add your oil.
  2. Add carrots and green beans and season with salt and pepper. Stir and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until vegetables have softened slightly and have some color.
  3. Next, add onion, and garlic and stir. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Add zucchini, fire-roasted tomatoes, vegetable broth, basil, oregano, Parmesan cheese, pizza seasoning, sugar, and beans. Stir to coat.
  5. Increase heat to medium-high and bring soup to a strong simmer. Then reduce heat slightly to medium-low until the soup is simmering but not boiling. Add pasta and stir. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, reducing heat if needed to keep the soup at a simmer.
  6. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Taste soup and adjust seasonings as needed.
  7. Add kale or spinach and stir. Cook for another 3-4 minutes to wilt the kale and allow the flavors to meld together. Turn off heat and let rest for a few minutes before serving.
  8. To serve, divide soup between serving bowls and garnish with fresh herbs and parmesan cheese (optional).
  9. Store leftovers in the refrigerator up to 3-4 days or the freezer up to 1 month.
  10. Be careful not to overheat the soup when warming leftovers, as the pasta is tender once cooked and will get mushy if overcooked.
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Holiday Sides: Jo Ann’s Cornbread Dressing

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Cornbread:

3/4 cup yellow cornmeal 
3/4 cup all purpose flou
1 tsp sugar
¾ tsp salt
2 ½ tsp Baking powder
1 cup milk *
1 Egg
3 tablespoons Vegetable Oil

*If using 1 cup buttermilk instead of milk:
1 ½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda

Mix dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, mix wet ingredients. Add dry ingredients to wet and stir until incorporated. Bake in a greased 9 x 11″ pan at 350 for 25 min.

Dressing:
4 cups cornbread, crumbled
1 ½ cups of white bread, diced & then lightly toasted
1 cup or so of chopped celery
½ cup chopped onion
A couple chopped green onions
Good hunk of butter
Rubbed sage (Jo Ann: I never added sage to my dressing until after college. I tasted plain bread dressing and discovered I liked the sage, but not the dressing. I much prefer cornbread dressing.)
Salt & Pepper
Some chicken broth
2 eggs

Jo Ann: When I was young, we didn’t have turkey at Thanksgiving. Instead, my mom would roast a good hen until it was very tender. She would pull the meat off the bones and add it into the dressing. It was delicious!

Cook the celery and onion in butter until soft, and then add it to the breads. Add sage, seasonings, the eggs, and a couple cups of chicken broth. Mix well. Bake in a large casserole dish at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.

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Cooking with Spice: Ful Medames

Have you ever thought “I want to learn more about cooking with spices”? We hear this a lot from our customers, and honestly we feel the same way. There are over 350 spices and herbs in the world, so we are always experimenting with new ones. What are some spices you have on hand in your pantry?

We’ve discovered that while some spices are pretty common and easy to find, the reason “new” spices become popular is because of food trends. A few of the trendy spices right now are Aleppo Chili, Ceylon Cinnamon, Sumac and all kinds of Curries (curries are a blend of different spices).

Here are some tips for storing your spices:

  • Whole spices–like nutmeg–maintain their freshness longer than ground ones.
  • Keep spices and herbs away from heat, moisture, and direct sunlight.
  • Spices and herbs will keep for a long time if you store them properly.
  • They don’t spoil, but spices and herbs do lose their strength.
  • Members of the red pepper family, including paprika and chili powder, keep their color and stay fresher when stored in the refrigerator.

Here is a new recipe to try with a few of our favorite spices. Ful Medames is a traditional Egyptian appetizer often served with cut fresh tomato, cucumber and onion, along with some olives and boiled eggs.

Ful Medames 

by Shuli Madmone, owner Whole Spice

Print Recipe Ful Medames

1 16-oz. can cooked small fava beans, with liquid

1/4 cup tahini paste

1/4 tsp. sea salt, or more if the canned favas are unsalted

2 Tbsp. olive oil

2 tsp. toasted cumin powder

1 tsp. California chili powder

½ tsp. crushed Aleppo chili

4 medium-sized garlic cloves, smashed

1 Tbsp. lemon juice

1 tbsp. of chopped fresh parsley for garnish

Place fava beans with liquid in a pot and bring to boil. Crush with a potato press till partially mashed. Add tahini paste and mix well to reach a hummus-like consistency. Thin with water if it is too chunky.

Mix the next seven ingredients together to make a salsa.

Spread beans on a plate and add the salsa in the center. Garnish with parsley and enjoy with good friends and family.

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Late Summer Vegetable Soup with Peppery Croutons

Summer is the longest season in Central Texas. Lucky for us, that means we can still find some of summer’s vegetable bounty at our local farmers market in October.

This soup is a great way to make the most out of your late summer vegetables. Feel free to add in some diced tomatoes, leafy greens or your favorite protein.

Late Summer Vegetable Soup with Peppery Croutons  

8 Servings

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3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 shallots, thinly sliced

1/2 red bell pepper, diced

1 clove garlic, minced

1 carrot, diced

3 teaspoons fresh thyme

2 teaspoons fresh oregano

1 teaspoon Kosher salt

1 cup fresh green beans, cut into bite size pieces

1 zucchini, cut into bite size pieces

1 yellow squash, cut into bite size pieces

1 ear of fresh corn, kernels removed

6 cups vegetable or chicken broth

pinch of cayenne pepper

Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

 

Heat the oil in a 6 quart stockpot over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the shallots, red bell pepper, garlic and carrot. Saute for 4 minutes. Next, add the herbs and season with salt. Finally, add in the green beans, zucchini, squash and corn. Cook for 3 or 4 minutes. Season again with salt and a pinch of cayenne. Finally, add in the broth. Bring to a simmer for 5 minutes and serve with peppery croutons and Parmesan cheese.

 

Croutons

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter

3 cups 1/2-inch cubes crust-less sourdough bread (about 8 ounces)

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt or sea salt

1 teaspoon coarsely cracked black pepper

 

Heat the butter in pan over medium heat until bubbly. Add the bread and cook until browned on all sides, about 6 minutes. Remove and immediately sprinkle with salt and pepper. Serve atop vegetable soup.

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Beef & Arugula Roll Ups

The party season is fast approaching, and it has us thinking about our favorite appetizers. Over the past several years, we’ve tested dozens of appetizer recipes. We know, it’s a tough job but someone’s got to do it.

When you’re entertaining, consider these helpful tips as you plan your appetizer menu:

  • Choose recipes that some or all of the preparation can be done ahead of time.
  • Choose appetizers that can be served at room temperature.
  • A cheese platter is always a good idea. Think of it as an edible centerpiece. We like to include three different types of cheeses, assorted nuts, fresh grapes, crackers, and a garnish of fresh herbs like rosemary or thyme.
  • Allow 8 – 12 appetizers per person for cocktail parties.

This recipe for Roast Beef Roll Ups  was one of our most requested catering menu items. It requires absolutley no cooking and can even be made the day before. It is lovely served on a rustic wooden serving board and paired with a hearty Cabernet Sauvignon.

Happy cooking,
The Gourmet Gallery Chefs — Karyn, Jo Ann, Rachel

Beef and Arugula Roll Ups

Makes 24 Roll-ups

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1 lb Seasoned Roast Beef, thinly sliced
4 oz soft cream cheese, Chevre, or shaved Parmesan
2 tablespoons French Dijon Mustard
3 cups fresh arugula
1 red bell pepper sliced in thin strips
Salt & Pepper

PREPARATION INSTRUCTIONS

  1. On a clean work surface, spread each slice of roast beef with a thin layer of  cheese and mustard.
  2. Season with a little salt and pepper.
  3. Lay two to three pieces of arugula and a slice of red bell pepper at one end of each slice of roast beef.
  4. Gently roll up the beef, beginning at the end with the arugula. Secure with a toothpick.
  5. Keep refrigerated until serving. Can be made 1 day ahead.
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Cooking with Seasonal Produce: Bok Choy

Whether the weather in Central Texas is indicating it or not, the Fall season is officially here. It’s the season when we start thinking about pumpkins and heartier holiday dishes like chili, apple pie, and pot roast. We always look forward to this time of year. Our culinary artist within comes alive with the anticipation of creating new recipes and dishes and sharing them with our friends and family.

Have you ever thought about why some dishes are more popular during the current season? Why do we always have pumpkin pie in the Fall or tomato salad in Summer? It is because of the seasonality of produce. Eating vegetables and fruits that are “in season” have so many benefits:

  • You get a broader variety of foods in your diet.
  • You save money (seasonal produce is less expensive).
  • You get the best tasting, healthiest food available because they are picked when ripe and travel a shorter distance to get to you, the customer.
  • You end up supporting local, more sustainable farmers ( Downtown Waco Farmers Market ).

How do we know what is really “in season” in our area? The local farmers market is a great resource! The produce offered by these local farmers is all seasonal. We make a point to go every week and see what is available, and even chat with the vendors to see what they will have in the following weeks. (Another great resource: Seasonal Food Guide )

Last week we picked up some fresh Bok Choy from The Home Grown Farm. This Chinese vegetable, which is a cross between romaine lettuce and cabbage, is very versatile. Serve it raw in salads, add it to soup, or just saute and serve as a side dish, which is what we did! What’s great about Bok Choy is you can use the whole vegetable. Talk about getting your money’s worth.

Sauteed Bok Choy

Serves 4

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½ cup water
1 ½ teaspoon tamari or soy sauce
2 teaspoons avocado or extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon finely minced ginger
1 lb. bok choy
pinch of coarse sea salt
Sesame Seeds, optional for garnish

PREPARATION INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Whisk water and tamari in a small bowl and set aside.
  2. Heat the oil in a large nonstick pan over high heat.
  3. Add the garlic and ginger and cook just until they begin to sizzle, tilting the pan so the aromatics and the oil get a little bath, all in all just about 30 seconds.
  4. Immediately add the greens along with pinch of salt to the pan and stir to coat greens with garlic and ginger.
  5. Add the reserved soy sauce mixture and cook just until the greens begin to wilt, about 3 minutes. Serve immediately.

 

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Easy Blender Hollandaise Sauce

Easy Blender Hollandaise Sauce

When we go out for brunch, it is very likely that we will order eggs benedict. The combination of a soft poached egg topped with a bright, creamy Hollandaise is the  quintessential “brunch” dish. Have you ever thought “why don’t I make this at home”? We think you should, especially because it’s probably easier than you think. This recipe for Easy Blender Hollandaise Sauce is simple – the blender does the magic! The sauce can also be served over roasted vegetables, like asparagus, or poached fish, like salmon.

Easy Blender Hollandaise Sauce Recipe

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Ingredients

3 egg yolks

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon cayenne

10 tablespoons unsalted butter (if using salted butter, skip the added salt)

  1. Melt the butter slowly in a small pot. Try not to let it boil – you want the moisture in the butter to remain there and not steam away.
  2. Add the egg yolks, lemon juice, salt and cayenne into your blender. Blend the egg yolk mixture at a medium to medium high speed until it lightens in color, about 20-30 seconds. The friction generated by the blender blades will heat the yolks a bit. The blending action will also introduce a little air into them, making your hollandaise a bit lighter.
  3. Once the yolks have lightened in color, turn the blender down to its lowest setting, and drizzle in the hot melted butter slowly, while the blender is going. Continue to buzz for another couple seconds after the butter is all incorporated.
  4. Turn off the blender and taste the sauce. It should be buttery, lemony and just lightly salty. If it is not salty or lemony enough, you can add a little lemon juice or salt to taste. If you want a thinner consistency, add a little warm water. Pulse briefly to incorporate the ingredients one more time.
  5. Store until needed in a warm spot, like on or next to the stovetop. Serve within an hour or so.
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Perfect Mashed Potatoes

Even a dish as simple as mashed potatoes has room for improvement. Here are the “10 Commandments of Mashed Potatoes” to guarantee perfect, fluffy mashed potatoes every time.

1. DO USE THE RIGHT POTATOES: Yukon golds or Russets
2. DO CUT YOUR POTATOES THE SAME SIZE: start them in cold water, and bring to a simmer until they are cooked through.
3. DO NOT ADD YOUR FLAVORINGS AT THE END: add garlic and herbs in the pot with the milk or cream
4. DO EMBRACE THE TANG FACTOR: add cream, buttermilk, crème fraîche.
5. DO NOT LOSE THE FLUFF: drain the potatoes and put them back in the pot without a lid after they have boiled. Cook them just for a couple minutes on medium-low, shaking the pot, until all the excess moisture is evaporated.
6. DO NOT ADD COLD LIQUID: Make sure the milk or cream you add to your potatoes is HOT.
7. DO NOT SKIMP ON THE SEASONING: Salt the water you are cooking your potatoes in.
8. DO USE A POTATO MASHER OR RICER.
9. DO NOT SERVE A NAKED MASH: top with butter, crispy shallots or chives.
10. DO WAIT UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE: peel & cut potatoes the day before, cover with water and keep in fridge. Assemble your milk/cream/butter mixture in a small saucepan and refrigerate that, too. That way, all you need to do on is boil, drain, and mash on the day of your holiday meal.

Perfect Mashed Potatoes

Makes 8 servings

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INGREDIENTS
3 pounds russet potatoes, peeled, cut into 2″ pieces
1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled, cut into 2″ pieces
Kosher salt
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter; plus more for serving
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup sour cream
Special equipment: A potato ricer

PREPARATION
Place potatoes in a large pot and cover with cold water by 2″. Generously season with salt and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until tender, 10–15 minutes. Drain and transfer potatoes to a baking sheet; let stand until dry, 10–15 minutes. Set pot aside.
Meanwhile, heat cream, milk, and butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat; season with salt and pepper.
Pass potatoes through ricer into reserved pot. Mix in warm milk mixture, then sour cream; season with salt. Serve topped with pepper and more butter.