Tag Archives: Dinner

Pumpkin Lasagna

Day28:
I’m still a bit under the weather. I hope that tomorrow I will be on the upswing. Because of this, nothing was made with Pumpkins today. Good thing I did a bonus recipe yesterday for dinner.Pumpkin Lasagna with Fontina from Williams-Sonoma. This was quite and expenditure of energy and dishes on my part, but man was this a good dish. Their recipe called for a jar of Pumpkin Parmesan Sauce, but I didn’t have that so I had to make it. That recipe was found at Fit Souffle. It calls for about 4 cups of pureed pumpkin which was all we had left. I was a bit skeptical of all that pumpkin as I wasn’t sure how the flavor would be. It was excellent, though. I should never doubt the power of cheese.

Pumpkin Parmesan Sauce
Ingredients 
1/4 cup butter (4 Tbsp)
1/2 small onion diced
3 cloves of garlic
salt
pepper
4 cups of pure pumpkin (approximately 2 15oz cans)
1 1/2 cups chicken stock (I used a can of vegetable broth)
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup parmesan cheese

Instructions
In a medium-sized stock pot heat the butter until melted and then add the garlic and onion. Cook until the onion is soft, about 6-8 minutes.  Stir in the pumpkin, chicken stock, nutmeg, salt and pepper.   Stir the mixture well over medium heat until smooth and creamy for about 10-12 minutes.  Add the parmesan cheese and stir until melted and mixed.  Turn the heat down to low and let sit for another 5-7 minutes.

Pumpkin Lasagna with Fontina

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. (500 g) whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 1 Tbs. julienned fresh sage (I used a tsp of dried sage)
  • 1/4 cup (1/3 oz./10 g) chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (I used 2 tbs of dried parsley)
  • 1/2 tsp. minced garlic
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 2 yellow summer squash, cut into rounds 1/4 inch (6 mm) thick (I doubled up on Zucchini as I didn’t have yellow squash)
  • 2 zucchini, cut into rounds 1/4 inch (6 mm) thick
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 jar pumpkin Parmesan pasta sauce (See above for sauce recipe)
  • 12 sheets dried ruffle-edged lasagna noodles, cooked until al dente (normally I would use regular lasagna noodles, but I had to settle for the no-boil kind. They came out all right)
  • 1 lb. Italian fontina cheese, shredded

Directions

Preheat an oven to 450°F (230°C). Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
In a bowl, stir together the ricotta, sage, 3 Tbs. of the parsley and the garlic, and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
In a large bowl, toss the yellow squash and zucchini with 1 Tbs. of the olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Arrange in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Transfer to the oven and roast until tender and lightly browned, about 15 minutes.

So Many Zucchinis

So Many Zucchinis

Meanwhile, in an oval Dutch oven over medium heat, warm the remaining 1 Tbs. olive oil. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and lightly browned, about 15 minutes.

Caramelized Onions

Caramelized Onions

Transfer to a bowl and add the yellow squash and zucchini. Reduce the oven temperature to 400°F (200°C).
Spread 1/2 cup (4 oz./125 g) pasta sauce in an even layer on the bottom of the Dutch oven. Arrange a single layer of lasagna noodles on top, tearing them as needed to fit. Spread 1/2 cup (4 oz./125 g) ricotta mixture on the noodles and scatter 1 cup (5 oz./155 g) vegetable mixture on top. Spread 1/2 cup (4 oz./125 g) pasta sauce over the vegetables and sprinkle 1 cup (4 oz./125 g) fontina on top. Layer the noodles, ricotta, vegetables, sauce and fontina 3 more times, omitting the sauce and fontina on the last layer. Top with the remaining noodles, sauce and fontina.
Transfer to the oven and bake until the sauce is bubbly and the cheese is melted and browned, 45 to 50 minutes. Sprinkle the remaining 1 Tbs. parsley on top. Let the lasagna rest for 15 minutes before serving. Serves 8 to 10.

So many dishes later and we had a delicious meal. Really, this was so good and I plan on making it again before Winter is upon us, and maybe even after because why not?

Melty Cheese

Melty Cheese

Ready to Serve

Ready to Serve

-Chris

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Indian Comfort

Day 17:

Two weeks ago we tried our first taste of an Indian style Pumpkin dish when we made our Pumpkin Lentil Curry. That was a decent dish but not too exciting. I wouldn’t necessarily make it again. However, when I had it for lunch either the next day or the one after that I thought it was very good. I think all it needed was time for all the flavors to settle in and mix together. Tonight though, we were hoping for something good away. We wanted a tasty dinner and our hopes rested with Cottage Cheese Koftas in Pumpkin Gravy. The recipe comes from the same place we got the Pumpkin Lentil Curry, Lite Bite.

First order of business was cutting the pumpkin. All the previous pumpkins we had processed were gone. I was dreading this process because the last pumpkin I cut was as solid as oak and difficult to cut. My worrying was for nothing and I made quick work of it. I used a little less than half of the pumpkin.

An easier cut

An easier cut

Next up was making the koftas. For this recipe these are balls of cottage cheese, breadcrumbs and some spices crisped to a nice golden brown in a skillet. I made the mix as suggested and put them on the heated pan. Immediately after putting them on I thought to myself, “These are mostly cottage cheese, what is preventing them from just being a blob of melted cheese?” AS it turns out, the answer is nothing. Nothing prevents them from becoming a blob of melted cheese. Oh but what a delicious blob of melted cheese it was.

Yummy Blob of Cheese

Yummy Blob of Cheese

The last step was making the gravy which is just pumpkin, tomato, onion, some spices and yogurt pureed and mixed together. One of the things I love about Indian food is the bright colors. The gravy didn’t disappoint with a nice dark red-orange color. It looked good and it smelled good too.

Pre-Pureed but looking nice.

Pre-Pureed but looking nice.

Since I had time and some cottage cheese left I decided to try again with the Koftas. This time I added a lot more bread crumbs than the recipe called for. The mix was doughier, dryer and more solid. And when I put them on the skillet they didn’t turn into a blob of melted cheese. They still got melty but not as bad.

Once the girls got home it was time to eat. It was good. Both Sarah and I liked it. She thought it was comparable to grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup, with just a little bit of spices to it. We felt it was simple, but not in a bad way. I know that sometimes people hear “Indian Food” and are worried about it being too spicy hot, or too spicy weird, and this was neither. I thought it was a good comfort food. We would definitely recommend it and have it again, and who knows, maybe once the flavors get some time to blend together it might taste even better.

Dinner is Served!

Dinner is Served!

-Chris

Cottage Cheese Koftas in Pumpkin Gravy

Ingredients;

For Koftas

  • 1 cup Cottage Cheese (The recipe calls for fresh made cottage cheese. Ain’t nobody got time for that. Though maybe fresh would hold up better in the skillet…)
  • 2 bread slices (I used a lot more bread the second time around. Closer to 6 slices I’d say)
  • 2 tbsp chopped coriander leaves (Coriander leaves what are those? Oh, cilantro leaves. Thanks Sarah)
  • 1 tsp black pepper powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp. oil

For Gravy

  • 1 1/2 cup diced pumpkin cubes
  • 1 tomato (I used a can of stewed tomatoes)
  • 1 onion
  • 1/2 cup yogurt/curd
  • 2 tbsp. oil
  • 2 tsp. chili powder
  • 2 tsp. coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin seeds (I didn’t have seeds so I used a couple of pinches of cumin powder)
  • Salt to taste

Method; Crumble fresh homemade Cottage cheese and the bread slices coarsely. In a large bowl add crumbled cottage cheese, bread, coriander leaves, black pepper, salt and mix well. If you are using soya granules, soak them in warm water for 10 minutes. Squeeze completely and add to the cottage cheese and make koftas.

Make small balls with the above mixture. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a flat pan and shallow fry all the balls till they turn golden brown in colour.

Peel and chop onion and pumpkin, dice tomatoes.

Heat 1 tbsp. oil, add chopped onion, diced tomato, pumpkin cubes and sauté for 6-7 minute on medium heat.

Blend sautéed onion, tomato and pumpkin into fine puree.

Heat remaining oil in a wok and add cumin seeds. Pour pumpkin puree in the wok, add chili powder, coriander powder, salt and cook for 10 minutes on medium heat.

Whip yogurt lightly with a fork and add it into the pumpkin gravy. Cook for another 2-3 minutes and take off the flame.

(I made rice to go with it just in case, but there is no need for it. The Koftas and Gravy were enough)

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