Matadors, I challenge you to push your culinary boundaries. I challenge you build your recipe repertoire and invest time in trying out these recipes tailored for the fall season. College students may be penny pinchers, but why not splurge once a month on cooking a fancier meal for yourself or guests?
Cooking from scratch or from a recipe may not seem like your cup of tea, but hear me out. The pace of our lives today is so fast that sometimes we forgot to celebrate food or take the time and care to personally prepare the meals that nourish us.
Plus, these recipes are practicable for even a novice chef with the necessary kitchen tools. Each dish in this three course meal includes an ingredient associated with the fall season, pumpkin, sweet potato and apple.
Starter: Pumpkin soup by Gordon Ramsay
First, I have a confession to make, which if you know me isn’t a secret but…I love Gordon Ramsay! This is why I used his recipe for pumpkin soup as a starter. The flavor infused in this soup is incredible. Carving, cleaning and roasting a pumpkin is not simple, but it is feasible.
The recipe is the most challenging of the three courses, so I would recommend reading through the instructions a couple times before starting. The effort to make this delectable dish is considerable, but worth it.
If you want to save some time, check out an alternative pumpkin soup recipe by Delicious magazine.
Yield: 6 servings
A 3 lb pumpkin
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 bulb garlic, cut in half horizontally
Handful of rosemary sprigs
1½ tbsp olive oil
1 onion, peeled and chopped
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese (or a small block of parmesan rind)
About 800ml hot ham stock or chicken stock
100ml double cream (heavy whipping cream)
1 tbsp butter
1½ tbsp olive oil, plus extra to drizzle
14 oz. wild mushrooms, cleaned and trimmed
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut pumpkin in quarters, remove seeds and score the pumpkin (cut several incisions into each section); season with salt and pepper. Rub the pumpkin flesh with cut garlic halves and lay rosemary sprigs and garlic pieces in the center of each piece. Drizzle with olive oil.
2. Put the pumpkin quarters onto roasting trays and roast for 1 to 1½ hours, or until tender. Cooking time varies with each pumpkin, so check periodically. It is ready when you a knife can effortlessly pierce the pumpkin. When ready, cool the pumpkin. Set aside the garlic and remove the rosemary. Scoop out pumpkin flesh (you can do this with a spoon) and discard the skin.
3. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan. Then add the onion and stir frequently for around 5 minutes until the onion is translucent, but not browned. Add the reserved garlic to the pan and add a pinch of nutmeg; sauté for 1-2 minutes longer. Add the scooped out pumpkin flesh to the pan, with the grated parmesan and stir.
4. Pour in chicken stock, bring to a boil and reduce heat to let contents simmer for 10-12 minutes. Then stir in double cream and heat for another minute. In batches, ladle the soup into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Add butter to the blender and blitz until you achieve a smooth texture. Pour the soup back into a clean pan to reheat.
5. For garnish, heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a frying pan until it is hot. Then add mushrooms and fry over high heat until the moisture from the mushrooms has cooked off and the pan is dry. Season the mushrooms and remove the pan from heat.
6. To plate the dish, spoon the mushrooms into the middle of the serving bowl and top with large parmesan shavings. Then carefully pour or ladle soup around the mushrooms.
Entrée :Pecan-crusted Salmon with Sweet Potato Mash
4 Salmon fillets
2 tbsp of Dijon mustard
½ cup of pecans, finely chopped
Sweet potato mash
3 medium sized sweet potatoes, peeled
½ cup milk
2 tbsp butter
4 tbsp brown sugar
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Peel the sweet potatoes and chop them into smaller pieces. Then place them into a pot of water to boil. While they are cooking, prepare the salmon.
2. You can use either frozen or fresh salmon fillets, although fresh would be preferable. Once the salmon fillets are ready spread an even amount of Dijon mustard onto each fillet, and then sprinkle the desired amount of pecans on top.
3. Cook the salmon fillets in the oven for 10-15 minutes. To test the doneness, slightly twist a fork in the fish. If it comes apart easily, or flakes, it is done.
4. Drain the sweet potatoes and put into a blender or food processor along with the milk, butter, and brown sugar. Blend until velvety smooth. Add brown sugar and butter sparingly, and test by tasting occasionally until the desired consistency and flavor is reached.
Dessert: Apple crumble with Vanilla Ice cream
This next recipe I’ve adapted from another great chef, Bobby Flay. Instead of grilling the apples, I sautéed them in some butter, and flambéed them with Calvados, an apple brandy.
4 Granny Smith apples, peeled then sliced thinly
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted cold butter, melted
8 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
¾ cup granola
1 pint vanilla ice cream
½ cup prepared caramel sauce, heated, optional
1. Heat some butter in a pan. Peel and slice the apples thinly. Add then to the pan and sauté them on medium heat. To help them cook, you can add a little water. After the apples have sautéed for about 5 minutes, turn up the heat, tilt the pan away from you and carefully pour some Calvados into the far end of the pan. Be very careful, as the alcohol will ignite and could flare up if you pour too much. The alcohol will burn off relatively quickly. Let simmer for about 5 more minutes.
2. Once the apples are finished, place the apple slices into a bowl and toss with ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon, 4 tablespoons light brown sugar and ½ stick melted butter.
3. In another bowl, toss together the remaining melted butter, cinnamon, light brown sugar and the granola.
4. Place 1 large scoop of ice cream (I use Trader Joe’s Premium Vanilla Ice Cream) into a serving bowl and top with the apple mixture. Sprinkle the granola mixture over the apple mixture and drizzle with some caramel sauce, if desired.