Can do it all. And modest to boot.

Thanksgiving Deliciosity–Super easy pumpkin mousse

Posted: November 17th, 2009 | Author: alyssa | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , | 4 Comments »

I’ve never been a huge fan of pumpkin pie.  Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE the flavor with its sweet, spicy amazingness, I think what always got me was the intense density of the dish.  That is probably why, once I was old enough to try eating my favorite Halloween decoration, I stuck more to stealing a couple bites of my dads pumpkin chiffon pie, which was significantly lighter than the traditional pie.  So when I stumbled across a recipe for pumpkin mousse, I thought that it would be perfect for me since it would have the great pumpkin flavor that I like, but be nice and light in texture.  It took about 15 minutes of actual prep time and so far has the approval of 10 high school freshman and one actual adult besides me.

Pumpkin Mousse: ( as stolen from Dave Leiberman on FoodNetwork.com)

-1 can pumpkin (the 15 oz, not that huge beast of a can)

-3 pints (cups) of heavy cream

-3/4 cup of confectioners sugar

-1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

-1 Tbsp vanilla

Seriously this is wicked easy.  Just take the pumpkin, sugar, pie spice and 1 cup of the cream and put it in a sauce pan.  Cook it over medium heat until it is all combined and smooth.  I ended up putting in an extra dash of the spice, just because I wanted the flavor a little stronger.  Once that is cooked, set it aside to cool.  You can put it in the refrigerator if you would like, but I just left mine on the counter to cool, and it took about 20 minutes.  Then take the remaining 2 cups of cream and whip them with the vanilla.  Fold the pumpkin mixture into the whipped cream until it is smooth, and Voila! you have pumpkin mousse….I know, I know…its not REAL mousse with the eggs and everything, but trust me when I say that you barely notice the difference.  I put mine in the fridge to chill for a while and make sure that it set nicely.

I also went a little crazy and made a vanilla bean-cinnamon whipped cream to garnish.  Just whip some cream and put in a dash of cinnamon and vanilla from 1 bean.  I didn’t sweeten it because the mousse was sweet enough, but if you have a bigger sweet tooth, then just use cinnamon sugar rather than just cinnamon

Pumpkin Mousse

Ialso am a big fan of this with a little bit of chocolate syrup added …but I’m a firm believer that everything is better with chocolate :)

Happy Thanksgiving!

TT


Mac’n'cheese ‘o’ lantern…..

Posted: September 11th, 2009 | Author: alyssa | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , | 9 Comments »

Yesterday I recieved an email that was a bit frantic, and a phone call that was downright freaked out.  Josie, thats right, our very own improvisor, was accepted into the Brookly Cheese Experiment.  Basically she has to make a cheese based recipe for about 300 people and hopefully it will be amazing enough to win a prize (lets face it…OF COURSE it will be amazing enough!).  We spoke for a little while and tried to work out some of the details of her recipe because its actually one she hasn’t made before. I will let her give you the details, but basically she is making a pumpkin mac’n'cheese.   Since she only has a couple days to prepare I offered to do a test run of the sauce she wants to use to help her out and pinpoint any problems that might arise.  Basically it was just a pumpkin-white cheddar beschamel.

Ingredients:

1Tbsp Butter

1 Tbsp Flour

2/3 cup chicken stock

1/3 cup whole milk

1 1/4 tbsp pumpkin

3/4 block of cheddar cheese -grated

cumin, cayenne, and nutmeg to taste

 Ingredients

Its a pretty simple process, but you have to pay attention so that it doesn’t burn or over heat.  Just melt the butter over low heat in a sauce pan and add the flour.  Cook the roux until the flour and butter are fully mixed and form a sort of paste on the bottom of the pan.

P-C Roux1

Then just add the chicken stock and milk and raise the heat a little (still on medium low).  Stir for about a minute and let the roux blend with the liquids, and then add the pumpkin and stir until the pumplin is fully incorporated into the sauce and it it thickens enough to coat your spoon.  Add the spices until to taste*, but be careful not to throw your cayenne into the pan, because then you get to reach in and get it our before the plastic melts on the bottom of the pan, and its just a situation at that point…P-C Cayenne Poor Cayenne :(

Then stir in the cheese a little at a time until it is all fully mixed in to form a thick creamy sauce.  You may want to re-spice it after you add the cheese to ensure that it tastes the way you want it to.

One thing that happened that I did not expect was the the pumpkin actually caused the sauce to get frothier than usual which I think will help it absorb into the pasta and not settle to the bottom as much.

*I have been told that ‘to taste’ is not really specific enough for some people, but really there is no other way to describe it.  You just have to add some and then taste, and if it s not enough, add more.  The trick is…the closer it gets to tasting right, the less you add so that you don’t over spice :) .

The final product

The final product

If the dish turns out even half as good as the sauce, Jo will definitely put up a good showing in her first major food competition :) .  I am so excited for her and I’m looking forward to hearing how it goes on Sunday.  She is an amazing cook so I know she will do great.  GOOD LUCK JO!!!!

Thanks to all my loyal readers (if I have any…)

TT