Thursday, October 31, 2013

Pumpkin countdown #4

Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes 
Yield: 12
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Cooling time: 1 hour

        Happy Halloween everybody. As the final installment of our pumpkin countdown we wanted to give you a sweet treat with no tricks. Our pumpkin cupcakes are full of flavor but not dense like pumpkin bread, we balance sweetness with the classic autumn spices, and top them with a tangy cream cheese frosting. Preset them at your costume party and no one will be disappointed.

1 1/2 cups AP flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground clove
1/2 tsp ground allspice
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup butter, melted
3 eggs
1 cup pumpkin puree

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder,salt,  and all the seasonings.
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment combine the brown and white sugar. Pour in the melted butter and whisk on medium speed until sugar is fully incorporated, about 1 minute.
3. With the mixer on medium speed add the eggs in one at a time, fully incorporating each before adding the next . After all the eggs are fully incorporated add the pumpkin and whisk 1 more minutes.
4. Turn the mixer to low speed and slowly add in the flour mixture. Whisk until the flour is fully incorporated, about 2-3 minutes. Turn off the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula, incorporating any flour left on the edges.
5. Line a 12-well muffin tin with paper liners and divide all the batter evenly among each well. Place on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 12 minutes. Now rotate the pan 180 degrees and cook until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, another 10-15 minutes.
6. Remove the cupcake pan from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes until able to handle. Now remove the cupcakes from the pan and allow to cool fully, at least 1 hour, before frosting.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Frosting
Yield: 2 cups
Prep time: 10 minutes

3/4 cup cream cheese
5 Tbsp butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 cup pumpkin puree

1. Place the cream cheese in the mixing bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on medium speed for 1 minute to soften the cream cheese.
2. Add in the softened butter 1 tablespoon at a time until all is well incorporated. Reduce the speed to low and slowly add in the powdered sugar, whisking until well incorporated and smooth.
3. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula and return the mixer to medium speed. Add in the vanilla, cinnamon, and pumpkin mixing until just combined about 1 minute.

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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Pumpkin Countdown #3

Pumpkin Risotto 
Yield: 4-6 servings
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes

     Creamy, rich, and luxurious risotto is a dish many people only enjoy in restaurants, but with a few simple techniques this classic can be created at home. This pumpkin risotto features the star ingredient in two ways by using roasted diced pumpkin  and puree. It is finished with nutty Parmesan cheese and sage butter to give it its prized silky texture and the taste of autumn.

      Risotto is made with Arborio rice which is an Italian short grain rice with a very high starch content. The basic ratio for using Arborio rice and creating risotto is 1 part rice to 4 parts liquid. The liquid is added slowly as the rice is constantly stirred with a wooden spoon to draw out the starch and create the creamy texture. Arborio should not be overcooked into a gluey texture though. The final product should have a thickness but also flow freely and the rice should be cooked through but still have a slight chew to it. The best way to test for consistency is to draw the spoon along the bottom of the pan, if the rice slowly flows back into the empty space it is perfect if it stays in place then add a little liquid to loosen it. With a little practice risotto will be on your dinner menu every week.

1 Tbsp Veg oil
1 medium onion, 1 cup diced
1 Tbsp garlic, minced
1 cup Arborio rice
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
4 cups Chicken stock or Vegetable stock
2 cups fresh pumpkin, peeled and 1/2 inch dice
1 Tbsp salt
1 tsp ground pepper
4 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp fresh sage, minced
1/2 cup grated Parmesan

1. Begin by preheating your oven to 400 degrees F. Then pour the oil into a deep saute pan and heat it oven medium heat. In a sauce pot add the stock and bring it to a simmer over medium heat.
2. Once the oil is hot add the onions to the pan and saute until they have slightly turned golden and become fragrant, about five minutes. Then add the garlic and cook another 30 seconds
3. Add the rice to the pan and stir to combine with the aromatics and oil. Toast the rice for 2-3 minutes until it gives off a nutty aroma.
4. Add the puree,1 cup of the hot stock,and the salt and pepper to the pan, stir to incorporate. Now that the first batch of liquid is in it is time for patient stirring. Keep the rice moving slowly to release the starch and absorb the liquid, cook until all the liquid is absorbed then add in another cup of liquid and continue until all the stock is gone.
5. After adding the first batch of liquid take the diced pumpkin and toss it in one tablespoon of vegetable oil. Lay it out in an even layer on a baking sheet and roast in the oven for about 30 minutes. The pumpkin should be done about the same time as the rice.
6. By now the third batch of liquid should be ready to go in. In a separate small saute pan add the butter and melt it over medium heat. Once melted cook it for an additional 2-3 minutes until it begins to turn dark gold, add the sage and turn off the heat. Set aside for using at the end of the dish.
7. Once all of the stock has been incorporated into the rice it should appear creamy and thick. To finish the dish stir in the roasted pumpkin and the freshly grated cheese. Turn off the heat and add the sage butter, taste for seasoning and serve.

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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Pumpkin Countdown #2

Pumpkin Bisque with Bacon and Apple
Yield: 4-6 servings
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes

       For the second leftover pumpkin recipe we created a pumpkin bisque for those chilly Autumn nights. Our soup is finished with cream creating a beautifully rich and silky texture. The cinnamon and sage bring the essence and aroma of the season into your kitchen.

4 strips bacon, 1/2 cup diced
1 Tbsp garlic, minced
1 cup onion, diced
1 cup apple, peeled and diced
3 cups pumpkin puree
1 1/2 cup water
1 cup heavy cream
1 Tbsp salt
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp fresh grated nutmeg
1 sprig sage

1.In a large sauce pot add the diced bacon and saute over medium heat for five minutes. Once the fat has rendered out and the bacon has crisped remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and reserve for later.
2. Raise the heat to high and add the minced garlic, diced onion, and diced apple to the pot. Saute for five minutes until the onion has turned golden and the apple has released its juice.
3. Once the vegetables have sauteed add the pumpkin puree and both liquids, stir to combine. Add in the salt, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and whole sprig of thyme.
4. Lower the heat and simmer the soup for 30 minutes. Turn off the heat and remove the pot from the stove. Remove the sprig of thyme and pour the soup into a blender.
5. Blend the soup on high until a smooth texture is achieved. Taste for seasoning, garnish with reserved crispy bacon, and serve.

Chef's Note
     The bacon can be left out of this recipe and replaced with an extra tablespoon of salt to make it a great vegetarian dish.

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Monday, October 28, 2013

Pumpkin Countdown #1

The Pumpkin Countdown

      With fall in full swing the leaves are changing to red and gold, hot apple cider is flowing, and pumpkins are abundant. October is unofficially pumpkin month and the same sugar pumpkins you carve can be turned into endless new dishes.

      The RMR chefs are using pumpkin leftovers as the star ingredient in a recipe countdown to Halloween. For the next four days we are posting a recipe using some portion of the pumpkin. First things first though, whenever you carve a pumpkin there is always a pile of seeds and pulp sitting next to the carving. Instead of just throwing that out or adding it to the compost pile why not make a delicious snack. 

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
Yield: 1 1/2 cup
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes

      Pumpkin seeds are an addictive snack for anytime of the day and are a great addition to any Halloween treat table. The seasoning can be changed for any occasion or palate from simple salted, spiced, or even sweet.We like them with a little kick so here is the recipe for Spicy Roasted Pumpkin Seeds.

1 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds, interior of 1 medium sized pumpkin
1 Tbsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp chili powder

1. The important step in this recipe is to prepare the seeds for roasting. After removing them from the pumpkin place the seeds and attached flesh into a colander. Wash the seeds and separate out all of the pulp, it is important to remove as much as you can so you are only left with seeds. 
2. Lay the seeds out on paper towel to dry, then pour them into a bowl. Add the seasonings to the bowl and toss to coat all the seeds evenly.
3. Lay out on a baking sheet and bake in a preheated oven at 300 degrees F for 45 minutes until dried and light golden brown.

      Another basic usage for pumpkin is turning it into puree. Pumpkin puree is used in almost every baking preparation calling for pumpkin and many savory dishes too. Pumpkin puree is an expensive product though and can be easily produce at home, so why not?

Pumpkin Puree                                                 Yield: 2 cups                                                                               Prep time: 10 minutes                                                                Cook time: 45 minutes

      This is as simple as cooking the pumpkin and creating the correct texture, since it can be used in savory or sweet dishes though the seasoning is adjusted accordingly. On top of additions to larger dishes pumpkin puree can be served as a side dish to stand on its own instead of a vegetable or starch component.

1 medium or 2 small sugar pumpkins
1 tsp veg oil
(1 tsp salt or 1 tsp sugar)

1.Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Half the sugar pumpkin and remove the seeds, saving them for a snack later. Once cleaned rub the inside flesh and outside skin with a little vegetable oil and sprinkle with salt.
3.Place the pumpkins flesh side down on a baking sheet and roast in the oven for 45 minutes or until the flesh is tender. 
4. Remove the pumpkins from the oven and allow to cool. Once they can be handled scoop out the flesh with a spoon and place in either a blender or food processor. Add the 1 tsp of oil and if making a sweet puree add sugar and if making a savory add the salt. 
5. Blend until smooth and seasonings are incorporated.  

Chef's Note
      When serving the Pumpkin puree as a side dish you can flavor it to fit any dish or style of the meal. It can be sweetened with warming spices of cinnamon or nutmeg or add some fresh herbs for earthy notes like sage and thyme. 

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Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Oktoberfest Beer

Oktoberfest: A Beer Drinking Tradition

      Oktoberfest is known around the world as the beer drinkers heaven. It's sixteen days of nothing but food, music and tents overflowing with barrels of German Beer. The patrons of Oktoberfest consume more than 7 million liters of beer in this short time. All of the beer served at Oktoberfest must meet strict guidelines called the Reinheitsgebot or "German Beer Purity Law", on top of this the beer must also be produced within the city limits of Munich. Under this criteria only six breweries can produce and serve Oktoberfest beer, Augustiner-Brau, Hacker-Pschorr, Lowenbrau, Paulaner-Brau, Spatenbrau, and Staatliches Hofbrauhaus.

      The Oktoberfest style of beer is a lager called Marzen due to the historical brewing season during March, called Marz in German. Without modern refrigeration the beer was lagered to be kept cold in the hot summer months and brewed with a higher alcohol content. The German style tends to be full bodied, with a sweet malty taste and a low hop level just to balance the flavor. Here in the states the Oktoberfest craze has spread through the beer lovers and brewers alike. Many American producers make seasonal beers in the German style and the famous German breweries are exporting their beers to the U.S.

Here we are highlighting some of these traditional beers coming out of Germany ranging from a Weisse Dark to a Helles. 

Brewer: Hacker-Pschorr
Beer: Weisse Dark
Location: Munich, Germany

      Hacker Pschorr is one of the more distinguished breweries in Germany. It has been brewing beer since 1417 and is one of the original breweries to be commissioned for the first Oktoberfest in 1810.  Weisse Dark is a wheat lager produced with 60% dark and light malted wheat and 40% malted barley.  It boasts a deep amber color and more robust flavor than the original Weisse beer. The Malted slightly sweet flavor brings a sense of chocolate and smoke but is balanced by the fruity aroma and hints of yeast and clove. With a 5.3% alcohol content it falls in the middle of the pack for the Dunkelweizen "Dark wheat" style. 
Brewer Pairings: Nutty cheese, pork, chicken, dessert. While this beer looks like a dark and intense glass to drink the nuances of yeast and sweetness are best highlighted with fatty fare. 
Chef's Taste: Our second favorite beer in the tasting. We smelled caramel, chocolate, wine, and fermented cider. The taste had an overwhelming sweetness, with almost no bitterness from hops and a very low alcohol detection.  It would work well as a cooking beer, and paired with hearty sausage, roast meats,and balance out acidic meals. 

Brewer: Schneider Weisse
Beer: Hopfen Weisse
Location: Kelheim, Germany

     This brewery was opened in 1872 by Georg Schneider and his son and has now been passed through six generations of the Schneider family. This Hopfen Weisse is a collaboration of brewery Garret Oliver of Brooklyn brewery and Hans-Peter Drexel of Schneider Weisse. Brewed as a Weissbock or Weizenbock "strong wheat" this stronger hefeweizen "Yeast wheat" poured as a pale amber color. With a fruity aroma and more pronounced bitterness from the extra hops this beer has a different complexity than any other in the style. The citrus notes, creamy but refreshing finish, and smooth body is something you wouldn't expect from a beer with 8.2% alcohol content. 
Brewer Pairings: Meat, chocolate, spicy cuisine. The sweetness can still hold up to being paired with dessert but the complex bitterness matches the heat of Thai and Mexican dishes. 
Chef's Taste: On the aroma we detected big notes of citrus and brine. This had a very creamy mouthfeel and no lingering flavor. The alcohol is more pronounced than any of the others in the tasting and it has some bitterness on the end. Drink this with a charcuterie and cheese platter, the hard nutty cheeses brought out the beers orange note. 

Brewer: Bayerische Staatsbrauerei Weihenstephan
Beer: Weihenstephaner Vitus  
Location: Freising, Germany

      Known as the oldest Brewery in the world, Weihenstephan was founded by Benedictine monks in 1040. Now almost a thousand years later it is still in operation and now run by the State of Bavaria. The Vitus is another Weizenbock "strong wheat" lager but is cold aged in the monastery cellar to increase the complexity and create a distinctive body and mouth feel.  The deep golden straw color invites even the most wary beer drinker in and doesn't reveal the fact it has 7.7% alcohol content. Smelling of sweet honey, spicy cumin, and bitter lemon zest the taste offers an expanse of flavors including clove, bubblegum, wheat, and coriander. The true star for this beer is the mouthfeel; unbelievably rich, creamy and smooth but still light and effervescent with a dry finish and tinge of alcohol to cut through the almost cloying sweetness. 
Brewer Pairings: Dessert, cheese, bread. While this beer is big on flavor and body the sweetness is easily paired with desserts as well as creamy fondue and crusty bread. 
Chef's Taste: This was our favorite beer in the tasting. It smelled musty and sweet like fruit. The huge creamy head translated into a smooth body and an overall easy drinking beer. When swallowing the beer slowly a powerful flavor of banana took over adding sweetness. The beer paired well with fish dishes, fruit, and acids like tomato.

Brewer: Brauerei Heller Trum Schlenkerla
Beer: Helles Schlenkerla Lagerbier
Location: Bamberg, Germany

      Nestled in the center of historic Bamberg beneath a cathedral one will find the brewery tavern of Schlenkerla. Dating back to somewhere around the 15th century this famous Bamberg landmark is now run by the Trum Family. The Helles "light colored"  style of beer is a pale lager utilizing the methods of pale ale in the lager style of beer. A clear pale yellow is topped with a creamy white head that makes you think of summer. The light aroma of citrus, grassy hops, and smokey notes differ from the usual dark, malted wheat beers of Germany. This has the slight sweetness of a well made pilsner with a more prominent bitterness from noble hops and finishes with depth from the hint of smokiness. With a light body and plentiful carbonation  the crisp mouth feel gives it a high level of drinkability. While this has the lowest alcohol level at 4.3% it is more noticable due to the accenting bitterness. 
Brewer Pairings: Soft cheese, Salad, seafood, chicken. The pale lager is a widely popular style in America so its flavor is more recognizable. The light bitterness pairs well with grilled food and ties into the smoke notes. 
Chef's Taste: We first noticed the clarity difference in this beer from the others. The aroma brought about sweet honey and citrus hops. Although lighter it had a strong bitter flavor from the hops and the smokiness overtook any of the sweetness. This would work great as a backyard beer, perfect for smoked meats and barbecue.

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Sunday, October 13, 2013


Oktoberfest Feast

     Oktoberfest is one of the world's largest festivals originating in Munich, Germany and dating back to 1810. To Germans the festival is called "die Wies'n", an abbreviation of the Theresienwiese fair grounds were the festival was first held to honor the marriage of King  Ludwig and his princess Therese of Saxe-Hildurghausen. Traditionally held for sixteen days until the first Sunday in October Germans would feast on traditional dishes and drink select beer only brewed in Munich and meeting specific quality standards.

     Today in Germany Oktoberfest is still held in the same place it has been for two hundred years. Now it is flocked with tourists who want to experience the festivities and taste the libations. All over the world similar festivals are held during the same time of the year in honor of Oktoberfest, and here in the states we have our own traditions. Many people have renamed the festival Octoberfest and lengthened it to cover the entire month of October. It is a general representation of the start of the Autumn season, a time for restaurants to once again bring out their Wiener Schnitzel recipes, and breweries to showcase pumpkin ales (Not exactly what the Germans intended). So we decided to go back to the traditions and bring an authentic German feast to your table. 

 Sauerbraten (German Pot Roast)

      Meaning "sour roast" in German this style of pot roast bears its name from the vinegar and herb mixture it is soaked in before cooking. Historically this method of preparation was necessary for two reasons, the first being to preserve the meat due to the lack of refrigeration and secondly to help tenderize the tough cuts of meat. Even with the advantage of modern refrigerators this method is still used to take an inexpensive cut of meat and make it moist and succulent.

Yield: 6-10
Prep time: 48 hours
Cook time: 4 hours

1 (3-4 lb)beef  bottom round roast
2 cups water
1 cup white vinegar
2 Tbsp pickling spice
1 Tbsp salt
1 medium onion, 1 cup diced
2 medium carrots, 1 cup diced
1 garlic clove, peeled
1/2 cup red wine
2 cups beef broth
1/4 cup sugar
1 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp flour
1 Tbsp salt
1/2 cup crushed gingersnaps
parsley for garnish

1. In a large bowl season the roast on all sides with salt and pepper. In a sauce pot combine the water, vinegar, pickling spice and salt;bring the mixture to a boil and then let cool to room temperature. Pour the brine over the beef, cover with plastic and refrigerate for two days. (If the brine doesn't cover the meat turn it over a few times per day)
2. After two days remove the beef from the brine and pat dry with paper towels, reserve the brine. In a large dutch oven or heavy bottom pot heat a few tablespoons of vegetable oil over high heat. Sear the beef until golden brown on all sides, then remove and set aside.
3. In the same pot add the carrots, onions, and garlic and saute until they have caramelized and released their liquid, about 10 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and remove the top rack to accommodate the dutch oven. 
4.Once the vegetables have browned deglaze the pot by pouring in the wine and allow to reduce by half. Then add in the beef stock, sugar, and the reserved brine and bring to a boil. Add the roast back to the pot and cover. Place the pot in the oven and bake for about 3 hours, until the roast is very tender. 
5. Once the roast is tender transfer it from the liquid onto a plate, cover with aluminum foil, and allow to rest.  Pour the braising liquid through a fine strainer into a bowl. 
6. Using the dutch oven or a medium sauce pan, heat the vessel over medium heat and add the butter. Once melted add the flour and whisk constantly to form a smooth paste, cook for 3-5 minutes until it has turned light brown. Add 1 cup of the cooking liquid and whisk until the paste has been well incorporated. Now add the rest of the cooking liquid, salt, and crushed gingersnaps. Whisk to incorporate and bring to a simmer. After the gingersnaps have dissolved and the sauce has thickened, thinly slice the beef  between 1/4 and 1/2 inch, arrange on a platter and generously ladle the sauce on top. 
Garnish with parsley and serve with spaetzle and red cabbage. 

Spaetzle (Egg Noodles)

      Traditional to the German menu and translated as "little sparrow" due to their shape these soft dumplings or egg noodles are simple to make and act as the perfect vessel to soak up all the sauerbraten gravy. The dough of flour, egg, and milk is soft and sticky so it can be pushed through a colander into boiling water. After being poached they are sauteed in butter or bacon fat to a golden crisp exterior and tossed with cheese or parsley. 

Yield: 6-10
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes

2 cups AP flour
1/2 cup milk
3 eggs
1 Tbsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp nutmeg
4 Tbsp butter
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped

1. Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil over high heat. Like cooking pasta salt the water heavily. 
2. In a small bowl whisk together the milk and eggs, and set aside. In a large bowl add the flour, stir in the salt, pepper, and freshly grated nutmeg. Create a well in the center of the flour and pour in the egg mixture. With a fork slowly incorporate the flour into the egg mixture, mix until they are combined and a sticky dough has formed. Allow dough to rest for ten minutes.
3. place a colander over the boiling water and add the dough. Using a rubber spatula push the dough through the holes in the colander and into the water. (depending on the size of equipment this may be done in batches)  Stir to make sure the spaetzle don't stick together and allow to cook for about two minutes until firm.
4. Remove the cooked spaetzle with a slotted spoon or spider and lay out on a sheet tray, continue until all the batter is gone. 
5. Heat a large saute pan over medium high heat and melt the butter. Add the boiled spaetzle to the pan, season with salt and pepper, and saute for about 5 minutes until golden brown. Add in the parsley, toss to coat and serve.

Rotkohl (Braised Red Cabbage)

      Rot kraut and sauerkraut are the prolific side dishes of the German region utilizing white and red cabbage. Their sharp acidic bite offsets the traditional heavy gravies and potato based dishes. Red cabbage can be eaten raw but is best enjoyed after being braised with wine, apples, and bacon. 

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 2 hours

1 medium head red cabbage, 2 lbs shredded
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
2 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp salt
2 granny smith apples, peeled and grated
1 large onion, 1 1/2 cup small diced
4 strips bacon, diced
1 cup water
1 bay leaf
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp salt and pepper

1.  Peel any bruised outer leaves of the cabbage and discard. Cut the cabbage into quarters, cut out the piece of core in each quarter, and thinly slice crosswise into 1/8 inch strips.
2. In a large bowl toss the cabbage with the red wine vinegar, sugar, and salt until well combined. Allow to sit for an hour, tossing every 15 minutes.
3. Prepare the apples by peeling off the skin and grating the flesh using the large holes of a box grater, reserving the juice with the flesh. Cut the onion into a small dice, and slice the bacon into small pieces.
4. Once the cabbage has marinated for an hour add the bacon to a deep saute pan and render out the fat over low heat. Once crisp remove the bacon with a slotted spoon (reserve to add in later and garnish). Turn the heat up to high and add the onions. Saute the onions until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the grated apple and juice and cook another 5 minutes.
5. Pour the bowl of cabbage and accumulated liquid into the pan and stir to combine. Add the water and cover the pan, cook on high for 10 minutes to slightly wilt the cabbage. Stir in the bay leaf, sugar, half the cooked bacon, salt and pepper. Cover the pan and reduce the heat to low, simmer for 1 1/2 hours stirring occasionally.
6. At the end the cabbage will have reduced in size by half and the color has intensified. Taste for a balance of sour and sweet flavors, garnish with remaining bacon and serve.

Chef's Notes
  • Sauerbraten can be made with a variety of inexpensive and tough cuts of meat such as bottom round, top round, eye round, and chuck. Choose what looks best in the market and what has the most internal fat or marbling because it will result in a more juicy end product. 
  • When brining the meat it is important to note that the longer you brine it the more tender it will become because the acid in vinegar begins to denature the amino acid strands in protein. With time though the meat will also become more flavored by the vinegar giving it its key sour quality, so if you prefer a less sour roast brine it for less time and if you prefer it stronger go ahead and brine for 3 to 5 days. 
  • Spaetzle is extremely versatile and can be used in place of rice or noodles. After boiling the spaetzle it can be eaten as is, or cooled and refrigerated for up to a week, or finished in multiple ways. It can be sauteed in butter , combined with cheese and baked a a casserole, or even used for a sweet application when apple is added to the dough and then topped with cinnamon sugar.

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Saturday, October 5, 2013

Vegetarian Pumpkin and Kale Soup

Vegetarian Pumpkin and Kale Soup
Yield: 4 servings
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes

     Recently we were contacted by Shoshana H looking for a a new Autumn soup that included pumpkin. We developed a great vegetarian soup that is packed with flavor and seasonal vegetables like pumpkin and kale. We enhanced the soup by using an Indian spice blend called garam masala that adds the warming affects of cinnamon and the spice of coriander and cumin. Try this soup on a cold fall night and tell us what you think.

3 cups pumpkin, peeled and diced 1/2" cubes
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 1/2 tsp Garam Masala
1 medium onion, 1 cup diced
1 clove garlic, 1 tsp minced
4 cups rough chopped kale
1 can Great white northern beans, drained
1 quart vegetable stock
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp Garam Masala

1. Prep the pumpkin by cutting it in half and removing the seeds. (these can be saved and roasted for a garnish or great snack) Then peel the outside skin of the pumpkin and dice the flesh into 1/2 inch cubes.
2. In a large bowl combine the pumpkin with the olive oil, salt, pepper, and garam masala. Toss to coat all the pumpkin well, then lay out in a single layer on a sheet tray and roast for 20 minutes in a preheated 400  degree oven.
3. While the pumpkin is cooking prep the other vegetables by dicing the onion, mincing the garlic, and cleaning and chopping the kale.
4. Half way through the pumpkin roasting take out the sheet tray and stir the pieces to equally brown them on all sides.
5. Heat a tablespoon of oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and saute for five minutes until golden brown and softened. Now add the kale and cook for another five minutes until it has wilted and darkened in color.
6. Remove the pumpkin from the oven and add it to the pot, pour in the drained can of white beans, and vegetable stock.Season with another 1 Tbsp of salt and 1/2 tsp of garam masala.  Stir to combine and simmer on low heat for 20 minutes.
Serve with some crusty bread or in a sourdough bread bowl

Chef's Note
      Garam Masala is a blend of spices used in Indian cuisine, it is available at specialty food stores or Indian markets. The spice blend is perfect for this recipe because it contains the classic Autumn warming spices like cinnamon and clove but is also complex and adds a depth of earthiness to the soup. If you can't find garam masala in a store it is easy to make a simple blend at home. Combine 4 Tbsp ground coriander, 1 Tbsp ground cumin, 1 Tbsp black pepper, 1 tsp ground cumin, 1 tsp ground ginger, 1/2 tsp ground cardamom, 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon,1 /2 tsp ground clove, 1/2 tsp ground bay leaf.

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