Fall Dinner

Roasted Garlic Sage Pesto Pumpkin Soup with Spicy Fried Pumpkin Seeds, recipe provided below (recipe adapted from Half Baked Harvest)

Ingredients

  • 1 large sugar or pie pumpkin, cut in half and seeds removed and reserved (plus 4 small ones if you are making the pumpkin bowls)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 small shallots, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup coconut milk + 1 cup water (or 2 cups water)
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or more or less to your liking)
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
  • Sage Pesto
  • 1 head garlic (or you may sub 1 clove raw garlic)
  • 1 cup fresh parsley
  • 1/2 cup fresh sage
  • 1/4 cup shelled pistachios
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese (if you do not like blue cheese sub feta or parmesan)
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • Fried Pumpkin Seeds
  • 1 tablespoon coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • reserved pumpkin seeds from above
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • lots of salt to your tasting

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Cut your pumpkin in half or into fourths and reserve the pumpkin seeds for later. Place the pumpkin on a baking sheet and rub the pumpkin with 1 tablespoon olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Chop off the top portion of the garlic head to reveal cloves. Peel any excess paper/skin off from the bulb of garlic. Pour about a teaspoon of olive oil on top the garlic cloves and cover with foil. Roast both the pumpkin and garlic together on the same baking sheet for 45 minutes, or until the pumpkin is fork tender and the garlic golden brown and soft. Remove from the oven and allow everything to cool five minutes. Squeeze garlic out of the paper skin into a small bowl and mash well with a fork, set aside.
  3. Grab the pumpkin and add it to a food processor (or mash extremely well) and puree with 1 cup of the chicken broth, puree until completely smooth.
  4. Heat a large pot over medium heat and add the butter and shallots. Saute the the shallots until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the thyme and cook another 30 seconds. Add the pumpkin puree, remaining chicken, coconut milk, water, cayenne, nutmeg, maple syrup and crushed red pepper. Bring the soup to a low simmer and simmer 15-20 minutes.
  5. While the soup cooks make the pesto. Add the roasted garlic, parsley, sage and pistachios to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until finely chopped and then stream in the olive oil. Add the cheese and pulse a few more time until combined. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. To fry the pumpkin seeds. Add the reserved pumpkin seeds to a bowl and toss with 1 tablespoon coconut milk and 1 tablespoon flour. In a small bowl combine the chipotle chili powder, pepper and brown sugar. Place a skillet on the stove top and set to medium heat, add the olive oil. Once the oil is hot, add the pumpkin seeds into the pan, but be careful! Stir the pumpkin seeds around in the skillet with a spoon or spatula continuously until they expand and start to brown. Once the seeds are browned remove from the skillet and place on a paper towel to drain. Toss with the chili powder and a good pinch of salt. Taste and season accordingly.
  7. To assemble the soup, ladle the soup into bowls (or your roasted pumpkins) and top each bowl with a dollop of pesto, a sprinkle of pumpkin seeds and if desired drizzle with coconut milk. Start slurpin!
  8. To make the roasted pumpkin soup bowls. Remove the tops of the pumpkin and scoop out the seeds. Rub the insides of the pumpkins with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 20-30 minutes or just until soft to touch but not falling in.

honey-roasted-butternut-squash-cranberries-feta-recipe-650-0245xS.jpg

Honey Roasted Butternut Squash with Cranberries and Feta, recipe provided below (adapted from Peas & Crayons

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 large butternut squash, peeled + chopped
  • a hearty drizzle of olive oil [approx 1-2 TBSP]
  • salt, pepper, and garlic powder, to taste
  • 2 cups fresh cranberries
  • 2-3 TBSP honey [or extra, to taste]
  • ¼ cup finely crumbled feta
  • ground cinnamon, to taste [optional but delicious!]
  • fresh or dried parsley, to garnish [optional]

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Lightly drizzle or spritz a baking sheet with olive oil.
  3. Add cubed squash to the sheet along with another drizzle of olive oil.
  4. Sprinkle with a light layer of salt, pepper, and garlic powder, based on taste preference.
  5. Roast at 400 F for 25 minutes on the center rack.
  6. At the 25 minute mark, pull out the oven rack, and add your fresh cranberries to the roasting pan.
  7. Return to the oven for 10-15 minutes or until the cranberries have started to soften and burst a bit, resembling really juicy craisins vs fresh firm cranberries.
  8. Remove from oven and add a sprinkle of cinnamon [approx ⅛-1/4 tsp depending on preference] along with feta and honey. I listed the honey measurements I used, but depending on whether you used fresh cranberries or dried, sweeten to taste.
  9. Garnish with parsley for a burst of color and dig in while it's hot!

Apple Cinnamon Pork Chops, recipe provided below (adapted from Gimme Some Oven

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 Ribeye (rib) pork chops, bone-in, about 3/4-inch thick
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 2 apples, peeled (optional), cored and thinly sliced
  • 1 large white onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • Pinch ground cayenne pepper
  • 2/3 cup apple cider
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Generously season the chops with salt and pepper on both sides. Set aside.
  2. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, melt 2 tablespoons of butter. Immediately add the pork chops and cook until brown, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate and set aside. Let chops rest for 3 minutes.
  3. Return the skillet to medium-high heat and melt 1 tablespoon of butter. Immediately add the apples and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the brown sugar, cinnamon and cayenne. Stir in the apple cider and cream. Add the pork chops, nestling them into the liquid, and cook until the internal temperature of the pork reaches between 145 degrees F. (medium rare), with a 3-minute rest, and 160 degrees F. (medium), 3 to 4 minutes per side.
  4. Serve the chops with the apple mixture spooned on top

Cream Cheese-Filled Pumpkin Bread, recipe provided below (adapted from Averie Cooks

INGREDIENTS:

Bread

  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup liquid-state coconut oil (canola or vegetable may be substituted)
  • 1/4 cup cup sour cream (lite is okay; or Greek yogurt may be substituted)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2  teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2  teaspoon baking soda
  • pinch salt, optional and to tast

Cream Cheese Filling

  • 1 large egg
  • 4 ounces softened brick-style cream cheese (lite is okay)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350F. Spray one 9x5-inch loaf pan with floured cooking spray, or grease and flour the pan; set aside.

Bread 

  1. In a large bowl, add the the first ten ingredients, through ground nutmeg, and whisk to combine.
  2. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, optional salt, and fold with spatula or stir gently with a spoon until just combined; don't overmix; set aside.
  3. Turn about two-thirds of the batter out into the prepared pan, smoothing the top lightly with a spatula and pushing it into corners and sides as necessary; set aside.

Cream Cheese Filling  

  1. In a large bowl, add all ingredients and whisk to combine. Alternatively, mix with a hand mixer.
  2. Evenly pour filling mixture over the bread, smoothing the top lightly with a spatula and pushing it into corners and sides as necessary.
  3. Top filling with remaining pumpkin batter, smoothing the top very lightly with a spatula as to not disturb cream cheese layer and pushing batter into corners and sides as necessary.
  4. Bake for about 48 minutes or until the top is domed, golden, and the center is set, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, or with a few moist crumbs, but no batter. Note this is tricky because the cream cheese never gets totally solid so the toothpick test isn't the most accurate. Tip - Tent the pan with a sheet of foil draped over it at the 35 minute-mark if you feel the tops and sides will become too browned before center cooks through. Baking times will vary based on moisture content of pumpkin, cream cheese, climate, and oven variances. Bake until done; watch your bread, not the clock.
  5. Allow bread to cool in pan for about 15 minutes before turning out on a wire rack to cool completely before slicing and serving. Optionally, serve with honey butter, cinnamon-sugar butter ,or vanilla browned butter glaze. Bread will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 6 months.