Thursday, October 8, 2020
While everyone loves to head out to a restaurant for a fine-dining and delicious eating experience, sometimes it’s a nice change to bring gourmet meals to your home -- and even cook them yourself! When it comes to at-home cooking, one of the greatest feelings is the delicious pay-off that comes from putting in hard work to prepare, cook, and plate a beautiful dish! Some home cooks might even say the extra effort makes the dish taste better.
Fall is the perfect time to get in the kitchen and try your hand at creating a gourmet fall-inspired dish. As the season changes and the weather begins to bring in the crisp, cool air of autumn -- it’s only natural to want to spend a whole lazy day inside. So, why not spend one of your lazy days cooking something gourmet and delicious?
We’ve put together a list of drinks, dishes, and desserts that are all inspired by the fall season. When we think of fall foods we can imagine multiple dishes -- a warm, hearty, and savory dinner, a hot and gooey dessert with fall spices, or of course, a dish with a hint of pumpkin. Grab your apple cider and read through the list of gourmet meals that will inspire you to cook something of your own this fall. Keep reading and we will explain how to create:
- Pumpkin Spice Latte
- Pumpkin Ravioli
- Pumpkin Bread Rolls
- Homemade Applesauce
Pumpkin Spice Latte
Gourmet Latte at Home
As soon as the fall season hits, who doesn’t rush to the closest coffee shop to grab a pumpkin spice latte? Pumpkin spice lattes makes the season feel more cheery, and we get to celebrate all season long with a latte that we only get once a year -- this makes it feel more special. After we’ve longed for them all summer, we are finally rewarded with their return.
But this year -- forgo one run to the local coffee shop, put down the powdered pumpkin spice latte mix and make your very own gourmet pumpkin spice latte at home. This will be as good as if the barista made it. To make this you will need:
- ⅓ cup of pumpkin puree (you can steam your own pumpkin or buy canned)
- ¼ cup of sweetener
- Pinch of nutmeg, cloves, and cinnamon
- ¼ tsp of ginger
- ½ tsp of vanilla extract
- 1-2 shots of espresso
- 1 cup of milk
First, if you’re fully committed to making the recipe from scratch, you’ll want to get a pumpkin, scoop out its insides and dice it into thick cubes. Once you’ve done this, bring water in a saucepan to boil, set your steamer basket inside of the pan, and add your chunks of pumpkin (you can keep the skin on -- once the pumpkin is soft it can easily be removed from the skin with a knife). Steam until pumpkin is soft, tender, and easily mashed. You can also use canned pumpkin puree as a substitute.
Add ⅓ cup of mashed pumpkin to your mug followed by ¼ cup of sweetener. Then add small pinches of your spices -- nutmeg, clove, and cinnamon. You can add a bit more cinnamon than nutmeg and cloves -- these spices are strong in flavor so you don’t need them in heavy amounts. Next, add in your ginger and vanilla extract. Make your espresso and add it to the mug. Then stir to fully combine all ingredients. It should be thick when combined -- close to the consistency of applesauce.
Finally, steam your milk and pour over top of your pumpkin and espresso mixture. Give your latte a final stir and top with a few more shakes of cinnamon. The recipe that inspired this latte can be found here -- enjoy the soothing sounds and watch this recipe come to life before you try your hand at creating it.
With Sage Browned Butter, Parmesan, and Pecans
What a better way to ring in the fall festivities then with this deliciously rich and savory pasta dish. This meal can easily be prepared for gatherings or if you want to impress your significant other with a warm, home cooked meal -- complete with fall spirit.
Prepare to hunker down for the long haul because this gourmet recipe will take all of 35 minutes to prepare. This recipe will use wonton wrappers and canned pumpkin so we don’t have to make our own pasta dough or steam anymore pumpkin -- but still get that restaurant quality outcome. You will need:
- Black pepper
- 2 tbsps of olive oil
- 1 cup of canned pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
- ⅓ cup of parmesan cheese (save extra for topping)
- Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
- 24 wonton wrappers
- 1 large egg beaten
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- 6 large sage leaves
- ¼ cup toasted pecans
First, in a small mixing bowl combine the canned pumpkin puree, parmesan cheese, cayenne if you wish and salt and pepper to taste. Place 12 wonton wrappers on a flat surface and fill equally, about 1 tablespoon of filling in the center of each wrapper. Beat your egg and brush it around the outside of the wrapper, place another wrapper over the top of the filling. Gently stretch it to make the edges come together and remove any air pockets from the ravioli.
Next, bring a saucepan of water to a boil and add olive oil. Heat butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Once butter has melted and begins to simmer, turn the heat to low and let simmer until butter becomes golden brown. Add in the six sage leaves and simmer for one to two minutes, make sure the butter does not burn or become dark brown. Remove from heat and set aside.
Once the water for the ravioli has come to a boil, add four ravioli at a time and cook for two minutes or until they begin to float. Continue to cook the ravioli in batches until complete.
Now it’s time to plate. Place ravioli on a plate and drizzle with the brown butter sauce (be sure to leave browned solid bits in the pan). Garnish with cooked sage leaves, sliced leaves, more parmesan cheese, and pecans.
Pumpkin Bread Rolls
Complete With Cinnamon Butter
Looking for a show stopping dish to bring to your next family gathering? These slightly sweet and adorable pumpkin shaped buns with cinnamon butter will be loved by adults and kids alike. These can be eaten with dinner or served after for a dessert. The pumpkin shaped buns are a festive way to celebrate fall. Making your own dough and butter will be a deliciously rewarding way to spend a lazy weekend day. To make the buns you will need:
- 1 packet of instant yeast
- 1 cup of whole milk, scalded then cooled to lukewarm
- ¼ cup of granulated sugar
- 3 tbsps of melted unsalted butter
- ½ cup of pumpkin puree
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp of salt
- 3 and ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- Sliced pecans (to be used as a decorative element for the pumpkin stems)
For the butter:
- 1 stick unsalted butter at room temperature
- ¼ cup of powdered sugar
- ¼ cup of honey
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
In the bowl of an electric mixer with a dough hook attachment, add yeast, milk, sugar, butter, pumpkin, one egg, and salt, and mix until well combined. Gradually add the flour and mix on medium-low speed until the dough begins to pull away from the side of the bowl. Turn off the mixer and let dough sit for three to five minutes. After, continue to mix on medium-low speed for an additional five minutes until the dough is soft and smooth. If the dough is sticking to the bottom of the bowl, add more flour -- one tablespoon at a time.
Transfer the dough to a large greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and allow to rise for 45 minutes to one hour or until the dough has doubled in size.
Once finished rising, turn dough out onto lightly floured work surface. Divide into 15 equal sized pieces and shape into balls. Flatten each ball and with a small paring knife, cut 8 slices into the dough around the edges. Be sure not to make your cuts all the way through the center of the dough. These cuts create the pumpkin shape. Cover and let rise again for 45 minutes to one hour or until doubled in size.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Using your finger, press a small hole into the center of each roll -- this will be for the pecan stem. In a small bowl, crack one egg and mix with two tablespoons of water. Brush mixture over the rolls. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. Place a pecan into the middle indentation.
To make the cinnamon butter -- add butter into electric mixing bowl with whisk attachment and beat for 30 seconds. Next, add powdered sugar, honey, and cinnamon and beat until well combined -- light and fluffy, about one or two minutes.
The finished rolls should be served warm with room temperature butter.
A Simple Fall Favorite
While applesauce might not seem gourmet, making your own is a fun and rewarding process and is usually better than the store bought kind. This favorite can be used on toast, eaten with yogurt or ice cream, on oatmeal, or just by itself. An added bonus -- you can use local, in-season apples to create this recipe. You will need:
- 3 pounds of apples -- Granny Smith, Golden Delicious, Macintosh, Gala, etc
- ⅓ cup of water
- 2 tbsps maple syrup or honey
- 2 tsps ground cinnamon
- 2 tsps apple cider vinegar or 1 tbsp lemon juice
Peel, core, and chop your apples into two inch chunks. In a large stockpot or saucepan, combine apple chunks, water, maple syrup, and cinnamon. Cover and simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Cook until apples are tender and begin to fall apart -- 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from heat.
Depending on how you like your applesauce -- for a smoother consistency blend the mixture in a food processor or for chunky applesauce use a potato masher or wooden spoon to grind them.
Stir in vinegar. If this affects the taste -- add more maple syrup to increase sweetness. If you like more spice -- add more cinnamon. Let cool to room temperature before covering and putting in the refrigerator. It will keep one week in the refrigerator or one month in the freezer.
Cooking these gourmet recipes will be a fun and festive way to spend a lazy weekend when it’s too cool to go outside or when you’re feeling adventurous to try new recipes in your kitchen.