Fall is upon us and you know what that means: pumpkins! Yes, these orange gourds are already making their way into local farmers markets and Texas restaurants. I’m pretty crazy about pumpkins and the eclectic culinary creations they inspire, so I decided to reach out to a number of Texas chefs and see what pumpkin dishes they’re planning to put on their fall menus. There were some many gourmet creations hailing from Dallas, Austin, and Houston that I had no choice but to divide this story into two parts. Check back tomorrow for more pumpkin dishes you can make at home.
TRACE’s Pumpkin Beignets
3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
3 ½ cups pumpkin flour
1 ½ tsp salt
⅓ cup sugar
1 ⅓ tsp instant yeast
9 tbsp cold butter, cut into chunks
½ cup milk
⅓ cup water
Combine yeast, warm water, and a pinch of the weighed out sugar in a bowl and let sit while you weigh out the rest of ingredients. Combine the rest of the dry ingredients into a mixing bowl, gradually adding the eggs and yeast mixture. Add the butter and let it incorporate for about 15 minutes until the mixture is smooth and forming a ball shape. Put into greased bowl and let double in size. Refrigerate for 2 hours and cut into desired shape. Fry at 375 degrees for about two minutes. Serve warm.
1 cup pureed pumpkin
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cardamom
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 pinch salt
1 cup whipped cream
Combine the first 6 ingredients and lightly fold in whipped cream. Pipe into doughnuts after fried but while still warm.
W Hotel’s Pumpkin Spice Martini
1 ½ oz vanilla vodka
½ oz Pinnacle Whipped Cream Vodka
½ oz Bailey’s Irish Cream
½ oz pumpkin spice liqueur
1 tsp vodka whipped cream
Combine the liquid ingredients into a shaker glass with big ice cubes. Shake and strain into a chilled martini glass and garnish with a teaspoon of vodka whipped cream sprinkled with a touch of cinnamon and nutmeg. Serve with a small number of roasted pumpkin seeds to balance the experience.
bolsa’s Spiced Pumpkin Panna Cotta
1 ¼ cup milk
3 ½ sheets gelatin
1 ¼ cup heavy cream
1 cup pumpkin puree
½ cup sugar
¼ tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
Set the gelatin sheet in an ice water bath. Blend together the milk, pumpkin, sugar, cinnamon, and spices until they reach a smooth consistency. Pour pumpkin mixture into a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Once the mixture is up to heat, take the gelatin sheets out of the ice bath, squeeze out the liquid, and set into the pumpkin puree mixture. Stir until all of the gelatin has dissolved. Pour in the heavy cream to finish. Ladle liquid into six 5-ounce ramekins. (The ramekins should be sprayed with non-stick cooking spray). Chill the panna cotta until set – about 6-8 hours – and serve with cranberry sauce or top with whipped cream.
Farmhouse Delivery’s Sausage and Risotto Soup Baked in a Pumpkin
1 small pumpkin
salt & pepper
1-2 cups cooked risotto (just about any flavor works)
4-6 smoked or sundried tomatoes
¼ - ½ cup cooked meat (sausage or chicken is best)
2 cups chicken stock
4 tbsp cream
Preheat oven to 350. Cut top off pumpkin and reserve. Scoop out seeds and filaments, leaving flesh in place. Rinse seeds and toast if desired, or discard. Rub pumpkin inside and out with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Soak dried tomatoes in warm water until softened and dice. Add to pumpkin cavity along with remaining ingredients, and check for seasoning. Replace pumpkin lid, place in small casserole dish and bake uncovered until cooked. To serve, place in a large bowl and ladle out soup along with scoops of cooked pumpkin.
MAX’S Wine Dive’s Pumpkin Hummus
2 cups cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 cup pumpkin puree*
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp cayenne
1 tsp ground ginger
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
¼ cup tahini
1 tbsp water
1 ½ cups olive oil
Combine all ingredients with the exception of the olive oil in food processor bowl. Blend until smooth. Slowly add olive oil and blend for ten minutes. It is important to blend this for the full ten minutes to a smooth and silky hummus. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Top with either olive tapenade or fresh pomegranate seeds and toasted pumpkin seeds and serve with flatbread and fresh vegetables for dipping. (You can absolutely use canned pumpkin puree, but I prefer to make it myself. To do so, carefully cut a pumpkin in half. Scoop out the seeds and reserve them for another use. Rub the inside of the pumpkin with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Bake in an oven preheated to 375 degrees until the flesh of the pumpkin is soft. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Scoop flesh from the pumpkin and puree until smooth.)
Olive Tapenade (Combine the following ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until combined and coarsely chopped)
½ pound pitted olives
2 oz. capers
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp dijon mustard
3 tbsp parsley, chopped
½ tsp red chili flake
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp red wine vinegar
½ cup olive oil
La Condesa’s Habanero Pumpkin Puree
1 pumpkin or winter squash, about 3 pounds (peeled, use flesh only)
3 oranges, peeled and juiced
1 raw habanero, cut in half
300g chicken stock
20g shallot, sliced
50g carrot, chopped
Peel and small dice pumpkin, using the flesh only. Reserve the seeds and discard the rest. Peel and small dice the carrots and slice shallots thinly. Add all ingredients to a saucepot and cook lightly until the pumpkin and carrots have become tender. Once all is tender and liquid has been reduced and incorporated into the pumpkin, add to blender and puree until smooth—making sure to season to taste. Add salt and pepper once you have achieved a smooth texture.
2 pork shoulders (brined in salt water for 12-18 hours)
4 quarts of pork fat or duck fat
Cut the shoulder into 2-inch pieces and place in salt water solution and hold in refrigerator. After the brine has reached time, rinse the meat and pat it dry. Place in a deep pan or large pot, cover with fat, cover with foil and place in a 300 degree oven for 3 ½ hours.
Pumpkin Escabeche, pickled vegetables
Once the carnitas are tender and ready, let them cool to room temperature. For pick-up and plating, sear the carnitas to crispy. Once the carnitas are crispy and seasoned, place a spoonful of the puree on your plate, place the carnitas on top, and garnish with escabeche and toasted pumpkin seeds (or pepitas). Optional: use some pumpkin seed oil as well for a more rich flavor. Serve hot with a side of corn tortillas, cilantro, and lime wedges.
The Carillon’s Pumpkin Soup with Chorizo, Spiced Crema, and Herb Oil
2 large pumpkins, peeled and diced
2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
½ large yellow onion, chopped
1 tbsp molasses
1 tsp maple syrup
¼ lb Mexican-style chorizo
½ cup heavy whipping cream
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
1 tsp confectioners sugar
¼ cup canola oil
¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
¼ cup chives, chopped
Soup: In a large pot, sauté onion, garlic, and a pinch of salt until they have just a bit of color. Add pumpkins and just enough water to cover. Cook at a low boil until soft. Add molasses, maple syrup, and ¼ cup heavy cream. Puree and salt to taste.
Chorizo: If chorizo is in a sausage casing, remove and discard it. In a smallsauce pan, render chorizo until fully cooked. Strain fat and set aside.
Crema: In a medium mixing bowl, combine remaining cream with cinnamon, nutmeg, and sugar. Mix rapidly with a wire whip until cream is firm enough to create stiff peaks. Salt to taste.
Herb Oil: In small saucepot, heat oil over low until approximately 150 degrees. (Just too hot to the touch. Combine oil and herbs in a blender and puree. Drain through a fine strainer. (Do not push through). Salt to taste.
Backstreet Café’s Spiced Pumpkin Hot Cocoa
5 cups milk
1 cup heavy cream
1 ½ tsp vanilla bean or 1 whole vanilla bean
3 heaping tbsp cocoa mix (we make our own, but you can substitute Jacques Torres or Ghirardelli Double Chocolate)
1 ½ cups pumpkin puree (substitute Libby’s if you don’t want to make your own)
2 oz maple syrup
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice mix
½ tsp sea salt
¼ tsp finely ground black pepper
1 tsp Vietnamese cinnamon bark
½ tsp whole cloves
8 cardamom pods, crushed and opened, shells and seeds
In a large heavy-bottom pot, roast cinnamon bark, cloves, and cardamom over high heat. Cook until they begin to smoke and smell. Approximately 5 minutes. Pour in milk and cream. Add vanilla, salt, and pepper. Whisk in with pumpkin puree and vanilla extract. Once warm and steaming, stir in maple syrup, pumpkin puree, and pumpkin pie spice. Let infuse for 5 minutes. Slowly whisk in the cocoa mix. (If you want a more intense chocolate cocoa, you can also add in 4 ounces of bittersweet chocolate at this point). Stir for 2 minutes until all the ingredients are dissolved and finely mixed. Reduce heat to medium and let cook for an additional 10 minutes. Run through a fine sieve to remove pumpkin pulp and spice pieces. Mix will keep up to four days after cooked if properly refrigerated.
Drink: Garnish with toasted marshmallows. You can toast marshmallows with a crème brûlée torch if you don’t have a fireplace. Put a dash of cinnamon over the top of the marshmallows and serve.