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Chicken Marsala

Chicken Marsala was a dish that my dad always used to order when we went to Italian restaurants.  I never really had a taste for it up until a few years ago.  Marsala being a Sicilian dish it was not one of the recipes brought over to America by my grandmother thus no one in my family ever cooked it.  I did some researching of different recipes and put together my own that I find to be rather tasty, easy and as always well within the nuts and bolts budget most of us live on.

Total Cost: $10.51

Feeds 2-4 people, 1 breast for two people so add breasts accordingly

Ingredient List:

  • Chicken Breast – 2 (halved and thinned)
  • Pasta of Choice (spaghetti pictured) – 1 lb
  • Cremini or White Musrooms – 8 oz (around 10) (Chopped)
  • Marsala Wine – ½ Cup
  • Sherry – ¼ Cup
  • Flour – ¼ Cup
  • Salt – 1 Teaspoon
  • Pepper – ½ Teaspoon
  • Garlic – 1 Clove (Minced)
  • Oregano – 1 Teaspoon (Dry)
  • Butter – 4 Tablespoons
  • Olive Oil  – 4 Tablespoons
  • Green Onion – 4oz (Chopped)
  • Creamy Marsala Sauce
    • Cremini or White Mushrooms – ½ Cup (about 6)(Chopped)
    • Green Onion – ¼ Cup (Chopped)
    • Marsala Wine – 1/3 Cup
    • Salt – 1 Teaspoon
    • Pepper – ½ Teaspoon
    • Oregano – ½ Teaspoon
    • Heavy Cream – 1/3 Cup
    • Milk – 1/8 Cup
    • Butter – 2 Tablespoons

Step 1: Prep ChickenCut chicken breasts in half long ways through the center of breast so that you are left with two thin cutlets.  Beat each piece with a tenderizer.  Take flour, ¼ of a cup or enough to cover each cutlet and pour into a mixing bowl.  Add 1 teaspoon of salt, ½ teaspoon of pepper and 1 teaspoon of oregano and whisk together.  Pat chicken in this mixture till it is completely covered.

 

Step 2: Chop Vegetables and Cook Pasta Chop all mushrooms and green onions, mince garlic.  Boil water for pasta and cook it.

 

Step 3: Make Creamy Marsala SauceIn a small sauce pot melt 2 table spoons of butter.  When melted add 1/3 cup of heavy cream, 1/8 cup of milk, mushrooms, salt, pepper, oregano and Marsala wine.   Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and let simmer around twenty minutes.  Add green onions.  After that create a roux to thicken sauce using 1/8 the amount of roux to sauce.  Melt about ¼ of a tablespoon of butter in a separate saucepot.  When melted add an equal amount of flour to it.  Mix together and cook on high flame till you get a brownish blob looking substance.  Pour half of your Marsala sauce into this pot with the roux and stir till both are well blended then pour back into the main Marsala sauce pot, stir well and let simmer on a low flame for five minutes.  Turn off heat and let sauce stand another five minutes and sauce should thicken up nicely.

Your finished sauce

 

Step 4: Fry ChickenIn a large frying pan melt 4 tablespoons of butter in 4 tablespoons of Olive Oil.  When completely dissolved add chicken and cook both sides till golden brown or 165 degrees F.  Add mushrooms, sherry and Marsala Wine, Sautee till mushrooms are soft.  Add green onion.

Your chicken in the cooking process with all ingredients added

Step 5: Put it all togetherTake finished pasta and put it into a plate.  Put finished Chicken breast and mushrooms on top of pasta.  Pour sauce over all and enjoy!

 

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Cornish Hen ready for the eating…mmmm citrus!

Creating a Tasty Citrus Brine

This weeks Recipe D’Jour I am going to enlighten you on how to create a very tasty citrus Brine Marinade that goes great with all poultry and pork.  First off a brine is a water based mixture that contains two parts sugar to one part salt.  By using a brine you will have a scrumptious marinade that will spice up any dinner.  There all types of brines but for today’s purposes we are going to focus on a citrus brine.

Total Cost/Feeds: Depends on what your going to brine

  • Turkey – $22, feeds 8-10 people with sides
  • Chicken – $14, feeds 4-6 people with sides
  • Pork Lion – $10, feeds 4-6 people with sides
  • Cornish Hen –  $8, feeds two people with sides

Ingredient List: (use the proportions on this recipe and increase as needed to the size of the meat you plan to brine.  Keep in mind that the meat should be completely submerged in the brine.  This recipe makes about a gallon of brine.)

  • Meat to Brine
  • Salt – 1 1/2 cups
  • Sugar – 1 cup
  • Water – 1 gallon
  • Pepper – 1 teaspoon
  • Oregano – 1 teaspoon
  • Basil – 1 teaspoon
  • Thyme – 4 oz (Fresh)
  • Sage – ½ teaspoon (Dry)
  • Orange – 2
  • Lemon – 3
  • Lime – 1
  • Lemon Herb Seasoning or Lemon Zest
  • Parsley – 3 oz (Minced)

Step 1: Create a brineIn a large container big enough to completely cover your meat combine 2 parts sugar to one part salt in water.  Stir well.  Should taste like a sugary salt water.  It will taste rather gross but should taste more sweet then salty.  I have four cups to two but you may want to adjust according to taste and size of meat you are going to marinade.  Obviously it has to be proportional to the water and you are going use more water with a turkey then a Cornish hen.

Step 2: Marinate MeatIn the container from step1 add Thyme, lemons, lime and oranges.  Be sure to cut fruit in half and squeeze juice into brine after which insert the left post-squeezed fruit as well.  Whisk till it is mixed.  Then add meat you wish to marinade and let sit in refrigerator for 8-12 hours.

A Pork Roast in the Marinade process.

Step 4: Dry Rub MeatRemove meat from marinade and place in a baking pan.  In a bowl add spices, Salt, Pepper, Oregano, Basil, Sage, Lemon zest (which you can get off the left over lemon ends from the brine) and parsley or you can buy a prefabricated lemon and herb seasoning.  Pour over meat in pan and rub around in it till completely covered in spices.  Put about a quarter of an inch of Brine in baking pan with meat to keep it moist and help to absorb more flavor.

Step 5: Bake – Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and bake for whatever the proper amount of time for what you are cooking.  Chicken, a little over an hour, pork loin about the same, hens just under an hour, turkey about two and half hours.

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Mango Salsa

Mmmmm...Mango Salsa shown over a baked pork chop with white rice.

Mango Salsa is such a gourmet type of spread.  Whenever I hear the phrase thrown out I always think of some fancy restaurant using it as a toping for some work of food art.  Well in all truth creating a delicious mango salsa is super easy, rather in expensive and is sure to bring a positive light and many complements to any meal.  Use this with pork, poultry, seafood, beef, rice, chips, just about anything you’re in the mood to spice up.

Total Cost: $6.35

Feeds 4 – 6 people

Ingredient List:

  • Cumin – 1 table spoon
  • Oregano – 1 teaspoon
  • Salt – 1 table spoon
  • Pepper – 1 teaspoon
  • Cilantro – 4 oz (minced)
  • Lemon Juice – 2 oz
  • Apple cider vinegar – 2 oz
  • Mangos – 8oz (chopped)
  • Red Onion – ¼ diced
  • Red pepper – ½ diced
  • Jalapeno Peppers – 2 diced
  • Garlic – 1 clove (minced)
  • Sugar – 1 teaspoon
  • Tomato – 2 (diced)
  • Chili Powder – 1 teaspoon

 

Step 1: Prep Fruit and VegetablesDice up red onion, red pepper, tomatoes and mangos.  As far as the mangos go you can buy fresh mangos, cut them off the pit and then dice it up or you can buy pre cubed frozen mango and dice that smaller to fit your salsa.  I prefer the frozen mango chunks for ease.  Of course nothing is going to beat the taste of a fresh mango, but it is a bit work husking it from the pit and then dicing it.  Next take the jalapenos (I use the mildest because Im a little girl when it comes to hot spices, but you can select yours accordingly), cut in half, chop the top off, then remove all the seeds and insides with a spoon.  Dice the remaining jalapeno shell.  Mince the cilantro and garlic.  Place all prepped ingredients in a medium size bowl.

 

Step 2: Mix Wet IngredientsIn a measuring cup measure out and mix the apple cider vinegar and lemon juice (can be used from fresh lemons, but not necessary.  I currently have a lemon tree in my back yard so I have the pleasure of fresh lemons whenever I so desire).  Add the Cumin, Oregano, Salt, Pepper, Sugar, and Chili Powder and stir.

 

Step 3: Put it all togetherPour your concoction from step 2 in with your diced fruits and vegetables from step one and thoroughly stir together with a spoon.  Serve over whatever you wish to enjoy it with. 

Your finished Mango Salsa.

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Hawaiian Style Pork

Hawaiian Style Pork Roast
With White Rice

Pork is one of the undefined meats that people just don’t really know what to do with.  It is also one of the more affordable meats to cook with.  Luckily there are tons of seasonings and marinades out there to suit just about every taste.  This recipe is for when you are feeling like you need to take a vacation to Polynesia for the evening and you don’t even have to get on a plane.  I know when I need a mental vacation there is nothing like an exotic recipe to help get me there.  I have used a pork loin roast for this example but the recipe can be applied to chops, ribs or other cuts of pork.

Feeds 4-6 People

Total Cost – 12.65

Ingredient List:

  • Pork Loin Roast – 3-5lb
  • Pineapple – 8oz (Diced)
  • Pineapple Juice – 8oz
  • Brown Sugar – 1 cup
  • Salt – 2 Table Spoons
  • Pepper – 1 ½ Table spoons
  • Sugar – 2 Table spoon
  • Teriyaki Sauce  – 3 oz
  • Soy Sauce – 4 oz
  • Olive Oil – 2 oz
  • Thai Basil – 2 oz (Chopped)
  • Red Onion – 1/3 (Diced)
  • Ginger – 1 Teaspoon (minced)
  • Garlic – 1 Clove (minced)
  • Cayenne Pepper – Pinch
  • Green Onions – 3 oz (optional)(Chopped)

Step 1: Dry Rub Roast – In a bowl big enough to fit roast combine 1 cup of brown sugar, 2 table spoons of salt and 1 table spoon of pepper and mix together.  In roasting pan pour pineapple juice (6oz) around roast (do not pour it directly over the roast or your dry rub will be washed away in the bottom of pan).  Rub roast in spice mix till it is completely covered.  Put roast back into pan so that it is swimming in pineapple juice.  Bake in over for around One hour at 350.  Sugar will caramelize on top making it look burnt, don’t worry roast will be fine.

Step 2: Make the Glaze – In a medium boiling pot combine Teriyaki sauce, Soy Sauce, Pineapple juice (2 oz), Sugar (2 tablespoon), Salt (1 teaspoon), Pepper (1/2 teaspoon), Olive Oil, Thai Basil, Diced Pineapple (8oz), Cayenne Pepper, Ginger and Red Onion.  Bring to boil for three minutes while stirring then let simmer for 5-8 minutes.  Thicken Glaze with a slurry if desired. (to create a slurry dissolve 1/3 corn starch to the amount of liquid in glaze in just enough water to dissolve cornstarch.  Stir into glaze as it is cooling down.  Add as much as necessary to get desired thickness.  Note that sauce will thicken as it cools)

Step 3: Carve the Roast – Remove roast from oven.  The top and sides will looked blacked and burned this is the caramelized brown sugar I talked about in step one. Pull off a good portion of it or how ever much you desire to remove then cut roast.  Apply glaze from step 2 to finished product. Garnish with sliced green onions for both taste and look.


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Tell me this does not look amazing, even a blind man can see how exquisite they are.

Apple Cobbler Cups

This is a dessert that I am going to take credit for inventing although Im sure some one has done it prior.  What I mean by a Chris Lisanti original is that I got the idea for it with out any previous musings.  What is an Apple Cobbler Cup you ask?  Only the greatest dessert ever that is easy to make and can be ready to eat in less then three hours.  Basically they are personalized apple cobblers with an oatmeal cookie crust about the size of a cup cake.  If your stuck on what to bring to the table this holiday season The Apple Cobbler Cup just may save the day.  Trust me all your friends and family will think your quite the savvy cook and since just about no one reads this blog you can even take all the credit for it.  I wont be mad; I promise.  I made these guys for Thanksgiving and it stole the show.

Total Cost  – $8.50
Feeds – 24 people

Ingredient List:

  • Granny Smith Apples – 4 (cut into Small bite size triangular pieces)
  • Lemon Juice – 5 oz
  • Sugar – 2 ½ Cups
  • Cinnamon – 1 Tablespoon
  • Butter – 16 oz
  • Flour – 1 1/3 Cup
  • Baking Powder – 2 ½ Teaspoons
  • Raisins – ¾ cup
  • Nutmeg – Teaspoon
  • Milk – 1 cup
  • Egg – 1
  • Vanilla – 1 Teaspoon
  • Salt – pinch
  • Oat Meal Cookies – 1 ½ Cup (crumbed)
  • Almonds – ½ cup Roasted

 

Step 1: Prep ApplesPeeling your apples is your call.  Personally I like to leave my skin on.  If you decide to leave skin make sure to clean the apples thoroughly.  Also any type of apples can be used I prefer Granny Smiths, but if you notice in my sample picture I used Macintosh Apples because that is what I had in my fridge at the time. Cut apples into bite size triangular pieces, keep in mind it is going into a cup cake shell.  In a medium mixing bowl add the lemon juice and mix with about a cup of cold water and ½ cup of sugar.  Place cut apples inside bowl, cover and let soak in refrigerator for at least three hours.  I leave mine over night.

Step 2: Mix all Dry Ingredients – In a large mixing bowl combine sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, flour, baking powder, Raisins, Salt.  Drain Apples from Lemon water in step 1 and add them to mixture as well.  Blend together.

Step 3: Mix Wet IngredientsIn a small mixing bowl combine Egg, Vanilla and Milk.  Add to mixture from step 2 and blend till you have a batter like consistency.

Your finished mix.

Step 4: Melt ButterIn a small boiling pan melt 16 oz of butter (3 sticks).  Grease two pans of 12 count cup cakes with butter or cooking spray.

Step 5: Fill Cup CakesCrumb up 1 ½ cups of Oatmeal Cookies (about 8-10) and fill each cup with just under 1 inch of cookie crumbs.  This will be your bottom.  Equally disperse the butter throughout all 24 cups.  Top off all cups with completed apple mixture from step 3. Leave about ¼ inch of space in each cup for growth.

Filling your cups.

Step 6: BakePreheat oven to 325 degrees F.  Bake for around 55-60 minutes.  Top should look cake like when down. Let cool in fridge for about an hour before serving.

This is what your baked cups should look like.

Step 7: Prepare AlmondsEither smash up ½ cup or so of almonds or use prepackaged pieces.  Melt 2 oz of butter with 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a small roasting pan.  When melted add almonds, stir then bake at 350 degrees F for eight to ten minutes till Almonds are browned.  Keep a close eye because they can burn up pretty fast.  Add to the top of your cobbler cups to finish them off.

The Roasted Almonds

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Ginger Bread – How to build your very own Ghetto Fabulous Ginger Bread Abode.

It can’t be Christmas with out the construction of a ginger bread house.  There is nothing I find more enjoyable about the holiday season then spending a few good hours in an attempt to build a beautiful confectionary structure that ends up coming out like a run down shanty.  But its my ginger bread shanty and that is all that matters.  No matter how ugly it looks it tastes delicious.  Ginger bread can also be used for cookies as well. Follow this recipe and all your ginger bread hopes and dreams will be realized.

Total Cost – $10.85
Feeds 4-6 people

Ingredient List:

  • Dark Brown Sugar – 1/3 Cup
  • Vegetable Oil – ½ Cup
  • Egg – 1
  • Molasses – 2/3 Cup
  • Ginger – 1 Teaspoon (Ground)
  • Salt – ½ Teaspoon
  • Baking Powder – 3 Teaspoons
  • Flour  – 3 ½ Cups
  • Assorted Candy
  • No stick baking spray
  • Frosting
    • Shortening – ½ Cup
    • Powdered Sugar – 20 oz
    • Salt – Pinch
    • Vanilla Extract – 1 Table Spoon
    • Milk – 1/3 Cup

 

Step 1: Mix Ginger Bread BatterIn a large mixing bowl combine Dark Brown Sugar, Vegetable Oil, Egg, Molasses, Ginger, Salt, Baking Powder, Flour till you have a dough like consistency.  When well blended it should be dark brown.

This is the color and consistency your finished dough should have.

Step 2: Spread Dough in to baking panPreheat oven to 350 Degrees F.  Spray non-stick baking spray in baking pan 9” x 13”.  Spread dough evenly through out.  For cookies you should flatten your dough to be around ½” for a house 1/3”.  This recipe will be enough ginger bread for a small house, double or triple depending on size of structure you wish to create.  If you are going to make your cookies from cutouts be sure to cut shapes prior to baking.  The same goes for intricate house projects. If you are building a standard house like I do then you can do your cut outs after baking although I still find doing it before is easier.

Step 3: Bake Ginger BreadPlace pan into the oven and bake for 10 minutes for cookies, 13-15 minutes for a house.  For cookies you should have a soft feel to your ginger break for house it should be rather hard.

Step 4: Make FrostingFrosting is not only for making faux snow decoration but is also the mortar that holds your house together.  It will be the decoration for your cookies as well.  In a large mixing bowl combine all dry ingredients (powdered sugar, salt) and mix with shortening.  Cube up shortening prior to adding to mixture.  Mix till you have formed little balls with both sugar and shortening.  Add Vanilla Extract and slowly add milk till you have an icing consistency.  Blend with electric mixer if possible or elbow power will do as well.

Your finished icing.

Step 5: Build and Decorate Your House/CookiesIf your just doing cookies then your pretty much done here.  Use the frosting and your pick of candy and decorate the heck out of them.  If your doing a house your work has just begun.  Take a piece of cardboard an adequate size to accommodate your house and cover it with aluminum foil.  This will be the property for your home.

 

Next get your pieces in order.  It is very important to use some type of pattern for both your roof and house pieces to make sure it comes out even otherwise you will end up with a crooked house.  You pieces depend on the house you intend to build.  For a basic house you will need two isosceles triangles for the roofline and two rectangles for the roof top.  Then another two rectangles for the sides of the house and two squares for the front and back.  Its best to figure out some type of scale before starting.  This is if you want perfection, but if your impetuous like myself you can just wing it and see what happens.  I find this makes some of the most comical houses.  Use the icing to hold your pieces together and glue your house to the cardboard.  The icing will also hold your candy to the house as well.

A small house circa 2004

A Ginger Bread Monstrosity circa 2005

Small house with a Tree shaped cookie

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French Toast

Mmmmmmmm….French toast and even better breakfast.  For the longest time I was not a fan of hot breakfast.  During a period of about eight years I ate nothing but cold cereal every morning or oatmeal. Over the last few years I have come to love a nice hot cooked breakfast making it one of my favorite meals of the day.  French toast is one of my specialties and is sure to please the pickiest of eaters.

 

Total Cost: $5.85
Feeds about 4 people

Ingredient List:

  • Thick Yellow Slice Bread – 8 slices
  • Eggs – 6 (Beaten)
  • Milk – ¼ Cup
  • Cinnamon – 1 teaspoon
  • Sugar – ½ teaspoon
  • Nutmeg  – pinch
  • Vanilla – ½ teaspoon
  • Confectionary Sugar – as desired
  • Butter – ½ stick
  • Black Pepper – pinch
  • Salt – pinch

 

Step 1: Mix the batter – Combine the eggs, milk, cinnamon, sugar, nutmeg, vanilla, salt, pepper and whisk till a uniform conformity.

 

Step 2: Fry the Bread – In a frying pan preferably large enough to fry two slices at a time melt butter.  When fully dissolved dip both sides of bread into batter till properly covered.  Place in pan and fry each side for a 1-2 minutes till its cooked.  You don’t want to burn your bread so be watchful of it.

 

Step 3: Serve – Cut bread on an angle for a chic restaurant finish, pour syrup over the top and sprinkle confectionary sugar on top for flare.

 

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Tilapia in a Lemon Dill Sauce
With Brown Rice Risotto In a Garlic Basil Sauce and a Baked Potato

Tilapia is the poor man’s fish and myself being a poor man on occasion will resort to this thrift of the sea.  At 2.99lb you cant go wrong.  By itself tilapia is a far from a tasty fish but accompanied with this Lemon Dill Sauce it is rather scrumptious.  You know a cut of tilapia to the untrained eye looks a bit like cat fish so one could fool unknowing guests and they will think pure elegance while eating smut.

Cost: 8.75 including sides
Feeds about four people

 

Ingredient List:

  • Tilapia – 4 4oz pieces
  • Lemon Juice – 1 cup
  • Dill Leaves – 2oz (Dry)
  • Olive Oil – 3 Table spoons
  • Garlic – 1 ½ Clove (minced)
  • Salt  – 2 Tea Spoons
  • Pepper – 2 Tea Spoons
  • Butter – 8 oz
  • Corn Starch – 4 oz

 

Step 1: Marinate Tilapia – In a small mixing bowl combine ¼ cup of Lemon Juice and/or squeezed lemons, ½ table spoon of Dill Leaves, 1 table spoon of Olive Oil, ½ clove of Garlic, Salt, Pepper and stir together.  Lay tilapia pieces in a baking pan large enough to accommodate and pour contents of mixing bowl over pieces making sure to cover both sides. Bake in oven at 350 for around ten to fifteen minutes.

 

Step 2: Make Lemon Dill Sauce – In a small saucepot melt butter (8oz).  When melted combine Lemon Juice (1/2 cup) , Dill Leaves (2 oz), Olive Oil (2 table spoons), Garlic (1 clove), Salt (1 teaspoon), Pepper (1 teaspoon) and bring to a boil.  Let boil for three minutes and stir constantly

 

Step 3: Create a Slurry To Thicken Sauce – Bring down the flame to low. Take 4 oz of cornstarch and put it in just enough cool water to dissolve it.  When corn starch is dissolved stir it into sauce.  Turn off heat and stir.  As sauce cools it will get thicker as a result of the slurry.

Step 4: Serve – Pour sauce over cooked Tilapia.

 

Sides:

Baked Potato: Take a russet potato and wash it.  Bake in preheated oven 375 F for around 45 minutes till soft.

Brown Rice Risotto in a Garlic Basil Sauce

Your finished fish.

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Baked Potato

I know it seems like a really simple one but still something I think is worth a few moments to review considering the baked potato is not only a staple side dish in American Cuisine but also in many recipes a key starting ingredient.  So I thought I would share my thoughts on this simple yet tasty subject.

Total Cost: $.10
Feeds 1 person per potato

Ingredient List

  • Russet Potato
  • Salt – Pinch
  • Pepper – Pinch
  • Olive Oil

Step 1: Wash Potato – Personally I feel that Russet Potatoes make the best baked potato based on size and density, but you can bake any type of potato you wish although the times will be either longer or shorter depending.  Yams or sweet potatoes will be longer, while red or yellow potatoes will be a little bit shorter.  Before using any vegetable one must always wash it thoroughly.

Step 2: Prep for cooking – With a fork poke holes around entire potato to allow it to get some air to the center.  Next rub olive oil over entire outside surface.  Sprinkle on some salt and pepper

Step 3: Bake – Preheat Oven to 350, place potato in a roasting pan.  Let roast for 45-55 minutes.  Potato should be soft to squeeze if done.

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How to Make a Pumpkin Pie From a Real Pumpkin

Yummy!!!!!!!

I talked about it for years and mulled it over in my head every fall, but for whatever reason (most likely surfing) I did not ever get around to making a pumpkin pie from scratch.  This year I was motivated and thanks to a very entertaining trip to the local pumpkin patch and nearly getting lost forever in a corn maze I had a pumpkin.  Now there are certain kinds of pumpkins that are suggested for pie making and those pre-canned pumpkin mixes are actually made from a type of squash and not real pumpkin at all.  I decided to use the one that I picked, like I said I wanted this thing to be as authentic as possible down to physically going and picking the thing off the vine (although most of the pumpkins were already pre picked and I think the vines were just there for show and truthfully if I really wanted to go all the way from scratch I should have grown the damn thing from a seed).  For all this seasonal fun I got to pay $10 bucks for a pumpkin I could have waited till after they closed and stole the damn thing like I normally do this time of year.

 

I used your average everyday run of the mill pumpkin and it came out fabulous, definitely a slightly different taste but very good just the same.  Here is this week’s Recipe D’Jour in honor of Turkey Day.  I just made my second pumpkin pie ever, finishing it an hour ago for tomorrow.  My buddy Ryan invited me over for Thanksgiving with his family so I decided to provide the desert.  Although this recipe comes a bit too late for your holiday maybe you can use it next year.

 

Total Cost: $15.50 (yeah you can buy a whole pie for like $3, remember the pumpkin cost $10)
Feeds about eight people

Ingredient List:

  • Pumpkin – 2-4lbs
  • Vegetable Oil – Table spoon
  • Water – 1 cup
  • 9inch Pie Crust
    • Ice Water – 1 ½ cup
    • Flour –  1 ¼ cup
    • Salt – ¼ Teaspoon
    • Butter – 4 Tablespoons
    • Shortening – 2 Tablespoons
  • Pumpkin Puree – 1 ½ cup (you create from pumpkin)
  • Heavy Cream – 1 ½ cup
  • Brown Sugar – ½ cup
  • Flour – 1 tablespoon
  • Salt – ½ teaspoon
  • Cinnamon – 1 teaspoon (ground)
  • Ginger – ½ teaspoon (ground)
  • Nutmeg – ¼ teaspoon (ground)
  • Light Corn Syrup – ½ cup
  • Egg – 3
  • Vanilla – 1 teaspoon

 

Step 1: Prep Pumpkin – Wipe pumpkin clean of all residue and dirt with a damp rag. Remove stem.  Cut pumpkin in half vertically.  Remove all pumpkin seeds and subsequent insides.  Save seeds for Roasted Pumpkin Seeds.  Coat the inside of pumpkin with Vegetable oil.

This is your pumpkin after step 1

Step 2: Cook Down Pumpkin – In a baking pan large enough to fit both halves place pumpkin halves open side down.  Add 1 cup of water to pan.  Preheat oven to 350 Degrees F and cook at this temperature for around 60-80 minutes until pumpkin is adequately soft.

This is what your pumpkin should look like after being cooked down.

Step 3: Get the Puree – Allow pumpkin to cool to a comfortable handling temperature.  Scoop out entire inside of shell with a spoon.  It should come off rather easily. Mash up insides by hand.  This can also be done with a blender, hand mixer or a food processor.  I used a potato masher and then finished it off with an electric mixer.

Scoop out inside of pumpkin.

Your collected puree.

Step 4: Drain the Puree of any excess fluids – Scoop mixed puree into a sieve, I made a make shift one out of a strainer lined with three coffee filters and suspend over a bowl with enough room to catch excess fluids but without touching the sieve.  Cover and place in the refrigerator for around 3-4 hours to properly drain the puree.   After drained put aside 1 ½ cup for your pie any other excess you can freeze, but do it in 1 ½ cup portions so that you only have to defrost one pie worth the next time you feel so inclined to make a pumpkin pie.  I got three portions out of my pumpkin.

The make shift sieve.

Step 5: Make the Crust – Sure you can go to the store and buy those Pillsbury pre-made crusts or similar product, but like I said we are doing this from scratch.  Mix Flour, Salt, Butter and Shortening in large mixing bowl till it becomes a conglomerate of little beads of flour.  Add Ice water as needed, just enough to allow the dough to be kneaded. It is very necessary that ice water is used or crust will not roll out well and will be all cracky when you try and fit it to the pan.  Knead dough into a ball.  On a flat surface flatten ball into circle and then roll about 1/8 inch thick and ten-inch circumference.  You don’t need to have a perfect circle just as long as it is circular and fits inside your pan with a small overlap.  Place inside round pan and fold over the excess dough to form outside of piecrust.

 

Step 6: Make Filling – In large mixing bowl mix together flour and brown sugar.  Then add drained pumpkin puree from step 4 and Heavy Cream, blend together either by hand or with a mixer.  Add Salt, Cinnamon, Ginger and Nutmeg and mix again. Add Corn syrup and blend some more.  Add beaten Eggs and Vanilla and blend once more.

Mix your filling.

Step 7: Pour Filling Into Shell – Pour filling form step 6 into shell from step 5.

Step 8: Bake Pie – Preheat oven to 350 Degrees F and bake pie for 55-60 minutes.  After thirty minutes check to make sure crust is not getting burned, if so cover with tin foil.  Be sure to remove tin foil for last ten minutes of baking or so to brown up pie.

 

Step 9: Cool Pie – Check pie for doneness by either sticking a knife in it and if knife comes out clean it is done or jiggle it, if pie is not too jiggly it is done.  Allow pie to fully cool before serving.

 

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