Tag Archives: Pumpkin

{ Curry Roasted Calabaza with Apples & Honey }

If you think that grocery shopping in the Unites States is annoying and tedious, then you would not believe what it takes in Argentina. It is an all day, sometimes doble day process, that requires one to visit multiple verdulerias (veggie markets), canicerias (meat markets), fruterias (fruit markets), and superchinos (the adopted name for small Korean-owned markets, which clutter the city). There is no such thing as one-stop shopping in Buenos Aires, and finding even the most basic ingredients (i.e. black beans, peanut butter, jalapeños, ect…) can often be as difficult as finding a needle in a haystack. As a result, my culinary skills were contsantly put to the challenge as I was continuously forced to rethink many of my weeknight dinners and side dishes. Given that there is absolutely NO shortage of calabaza  in the city of Buenos Aires (calabaza = Spanish pumpkin), I decided to start incorporating it into my meals to simplify my shopping experience. It very quickly became a grocery staple, right up there along with bread, butter, and eggs.

One of my favorite ways to prepare calabaza is to simply roast it with a seasoning of olive oil, salt, pepper but then one night I decided to add a sprinkling of Indian curry into the mix and it turned out amazing. The next time I prepared the dish, it evolved even further when I added chopped granny smith apples to the roasting pan halfway through baking. The apple cubes compliment the spice of the curry and add the skins provide a little texture to contrast the smooth butteriness of the pumpkin. Drizzle a little honey on top after everything has roasted and viola….deliciousness!

This has undoubtably become one of my favorite side dishes (served either hot or cold), and I even like to eat it as a main dish over white rice.

{ Ingredients }

  • 3 cups calabaza, chopped into 1″ cubes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1-2 teaspoons curry, depending on your taste
  • 1 cup green apple, chopped into 1/2″ cubes
  • Honey, optional for finishing

 { To Prepare } Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Prepare you calabaza, cutting it into 1″ cubes. You can either clean down your own calabaza, or use pre-packaged ones cleaned by the store (as I have shown below).

Place into a large mixing bowl and add olive oil, curry, salt, and pepper, tossing with your hands to coat. Arrange the calabaza on a baking sheet in a single layer and put in oven. NOTE: Make sure to turn over calabaza with a spatula every 3-4 minutes, to ensure even cooking!

While the calabza is cooking, prepare your 1/2″ apple cubes. Add the apples to the baking sheet 10 minutes into the baking process, and return to oven.

Continue to bake for additional 5-10 minutes until the pumpkin is tender and the apple is golden.

Remove from oven, drizzle with 1-2 teaspoons of honey, adjust seasonings, and serve!

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{ Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting }

Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

One of the things that I miss most about living up North is the fall; the change of seasons, the falling of leaves, and the crisp air, which creates favorable conditions forwarm Starbuck’s beverages. I’m so sick of drinking iced coffees already. I want to be able to order a delicious steamy cappuccino and not worry about the hot flashes I may endure while drinking it! But it’s the end of October and no such luck in Miami yet…sadly 80 degrees is about as “crisp” as it has gotten here. So in an effort to convince myself that it is actually fall, despite the weather, I decided to make some pumpkin spice cupcakes tonight!! I really wanted to make a pumpkin pie, but cupcakes seemed easier to pass out to friends and with Halloween right around the corner….yeah, I’m not trying to eat an entire batch of 24 cupcakes alone one week before parading around the streets of Key West half-naked for Fantasy Fest!! So cupcakes it was!

I got the recipe for the pumpkin spice cake batter from Martha Stewart. I have found that all of her cupcake recipes are very good, but instead of using the vanilla frosting she suggested, I decided to pair my cupcakes with a cream cheese frosting. This is my absolute favorite recipe for cream cheese icing and it’s particularly delicious on top of red velvet cupcakes and coconut cupcakes (there is a recipe for these under desserts!).

Anyways, the cupcakes turned out delicious!! The pumpkin puree kept them super moist and the freshly ground ginger gave off a great flavor. I actually kept some without frosting so that I could eat them in the morning like a muffin! But the cream cheese frosting did turn out to be a great combination with the cake and everyone loved them! I will be making these again for sure. It made about 24 cupcakes total and the frosting recipe below makes enough to generously ice this many cupcakes.

{ Cupcake Ingredients }

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, melted, and cooled
  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 can (15 oz) pumpkin puree
{ To Make CupcakesPreheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, nutmeg, ginger, allspice, cinnamon, kosher salt, baking soda, and baking powder.

In a separate mixing bowl (the bowl of an electric mixer if you have one) combine the eggs, butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar. On a low speed, mix until well combined and smooth. Then add the dry ingredients and whisk until smooth. Then whisk in the pumpkin puree until well combined.

Line the cupcake pan with liners and fill each cup about ¾ the way full with batter. (TIP: Use an ice cream scooper to distribute the batter neatly and uniformly!) Place the pans into the oven and allow to bake for 20-25 min, or until a toothpick comes out clean. (TIP: I like to rotate the pans 10 min through baking process to ensure even cooking)

Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool completely in pans before removing and then icing.

{ Frosting Ingredients }

  • 1 8 oz package of cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 ½ sticks of unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ¾ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract
  • ¾ pound of confectioners’ sugar

{ To Make FrostingIn the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream together the cream cheese, butter, vanilla and almond extracts. Lower the speed and gradually add the confectioner’s sugar, mixing until smooth.

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