Monday, October 26, 2009

Pumpkin Gnocchi

Kris' Parents are coming down to visit us a few days after Halloween. Kris' dad has always been happy to help us out with household projects, he put in laminate flooring throughout our entire house, he helped me put in a tub surround; by helped me I mean that he told me to stand in the corner of our bathroom until he told me what to do next. When they are here there are four subjects of conversation outside of what to fix next.

These topics are:
Topic 1 Your house is messy, I keep tripping over clutter when I had kids the house was always neat as a pin.

Topic 2 Your kids are loud! I can't even here myself think! Kids didn't act like that when mine were little.

Topic 3 Bryan is a bad Carpenter, I have to tell him every step of the way what to do.

Topic 4 Bryan is a really good cook and he makes enough food for all of us.

Sure the subject can stray for a few minutes but usually we are back to one of the four several times an hour. I will bet you can guess which topic is my favorite. I try to keep the focus on topic 4 as much as I can, to that end once they pick a date to visit I start the menus in my head. I wanted something with a fall theme (you probably notice that) and something different, Kris' parents are not shy about eating or trying new things. I found a recipe for Pumpkin Dumplings in an old cookbook I tried but they weren't quite what I wanted. Then I started to think of Gnocchi (very dense Italian dumplings) these could hold up to sauteing and with a good sauce would go well with the Duck Breast and Pork Tenderloin that I plan to make for them.

You can start several days ahead by cooking a "pie pumpkin" (farmer's market lingo that I am picking up) or any small pumpkin would work. Cook it like you would a squash cut it in half, remove the seeds and put on a baking sheet with about half an inch of water... bake in a 350 oven for about an hour until tender. Once it is cool keep in in a covered container in the fridge. The pumpkin I made lasted a week and was enough for 3 batches like this (I said that I experimented a bit) plus a little left in the end. Before you mix these ingredients set a pan of water on the stove to boil.

Pumpkin Gnocchi:
1/2 cup Pumpkin Meat
1 Egg
1/2 tsp Salt
1/8 tsp Ground Nutmeg
1/8 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1/2 cup + 2 TBS All Purpose Flour
1/8 tsp Baking Soda

I mixed all of the ingredients with a fork until well blended then pulled the dough mixture out out of the bowl to make dumplings. I made them about a teaspoon at a time and dropped them into the boiling water to cook. They took about 10 minutes before they were done then I took them out with a slotted spoon and put then into a colander to rest. Once they were all out I started the sauce it was:

1/4 cup bourbon
1/4 cup brown Sugar
1 TBS Butter

This is the best sauce ever by the way, I set that all on the back burner to cook over low heat stirring occasionally while I cooked the dumplings in butter on high heat sauteing for about 5 minutes. Then I pored the sauce over the dumplings for and cooked for a few minutes more. When the in laws are here I think I am going to make them a little smaller (maybe half teaspoon) but I think I got it right the third time.

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