Happy Halloween weekend! To celebrate, I’m gorging on gourds with a very fall-worthy menu which includes one of my seasonal favorites, spaghetti squash. Enjoy! Love, Jamie
CAESAR SALAD WITH HOMEMADE CROUTONS
PUMPKIN PIE CRÈME BRULEE WITH BUTTER PECAN CRUST
1 Spaghetti Squash
Fresh Cracked Black Pepper
*Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Carefully cut the Spaghetti squash in half and scoop out the seeds and strings. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper. Place on foil and bake for 50 minutes.
*With a fork, scrape around the edge of the squash to shred the pulp into strands.
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ cup finely chopped onion
3 cloves minced garlic
3 pounds fresh Roma tomatoes (or mix Roma with Vine)
½ cup pitted and halved Kamalata olives
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon drained capers
½ teaspoon dried crushed basil
*In a large pot heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the onion and sauté until soft and lightly caramelized. Add the garlic and cook an additional 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and the remaining ingredients and simmer until the sauce is thickened and slightly reduced (about 40 minutes).
*Adjust seasoning to taste, cover and set aside.
Caesar Salad with Homemade Croutons
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, halved
3 cups 3/4-inch cubes of Italian or French bread
2 flat anchovy fillets, or to taste, rinsed and drained
4 garlic cloves
2 teaspoons Sherry vinegar
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 cup olive oil
4 heads of romaine, the pale-green inner leaves washed, spun dry, and torn into bite-size pieces (about 12 cups) and the outer leaves reserved for another use
Parmesan curls formed with a vegetable peeler
*Preheat oven to 350°F. In a small saucepan melt the butter with the oil, the garlic, and salt and pepper to taste over moderately low heat. Remove the mixture from the heat, let it stand for 10 minutes, and discard the garlic. In a bowl toss the bread cubes with the butter mixture, spread them on a baking sheet, and bake them in the middle of the oven for 12 to 15 minutes, or until they are golden. The croutons may be made 1 day in advance and kept in an airtight container.
*Mince and mash the anchovies with the garlic to form a paste and in a bowl whisk together the paste, the vinegar, the lemon juice, the Worcestershire sauce, and the mustard. Add the oil in a stream, whisking, and whisk the dressing until it is emulsified.
*In a large bowl toss the romaine with the croutons and the dressing until the salad is combined well and sprinkle the salad with the Parmesan curls.
To drink: Feudi del Pisciotto, Chardonnay “Alberti Ferretti”, 2008
Pumpkin Pie Crème Brulee with Butter Pecan Crust
3 ½ cups heavy cream, divided
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
½ teaspoon powdered ginger
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
8 egg yolks
1 cup sugar
½ cup whole milk
2 cups canned pumpkin
¼ cup natural brown sugar
*Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Divide the crust into 8 (6 ounce) custard cups. Put them in a 9×13” baking dish or roasting pan and bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Set aside to cool.
*In a medium saucepan, over medium-high heat, add 2 cups of the cream and the vanilla. Bring to a boil and remove from heat.
*In a medium bowl, whisk the yolks with the sugar until the mixture is pale yellow and the sugar is dissolved. Add the remaining 1 ½ cups of cream and the ½ cup of milk to the cream and spice mixture. Slowly incorporate the yolk and sugar mixture then strain through a medium-size sieve. Whisk the pumpkin.
*Divide the pumpkin mixture evenly into the custard cups lined with the crust. Add the hot water into the baking dish of roasting pan to create a hot bath and put the pan in the oven. Bake until the custard is starting to set about 35 to 45 minutes. Remove the brulee from the oven and let cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate overnight or at least 6 hours.
*Lightly sprinkle each custard with brown sugar. Heat the sugar with a butane torch until caramelized. To get a thick caramelized sugar crust, repeating with a light sprinkling each time. Allow to cool and serve.
Butter Pecan Crust
32 butter crackers (like Ritz)
½ cup pecans
5 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
2 to 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
In a food processor, pulse the crackers and pecans until finely ground about 6 to 10 pulses. Add the melted butter and brown sugar and pulse to combine. Press into the bottom of the baking pans.