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All hail the Queen, Pumpkin Spice

All hail the Queen, Pumpkin Spice

One of America’s most beloved and revered icons, yet shunned by many. The allusive pumpkin spice! Yes, my friends. It’s that time of the year! Celebratory or not, this unique spice has quite a long history.

While nutmeg, a base flavor for pumpkin spice can be dated back to over 3,500 years. The grouping of it with allspice, cloves, cinnamon, and ginger didn’t occur to the 21st century. McCormick was one of the very first spice companies to embrace this new flavor in the 1950s. It has been flying off the shelves ever since.

Nowadays, you can find pumpkin spice in just about everything ranging from potato chips, toothpaste, body sprays, to believe it or not, dog biscuits!

This month, I’m excited to share with you 5 of my favorite recipes that include this spice in ways you may never have imagined. From savory dishes, that are truly a feast for your senses to one of my absolute favorite spreads that your entire family will enjoy!

Now, let’s get spicy, Pumpkin!

Roasted acorn squash with pumpkin spice and chili browned butter.

Ingredients

  • 2 medium sized acorn squash
  • 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp. of sea salt
  • 1/2 -1 tsp. crushed red chili flakes
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 Tbsp. salted butter
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • 1 tsp. pumpkin spice
  • 2 green onions thinly sliced

Directions:

Place oven rack in the middle and preheat to 425 degrees

Using a strong sharp knife, slice off the stem and bottom ends of the squash.
Slice the squash in half and then scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Slice the squash into 1/2 to 1 inch slices.

On a baking sheet, toss the slices with the olive oil, sea salt, and chili flakes. Arrange evenly on the sheet.

Roast the squash for 25 minutes, or until the squash is tender and golden brown on the edges. Remove from the oven to slightly cool.

Heat a small pan over medium heat. Add the butter, letting it melt and bubble. At this point you may swirl the pan over the heat to until it begins to foam. Next, increase the heat to medium high and cook until the butter turns a beautiful amber color and smells nutty. This process will take several minutes to complete.

Add the honey, pumpkin spice, and a pinch of chili flakes to the butter and whisk lightly.

Place the squash on a serving tray, and spoon the browned butter over the squash.

Garnish with green onions and Parmesan cheese.


Cast Iron Pumpkin spice and maple roasted Cornish game hen

Ingredients

  • 1 Cornish game hen
  • 1 tsp. pumpkin spice
  • 2 Tbsp. maple syrup
  • 1 small white onion halved
  • 3 peeled garlic cloves
  • 1/2 – 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1 Tbsp. coconut oil
  • Pinch sea salt
  • Pinch fresh cracked black pepper
  • Fresh sage leaves

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Rinse the thawed out hen inside and out with cold water. Removing any organs that may be inside. Pat dry with paper towels.

Quarter the white onions and place inside the bird. Along with the peeled whole garlic cloves.

Optionally, tuck the wings behind the back and truss the chicken as desired using kitchen twine.

Rub coconut oil all over the chicken and season with salt and pepper.

In a small bowl, mix the maple syrup and pumpkin spice. Once throughly mixed rub all over the hen. Making sure every part is evenly saturated.

Roast the hen in the preheated oven for about 1 hour or until an instant read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the the thigh registers at 165 degrees F and the juices run clear.

Remove the hen from the hen and let it rest for 10 minutes before carving.

Garnish with fresh sage.


Vegan Pumpkin Spiced Brown Rice Pudding

Ingredients

  • 1 cup long grain brown rice
  • 4 cups unsweetened almond milk, divided.
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. pumpkin spice
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 Tbsp. maple syrup.

Directions:

In a medium pot add the brown rice, 3 cups of almond milk, 1 tsp. of vanilla extract, 1 tsp. of pumpkin spice, a pinch of salt, and 3 Tbsp. of maple syrup.

Bring to a rolling boil.

Turn the heat on low and cover the pot with the lid. Let the rice simmer for 45 minutes.
Stirring occasionally, add the additional cup of almond milk and let simmer for an additional 15-20 minutes.

Serve with a sprinkle of pumpkin spice and optional almond milk.


Spiced Pumpkin Butter

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of pumpkin puree canned or fresh
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup.
  • 2 Tbsp. pumpkin spice
  • 3/4 cup water*

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a heavy bottom saucepan.

Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low (otherwise the pumpkin butter will sputter)

Cook for 20 minutes, stirring often, until the pumpkin has become caramelized and dark brown. It should have a thick and shiny consistency.

The spiced pumpkin butter can be stored in the fridge for at least two weeks.

I put this spread on almost anything, warm biscuits, apples, and even stirred into hot tea or coffee.


Cast Iron Pepita Crusted Salmon With A Smoked Chipotle & Pumpkin Spiced Agave glaze.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup Plain Greek yogurt
  • Juice of 1 lemon, in addition to lemon wedges for garnish
  • 1 tables extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small white or yellow onion.
  • 3/4 cup crushed pepitas
  • 2 to garlic cloves, smashed
  • 4 6 ounce salmon fillets
  • Sea salt
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. of chipotle peppers in adobo.
  • 2 Tbsp. of agave nectar

Directions:

In a small bowl still together the yogurt, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, and salt and pepper to taste.
Pour the sauce in a large resealable plastic bag. Add the salmon to the bag and turn to coat the salmon. Refrigerate for 20 to 30 minutes turning the bag over once.

Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Remove the salmon from the marinade and pat lightly with a paper towel to remove any excess marinade. Lightly oil the cast iron pan, I used personal pans for this dish.

Add the salmon to the pan. Around the circumference of the fish add the sliced lemons & onions. Cook for 12-15 minutes.

While the salmon is cooking in a small pot combine the agave and chipotle on heat low for 4-5 minutes. Whisking on occasion.

Once the fish is ready to be served. Lightly spoon the glaze over the fish.

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