Monday, 31 October 2011

Trick or Treat

I love Halloween.

There's the fun of dressing up, tons of goodies to snack on, scary movies to watch, and best of all I love getting creative in the kitchen.

You might be thinking that I mean baking candy apples or caramel popcorn, but I actually mean getting creative and cooking dinner!

A friend told me how she was at a party that served upscale Halloween food for adults. There was everything from squid ink pasta with shrimp and a spicy red pepper sauce to pumpkin stuffed tortellini with blackened cod.

Hearing about those treats made me excited and I knew I had to get creative in my kitchen this year. I took a slightly different route with my own ideas, but I might try one of those treats in 2012!

Black Sesame Crusted Fish with Pumpkin Gnocchi and Fried Green Tomato "Eyes"

For the fish, I used my favourite Crispy Crunch Fish recipe and used black sesame seeds in place of 1/4 of the bread crumbs.

And for the fried green tomato "eyes", I sliced all the green cherry tomatoes from my plants outside (about 2 cups worth) and 3 cloves of garlic. Everything went into a pan on medium heat with a tablespoon of olive oil and in about 5 minutes my "eyes" were done.

Now the part with a new recipe...

Ok, this was a bit of a trick because the recipe is from October's Chatelaine. But it's Halloween... So we get to trick, right?

Pumpkin Gnocchi - serves 8-10

1 1/2 cups peeled and boiled white potato, shredded with a grater, a ricer, or a food mill
1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree
1 egg
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon each of nutmeg and ground ginger
2 1/2 cups flour
Butter and fresh basil (for garnish)

1. Boil a large pot of water.

2. Combine potato, pumpkin, egg, salt, and spices in a large bowl. Gradually stir in flour until the mixture becomes smooth and barely sticky.

3. On a floured counter, gently knead dough a few times and then divide into 4 even pieces.

4. Roll each piece into snake and cut into small pillows with a knife or a pastry cutter.

5. Drop a third of the gnocchi into the boiling water and cook them through. They will be cooked when  they rise to the surface of the water, about 2-5 minutes depending on the size of the pillows.

6. Repeat until all gnocchi are cooked.

7. Serve topped with butter and basil.

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