Wednesday, November 25, 2009

"it's just a sham. a sham with yams. it's a yam-sham!"

so, comrades, it's the day before thanksgiving*. k.stein and I spent the morning baking up a storm (and when I charge my camera, I'll post the evidence), making cranberry bread a la martha, pumpkin muffins-to-bread de VwaV, and apple pie.

and none of this is as important as what I made for dinner.

food EDITS:
-the cranberry bread had an entire bag of cranberries in it - it could've used more sugar, or maybe some agave. agave would've been nice.

-my sleazy beezy roommate took our muffin tins to her boyfriend's (wtf), so isa's delightful pumpkin muffins became a loaf. shouldn't've been - it's really dense and kinda crumbles when you try to slice it. it's yum, though, molasses-y and full of the dusty, fall tastes of allspice, cloves, nutmeg... so good. my coworkers will appreciate it tomorrow when we're chopping lettuce and stocking kale at 4:30am. oh, and isa, you are my goddess.

-the apple pie was an adventure. it had a betterhomesandgardens butter pastry crust, which, while definitely not vegan, was tender, and very easy to work with. k.stein assembled the filling, with mixed apples, sugar, maple, brandy (she's my favorite drunk), and cinnamons, all dotted with butter. we haven't tried the pie yet, but it sure turned out pretty - a nice looking lattice crust, with three little hearts in the center (because I'm cutesy and stuff like that sometimes).

we made empanadas/apple turnovers with the leftover crust and filling, which were pretty amazing. I hope the pie's ok - I think some of the success of the empanadas was that it was a sealed pocket, so the filling stayed moist. we'll see how this lattice works.

anyway, those are the baked goods. dinner was bound to be a quick affair, as I got off work past supper-time. work was wild today (who'd've thought, a grocery store being busy the day before thanksgiving), and I was tired, grumpy, and not in the mood to screw around constructing one of my hyper-calorie conscious meals. I wanted some damn food. food with swear words in the name.

duh! pasta puttanesca. the name means "pasta of the whores", and is traditionally full of capers, tomatoes, anchovies, shrimpies, and kalamata olives. I ditched the fish-flesh here in favor of pumpkin. ...yeah, I know. but I had about half a can leftover from isa-bread, so why not. it was AMAZING, well-spiced and rich and filling yet still fall-y. I'm calling it my premeditated dinner of necessity, because I sort of just got things, and threw it together, all the while with a glorious vision in my head.

PUMPKIN PUTA SAUCE (pardon the obscenities :D)

good quality olive oil
1/2 yellow onion, roughly chopped
1 shallot, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 - 1/3 cup kalamata olives, roughly chopped
1 can crushed tomatoes (I used the muir glen fire roasted ones)
1 TBS tomato paste
1/2 can pumpkin (plain, none of that nasty pre-flavored crud)
1/2 - 1 tsp crushed red pepper
2 tsp paprika (adjust as necessary - this is me trying to measure my dashes and pinches)
1 tsp nutmeg
salt and pepper

saute the onions and shallots in the oil on medium heat 'til they begin to get fragrant, 3 minutes or so. mix in the garlic, and saute until it's beginning to get brown. mix in the tomatoes, olives, tomato paste, and pumpkin, stirring to mix it all together well. add spices, and adjust to taste - you may want it spicier, or more paprika-y (I like paprika and tomatoes a lot).

serve over good-quality bite-sized pasta; conchiglie or penne or orichette would all be good. if you want (and I did), douse your pasta in a tiny bit of cream before you add your sauce - it adds a interesting new dimension, but is totally not necessary.

mmm :)

*this pretty much sums up my feelings on thanksgiving - the title and these both come from "pangs" (thanks, joss!):
Anya: I love a ritual sacrifice.
: Not really a one of those.

To commemorate a past event, you kill and eat an animal. It's a ritual sacrifice. With pie.

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