Nigel Slater’s Recipes for Pumpkin Scones and Baked Potato with Nduja Cream | Food
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The garden paths are treacherous with the black, soggy leaves of the medlar. Its fruits, now black, cling to the branches, daring me to simmer them with sugar and lemon in jars of amber jelly.
A pumpkin sits majestically on the kitchen window sill. “It’s my time,” he seems to be saying. The one I cut last week – orange peel, dark ocher color, and a little damp flesh – had made a pretty sloppy mash, so I’m going to leave this one or two longer, to dry out a bit more.
Pumpkin flesh is useful in this kitchen as a filling for a puff pastry or as a side to offer with baked mushrooms or thick slices of ham. I do my best to keep it firm by making sure that the peeled flesh never meets the boiling water. Steaming or baking is the way to go.
I mixed mashed butternut squash into a cheese scone mix this week, being careful not to overwork it, then served them hot, with quince jelly. (Medlar jelly that I haven’t made yet would have been good here.) Apple or currant jelly would also work.
There were also little baked potatoes this week, perfect for Halloween or next week’s bonfire night celebrations. Their skins were rubbed in and lightly salted before cooking, then cut open and filled with a rich sauce – messy, searing, spicy and as good for eating outside around a fire as they would have been for cooking. kitchen table.
The trick to good pumpkin scones – light, chewy, and well puffed up – is not to over mix them. Once the pumpkin is cooked, the milk and water added, mix the dough lightly and for as little time as possible. Stop as soon as the ingredients are combined, otherwise your scones will be heavy. Serve the scones warm if you can, either straight out of the oven or reheated in a hot oven for 10 minutes. If necessary, they will keep overnight in an airtight box. For 6 persons
pumpkin or butternut squash 250g, peeled and seeded weight
plain flour 400g
baking powder 4 teaspoons
salt ½ teaspoon
Parmesan cheese 80g, grated
Milk 100 ml
the water 100 ml
grain mustard 2 teaspoons
Egg 1, beaten, for the icing
Cut the pumpkin into large pieces and steam for 7-10 minutes until tender. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Cut the butter into small pieces and rub it with your fingertips. (You can do this in a food processor, but it doesn’t seem worth washing out.) Stir in the grated Parmesan.
Coarsely mash the cooked pumpkin with a fork or potato masher – taking care not to reduce it to a creamy puree – then lightly incorporate the mustard grains and a grind of black pepper.
Add it to the flour mixture, then pour in the milk and water. Stir the liquids into the flour, season with black pepper and mix the ingredients thoroughly, being careful not to over mix.
Roll out the dough on a floured board and roll it out in a circle about 3 cm thick. Using a 5-6 cm cookie cutter, make 12 to 14 scones and place them well apart from each other on a baking sheet.
Brush the top of each with the beaten egg, taking care not to let any run down the sides (this will prevent them from rising), then bake for 12 to 14 minutes until golden brown.
Take the scones out of the oven and let them rest briefly before transferring them to a cooling rack. Enjoy them the same day, preferably warm and with quince jelly.
Baked potatoes with ‘nduja cream
I’ve always associated Halloween and Bonfire Night with baked potatoes. I had to serve them in every way imaginable, longtime favorites being the ones whose flesh is mashed with smoked mackerel and cream or with mashed pork rillettes. This year brings a spicier version, based on tomatoes, mascarpone and ‘nduja. The sauce also makes a superb pasta dressing. For 2 people
For the cream:
onion 1, medium
olive oil 2 tbsp
Garlic 1 clove
Tomato puree 1 tbsp
nduja 50 grams
Baked potato 4, large
olive oil 2 tbsp
parsley a good handle
Preheat the oven to 200 ° C / thermostat 6. Wash the potatoes and cook them for 45-60 minutes depending on their size. They are cooked when their skin is crisp and the flesh inside is soft and chewy.
Prepare the sauce by peeling and roughly chopping the onion. Heat the olive oil in a medium sized pan, add the onion and let it soften over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Peel and crush the garlic and incorporate it into the onions. When the onion is golden, add the tomato puree and continue cooking for a minute or two. Coarsely chop and stir in the tomatoes, then simmer, without seasoning, for 15 minutes until thick.
Add the onion and parsley to finish. Peel the onion and cut it finely into rings. In a shallow pan, heat the olive oil, then add the onion rings and cook over medium heat for 15-20 minutes, stirring regularly, until golden brown. Finely chop the parsley (you will need about 2 tablespoons), add it to the onions and set aside.
Add the mascarpone and ‘nduja to the tomato sauce and check the seasoning. Remove the potatoes from the oven, open them to let the steam escape, pour the nduja sauce inside, then scatter the onions and parsley on top.
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