Here's to our first American Halloween with carved pumpkins, devil horns, spider web muffins, roasted butternut squash and pumpkin soup. It's been quite delicious.
Devil horns (otherwise known as pizza horns) requires one portion of my own special bread roll recipe (or any other less special recipe that you can find on the internet!) and one portion of whichever filling you prefer (don't forget the cheese!). I made two different fillings: one vegetarian (onions, mushrooms, fresh tomatoes, dried oregano, paprika...) and one meaty (minced beef, onions, fresh tomatoes, dried oregano, paprika...). Take one big piece of dough and use a rolling pin (or a wine bottle if you don't have one) to shape it into one large circle (like you do when you make pizza!). Use a knife to cut the circle into eight pizza slices, put a little filling (and cheese!!) in the middle of the wide end, then stretch dough to cover filling and roll to form a horn. Brush with some egg white and drizzle grated cheese or sesame seeds on top. Bake on 180 degrees Celsius (150 fahrenheit) for 12-15 minutes.
The spider web muffins I made by following a recipe on BBC goodfood (my favourite recipe database!). They weren't that great, but they weren't that bad either. The recipe should be here.
Earlier this week I bought a butternut squash and used half of it to make a thai pumpkin soup (the recipe I found here). It was yummy. The other half I took care of this evening... I brushed it with some olive oil and baked it in the oven for approximately 45 minutes. Then I carved out some of the flesh, mixed it together with the left over devil horn filling from the night before and scattered over some parmigiana and some dried oregano. It was absolutely wonderful and I ate nearly all of it in one go the very same evening I was having the tomato-pumpkin soup below.
One of the greatest things about California is that you always have access to lots of fresh fruit and vegetables. Every now and then I buy a massive bag of tomatoes from Pedrick's and make roast tomato soup. This time I added a bit of pumpkin to try something slightly different.
First, chop of some fresh tomatoes and toss it with some nice olive oil. Drizzle over some sugar and salt and pepper and roast on medium heat for 30-60 minutes. Heat some oil in a large pan, fry some chopped onion and garlic until soft, add pieces of pumpkin and then the roast tomatoes. Pour over some vegetable stock and let simmer for a little while. Add fresh or dried herbs, a dash of red wine and whatever else you think will enhance the flavour of the tomatoes. Whiz it all up with a blender and while the soup is simmering on low heat, add a little bit of cream (optional). Serve with crusty bread.