Taste of the Week – November 15th-21st

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For a number of reasons, I have been on a pumpkin kick of late. While there appears to be a national shortage of canned pumpkin, fortunately there has been no shortage of quality heirloom pumpkins in my neighborhood.Thanks to the work of Sheldon Farms in Salem, N.Y. I have been able to sample a number of different heirloom pumpkin varieties. While working on a dish for TGRWT#20, I made a pumpkin/chicken soup with cardamom and parmigiano-reggiano. The soup was a byproduct of a larger endeavor, most of which, unfortunately, did not work out quite as well as planned. Fortunately, the soup was a nice consolation. I made it by cooking a chicken and pumpkin along with cardamom, Parmigiano (I had been planning on using cheddar, but had unexpectedly run out) and parsley along with a little yogurt in a pressure cooker, Removing the chicken, I took the remaining ingredients and pureed them in the Vita-Mix. While my goal was to make a sauce, at this point, the consistency was decidedly soupy. I took some of the liquid and reduced it to a sauce. The sauce was quite concentrated in flavor. It wasn't bad, but it overwhelmed the food I paired it with – chicken and pumpkin nuggets. I was glad that I kept the remainder of the soup. I re-heated it a few days later and it was delicious! This soup is my Taste of the Week, because it shows that even the biggest disappointments can have their elements of serendipity.

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The ill-fated dish consisted of chicken nuggets, pumpkin nuggets with a chicken/pumpkin/parmigiano/cardamom sauce and shredded brussels sprouts with chicken and sriracha…mea culpa, mea culpa, mea culpa! The conception of this dish actually had some merit. It was my execution that fell woefully short other than for the serendipitous pumpkin/chicken soup and the crisped chicken skin with lemongrass and salt. Back to the drawing board…


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