Appetizers & Snacks

Pumpkin Hummus

This post was not supposed to be pumpkin hummus. I had other recipes in store for you before this hummus was even a thought. Upon realizing I had yet to post a pumpkin recipe I immediately went out and purchased a can of pumpkin puree. Trial one was some sort of chocolate pumpkin tart, but I never got to the pumpkin portion. Although the chocolate tart shell tasted delicious, it wasn’t very… photogenic… so Matt and I happily ate the scrapped tart shells while I moved on to trial two. One skillet pumpkin cornbread later I was staring at a beautiful dish that would have photographed quite nicely, but after one bite I knew it wasn’t for Lemon & Mocha. Thankfully I refuse to settle on mediocre dishes and was determined to share some pumpkin tastiness so this smooth and addictive pumpkin hummus was able to find its way to the homepage. The lesson to be had here is try, try, again, if you fall down get back up, no tart shell shall go uneaten, or something like that.

If you are looking for something light to serve before your big Thanksgiving meal next week or you simply would like something tasty to snack on and get you in the fall spirit look no further than this pumpkin hummus. Do you have five minutes and either a food processor or an immersion blender? Then you are five minutes away from savory, creamy, pumpkiny hummusy perfection. The pepita garnish provides a great crunch and nicely compliments the cumin and cinnamon spiced pumpkin flavor. What are pepitas? Well they are just shelled pumpkin seeds. I know you’re thinking I’m super smart right now, but don’t feel bad, Google taught me that just the other day! I served this hummus with cinnamon sugar pita chips, but any sort of pita chip or cracker will pair well. Another idea is to serve pumpkin hummus and roasted turkey wraps the day after Thanksgiving- now we’re talking.

Pumpkin Hummus
 
Ingredients
  • One 15-ounce can chickpeas
  • 1 clove garlic
  • ¾ cup pumpkin puree
  • 5 tablespoons tahini paste
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • Salt
  • Pepitas for garnish
Directions
  1. Drain and rinse the chickpeas to remove the excess salt. Set aside in the strainer to dry.
  2. Puree the chickpeas, pumpkin, tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, cumin and cinnamon in a food processor or with an immersion blender until smooth.
  3. Season with salt to taste. Top with the pepitas before serving.

Recipe adapted from the October 2013 issue of Food Network Magazine.

Prosciutto & Gruyere Pinwheels

Sometimes the simple things in life are the most delicious. Especially when they involve cheese. And prosciutto; prosciutto makes everything better. These prosciutto and gruyere pinwheels made with puff pastry are simple, delicious and fitting for the next time you’re cooking for guests.

Every year my friend goes on a trip with the same group of women and for one of the nights they have an appetizer party. All the women bring a couple appetizers and they cook the miniature items up for dinner. Brilliant! Smaller sizes of candy is a total bummer. But bite sized food? Now that’s a whole different ball game. The joy of appetizers is that you can have thirds, fourths and fifths. Just do a little drive by on your way to refill your wine glass and pop a pinwheel in your mouth. No one will be the wiser!

This year my friend commissioned me to make her appetizers and these pinwheels made it on the list. According to my friend the pinwheels were one of the favorites of the trip. I tried one and the buttery flakiness of the puff pastry with the saltiness of the prosciutto and the creaminess of the cheese made it an incredibly satisfying bite. A kind of bite you would pull an oh-I-don’t-mind-if-I-do-definitely-not-my-sixth maneuver on.

Except I couldn’t do that. I could have one. As in singular. And that, my friends, is why I could never be a caterer. You make all this food, but aren’t able to sit down and have a major snarf session when it’s all done? Torture! So when you make these pinwheels cook up some extra so you and all your guests can have fifths and sixths.

Prosciutto & Gruyere Pinwheels
 
Yield: 16 pinwheels
Ingredients
  • 1 sheet frozen puff pastry
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 3 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto
  • 1 cup shredded gruyere cheese
  • 1 egg, beaten
Directions
  1. Defrost both puff pastry sheets according to the directions on the package.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Lay the defrosted puff pastry flat and evenly spread the mustard leaving a ½ inch border on 1 long side of the puff pastry.
  4. Evenly place the prosciutto on the mustard topped puff pastry.
  5. Sprinkle the shredded cheese evenly over the prosciutto.
  6. Brush the beaten egg on the ½ inch border.
  7. Roll the topped puff pastry up the long way starting at the long edge without the egg, similar to rolling a jelly roll. Make sure the roll is sealed.
  8. Wrap the roll in plastic wrap and place in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
  9. Take the roll out of the fridge and cut into ½ inch slices.
  10. Place the slices on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

Recipe adapted from Pepperidge Farms.