Wednesday, November 5, 2008

South African PBP Casserole

Here is my contribution to a PB (Peanut Butter)recipe challenge from Peanut Butter Boy @ I told him that I was not as fond of PB like him since my children were smaller, and that finally burned my taste buds out. When your a mom, as if some of you might not eat what the kids do not eat, to teach them? that food must not go to waste...well you end up eating a whole heck of a lot of PBJ scraps.

Okay, on with the challenge...I had a wine tasting for the public about seven years ago and my first one was 'South African Wines and Foods'. A few South African girls that worked in the retirement home were I was executive chef told me they ate pumpkin as a vegetable, and cooked many dishes with it as an creamed pumpkin leaves...Man, would I like to try that and maybe will, I took it upon myself to ask what they used with it, and they said sometimes is my recipe, but sorry, no picture!

2-3 Cups of Pumpkin Pulp
1-2 cups vegetable stock
-fill stock just at pulp level and simmer til tender; or steam if possible

(if using can pumpkin skip this part and go straight to combining ingredients)

(1 large can pumpkin puree- if not using fresh)
1/2 jar PB
1/4 cup cream of choice
1/2 stick of butter (salted)
2 eggs
1/4 cup maple syrup (I do not cook with regular sugar at all)

-cream these ingredients together

1 clove garlic, minced finely
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1 tablespoon pumpkin spices

-add these ingredients and pour into casserole dish with or without crust.

Bake 375 degree oven about 45 minutes (sorry I had forgotten this part, and remember it is thicker than a pie mix, but if necessary cook longer till browns and cracks somewhat; fork to see if it is done, and will set more after cools)

Goat cheese sprinkled on top when comes out of oven;
(do not worry if you see cracks in this dish, it is only a counterpart to the original pumpkin pie cousin, and does not have all the liquid and binding of the sugars; its not meant to be pretty, but tasty!)

I served this dish upon sauted greens (or spinach) instead of a crust, and it was not sweet, but had a savory flavor combined with the greens.

Greens Recipe- Rinse and dry greens; chop up well like a salad; take one small onion, 3 or more cloves garlic and finely chop; heat about 3 tablespoons oil in frying pan on medium high; saute onions and garlic in pan; add greens and toss till tender (spinach will go quickly, other greens like mustard and beet will take up to thirty minutes, and use stalks)

The bitter contrast of the greens go well with the semi-sweet pumpkin casserole.

WINE: I would suggest a South African Shiraz from the cape region of Paarl, like this one...

Fairview Solitude Shiraz 2002 Paarl
Lovely intense meaty, spicy, smoky nose. Concentrated palate with nice weight of minerally, tarry fruit. Meaty, spicy and beguiling, that my notes showed went well with the meatiness of the dish.