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Pumpkin & Apple-Fennel Tamales with Cinnamon Masa

A favorite thing of mine to do is develop recipes. I love getting creative in the kitchen, and look forward to the outcome.  One important word of advice given in culinary school was….experiment. Sometimes things turn out great, other times you go back to the drawing board and make alterations here and there.  In the end, it only helps to make you a better cook.

Tonight I needed to use up some fresh pumpkin that I had roasted and pureed for a previous recipe; my cranberry pumpkin loaf.  I love to bake, but unfortunately cannot live off of baked goods. So, the pumpkin & apple-fennel tamales were born.  Seasonally appropriate, these tamales were delicious.  (yield: 10 tamales)

MASA INGREDIENTS:

3 cups masa harina

2.5 cups warm water

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1 cup olive oil

1 tsp. sea salt

TAMALE FILLING:

1/4 cup carmelized onions

1 tsp. orange zest, minced

1 Tbsp. fennel fronds, minced

1/4 cup apple, minced

pinch sea salt

1/8 tsp. vanilla extract

1 cup pumpkin puree

1 tsp. organic brown sugar

* 10 tamale corn husks, soaked.

DIRECTIONS:

Prepare the masa: Place 3 cups of masa harina in a bowl. Add cinnamon, and sea salt and whisk.  Drizzle in water and olive oil and fold the wet into the dry.  Set aside

Soak the tamale husks in warm water for 3-5 minutes to soften.

Prepare the filling: In a saute pan, caramelize onion. Add orange zest, fennel fronds, and minced apple.  Saute for 7 more minutes. Add a pinch of sea salt and vanilla extract.  Then add pureed pumpkin and 1 tsp. brown sugar.  Saute for 3 more minutes.

Prepare the tamales: Place husks flat with pointed tip towards you (almost like a triangle tip) and the wider side away from you.  Press 1/8 cup of prepared masa onto the husk and make a flat surface to place the filling.  Place 1 heaping Tbsp. onto the masa and then cover filling with another 1/8 cup of masa; encasing the filling with the dough.  Take the pointed tip and fold onto the pile of uncooked tamale, then fold one side towards the other, rolling in the process.  You can tie the tamales with twine if they feel loose, or keep them piled with the fold on the bottom to prevent unfolding.  Repeat this step for each tamale.

Cooking the tamales: I have a 30-year-old tamale steamer I use, but I suppose you can use a steamer  if there is enough space for the tamales to cook thoroughly.  Allow 60 minutes to cook completely due to the pumpkin puree.  Otherwise, it will be mushy.  I like to accompany this meal with cumin scented pinto beans, Spanish rice, fresh salsa, a side vegetable, and home-made guacamole.

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Gluten Free Pumpkin Orange loaf

A great flavor for Halloween; a wonderful way to embrace that full pumpkin fare.

INGREDIENTS:

1 3/4 GF Bob’s Red Mill all purpose flour

1/2 cup rice flour

1 1/4 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. baking soda

2/3 cup maple syrup

1/3 cup safflower oil

2 Tbsp ground flax meal

1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

1/4 cup cranberries

1 Tbsp. freshly grated and minced orange peel

1/4 cup toasted walnuts

1/4 cup almond milk

1 cup of Pre-baked and pureed pumpkin

DIRECTIONS:

* Pre-bake and puree peeled and seeded pumpkin. To do so: slice, peel outer rind, cube and place on oiled baking sheet. Bake at 350 for 30-45 minutes until tender.  Add to a blender and place on puree.  If it seems too thick, add 1 Tbsp. at a time until you get the desired consistency. Should be the consistency of baby food. (In fact, if you have a baby, this is a great way to introduce solids; full of nutrients)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, combine the all purpose flour, rice flour, baking powder, sea salt, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, and orange peel.  Whisk.  In a separate bowl, the maple syrup, safflower oil, flax meal, almond milk, and pureed pumpkin.

Add wet to dry. Mix well. Fold in cranberries and walnuts.  Bake at 350 for 35 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.  It is sweet enough on it’s own to go without icing or powdered sugar.

 

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Maple Sweetened Pecan Pumpkin Bread with Cranberries

I know this is not in season, but I was craving this light fluffy pumpkin bread all day today. So, I threw caution to the wind, and went for it.  For my gluten free visitors, just substitute the barley flour for Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free All Purpose Flour. It turns out just as delicious.

PUMPKIN LOAF

(yield: 12)

Ingredients:

1 3/4 cup barley flour

1 1/4 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. sea salt

1/2 Tbsp. of pumpkin pie spice

2/3 cup maple syrup

1/3 cup safflower oil

1 cup organic pumpkin puree

1/4 cup coconut milk

1 heaping Tbsp. of flax seeds

1 Tbsp. vanilla extract

1/4 cup dried cranberries

1/4 cup pecans

1/4 cup dried coconut flakes (optional)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In one bowl combine: barley flour, baking soda, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice and sea salt.  In a separate bowl, combine maple syrup, safflower oil, pumpkin puree, coconut milk, flax seeds, and vanilla extract.  Mix wet into dry, and then fold in cranberries, pecans, and coconut flakes (optional)

2. Bake for 25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.