Friday, November 20, 2009

Out of Your Gourd

Executive Chef Urs Balmer, who brings his Swiss heritage of fine cuisine to the
Sheraton Universal in Los Angeles, has been treating diners to a pumpkin-inspired seasonal menu this fall.

His lasts through Dec. 19, but you can prepare these dishes year-round.

Pumpkin Raviolis with Squash Ratatouille
Serves 6

2 oz. shallots, chopped
1 oz. garlic, chopped
2 oz. brown sugar
4 oz. butter
4 lbs. pumpkin meat, diced
1 qt. chicken stock
Heavy cream, Panko breading
salt, pepper, nutmeg

Saute the shallots, garlic and pumpkin in butter, sprinkle with the sugar and let it caramelize.
Add chicken stock and let it simmer on low heat until liquid is evaporated.
Blend the mixture in a food processor. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste.
Add some cream and Panko breading to get the right consistency.

Won Ton wrappers
egg wash

Place 1-1.5 oz. of the mixture on a won ton wrapper. Egg wash the sides and cover with another won ton wrapper. Press sides together and cut into a round shape.

Boil the raviolis for 3 minutes, place on a plate and garnish with the squash ratatouille.

Drizzle with sage brown butter.

Sage Brown Butter

8 oz. butter
30 fresh sage leaves
Melt butter until golden brown, add the sage leaves and saute until they become crispy.

Squash Ratatouille

2 oz. shallots, chopped
1 oz. garlic, chopped
8 oz. yellow squash, finely diced
8 oz. zucchini, finely diced
8 oz. tomatoes, peeled and finely diced
Saute all ingredients in butter; season with salt and pepper.

Butternut Squash Bisque with Cream Fraiche and Chives

Serves 6

2 medium butternut squash
1 oz. garlic, diced
4 oz. shallots, diced
1  medium carrot, diced
1 medium leek, white part only, diced
1 cup white wine
6 cups chicken stock
2 cups heavy cream
Salt, pepper, nutmeg
Sour cream

Cut the squash in half lengthwise. Place on a sheet pan brushed with olive oil and bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Let cool and scrape the meat out.

Saute the garlic, shallots, carrot and leek in butter on low heat. Add the squash meat, white wine and chicken stock and simmer for 40 minutes.

Puree in a blender and strain. Add the cream and boil for 10 minutes.

Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste. Garnish with sour cream and chives.

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