Monday, September 23, 2019

On a Pumpkin Roll:Part Two

Before I could even get this blog posted, Hormel Foods sold out of its limited-edition Pumpkin Spice Spam. Yes, that’s right; Hormel infused its famous canned meat brand with the flavor that has become an autumn cliché.
Hormel announced early Monday morning that it was selling a limited quantity of pumpkin-spice Spam on and its trademarked The $8.98 two-packs sold out in less than seven hours, the Austin, Minn. based food company said.

Pumpkin spice is perhaps best known as a flavor-and-scent profile applied to lattes, but over the last decade or so has been added to seemingly endless array of consumer products, including Cheerios. The launch of pumpkin spice product now signals the start of fall as much as turning leaves, light jackets and back-to-school sales. 

Sorry to say there are no plans to produce more.

This is an edited version of the article found in the Star Tribune paper 9-23-19

Wild Rice Salad with Cranberries, Butternut Squash and Toasted Pecans with Maple Cider Vinaigrette 
Cook's notes: This splendid autumn salad includes some of Minnesota’s very best natural ingredients. It's definitely company worthy. Butternut squash as well as pumpkin  works well for this dish because the squash holds its shape beautifully after being roasted. The combination of nutty wild rice, a simple maple dressing, are not only delicious together, but their vibrant colors combine to make one stunning dish. Consider a time saver by making the wild rice ahead and toasting the pecans. The dressing can be easily doubled.
Salad recipe from the "Smitten with Squash Cookbook" and serves 4.

Cooking Tip:1 cup uncooked wild rice = 3–4 cups cooked wild rice
Vinaigrette recipe adapted from Byerly and Lund's Cookbook

Maple Cider Vinaigrette Ingredients:
  • 3 TB. cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 tsp. apple pie spice
  • 1/8 tsp. dry mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
Ingredients Salad:
  • 2- 1/2 cups peeled and finely chopped butternut squash or pumpkin
  • 1- 1/2 TB. olive oil or Blood Orange Olive Oil
  • 1 TB. maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • Sea salt and black pepper
  • 4-5 cups torn baby spinach leaves or chopped romaine
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
  • 1 cup dried cherries or dried cranberries
  • 1 large diced, crisp apple (I used HoneyCrisp) 
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
  • 3/4 cup chopped toasted pecans or cashews
  • 4 cups cooked wild rice, warmed
  • Place all dressing ingredients in a blender and mix well. Refrigerate until needed
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Toss squash with olive oil, salt and pepper, maple syrup with a sprinkle of cinnamon. 
  • Spread squash evenly on baking sheet and roast squash for about 15 minutes or until fork tender, stirring once during the roasting time. Set aside.
  • In a measuring cup place dried cranberries or cherries. Pour boiling water over it and let set for 15 minutes. Drain.
  • In a large bowl, combine onions, cherries or cranberries, basil, diced apple and cooked wild rice. Stir dressing into salad; taste and adjust salt level if needed. Place mixture on spinach leaves or chopped Romaine. Top with pecans.
  • Serve dish at room temperature.

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