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Pumpkin Donuts

For a brief moment we had a breathe of fresh, crisp fall air here in San Diego. I got all bundled up on the couch with my kindle, a cup of tea and a cozy blanket. Sure enough the next day it was 80˚F again with not a cloud in the sky. During that momentary teaser of fall weather, I made some homemade cinnamon sugar and glaze covered pumpkin donuts with the help and recommendation of my madre. There is nothing quite like fresh donuts, even in the evening.

This was my first time making donuts so I was pretty skeptical how they would turn out (anything deep fried usually doesn’t go well for me). But no worries, they are not as difficult as they seem. If you plan to venture on and make these delectable treats, make sure you watch the temperature of the oil when you are frying and know that the dough has to sit for at least 3 hours before cooking. With that said, it may be better to make it the night before if you plan on eating these donuts fresh in the morning.  Also, if you don’t have cookie cutters to make the donut shape, you can use a round drinking glass and a shot glass. Those work just fine.

Pumpkin Donuts Recipe – from Epicurious.com

INGREDIENTS:

Spiced sugar

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground nutmeg

Doughnuts

  • 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon buttermilk
  • 1 cup canned pure pumpkin
  • Canola oil (for deep-frying)

Powdered Sugar Glaze

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • Whipping cream

PREPARATION:

For spiced sugar:
Whisk all ingredients in medium bowl to blend.

For doughnuts:
Whisk first 8 ingredients in medium bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat sugar and butter in large bowl until blended (mixture will be grainy). Beat in egg, then yolks and vanilla. Gradually beat in buttermilk; beat in pumpkin in 4 additions. Using rubber spatula, fold in dry ingredients in 4 additions, blending gently after each addition. Cover with plastic; chill 3 hours.

Sprinkle 2 rimmed baking sheets lightly with flour. Press out 1/3 of dough on floured surface to 1/2- to 2/3-inch thickness. Using 2 1/2-inch-diameter round cutter, cut out dough rounds. Arrange on sheets. Repeat with remaining dough in 2 more batches. Gather dough scraps. Press out dough and cut out more dough rounds until all dough is used.

Using 1-inch-diameter round cutter, cut out center of each dough round to make doughnuts and doughnut holes.

Line 2 baking sheets with several layers of paper towels. Pour oil into large deep skillet to depth of 1 1/2 inches. Attach deep-fry thermometer and heat oil to 365°F to 370°F. Fry doughnut holes in 2 batches until golden brown, turning occasionally, about 2 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain. Fry doughnuts, 3 or 4 at a time, until golden brown, adjusting heat to maintain temperature, about 1 minute per side. Using slotted spoon, transfer doughnuts to paper towels to drain. Cool completely.

For powdered sugar glaze:
Whisk powdered sugar and 4 tablespoons whipping cream to blend. Whisk in additional cream, 1 teaspoon at a time, to form medium thick glaze. Can be made up to 3 hours ahead. Add doughnut holes to bowl of spiced sugar and toss to coat. Spread doughnuts on 1 side with Powdered Sugar Glaze. Arrange doughnuts, glazed side up, on racks. Let stand until glaze sets, at least 30 minutes.

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Suckling Pig

Suckling pig, known as cochinillo, is a traditional Spanish dish that is robust with simplistic flavors. This is not a typical everyday meal. I was lucky enough to enjoy this delicious delacacy in the company of my friend SK, who was able to capture the moment and snap all these great shots of our dishes. (You can read her blog about her visit in Spain and other interesting posts at viva la sk.) Many cultures prepare similar dishes that incorporate spicy herbs and fruits; however, at Jose Maria, a traditional Segovian restaurant, they follow a recipe that uses basic ingredients such as water and salt. This simple recipe makes the sourcing of their primary resources, in this case the piglet, very important. They use the highest quality meat from local farmers in order to extrapolate the best flavors possible. Whatever their methods may be, I have to say, this meal was incredible. I almost had to take my belt off at the table in order to eat a bit more. The complimentary pacharán digestif was the perfect way to ease the stomach and top off the meal. If you are ever visiting Madrid and would like to take a day trip out to Segovia, I would highly recommend this restaurant. Just make sure you make a reservation ahead of time. You won’t be disappointed.

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Sopa de Lentejas

Last year during my five week stay in Sevilla, Spain, my señora would make this for me once a week. Being a bit gloomy this past weekend, it seemed like the perfect time to make this hearty meal. As a very low maintenance dish, this soup was thrown together within a couple hours (the recipe is here). A bit of laundry and house chores in between the occasional stirring and I could finally sit down to enjoy the lentil and chorizo goodness. I recommend eating this with a warm, fresh baguette and some great company. I couldn’t have asked for a better Sunday evening.

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Tortilla con Chorizo

Tortilla: an omelette-like dish composed of 4 simple ingredients. Delicious as a tapa, on a sandwich, or as a meal, it is usually served at room temperature. This dish screams Spanish cuisine.

This is one of the simplest tapas you can make (click here for the recipe). All you need is a relatively good sized frying pan, a couple ingredients, maybe some good tunes (I love listening to music while cooking) and you are all set. To give it a bit of flare I added a bit of chorizo to mine. Peppers or ham are great additions as well. If you choose to take the plain route, which is equally as delicious, serve it with this recipe of aioli sauce.

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Filed under Food, Spain