Smoky Barbecue Dry Rub


  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon chile powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper


Combine the paprika, salt, sugar, pepper, cumin, garlic powder, chile powder and cayenne pepper in a small bowl and mix well with a small whisk.

Yields 3 tablespoons, enough for Grilled Beer Can Chicken

Pumpkin Stuffed with Everything Good


  • 1 pumpkin, about 3 pounds
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 pound stale bread, thinly sliced and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
  • 1/4 pound cheese, such as Gruyère, Emmenthal, cheddar, or a combination, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
  • 2–4 garlic cloves (to taste), split, germ removed, and coarsely chopped
  • 4 slices bacon, cooked until crisp, drained, and chopped (my addition)
  • About 1/4 cup snipped fresh chives or sliced scallions (my addition)
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme (my addition)
  • About 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg


Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment, or find a Dutch oven with a diameter that’s just a tiny bit larger than your pumpkin. If you bake the pumpkin in a casserole, it will keep its shape, but it might stick to the casserole, so you’ll have to serve it from the pot—which is an appealingly homey way to serve it. If you bake it on a baking sheet, you can present it freestanding, but maneuvering a heavy stuffed pumpkin with a softened shell isn’t so easy. However, since I love the way the unencumbered pumpkin looks in the center of the table, I’ve always taken my chances with the baked-on-a-sheet method, and so far, I’ve been lucky.

Using a very sturdy knife—and caution—cut a cap out of the top of the pumpkin (think Halloween Jack-o-Lantern). It’s easiest to work your knife around the top of the pumpkin at a 45-degree angle. You want to cut off enough of the top to make it easy for you to work inside the pumpkin. Clear away the seeds and strings from the cap and from inside the pumpkin. Season the inside of the pumpkin generously with salt and pepper, and put it on the baking sheet or in the pot.

Toss the bread, cheese, garlic, bacon, and herbs together in a bowl. Season with pepper—you probably have enough salt from the bacon and cheese, but taste to be sure—and pack the mix into the pumpkin. The pumpkin should be well filled—you might have a little too much filling, or you might need to add to it. Stir the cream with the nutmeg and some salt and pepper and pour it into the pumpkin. Again, you might have too much or too little—you don’t want the ingredients to swim in cream, but you do want them nicely moistened. (It’s hard to go wrong here.)

Put the cap in place and bake the pumpkin for about 2 hours—check after 90 minutes—or until everything inside the pumpkin is bubbling and the flesh of the pumpkin is tender

Pumpkin Pie Pancakes with Pumpkin Maple Syrup


  • 3 cups All-purpose Flour
  • 2-½ teaspoons Baking Powder
  • ½ teaspoons Baking Soda
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 3 Tablespoons Sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon Cloves
  • ½ teaspoons Nutmeg
  • 1 cup Canned Pumpkin
  • 3 whole Eggs, Well Beaten
  • 3 cups Buttermilk
  • 1 Tablespoon Vanilla
  • 1 stick Butter, Melted
  • 1 cup Chopped Pecans
  • Optional Garnishes: Whipping Cream, Cinnamon, Nutmet
  • _____
  • 2 cups Maple Syrup
  • 2 cups Canned Pumpkin

Preparation Instructions

For the pancakes:

Preheat a griddle to 350 degrees (F). While griddle preheats, make the pancake batter.

Combine and sift the flour, baking powder, soda, salt, sugar, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg together in a large bowl. Set aside.

Combine the pumpkin, eggs, buttermilk, vanilla, and melted butter in another bowl. Then combine wet ingredients with dry ingredients.

Pour 1/2 cup batter for each pancake onto preheated griddle. Cook 1-2 minutes on each side (or until golden brown), flipping only once. Serve with hot Pumpkin Maple Syrup with a dollop of real whipping cream. Garnish with pecans, cinnamon and nutmeg.

Chicken Stock

  • Bones from 2 chickens, chopped into pieces
  • 1 small carrot, peeled and sliced
  • 1 small onion, quartered
  • 1 small stalk celery, sliced
  • Stems from 1 bunch parsley
  • 3 to 4 green leek leaves, sliced (optional)
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme or 1 pinch dried thyme
  • Bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon white peppercorns
  • Mushroom scraps (optional)
  • Tomato scraps (optional)
  • 4 quarts water, approximately

In a stockpot, place the chicken bones, then add all the remaining ingredients except the water. Add water to cover by 2 inches, bring it to a boil and reduce the heat. Simmer the mixture for 2 or 3 hours, skimming the surface scum form the stock as it collects.

Strain the stock into a clean pot, and grease it thoroughly. Bring the stock to a boil, and reduce it over moderate heat to 2 quarters.

Use the stuck immediately or let it cool to room temperature and refrigerate or freeze until needed.

Notes: To make demi-glace chicken, duck, veal, etc., reduce stock until it is slightly syrupy and the flavor is concentrated.

Yield: 2 quarts

Pumpkin Ravioli 2


  • 10 tablespoons (5 ounces) unsalted butter
  • 1 pound fresh pumpkin, peeled and cut in 1-inch cubes
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 bay leaf
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh sage, plus 6 small leaves for garnish
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground white pepper
  • 1/2 recipe Spinach Pasta Dough or Regular Pasta Dough, recipe follows
  • 1 egg, beaten lightly, for egg wash
  • Semolina
  • 2 cups chicken stock or light duck stock, recipe follows
  • 2 shallots, chopped


Heat a saute pan over low heat and add 4 tablespoons of the butter. When the butter is foamy, add the cubed pumpkin and cook, stirring often to stop it from sticking and burning, until it softens and falls into a puree.

Turn the pumpkin into a saucepan, add 1/2 of the cream and half the herbs and cook over a low heat for approximately 1 hour, or until the puree is thick and the liquid has evaporated. Stir occasionally to prevent scorching. Remove from the heat and beat in an additional 2 tablespoons of butter. Whisk in the beaten eggs, season, to taste, with salt and pepper and set a side to cool.

On a floured surface, roll out the pasta as thin as possible. Cut into 2 sheets and brush 1 of them with egg wash. Using a teaspoon, place 24 equal mounds of the pumpkin puree on the egg-washed dough, about 2 inches apart. Cover the mounded dough with the second sheet of pasta and press around the mounds of pumpkin to seal the dough.

Using a ravioli cutter or a sharp knife cut the ravioli. Dust a tray with semolina and place the ravioli on it.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, while you make the sauce.

Prepare the sauce: In a saucepan, reduce the stock with the shallots to 1/2 cup. Add the remaining cream and reduce by half. Over a low heat, whisk in the remaining 4 tablespoons butter, a little at a time, over low heat. Strain the sauce into a clean saucepan and add the remaining sage and thyme. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Add the ravioli to the rapidly boiling water and cook for 4 to 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain. Add the ravioli to the sauce and bring just to a boil. Correct the seasonings.

Divide the ravioli among preheated soup dishes and spoon the sauce over them. Garnish each serving with a fresh sage leaf. Serve immediately.

A simple but delicious alternative sauce can be made from fresh unsalted butter, minced fresh sage, and a little freshly grated Parmesan.

Pumpkin Ravioli


  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons water


  1. Mix the cheese, pumpkin, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and the nutmeg. Set filling aside.
  2. Mix the flour, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a large bowl; make a well in the center of the flour. Beat the tomato paste, oil, and eggs until well blended, and pour into the well in the flour. Stir with a fork, gradually bring the flour mixture to the center of the bow until the dough makes a ball. If the dough is too dry, mix in up to 2 tablespoons water.
  3. Knead lightly on a floured cloth-covered surface, adding flour if dough is sticky, until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Cover, and let rest for another 5 minutes. Divide the dough into 4 equal parts. Roll the dough, one part at a time, into a rectangle about 12 x 10 inches. Keep the rest of the dough covered while working.
  4. Drop 2 level teaspoons filling onto half of the rectangle, about 1 1/2 inches apart in 2 rows of 4 mounds each. Moisten the edges of the dough, and the dough between the rows of pumpkin mixture with water. Fold the other half of the dough up over the pumpkin mixture, pressing the dough down around the pumpkin. Cut between the rows of filling to make ravioli; press the edges together with a fork, or cut with a pastry wheel. Seal edges well. Repeat with the remaining dough and pumpkin filling. Place ravioli on towel. Let stand, turning once, until dry, about 30 minutes.
  5. Cook ravioli in 4 quarts of boiling salted water until tender; drain carefully.

Dill Pickles


  • 1 qt. vinegar
  • 2 qts. water
  • 1 C plain salt

Add to each jar:

  • Sliced, speared or whole cucumbers
  • 1 chopped garlic clove
  • 2 sprigs dill or 1 1/2 tsp dill seed
  • 1 grape leaf or 2 cherry leaves
  • 1 hot pepper – optional


Heat brine to boiling.  Sterilize jars.  While still hot, add ingredients to jar, then pour bring over.  Seal jars and let sit for 3 weeks.

Sweet Pickles

  • 5 C Sugar
  • 5 C vinegar
  • 2 tsp pickling spice
  • 1 tsp alum
  • 2 tsp mustard seed
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 C salt

Wash, cut, and  pack cucumber in jars.  Mix above ingredients, heat to boil, boil 5 minutes.  Pour over cucumbers and seal.  Let sit 3 weeks.

Pan Sauce in Minutes

Makes 1/2 cup (enough for 2 to 4 servings; recipe can be doubled)

What You Need

1 tablespoon olive oil (or pan drippings)
1 whole shallot, minced (optional)
1/4 cup red wine, white wine, beer, cider or other flavorful alcohol
3/4 cup vegetable stock, chicken stock, or beef stock, plus extra as needed
2 tablespoons butter or a splash of cream
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch, whisked with 2 tablespoons water or stock (optional)
Salt and pepper, to taste

A skillet or other pan
Measuring cups


  1. Clear — but don’t clean! — the pan: Once you’ve finished using your pan to cook the main dish, transfer the cooked food to a separate plate or tray. Do not clean the pan. Pour off all but a tablespoon of leftover cooking oil or rendered fat from the pan.
  2. Sauté the shallots (optional): Add enough oil to the pan to make about 1 tablespoon of total fat when combined with the pan drippings. Set the pan over medium-high heat and sauté the shallots until they’ve softened and turned golden, 2 to 3 minutes. If you don’t have (or don’t like!) shallots, you can skip this step and still make a great pan sauce; the shallots deepen the overall flavor of the sauce. Also, see the variations below for more ideas for adding flavor at this stage.
  3. Pour in the red wine or other alcohol: With the pan on medium-high heat, pour in the wine or other alcohol. As the alcohol simmers, scrape up any crispy browned bits from the bottom of the pan with the spatula. (If you prefer not to use alcohol, you can replace the liquid in this step with more stock.)
  4. Reduce the wine by about half: Let the wine or other alcohol reduce by roughly half, about 3 minutes. The pan should just barely be starting to look dry. It’s not an exact science, though, so don’t worry; just go on to the next step sometime before the pan is totally dry.
  5. Pour in the stock: Pour the stock into the pan and stir it into the wine. Let it come to a rapid simmer.
  6. Reduce the liquid to about 1/2 cup: Let the liquid in the pan reduce to about 1/2 cup, 3 to 5 minutes. Again, you don’t need to be precise here; it’s ok to guesstimate. Tilt the pan every so often to gauge how much liquid has evaporated and when it’s reduced by about half, you’re good.
  7. Stir in the butter or cream: Turn down the heat to medium-low and stir in the butter or cream. Whisk gently until the butter has completely melted.
  8. Whisk in the cornstarch (optional): For a thicker, creamier sauce, whisk in the cornstarch. Don’t forget to whisk the cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of water first; this helps prevents clumps. Let the sauce simmer for another few seconds, until thickened.
  9. Correcting a too-thick sauce: If your liquid reduces too much or the sauce becomes too thick, whisk in a little extra stock to reach a thinner, more pourable consistency.
  10. Pour the sauce into a measuring cup or serving dish: Transfer the sauce to a measuring cup (for easy pouring) or serving dish. Taste and stir in a little salt and pepper to taste.
  11. Enjoy! Pan sauces are at their very best when used right away. Drizzle it over your meal or let guests spoon some for themselves.

Pan Sauce Variations

  • Mushroom Pan Sauce: In addition to (or instead of) shallots, add a cup of thinly sliced mushrooms. Sauté until golden, then proceed with the sauce.
  • Mustard Pan Sauce: Add a teaspoon or two of mustard along with the butter.
  • Whiskey Pan Sauce: Use 1/4 cup bourbon instead of wine or beer.
  • Lemon-Herb Sauce: Add 1 to 3 teaspoons of fresh herbs to the pan along with the shallots. Add a squeeze of fresh lemon at the very end, just before the sauce is finished.