by Jason Martin, Isle of Capri Casino Hotel Boonville
I can hardly believe it’s already November. Where has the time gone?
Today, I want to talk about an ingredient that I use a lot and I know gets used in many dishes this time of year. Ginger. Ginger is one of those flavors that can be used in any type of cooking, from desserts to drinks to soups, and even candy. It’s pretty pungent in its raw form, and gets more intense as it matures. Most people use ginger in the powdered form. Little do they know how much fun it can be to use it in its raw root form.
For the uninitiated, the ginger root can seem daunting. First thing you need to do is peel it. An easy way of doing this is to just rub the skin with a tablespoon; the skin is soft and thin so it rubs right off.
Want a great snack? Try pickled ginger. Take two cups of rice wine vinegar, half cup sugar and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil over high heat. Add two cups of thinly sliced ginger root and simmer for 45 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool. This is the same ginger you receive at sushi restaurants.
Here is another great recipe that one of my chefs, Tony Cox, has come up with. It’s very simple and is quite the treat. In fact, we highlighted this recipe in our last cooking demonstration at Isle of Capri Boonville.
Pumpkin Ginger Cheesecake Pie
1.5 cups gingersnap cookies, crushed
2 tablespoons butter, melted
¾ cup sugar
¼ cup chopped crystallized ginger
8 oz cream cheese, softened – Reserve 2/3 cup of cream cheese mixture
2 large eggs
¼ cup whole milk
1 tablespoon flour
½ teaspoon grated nutmeg
¼ teaspoon salt
1- 15oz can pumpkin pie filling
1. Combine cookie crumbs and butter to form pie crust. Press into pie tin.
2. In a food processor combine sugar and ginger, milling until smooth.
3. Add cream cheese pulsing again until smooth.
4. Next add eggs, milk, flour, nutmeg, and salt processing until well combined.
5. Add the can of pumpkin filling.
7. Pour mixture into your pie shell, top with reserved cream cheese and swirl together.
8. Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 35-45 minutes or until center is set. Let cool at room temperature for 2 hours and chill for a remaining 4 hours.
A great treat for the upcoming holiday. Enjoy!