It’s the time for warming bowls of soup and pumpkin patches. I sought out the first out yesterday at Hanppy Tofu Pot House, and while I haven’t yet made it to an actual patch o’ pumpkins, I do have a very Autumnal recipe to share.
Hanppy Tofu Pot House is a modest-sized Korean restaurant located in a mall off Capstan Way, an area which I’ve never explored. I wandered around and now have many new places added to my ‘eat’ list. It has plenty of seating, and is casual but modern.
Their menu is relatively basic; hot appetizers, drinks, and a number of entrees, all priced under $7. I was torn between ordering the Korean Style BBQ with Rice or the Korean-style Kimchi Pot, but because I always get bulgogi at Korean restaurants, I thought I’d better branch out a little and went with the latter. I was happy with my choice, though I admit had a small case of order-envy when I saw another diner with his BBQ pork and rice. It’s apparently one of their most popular dishes and it looked great.
But like I said, I was still very happy with the Kimchi Pot! It arrived so hot it was still simmering, with a side of rice. The broth was fiery red from the kimchi, and filled with squid, mussels, an egg, soft cubes of tofu, pork, and green bean (or mung bean) noodles. It had just the right amount of spice to it, and was intensely flavourful. The translucent noodles were SO tasty, and I also loved taking spoonfuls of the white rice and dipping it in the broth. This is Korean comfort food at its best, and the lady there made me feel completely at home. I kind of wanted to hug her when I left. The bill was $7 even, and I was stuffed; seriously, such a good deal. Next time I go back I’ll try the Korean BBQ and Rice. I kind of want to right now, actually….
At this time of year, the best snack to follow up a bowl of soup is pumpkin bread. I recently picked up my first pumpkin of the season, and while I don’t know the name of this variety (any help, squash-experts?), I can tell it’s a vibrant pink/orange colour, has large seeds, and dense flesh. They’re perfect for baking.
Now’s the time to use fresh pumpkin rather than canned puree, and while it’s slightly more work than opening a can, it’s still very easy. I just cut the top and bottom off the pumpkin (this variety has a little bump on the bottom, too), then cut it in half vertically and scooped out the seeds.
I oiled the bottom of a cookie sheet, placed the two halves cut side down, and roasted them in the oven at 375 degrees F for about half an hour. They make take more or less time, but when they’re ready a knife will slide easily through the skin. Let them cool, scoop the soft flesh into a bowl, mash with a potato masher (or your hands), and BLAMMO! You have fresh pumpkin puree for baking or making soup. I used some of mine in this recipe, which I adapted from The Delicious Life.
Pumpkin Bread with Buttermilk (adapted from The Delicious Life)
1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 large eggs (or two medium + one egg yolk)
1 very full, well- packed cup of pumpkin puree (or 1/2 a pound, if you have a kitchen scale)
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour (I used 1 cup white flour + an almost-full 1/2 cup of whole wheat flour. When replacing white flour with whole wheat, you need to use less than the called-for amount or your loaf will turn turn out dry)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup buttermilk (make it slightly more if your pumpkin puree is thick. I probably used 1/3 cup + 3 tablespoons)
1 cup (or more) chopped dark chocolate (optional)
1/2 cup (or more) chopped crystallized ginger (optional)
Cream the brown sugar and butter in a large bowl. Beat in the eggs and pumpkin puree. In another bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, spices, and salt, and stir to combine. Using a stand mixer or egg-beaters, mix the flour mixture into the pumpkin mixture in 3 additions, alternating with the buttermilk. Beat until well-combined and fluffy. Gently fold in the chocolate and/or ginger, and pour into one greased or lined loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Let cool, remove from pan, and enjoy!
…..and Twitter-lovers, don’t forget about my contest being launched today!
I want to thank you for sticking with me through the last 110+ days. How am I going to do that? By sharing 5 of my favourite experiences!
Each day for 5 days (starting today) watch my twitter account @365richmond for a daily question. Retweet with the answer for your chance to win a $25 Gift Card to one of my favourite Richmond experiences.
A few things to note:
*The winner will be chosen by random
*The winner must be following @365richmond and respond to a Direct Message within 96 hours of posting
*Finally, for those of you not in Twitter, there’ll be opportunities for you to win, too! Keep an eye out for more Richmond eat-opportunities in the very near future.
Vegetarian options available, though the menu is fairly meat-heavy