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Sonoran Restaurant Week

At Tuesday’s Hello to Fall Flavors – Cooking the Perfect Gnocchi class, Chef Kyle Nottingham shared he’s a pumpkin spice guy. How about you? Are you all in for pumpkin spice, or no way or somewhere in the middle? I’m definitely in the middle.

The calendar tells us it’s turning to October, turning to Fall and just maybe, turning the oven back on.

It’s also time for Sonoran Restaurant Week, Oct. 2-11, when we’re celebrating Tucson City of Gastronomy, dining in at some or taking out from a variety of our finest local restaurants with proceeds supporting the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona.

So many choices, so many favorites! Special prices – $25 or $35 – gets you a delicious three-course meal at the following restaurants. Just click on a name and you’ll see the details. 

Aqui Con El NeneAravaipa Farms Orchard and Inn, Bellissimo Ristorante Italiano, Blanco Tacos + Tequila, Blue Willow, BOCA Tacos y Tequila, Cielos at Lodge On the Desert, Charro Steak & Del Rey, Charro Vida, Commoner & Co, Culinary Dropout, Cup Cafe, Dominick’s Real Italian, The Dutch Eatery & Refuge, El Charro Cafe, Feast, GRINGO grill + cantina, Guero Canelo, Hacienda del Sol, HUB Restaurant & Ice Creamery, Mama Louisa’s Italian RestaurantNorth Italia, NOSH Tucson, Proof Artisanal Pizza & Pasta, PY Steakhouse, Reforma Modern Mexican, Rollies Mexican Patio, Saguaro Corners, Tacos Apson, Ten55 Brewing Company, Tito & Pep, Wildflower and Zinburger.

Wishing you much happiness in the kitchen and I look forward to virtually seeing you in a class soon!

Pumpkin Pudding

Years ago, when Pastry Chef Sam was at Wildflower, she graciously shared her Pumpkin Pudding recipe, my nod to pumpkin spice.

1 cup sugar
¼ cup water
3 cups heavy cream
1 vanilla bean
6 large egg yolks
2 eggs
1 ¾ teaspoons ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ginger
¼ teaspoon cloves
1 pinch salt
1 pinch fresh ground pepper
15 oz. pumpkin puree
6 tablespoons sugar

1. Heat cream and set aside.
2. In a medium saucepan, combine 1 cup sugar and water. Over medium heat, as the sugar melts, resist the urge to stir and instead swirl and gently shake the pan back and forth to distribute the liquid and make sure it melts evenly. Stirring the sugar causes recrystallization and clumps to form— not a good thing. Even without stirring, crystals can still form on the sides of the pan. Simply dip a pastry brush in water and brush the sides of the pan down to dissolve the crystals. Now, all there is to do is wait and watch. In a matter of minutes, the sugar will change color from clear, to light amber, and remove from the heat when it’s a medium amber caramel.
3. In a medium bowl, combine eggs, pumpkin, sugar and spices and set aside.
4. Add warm cream to caramel and whisk until smooth. Slowly temper into pumpkin mixture. Strain mixture through a chinois.
5. Portion into 6 oz. ramekins.
6. Bake in water bath, covered in plastic wrap, at 300° F. for 20-25 minutes.
7. Yield: 10 ramekins. Top with pecan toffee or whipped cream or serve with vanilla bean gelato on the side.





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