Fall recipe wrap-up

To wrap-up November, Thanksgiving and autumn celebrations in general, here are some promised links to two recipes I served at Fakesgiving–my favorite holiday.

Here is the corn pudding recipe I served–I doubled it and baked it twice as long and it was perfect.

And that delicious cider punch? Not only good for Halloween, but seriously a sophisticated cocktail all season long.

Cider punch--Not just for Halloween anymore.
Cider punch–Not just for Halloween anymore.

White Turkey Chili

There’s only a week until Halloween and we have a lot to do, people. There are copious amounts of food-coloring, meat-sculpturing, vegetable-carving and other compound verbs that you never thought would be part of your late October repertoire.

Let’s get started, shall we?

I’m always on the look out for a good white chili recipe, but I haven’t found one that takes all of the elements I like into one bowl.

So I came up with this one.

It’s a true slow-cooker recipe–not one of those fake ones that makes you prepare 9/10 of the ingredients on the stovetop before putting into the crock pot. I hate those. Why bother unless you really love doing dishes.

Because this is made with ground turkey rather than beef, I think it’s well-suited to be put in the crock-pot raw. The only explanations I can find for browning first is for depth of flavor and to drain off the fat. With lean turkey, there isn’t much fat to drain off, so have at it. It will be cooked thoroughly after 8 hours.

Also, this uses dried beans rather than canned which allows the bean to hold up and still have a nice texture.

Enjoy responsibly.

Scare up a pot of this on Halloween night or anytime you need a little comfort.
Scare up a pot of this on Halloween night or anytime you need a little comfort.

White Turkey Chili

1 package lean ground turkey (it’s a little over a pound)
1 onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 package of dried white navy beans or other white bean
1 10 oz can of Rotel tomatoes, drained
2 cups frozen corn
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 t. pepper

32 oz carton of chicken broth
1 12 oz bottle of beer

1/2 cup heavy cream

Shredded cheese, sour cream, and/or chopped scallions for toppings

1.) Put the ground turkey on the bottom of a heating slowly and break up slightly. Add next 11 ingredients and gently combine.

2.) Cook covered (duh) for either 8 hours on low or 6 hours on high. If it gets dry at any point, don’t be afraid to add more broth, beer or water.

3.) With 30 minutes left to go in the cooking time, add the heavy cream and continue cooking.

4.) Serve with your favorite chili toppings, but be aware of hitchhiking ghosts.

©2013 Tracey Henry

Vegetable Witness Protection Program

My vegetables are in the witness protection program.

I fully admit that I will hide, disguise, camouflage, conceal, veil, cloak, bury, and otherwise transform vegetables into recipes that I can get myself my kids to eat.

So when son #2 came home and said he loved pumpkin spice bread, I seized the opportunity to get some beta-carotene seamlessly into his diet in the form of a mock Starbuck’s baked good.

There’s a million pumpkin bread recipes out there, but this one I’ve adapted to make two loaves and enroll some Greek yogurt in the calcium protection program as well.

Pumpkin Spice Bread

Alias: Trick your kid into eating something good.
Alias: Trick your kid into eating something good.

1 15 oz can pumpkin puree
2 1/2 c. sugar
4 eggs
1/2 c. plain Greek yogurt
1/2 c. vegetable oil
1 c. water
1 teaspoon vanilla

3 1/2 c. flour
2 t. baking soda
2 t. cinnamon
1 t. salt
1 t. baking powder
1/2 t. nutmeg
3/4 t. ground cloves

1.) Preheat the oven to 350 and spray 2 loaf pans with nonstick cooking spray.

2.) Mix first 7 ingredients together just until blended well in a large bowl or stand mixer.

3.) Mix together dry ingredients together in a separate bowl; add slowly to batter, only mixing until combined.

4.) Bake in a 350° for one hour until firm in the center.

5.) Assume new identity–change names on passports and social security cards.

©2013 Tracey Henry

Fall for hockey food

We have entered into two of my favorite themed-cooking seasons: Fall and hockey.

Seemingly disjointed and rather unculinary-like I know, but humor me with my explanation and invitation to join me on this strange road trip.

First off, Autumn time for food-lovers is a no-brainer but lots of-stomacher. Not only are cool afternoons the best time for comfort foods, but for a solid month you get to turn everything you eat into the shape of a zombie or a witch’s hat. What’s not to love there?

But October also means the NHL resumes its regular schedule and in our house, that’s also a reason to celebrate.

For much of the season, I coordinate our meals to include a signature dish from the Nashville Predator’s particular road opponent. It is a light-hearted theme but also a symbolic gesture of support in cuisine for my favorite team in my favorite medium. Unfortunately, I am also unreasonably superstitious, so depending on the outcome of the game, the dish may or may not be repeated or we might have to eat until every game night until June.

Even if Nashville is your second favorite team in the league, I invite you to enjoy these recipes for nights on the couch watching the game together, or on non-sporting event evenings as well.

We kicked off our 2013-2014 Cup run in St. Louis–a city we happily called home for over five years–with a toast of Toasted Ravioli. Unfortunately, we lost this game so this was probably the last time I’ll make it this season. (That shouldn’t stop you, though.) Toasted ravioli

St. Louis Style Toasted Ravioli

1 package of frozen cheese or meat ravioli, thawed

Breading station of egg and Italian-seasoned breadcrumbs

Vegetable oil for frying

Marinara sauce

1.) Heat a couple of inches of vegetable oil in a deep pan for frying.

2.) Dredge each ravioli in the egg wash and then breadcrumbs. Lightly fry in oil for about 2-3 minutes on each side before drying on a paper towel.

Either serve right away with warmed marinara sauce, or put on a cookie sheet into a warm oven until face-off.

©2013 Tracey Henry