Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Granny's Tamale Pie

This recipe is fairly easy, but rather involved--not exactly something I would make on a normal weekday night. I really enjoyed it, which is saying a lot considering the struggles I've had with eating chicken during this pregnancy.

Tamale Pie
3lbs bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, trimmed
salt and pepper
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 cups low sodium chicken broth
8 slices bacon, chopped
1 onion, minced
2 garlic gloves, minced
2 (14.5 oz) cans diced tomatoes, drained
1 (15 oz) can creamed corn
1 (6 oz) can pitted black olives, drained and chopped
2 cups yellow corn meal
1 cup whole milk
3 large eggs
boiling water
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
salt and pepper
1. Brown Chicken Pat chicken dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Heat 1 1/2 teaspoons oil in large Dutch oven over medium-high heat until just smoking. Cook half of chicken until well browned, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer chicken to plate and discard skin. Repeat with additional 1 1/2 teaspoons oil and remaining chicken.
2. Braise Chicken Stir broth into pot, scraping up any browned bits. Add browned chicken, along with any accumulated juices, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, until chicken is fork tender, about 1 hour. Transfer chicken to plate. When cool enough to handle, shred chicken into bite-sized pieces, set aside. Strain broth, reserving 1 1/2 cups for sauce. (Save any remaining broth for another use.)
3. Cook Vegetables Meanwhile, adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Cook bacon in Dutch oven over medium heat until crisp, about 8 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towel-lined plate. Cook onion and 1/2 teaspoon salt in bacon fat until softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in garlic and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add tomatoes, corn, olives, 1/2 teaspoon pepper and remaining oil and bring to a boil.
4. Make Base Whisk cornmeal, milk and eggs in medium bowl until smooth. Slowly pour cornmeal mixture into pot, stirring constantly to prevent clumping, and cook until mixture is slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Off heat, stir in reserved bacon.
5. Assemble and Bake Carefully pour half (about 4 cups) of cornmeal mixture into large bowl and reserve. Smooth surface of remaining cornmeal mixture in pot, then top with shredded chicken. Pour reserved cornmeal mixture evenly over chicken and smooth surface. Arrange pot inside large roasting pan. Place roasting pan on oven rack and carefully pour enough boiling water into the pan to reach one-third of way up sides of Dutch oven. Bake until cornmeal mixture is firm, dry and lightly browned, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Carefully remove from oven and let cool 10 minutes.
6. Make Sauce While pie cools, toast flour in dry skillet over medium heat, stirring frequently, until golden, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in chili powder, cumin and coriander and cook, stirring continually, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in tomato sauce and reserved chicken broth and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until thickened, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Serve, passing sauce at table.
Cook's Country October/November 2009

Monday, November 29, 2010

Scalloped Sweet Potatoes

  • 2 pounds Sweet Potatoes
  • 4 strips Bacon (I use a little more than this, maybe 6 strips bacon)
  • 1 whole Onion, Chopped
  • 2-½ Tablespoons All-purpose Flour
  • ½ teaspoons Salt
  • ¼ teaspoons Black Pepper
  • 2 cups Reduced-fat Milk
  • 1-¼ cup Grated Parmesan Cheese

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Peel potatoes; cut into 1/4 inch slices. Place potatoes in a large pot of boiling water. Cook for 5-10 minutes or until just tender. Drain well and set aside.
2. Meanwhile, fry bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat until crisp. Drain on a paper towel, crumble and set aside.
3. Add chopped onion to bacon drippings and cook until tender. Stir in flour over low heat and cook to a paste. Add salt and pepper. Add milk and cook until mixture thickens slightly.
4. Arrange half of the sweet potatoes in the bottom of an 11×7 inch baking dish. Sprinkle on half of the crumbled bacon. Pour on half of the milk mixture. Arrange remaining potatoes, sprinkle with remaining bacon and pour the rest of the milk mixture over the top. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake for 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender. If desired, brown cheese for 1-2 minutes under the broiler.

** recipe posted on here by the pioneer woman's Tasty Kitchen **

Jalepeno Poppers

  • 10 medium size jalepenos, cut in half (you can make as many or few as you want), remove the stem, ribs and seeds
  • 8 oz soft cream cheese
  • 1/4 small white onion
  • 1 lb bacon
Cut jalepenos in half, stuff with cream cheese and slice of onion. Wrap with 1 slice of bacon. Poke with toothpick to hold it together. Place on baking sheet lined in foil. Bake for 20-30 min on 400 degrees or until jalepeno is tender.

**** these taste great on the grill as well ****

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Pumpkin Ravioli with Gorgonzola Cream Sauce

For Pasta:
1 cup semolina flour
1 cup white flour
2 eggs
1 tsp oil
1 tsp water

Combine flours and make a well. Beat eggs, oil and water, pour into center of well. Mix and knead until a stiff dough. Add more water if needed. Wrap in plastic wrap and rest in fridge for at least 30 minutes (I do it over night to save time).

For filling:
1 1/2 pound pumpkin
2 tablespoons softened unsalted butter
1 egg yolk
1/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
1 tablespoon minced fresh sage
Freshly grated nutmeg to taste
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 350 F. To make the filling; quarter the pumpkin, removing the strings and seeds and place, flesh side down, on an oiled baking sheet. Bake for 35 minutes, or until tender. Peel and puree flesh. Add egg yolk, cheese, sage, nutmeg and salt and pepper to taste.

To make ravioli, divide dough into eight pieces. Roll two pieces into 1/8 inch strips, or on the setting of 5 on your pasta roller. Lay out one strip of dough on cutting board, place 1 tsp filling on dough about an inch apart (you'll make about four to five raviolis per strip of dough). Brush water around the outside of the filling, lay second strip of dough on top and seal, forcing out any air bubbles. Using a knife, or pasta roller, cut out ravioli. Allow ravioli to dry for 10 minutes before boiling.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add a generous amount of salt. Gently place ravioli in water, cook for 10 minutes. Drain.

For Sauce:
1/4 cup heavy cream (I used fat-free half and half)
4 oz Gorgonzola
1/8 cup chicken broth
1 garlic clove

Over a double boiler, place Gorgonzola, allow to melt partially. Whisk in cream and broth and garlic clove whole. Cook for 3-4 minutes, remove garlic clove. Toss over pasta and serve immediately. I added toasted pine nuts as well.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Pumpkin Scones with Maple Frosting

(scones from, frosting from Pioneer Woman)



  • 1/4 cup softened butter
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup canned unsweetened pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 3/4 cups self-rising flour
  • 2 tablespoons milk


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Lightly grease a baking sheet.
  2. Cream together butter and sugar, then beat in egg, pumpkin puree and 1/4 cup milk until smooth. Stir in flour until a dough forms, then knead a few times on a well floured surface until the dough holds together. Press the dough into a flat circle 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick. Cut into 6 wedges, place onto greased baking sheet, and brush the tops with 2 tablespoons of milk.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven until golden brown on top and bottom, 10 to 15 minutes. Once done, wrap scones with a clean dish towel and allow to cool for 15 minutes before serving.

(I added 2 tsp of pumpkin pie spice to the batter.)


To a mixing bowl, add 1 bag of powdered sugar. To this, add about 2 teaspoons maple flavoring, about 3/4 cup milk, & 1/4 cup melted butter. Stir until thick but pourable.

Pumpkin Chili with Cocoa

(from Pioneer Woman's Tasty Kitchen)

  • 1-½ pound Ground Beef
  • 1 whole Onion, Chopped
  • 1 clove Garlic, Crushed
  • 1 whole Red Bell Pepper, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Chili Powder
  • ¼ teaspoons Chipotle Seasoning (Mrs Dash)
  • 1 can 28 Oz Crushed Tomatoes
  • 1 can (19 Oz) Kidney Beans, Drained And Rinsed
  • 1 cup Beef Broth (or Water)
  • 1 cup Pumpkin Puree
  • 1 teaspoon Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Apple Cider Vinegar
  • ½ cups Corn
  • 1 can Diced Green Chilies, 4 Oz Can
  • 1 pinch Salt And Pepper, to taste

Preparation Instructions

Heat ground beef and onion in a large non-stick skillet on medium-high heat until meat has browned. Drain any excess fat. Add garlic, red pepper, cumin, chili and chipotle seasonings and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and heat medium-high until bubbly, then reduce heat to low and simmer covered for 20 minutes.

(I ended up doubling all the spices. This recipe is REALLY bland.)

Pumpkin Dip



  • 1 (16 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
  • 1 (5 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 1 (15 ounce) can solid pack pumpkin
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice


  1. In a large bowl, mix together instant vanilla pudding mix, pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice. Fold in the thawed frozen whipped topping. Chill in the refrigerator until serving. Serve in a hollowed-out pumpkin. Serve with cinnamon graham crackers and granny smith apples.

Pumpkin Bread Pudding

Pumpkin Bread Pudding with Whipped Marscapone

Prep Time: 20 mins

Total Time: 1 hr 15 mins


1 pound brioche, cut into 1 inch pieces (about 12 cups)

3/4 cup dried cranberries

4 large eggs, lightly beaten

1 cup pumpkin puree

2 cups whole milk

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

1 cup sugar

1/4 cup dark rum

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

teaspoons ground cinnamon, plus extra for sprinkling

1 pint mascarpone cheese, lightly whipped until loose


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spread the brioche on a large rimmed baking sheet and toast for about 10-12 minutes, stirring once or twice, until lightly golden and dry.

In a large bowl whisk together eggs, milk, pumpkin puree, sugar and 3 tablespoons of melted butter. Add the rum, vanilla and cinnamon. Gently fold in the brioche and cranberries and let stand for 8-10 minutes to allow the brioche to absorb the mixture.

Brush an 8x11-inch baking dish with remaining 1 tablespoon of butter. Add the bread pudding mixture . Bake on a sheet tray for 50 minutes until the pudding is set and the top is golden brown and slightly crispy. Let the bread pudding cool slightly and serve with whipped mascarpone and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

Sassy Salsa Pumpkin Soup

This recipe is from the Hungry Girl cookbook.

4 cups fat-free broth (chicken or vegetable)
One 15-ounce can pure pumpkin
One 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup canned sweet corn kernels (I added 1 can of corn. This changes the nutritional information.)
3/4 cup salsa (Jack's special is my favorite salsa. I think it makes a difference)
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
Optional toppings: shredded fat-free or low-fat cheese, fat-free sour cream, chopped scallions

Spray a medium pot with nonstick spray and bring to medium heat on the stove. Place garlic in the pot. Stir and cook for 1 minute. Add broth and spices, and bring to a simmer.

Add pumpkin and mix well. Add the remaining ingredients, stir, and bring soup to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes.

If you like, top each cup with any of the optional ingredients before serving.

It's really easy and low calorie!

Per serving (1 generous cup): 177 calories, 1 g fat, 991 mg sodium, 35 g carbs, 8.5 g fiber, 8 g sugars, 9 g protein

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Savory Pumpkin Soup with Chili Cran-Apple Relish


1 Tbsp EVOO
2 Tbsp butter
1 fresh bay leaf or two dried bay leaves
2 ribs of celery with greens, finely chopped (if you have never used celery greens, you should start! They are amazing)
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
salt and pepper to taste
3 Tbsp flour
2 tsp poulty seasoning or ground thyme
2 tsp hot sauce (I like Texas Pete or Louisianna Hot Sauce)
6 C chicken stock
1 (28 oz) can cooked pumpkin puree
2 C heavy cream
1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg, you can use regular nutmeg too, but the freshly grated is yummo!


1 crisp apple, finely chopped..I like McIntosh or Granny Smith
1/4 red onion, finely chopped
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1/2 C dried sweetened cranberries
1 tsp chili powder
2 tsp honey
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon


Heat soup pot (the heavier the better) over medium to medium-high heat. Add the oil and the butter. Add bay leaf, celery, and onion. Season the veggies with salt and pepper. Cook 6-7 minutes, until tender. Add flour, poultry seasoning or thyme, and hot sauce; then cook for 1 minute. Whisk in chicken stock and bring to a boil. Whisk in pumpkin until smooth. Simmer soup for 10 minutes to thicken, then add cream and nutmeg. Keep warm until ready to serve.

While the soup cooks assemble the relish: combine apple, onion, lemon juice, cranberries, chili powder, honey, and cinnamon.

Adjust seasonings in soup and relish and serve soup with a few spoonfuls of relish...enjoy♥
(Recipe courtsy of Rachael Ray)

Pasta with Pumpkin and Sausage

1 T. olive oil, plus 1 T.
1 lb. bulk sweet Italian sausage
4 cloves garlic, cracked and chopped
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 bay leaf, fresh or dried
4 - 6 sprigs sage leaves, cut into chiffonade, about 2 T. (I just used ground sage)
1 c. dry white wine
1 c. chicken stock
1 c. canned pumpkin
1/2 c. heavy cream (I use half and half to cut down on fat)
1/8 t. ground cinnamon
1/2 t. ground nutmeg
Coarse salt and black pepper
1 lb. penne rigate, cooked al dente
Romano or Parmigiano, for grating on top if desired

Head a large, deep nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add 1 T. of olive oil to the pan and brown the sausage in it. Transfer sausage to paper towel lined plate. Drain fat from skillet and return pan to the stove. Add the remaining tablespoon oil, and then the garlic and onion. Saute 3-5 minutes until the onions are tender.

Add bay leaf, sage, and wine to the pan. Reduce wine by half, about 2 minutes. Add stock and pumpkin and stir to combine, stirring sauce until it comes to a bubble. Return sausage to pan, reduce heat, and stir in cream. Season the sauce with the cinnamon and nutmeg, and salt and pepper, to taste. Simmer mixture 5-10 minutes to thicken sauce.

Return drained pasta to the pot you cooked it in. Remove the bay leaf from sauce and pour the sausage pumpkin sauce over pasta. Combine sauce and pasta and toss over low heat for 1 minute. Garnish the pasta with lots of shaved cheese and sage leaves.

October Food Group

For October's food group, I thought it appropriate that our ingredient be pumpkin. Each of the girls in the group brought a different (or a few different) pumpkin dish(es). It was a delicious meal and a fun excuse to get together and chat.

I decided to make Scented Rice in Baked Pumpkin from one of my Cooking for Two magazines. I really wanted to make something that I would never really make otherwise.

Here's the recipe:

1 small pie pumpkin (about 2 pounds)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup uncooked brown rice
1 cup water
1/4 cup coarsely chopped pecans, toasted
3 dried apricots, chopped
2 tablespoons raisins
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon curry powder
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cumin

Wash pumpkin; cut into six wedges. Remove loose fibers and seeds from the inside and discard or save seeds for toasting. Brush wedges with oil. Place onto ungreased 15-in. x 10-in. x 1 in. baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until tender.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, bring rice and water to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender. Stir in the pecans, apricots, raisins, salt and curry powder. Set four pumpkin wedges aside for another use. Sprinkle cumin onto remaining wedges; top with rice mixture.

**Keep in mind, this recipe is intended for two servings. To use the rest of your pumpkin or additional pumpkins, break out your calculator.

Stay tuned for next month when our main ingredient will be bacon...