Sunday, November 22, 2015

Turkey & Hominy Chili with Smoky Chipotle

4 Tbsp olive oil
2-1/2 lbs ground turkey
2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
6 garlic cloves, chopped
2 Tbsp chili powder
2 large Spanish onions, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1-2 jalapeño peppers, to taste, seeded and chopped
28-oz can tomato purée
2, 15-oz cans white hominy, drained
2, 15-oz cans pinto beans, drained
12-oz bottle beer
2 chipotles in adobo sauce, minced
1 tsp dried oregano
2 bay leaves
Sour cream, for serving
5 scallions, white and light green parts, sliced, for serving
1 bunch chopped cilantro, for serving
Lime wedges, for serving

In a large pot over medium-high heat, warm 1 tablespoon oil. Brown half the ground turkey with 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, stirring occasionally until golden, 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in half the garlic and half the chili powder and sauté for another 30 seconds. Using a slotted spoon, transfer turkey to a bowl. Brown remaining turkey in same manner, transferring it to bowl with rest of turkey.

Add remaining 2 tablespoons oil to pot and sauté onions, bell peppers and jalapeño peppers with remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring, until onion is translucent, about 10 minutes.

Return ground turkey and any liquid in bowl to pot and add tomato purée, hominy, beans, beer, chipotles, oregano and bay leaves with 3 cups water. Simmer chili, partly covered, until it is thick enough for your taste, about 1 hour. Serve hot, garnished with sour cream, scallions, cilantro and lime wedges.

8-10 servings

New York Times Cooking

Friday, November 20, 2015

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

Pumpkin pie is, hands down, the most iconic Thanksgiving dessert. And something that predictable can get to be, well, a tad boring after a while. This year, you can tell your friends you're serving pumpkin pie, and you will be, but it will be in a new, much more fun incarnation: whoopie pies! Any kids at the table will be squealing with delight, and the adults will be, too, when they sink their teeth into the moist pumpkin cake layers and bourbon cream cheese filling. Reminders of that other icon, pecan pie, turn up as chopped bits of candied pecans around the edge of the filling.

Café Sid Notes: Made these for our Bunco group, and they were a hit! Definitely suggest the make-ahead tips.

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
15 oz can pure pumpkin (not pie filling)
1 large egg
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Candied pecans:
2 Tbsp packed light brown sugar
Pinch of salt
1/2 Tbsp water
1/2 cup chopped pecans

6 oz cream cheese, softened
3/4 stick (6 Tbsp) unsalted butter, softened
Pinch of salt
1-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 Tbsp bourbon (optional; substitute 1 tsp vanilla extract)

For cookie-cakes:
  • Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Whisk together flour, baking powder, soda, salt, and spices in a bowl. 
  • Whisk together sugar, oil, pumpkin, egg, and vanilla in a separate large bowl until well combined, then stir in flour mixture. 
  • Using a 1-ounce ice cream scoop (I used the Pampered Chef Medium Scoop), drop onto a lined baking sheet to form 1 mound. Make 15 more mounds, arranging them 2 inches apart until baking sheet is full (you will have batter left over).
  • Bake until springy to the touch, 12 to 18 minutes. Transfer cookie-cakes to rack to cool.
  • Form and bake remaining batter on the other parchment-lined sheet. You should have a total of 32 cookie-cakes.
  • Leave oven on.
For candied pecans: 
  • Line a small sheet pan with parchment paper. 
  • Stir together sugar, salt, and 1/2 tablespoon water in a small saucepan. Heat over moderate heat until sugar dissolves, then bring to a boil. Stir in pecans. 
  • Spread mixture on lined sheet pan and bake until coating is bubbling and golden brown, about 10 minutes. 
  • Cool completely on pan on a rack. 
For filling: 
  • While cookie-cakes are baking, beat cream cheese, butter, and salt in a bowl with an electric mixer until smooth. Add confectioners' sugar and bourbon and mix on low speed until smooth. 
  • Chill filling until firm enough to hold its shape when spread, 30 minutes to 1 hour. 
Assemble whoopie pies: 
  • Spread 1 heaping tablespoon of filling each on flat side of half the cooled cookie-cakes (tip: add filling to 16 cookies before topping them so you can add frosting if needed). Top with other half of cookie-cakes. If necessary, chill whoopie pies just long enough to firm up filling again, about 30 minutes. 
  • Gently press pecans onto filling around middle of each whoopie pie to help them adhere to filling.

make ahead tips
  • If you want perfectly round cakes, a 1-ounce ice cream scoop is a worthwhile investment, because you can use it for so many other baking projects, in addition to ice cream.
  • Cookie-cakes can be baked 1 day ahead, and kept on racks at room temperature, covered with a kitchen towel.
  • Filling can be made 1 day ahead, and chilled, covered.
  • Pecans can be candied 3 days ahead and kept in an airtight container at room temperature.

16 sandwich cookies