Tag Archives: Autumn

Turkey & Black Bean Chili

I am on track for my one relaxed hour. My chili is done and waiting patiently in the refrigerator. If you too would like to do a  Chili Bar for your Halloween Party, here’s the recipe for Turkey & Black Bean Chili from At Home.

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Turkey & Black Bean Chili
This earthy chili owes its depth of flavor to ground ancho chili but you can substitute standard chili powder for excellent results. Serve a bottle of hot sauce on the side for guests who prefer more heat. You can substantially cut the time it takes to make this by using canned beans. They won’t have quite the same texture or color, but you can skip the first two steps.

do ahead Chili actually improves the second day, as the flavors soften. It may be fully cooked three days in advance and refrigerated, then reheated on the stove. It can also be frozen in an airtight container for three weeks.

Chili
4 cups chopped onions
2 cups chopped carrots
2 cups chopped celery
3 tablespoons finely chopped garlic
1⁄2 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
1⁄2 pound dried black beans (or 2 15-ounce cans black beans, rinsed)
1⁄4 cup chopped jalapeño
2 tablespoons olive oil
21⁄2 pounds 15% lean ground turkey
2 tablespoons chili powder, ancho preferred
2 tablespoons ground cumin
2 28-ounce cans diced tomatoes
3 bay leaves
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper

Garnish
1 cup finely chopped onion
1⁄2 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
1 pint sour cream (optional)

1 In a large bowl, cover beans with 6 cups water. Soak at least 6 hours or
overnight. Drain beans and rinse. In a large pot, combine beans with 4 cups
water. Simmer for 11⁄2 hours until beans are tender but still firm. Drain and set
aside.
2 Add olive oil to a deep, heavy pot over moderately high heat and heat until hot but not smoking. Add onions, carrots, celery and garlic, and sauté, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are lightly browned at their edges, about 20-25 minutes.
3 Add jalapeño, chili powder and cumin and cook for about 2 minutes. Add turkey and cook until opaque, about 5 minutes. Use the spoon to break up turkey. This mix will be very dry until the turkey starts to render some juice.
4 Add tomatoes and their juice, cooked beans, bay leaves, thyme and cilantro. Reduce heat to simmer, uncover and cook for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add salt and pepper.
5 Ladle chili into bowls and serve with sour cream, onion and a generous amount of cilantro leaves sprinkled on top.

serves 8-12

A Halloween Treat: If you are an invited guest to a Halloween party, At Home is the perfect treat for your host. At Home — the book and At Home Online, the companion website — is only available at athomebysteveposes.com — never in bookstores — and at occasional personal appearances.

My Free Library Event Podcast
If you were not able to attend my recent Free Library event, here’s a link to the podcast. The link will take you to the Free Libray page for the event. Once there, click on Listen on MP3.

Reading Terminal on Saturday, November 7th.
I will be at Reading Terminal with a little At Home roadshow on Saturday, November 7th from 11 AM to 2 PM. I will work with selected Reading Terminal merchants on making your Thanksgiving better and easier. At Home will be available for sale.

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My Plan to Entertain: Mike’s Halloween Birthday Party

If you leave everything to the last minute you will have only one minute to do everything.

Screen shot 2009-10-22 at 11.38.12 PMHalloween is a week from tomorrow. So, to get my one relaxed hour prior to guest arrival I need to use this weekend — a full weekend before my party — to get lots done.

Once I commit to doing a party, I establish my party parameters. These parameters establish both my aspirations and limitations.

My party parameters for Mike’s Halloween Birthday Party:
8-10 guests — mostly family plus a few friends
All pretty adventuresome eaters
Food that Mike likes
Informal
Something that I can mostly do ahead, requires little last minute work and keeps me out of the kitchen
Seasonal

Based on these parameters I did a first draft of a menu. I took a hard look at what I set out to do and a realistic assessment of my available time — and help — and decided to pare it back and rely more on buying some things — what I call Hybrid Entertaining in At Home. This included asking my Frog Commissary Bakery to make Mike’s Carrot Cake Birthday Cake. I understand you may not have your own bakery, but there are lots of good bakeries.

So after some re-thinking and tinkering, here’s my menu plan:
Champagne with pear nectar garnished with a pear slice
Assorted olives that I will pick-up at my local Whole Foods or DiBruno’s
A few good cheeses and bread from the Metropolitan Bakery around the corner
Roasted Beets, Endive, Apples & Radicchio with Cider Vinaigrette (P.145)
A Chili Bar with Turkey & Black Bean Chili (P.246) plus sour cream, chopped onion, grated cheese, hot sauce, a Bowl of Green (P.248) and a Bowl of Red
Commissary Carrot Cake (This I plan to ask my Frog Commissary bakery to make for me.)

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My next step was to go to At Home Online and print out all of the recipes that I am using. I find that having hard copies of recipes laid out in front of me is the best way to develop my shopping list and establish a schedule. In planning my schedule I look for every possible thing I can do ahead. It’s the only way to protect my one relaxed hour.

This weekend I plan to make the chili, bowl or red and bowl of green and get the champagne. I have to work most of Saturday so I will do my shopping this evening and do my cooking on Sunday while I watch the Eagles rebound from last weekends humiliating loss. I will also make my shopping list for the balance of the meal. Gracie and I will be away Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday but maybe we’ll shop on the way home Thursday evening. That will leave my Friday evening to chill the champagne and pear nectar, roast the beets and make my re-positionable labels to give Gracie to pick plates, platters and serving pieces on Saturday. On Saturday I’ll buy flowers, pick-up the olives, cheese and bread and fetch the carrot cake. The only really last minute task will be to assemble the salad. It’s a plan that should get me my one relaxed hour…and probably more. Stay tuned.

A Halloween Treat: If you are an invited guest to a Halloween party, At Home is the perfect treat for your host. At Home — the book and At Home Online, the companion website — is only available at athomebysteveposes.com — never in bookstores — and at occasional personal appearances.

My Free Library Event Podcast
If you were not able to attend my recent Free Library event, here’s a link to the podcast. The link will take you to the Free Libray page for the event. Once there, click on Listen on MP3.

Reading Terminal on Saturday, November 7th.
I will be at Reading Terminal with a little At Home roadshow on Saturday, November 7th from 11 AM to 2 PM. I will work with selected Reading Terminal merchants on making your Thanksgiving better and easier. At Home will be available for sale.

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Plan to Entertain: Halloween

Planning ahead is the cardinal principle of home entertaining. In case I was not clear: Planning ahead is the cardinal principle of home entertaining. This year Halloween falls on a Saturday. The key to my goal for you — one relaxed hour before guests arrive — is to begin your planning at least one weekend before your party. If you are planning a Halloween Party, your planning should be complete by Friday, the 23rd so that you can have the entire weekend of the 24th and 25th plus the week leading up to the 31st to complete your tasks.

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Planning starts with thinking. In the coming week I will help you start thinking about your halloween party. But as this is the time folks begin carving their halloween pumpkins, I wanted to get this recipe to you.

Noah’s Spicy Roasted Whole Pumpkin Seeds
Oh the shame of the discarded pumpkin seed from jack-o-lanterns from around the world. Thursday evening as I was getting ready to Cook with Rick Nichols, Noah assisted in hallowing out a pumpkin to serve as a seasonally appropriate container for a big mum plant – a quick and easy centerpiece. Noah, my 22-year-old son — who is currently living on our couch while he helps us manage our new operation at the Franklin Institute — and a budding cook, roasted the seeds. I share Noah’s recipe here.

1 cup rinsed and towel dried pumpkin seeds
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon Old Bay
1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
2 teaspoons kosher salt

Note: To prepare pumpkin seeds for roasting, scrape pumpkin seeds and pulp from pumpkin. Separate seeds from large clumps of pulp.  Place seeds and remaining pulp in a large bowl of water and with your fingers work to pull away pulp from seeds. The seeds will float to the top. With a slotted spoon, skim off pumpkin seeds. Discard water with bits of pulp. Repeat until nearly all of the stringy pulp is gone.  Drain seeds through colander. Dry seeds well between layers of towel. Seeds will stick to towel. It helps to scrape them away with a blunt knife. A 10 pound pumpkin yielded about 1 cup of seeds.  Measure seeds in measuring cup.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Mix rinsed and dried pumpkin seeds with oil. Add cumin, Old Bay, sweet paprika and salt. Place on rimmed baking sheet. Place in oven and roast for 25-30 minutes. Allow to cool.

Yield About 1 1/2 cups because the seeds swell in roasting.

Postscript: Cooking with Rick Nichols
You have to love a guest who brings their own green tomatoes from their garden. You have to love Rick. Rick and I cooked. Well, mostly I cooked while Rick asked questions and took notes. I will leave the final telling of Cooking with Rick Nichols to Rick in whose column I will appear this Thursday.

Athomebysteveposes.com
As I write this on Sunday, people in New York and New Jersey and Houston and Colombia are all working frantically to “open” and link At Home Online — the digital compliment to At Home — and a new shop that will make book buying and gift giving easier. At Home Online is available only to book owners. Books come with a bookmark and on that bookmark is a digital “key.” that provides login access to At Home Online. This evening is the digital equivalent of a restaurant opening with the paint not quite dry, the banquettes not fully installed, the carpet not quite laid and some minor refrigeration problems. But since we have only invited friends and family — and early book buyers — to our digital opening, we expect they will be forgiving and patient as we work through our opening kinks.

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The Free Library Thursday Night
This Thursday I will be speaking at the Central Branch of The Free Library at 19th & Vine beginning at 7:30 PM. At Home will not be available in bookstores…ever. Books will be available for sale at the library before and after the program and I will be happy to sign books after. Buying the book at the library will save you the cost of shipping.

During the program I will talk about the background of developing At Home — the book and website, take you through a quick tour of both — and then select someone from the audience with a party to be planned and help them plan utilizing the principles and tools of At Home’s Part 1: Planning to Entertain.

I Need Your Help
At Home is an unusual project in many respects. The combination book/website is unusual. And only distributing At Home on our website is unusual. At Home’s success depends, in no small measure, on you. I need you to spread the word about At Home. If you know someone who would enjoy these occasional posts, please let them know about them. Posts can be accessed through athomebysteveposes.wordpress.com. If you sign-up, the posts come to you via email automatically.

Steve

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Noah’s Spicy Roasted Whole Pumpkin Seeds Recipe

Noah, my 22-year-old son —helps us manage our  operation at the Franklin Institute — he’s a budding cook and roasted the seeds. I share Noah’s recipe here.

1 cup rinsed and towel dried pumpkin seeds
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon Old Bay
1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
2 teaspoons kosher salt

Note: To prepare pumpkin seeds for roasting, scrape pumpkin seeds and pulp from pumpkin. Separate seeds from large clumps of pulp.  Place seeds and remaining pulp in a large bowl of water and with your fingers work to pull away pulp from seeds. The seeds will float to the top. With a slotted spoon, skim off pumpkin seeds. Discard water with bits of pulp. Repeat until nearly all of the stringy pulp is gone.  Drain seeds through colander. Dry seeds well between layers of towel. Seeds will stick to towel. It helps to scrape them away with a blunt knife. A 10 pound pumpkin yielded about 1 cup of seeds.  Measure seeds in measuring cup.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Mix rinsed and dried pumpkin seeds with oil. Add cumin, Old Bay, sweet paprika and salt. Place on rimmed baking sheet. Place in oven and roast for 25-30 minutes. Allow to cool.

Yield About 1 1/2 cups because the seeds swell in roasting.

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Cider Pecan Pie Recipe

Reduced cider syrup brings a fruitier sweetness to standard pecan pie for a flavor combination that’s truly autumnal. Pecan pie was one of the all-time favorite desserts served at Frog and The Commissary. Convenient as well as delicious, it can be made up to two days ahead and held at room temperature. To make the original pecan pie served at Frog, use 11⁄4 cups of corn syrup and omit the reduced cider.
do ahead Pie can be made one day in advance and kept at room temperature. The baked pie can also be frozen. Defrost for several hours and serve at room temperature.

1⁄2 cup apple cider syrup, cooled (see page 424)
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 flaky pie crust, chilled and rolled out (see page 449)
1 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
1⁄4 teaspoon table salt
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3⁄4 cup light corn syrup
2 cups pecan halves

1 Adjust an oven rack to the lowest shelf and preheat oven to 400º.
2 In a bowl, whisk brown sugar, flour and salt together. Whisk in eggs. Whisk in vanilla extract, cider syrup and corn syrup. Gently whisk in the melted butter until it is well combined. Drape pie crust over pie plate. Put pecans in the unbaked pie crust. Pour the mixture you whisked together over the nuts and poke down any nuts that aren’t covered. They will float back up, but that’s okay.
3 Cover the edge of the pie crust with crust protector or foil. Bake pie for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350º and bake until the edges of the filling are puffed and the center is not jiggly, about 40-50 minutes more. Check the pie after 30 minutes, and if it’s getting too brown, cover it lightly with a big square of foil. It’s better to let the pie cook a little longer if the middle doesn’t look done in the specified time. Finish baking, 10-20 minutes more. Cool pie for about 5 hours or overnight.

serves 8

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Sweet Endings: Chapter 19 — Baking Required

This is it, the end of our preview. Over the past 19 days as I have counted down to books shipping from the printer, I have provided just the barest glimpse of At Home by Steve Poses: A Caterer’s Guide to Cooking & Entertaining.

Section 7: Sweet Endings is At Home’s final chapter is Chapter 19 — Baking Required. By way of introduction:

There are cooks…

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And there are bakers…

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I am definitely a cook. I just lack the temperament to be a baker. What’s a cook to do when he needs a sensational final chapter titled Baking Required? The answer is Anne Clark! Anne was Frog’s very first baker in 1973. Anne “invented” Commissary Carrot Cake and Strawberry Heart Tarts. Anne was co-author/co-shepard of The Frog Commissary Cookbook. Anne is responsible for all the recipes in Chapter 19. Anne is a dear friend.

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Cider Pecan Pie
Reduced cider syrup brings a fruitier sweetness to standard pecan pie for a flavor combination that’s truly autumnal. Pecan pie was one of the all-time favorite desserts served at Frog and The Commissary. Convenient as well as delicious, it can be made up to two days ahead and held at room temperature. To make the original pecan pie served at Frog, use 11⁄4 cups of corn syrup and omit the reduced cider.
do ahead Pie can be made one day in advance and kept at room temperature. The baked pie can also be frozen. Defrost for several hours and serve at room temperature.

1⁄2 cup apple cider syrup, cooled (see page 424)
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 flaky pie crust, chilled and rolled out (see page 449)
1 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
1⁄4 teaspoon table salt
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3⁄4 cup light corn syrup
2 cups pecan halves

1 Adjust an oven rack to the lowest shelf and preheat oven to 400º.
2 In a bowl, whisk brown sugar, flour and salt together. Whisk in eggs. Whisk in vanilla extract, cider syrup and corn syrup. Gently whisk in the melted butter until it is well combined. Drape pie crust over pie plate. Put pecans in the unbaked pie crust. Pour the mixture you whisked together over the nuts and poke down any nuts that aren’t covered. They will float back up, but that’s okay.
3 Cover the edge of the pie crust with crust protector or foil. Bake pie for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350º and bake until the edges of the filling are puffed and the center is not jiggly, about 40-50 minutes more. Check the pie after 30 minutes, and if it’s getting too brown, cover it lightly with a big square of foil. It’s better to let the pie cook a little longer if the middle doesn’t look done in the specified time. Finish baking, 10-20 minutes more. Cool pie for about 5 hours or overnight.

serves 8

Entertaining
The Party’s Over

The most important thing to do when the party’s over and you have bid goodbye to your last guest is to stop for a moment and give yourself a pat on the back. If this was a team affair, share a moment of satisfaction with your cohost(s). Entertaining is an act of love. In the end, you were the most important ingredient. You were thoughtful, planned carefully and worked hard. Whether everything worked out perfectly or not matters little. What matters is the commitment you made to open your home and heart. Good job! Now, the dishes.

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About one week left to buy the book — and companion website — and receive a signed, numbered first edition.

Note: I will be speaking all about At Home — book and companion website — at the Free Library on Thursday, October 15 beginning at 7:30 PM. Hope to see you there.

Postscript: On schedule, the book arrived this morning. More about this in the coming days.

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Chapter 14 – Accompaniments: Vegetables & Beans

I feel like an expectant parent. Shipping in five days.

My preview of Section 5: Accompaniments continues with Chapter 14: Vegetables & Beans. This chapter features 2o recipes — all designed to add luster to your home entertaining. Many recipes have a seasonal focus with today’s preview recipe the perfect harbinger of fall that arrives tomorrow.

Ragout of Cranberries, Apples, Sweet Potatoes & Parsnips
There’s no limit to the creative combinations of fruits and vegetables you can toss together in a single dish. Here, the tart flavors of balsamic vinegar and cranberries accent sweet roasted root vegetables for a great addition to your autumn table.

do ahead Vegetables can be sautéed two days ahead, stored in the refrigerator and reheated in a 325° oven just before serving.

2 cups 1⁄2-inch cubed peeled sweet potato
2 cups 1⁄2-inch cubed peeled parsnip
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup 1⁄2-inch cubed apple
1⁄4 cup olive oil, divided
1 cup dried cranberries
2 cups boiling water
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
splash of balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper

1 Preheat oven to 375°.
2 In a rimmed baking sheet, toss together sweet potato and parsnip with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Roast vegetables in oven until golden brown, about 40 minutes.
3 Meanwhile, add cranberries and water to a small bowl and allow cranberries to plump.
4 Heat remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet. Add onion and cook until almost brown, about 10 minutes. Stir in apple and continue cooking for another 5 minutes.
5 In a large bowl, combine sweet potato, parsnip, onion and apple. Drain cranberries and add them to the vegetables. Stir in mint and balsamic vinegar. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve at room temperature.
serves 6-8

A complete drama involving a sweet potato, apple…and an onion.

Picture 1

Pascal is just sooooo good!

Not all bottom notes are autobiographic. Some are just reflections that come from 40 years in the business.

Line Cooks: The Marines of the Industry
The food service industry has many different jobs, running the spectrum from executive chefs to bakers, from porters to dishwashers. By far the hardest job in the industry is that of a line cook—the person working the sauté station in a busy high-quality restaurant. The orders come fast and furious. You struggle to keep them sorted out— starting the right dish at the right time so that an entire table can be served at the same time. The techniques are exacting. Speed and efficiency are at a premium. There is no time for wasted motion. It can start at 6 P.M. and run five or six hours without letup. It’s an amazing way to spend the evening.

Tomorrow: Chapter 15 is the last of our Accompaniments section and features Starches & Grains.

Less than two weeks left to buy the book — and companion website — and receive a signed, numbered first edition.

Note: I will be speaking all about At Home — book and companion website — at the Free Library on Thursday, October 15 beginning at 7:30 PM. Hope to see you there.

Steve

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