Sweets? Duh. It’s a given, you’ll have your pumpkin cupcakes, your cider punches and your Reece’s mini peanut butter cups. So what else? Get yourself in the kitchen to mix up these thoughtful savory traditions of our celebrated venue chefs, as well as a Southern Spoonbread (with veggies!) recipe from our Sustainability Coordinator, Suzannah Schneider.
Chef Saul Bolton's halloween snack bowl holds corn nuts! Chef Saul, currently at The Norm at Brooklyn Museum, has worked for James Beard award-winning Chef Gordon Hamersley, Chef David Bouley and Chef Eric Ripert. In 1999, Chef Saul and his wife opened the namesake Saul Restaurant in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn, during which time they garnered and maintained a Michelin star (‘05-‘13) and two stars from The New York Times. In 2010, Saul opened The Vanderbilt, and in 2013, Red Gravy. Saul is also owner of Brooklyn Bangers, an artisanal sausage company, which he started in 2011.
His corn nuts recipe calls on the fall flavors of the Colombian and Peruvian southern cultures.
Toasty Tasty South of the Border Corn Nuts
2 14oz bags of Maiz Mote Pelado
1t ground chipotle
1t ground coriander
1/4t ground cinnamon
1/2t chili powder
1/2t garlic powder
1t cane sugar
1T salt or more to your taste
1t achar powder (optional but great if you want to make it special - achar is sour mango powder)
1) Soak the Giant White Corn Kernels for at least 8 hours in water – make sure to keep the corn covered with water as the corn absorbs the water its like soaking beans.
2) Mix all the spices together- keep in air tight container
3) Drain the corn of all the water and spread on a cookie tray and let dry for 4 hours at room temp uncovered
4) Preheat the oven to 400F
5) Now add the corn to a large bowl and toss with the oil and a little salt
6) Spread out on a cookie tray and place in the oven
7) Toast the corn at 400F stirring with a wooden spoon every couple of minutes to ensure even cooking
8) When the corn is properly toasted remove from the oven and remove the corn nuts from the sheet pan and toss with the half the spice mix, taste the seasoned nuts, and add more of the spice mix if needed. Spread the seasoned mix on a clean cookie tray and let cool.
9) When cool, place the mix in airtight container until needed.
Chef Brent Simms, our Executive Sous-Chef of Venues brings us NOLA Gumbo. With over fourteen years of culinary experience and roots in Louisiana, Chef Brent Sims is an expert in Southern American and Cajun cuisine. As the Executive Sous Chef of Venues at Great Performances, he oversees the production kitchen and operations at more than 10 cultural institutions.
“NOLA Halloween Gumbo is a Louisiana thing for sure!" He said. "Lots of families where I am from usually make a Halloween Gumbo as the first gumbo of the cold weather season, and people bring it to parties, etc. We feature a Chicken and Andouille Sausage Gumbo at Dizzy's year round.”
Gumbo must be a year round favorite in NOLA, but Halloween marks the change of the season, where tummies officially demand stick-to-your-bones, hearty, comforting foods, to keep you warm and happy.
Dizzy’s Chicken and Andouille Sausage Gumbo
4 cups AP Flour
4 cups canola Oil
4 Spanish Onions (Roughly Chopped)
1/2 Bunch Celery (Roughly Chopped)
4 Green Bell Peppers (Roughly Chopped)
1 lbs. Andouille Sausage (Cut into 1/4 inch rounds)
2 lbs Boneless Chicken Thighs, cut into spoon sized chunks
2 Bay Leaves
1 gallon of chicken stock
Salt, cayenne pepper, and fresh ground pepper to taste
1) In a large heavy-bottom pot (cast iron or enameled cast iron works best), fry the andouille until crispy with a little oil and remove the andouille.
2) Sear the Chicken in the same oil over high heat until good color is achieved.
3) Remove the chicken and set aside.
4) Add the remainder of the oil and heat until very hot and smoking.
5) Reduce heat to medium and carefully add the flour, stirring well. Take care as the flour will release steam when cooked at this high temperature.
6) Cook on medium heat, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom of the pot, taking care to not burn the roux in any area. Reduce heat if you are scared!
7) Continue cooking, until roux is dark and chocolate colored. It should be very, very rich and dark looking, it will smell strongly of caramelized flour.
8) Turn off heat and while still very hot add the "trinity" of diced onions, celery and bell pepper. This will caramelize the vegetables, deepening the flavor. Be very careful during this step as a lot of steam is produced!
9) Stir well until roux and vegetables stop "frying.”
10) Add the chicken, andouille, and stock a little at a time, incorporating it well.
11) Bring gumbo to a boil over medium low heat, stirring very often until it comes to a boil to prevent burning.
12) When brought to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for 30-45 minutes. Add bay leaves and salt, pepper and cayenne to taste.
13) Remove from heat, skim and remove any oils that have surfaced during the cooking process.
Adjust seasoning and serve with rice in your favorite festive vessels!
Finally, we pulled this recipe from our archives from Suzannah Schneider, our Sustainability coordinator, to allow for at least ONE sweet treat you can feel good about. For a new twist on carby carrots, try this recipe for Southern Spoonbread to dress up an already sweet root vegetable.
Southern Carrot Spoonbread
3 cups finely grated carrots, packed
1 1/2 cups All-purpose flour
2 teaspoons Baking powder
1/4 teaspoon Baking soda
3/4 teaspoon Maldon salt
4 large Eggs, beaten
1 cup Light-brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup (1 stick) Unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 2-quart baking dish. In a medium microwave-safe bowl, combine carrots with 3 tablespoons water. Cover with plastic wrap and microwave until tender, 4 minutes.
2) Drain carrots in a fine-mesh sieve. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Whisk in eggs, sugar, and butter until combined.
3) Fold in carrots and transfer mixture to prepared dish. Bake until top is golden brown, edges pull away from sides of dish, and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 55 to 60 minutes. Let cool slightly before serving.