Halloween Party Food Ideas with Chef Kelli

Halloween is usually all about the treats, but good food can be the key to hosting a great party to celebrate 

Chef Kelli Lewton, owner of 2 Unique Caterers & Event Planners, and Chef Rece Hogerheide dropped by the Fox2 Studios to share some of their favorite Halloween recipes. 
 
AZTECA TURKEY TAMALES 
Ingredients
  • Banana leaves for wrapping, thawed if frozen 
  • 1 Turkey Thing and 1 drumstick 
  • 3 cups poultry stock  
  • 1 small onion, unpeeled
  • 3 garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • 8 whole black peppercorns
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 1/2 cups  Pumpkin mole negro (see attached Recipe) 
  • 8 ounces (about 1 cup) lard (preferably home-rendered; see Tips, below)
  • 1 1/2 pounds (about 3 cups) coarse-ground fresh masa, homemade or bought from a supplier, or reconstituted masa made by mixing 2 1/4 cups masa harina with 1 3/4 cups chicken stock (preferably homemade) or water (see Tips, below)
Directions 
 
Remove the banana leaves from the package; gently unfold and wipe clean with a clean damp cloth. With kitchen scissors, cut out eight 12 X 10-inch rectangles. Tear off long thin strips from the remaining leaves to serve as "string" ties for the packets. Set aside.
 
1. Place the turkey pieces in a pot with the onion, garlic, peppercorns, and 1 teaspoon sea salt 
2. Add chicken stock and bring to a high simmer and then reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, partly covered, until the meat is falling off the bones, about 35 to 40 minutes. Remove the turkey pieces from the broth (which can be strained and saved for another purpose); when cool enough to handle, remove the skin and tear the meat into long shreds. You should have about 2 cups. Set aside.
3. In a small saucepan, heat the mole to a boil over medium heat, reduce the heat to low, and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in the shredded turkey. Set aside.
4. Place the lard in a mixing bowl or the large bowl of an electric mixer set at medium speed. With a wooden spoon or the mixer blades, beat for 1 to 2 minutes, until somewhat aerated. Begin beating in the masa a handful at a time, stopping occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. If mixture seems dry add broth from your simmer (The consistency should be that of a very thick, like a thick grits where you could stand a soon up in the bowl)  finish with sea salt 1 &1/2 tsp sea salt or to taste
5. Prepare the banana-leaf packets. Briefly hold each of the cut rectangles over an open flame to make them more pliable, or place for a few seconds on a hot griddle. Stack them by the work surface. Place a heaping 1/2-cup dollop of the masa mixture on each. With the back of a spoon, flatten out the masa slightly into an oval shape. Spoon about 1/4 cup of the turkey mole-filling over the masa.
6. Fold over the right and left edges of one rectangle toward each other, overlapping slightly. Fold the top and bottom edges toward each other. You should have a neat flat packet (usually about 5 X 4 inches if you start with a 14 X 11-inch rectangle). Tie securely with leaf "string" ties.
7. Place in the steamer. Banana-leaf tamales should lie on a flat platform such as a wire rack raised well above the level of the boiling water. Arrange them in layers as necessary, seam side up. Place some extra banana-leaf pieces on top to help absorb steam. Pour boiling water into the bottom of the pan to a depth of 1 to 2 inches, cover tightly, and steam over medium heat for 1 hour. Keep a small pot of hot water separately in case you need to top off your water level in tamale pot if necessary.
 
PUMPKIN MOLE
 
  • 2 Spanish onion Charred (blackend)
  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • 1 medium sized roasting pumpkin
  • 2 large carrot
  • 2 #g Mexican chocolate
  • 3 cups Peanuts (unsalted)
  • 9 ea cinnamon sticks
  • 2 & ¼ cup Tomato paste
  • ¾ cup  Pepitas
  • ½ cup garlic
  • ¼ cup sea salt
  • 15  ea dried Ancho, pasilla, mulato, Guajillo, chipotle peppers
  • ¼ cup sesame seeds
  • 2 TB cumin
  • 2 TB Oregano (fresh)
  • 1 TB caraway
  • 1TB  thyme (dried)
  • 1 tsp Nutmeg
  • 1 tsp  Clove
Directions
  1. Combine all ingredients and simmer on low heat for 6-8 hours.
  2. Remove Cinnamon sticks and Puree in a vitamix or blender.
  3. Strain through a fine sieve.
  4. Return to simmer for 45 minutes. Adjust seasoning and consistency as needed.
 
AUTHENTIC TACOS
Carne Asada (beef skirt or flank) queso fresco, picked onions & salsa Verde
Al Pastor  (braised pork with pineapple ) 
TACOS AL PASTOR
Ingredients
  • 1 large white onion, halved
  • 1 pineapple, peeled, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick rounds
  • 1/3 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1 TB grated orange zest
  • 1/4 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 2 Tb Cider vinegar 
  • 1/4 cup guajillo chile powder
  • 3 garlic cloves, halved
  • 2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano (preferably Mexican)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 large or 2 small chipotle chiles and 1 to 2 teaspoons adobo from canned chipotle chiles in adobo
  • 1 2 1/2-pound boneless pork loin, cut into 1/2-inch slices
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • Corn tortillas
  • Salsa
  • Lime wedges
Directions
1. Coarsely chop 1 onion half. Coarsely chop 2 pineapple rounds, discarding core; cover and chill remaining pineapple. Place chopped onion and chopped pineapple in blender. Add orange juice and next 7 ingredients; puree marinade until smooth. Place pork in large zip lock plastic bag. Add marinade and seal bag, releasing excess air. Turn to coat. Chill at least 4 hours and up to 1 day.
2. Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Grill remaining pineapple until warm and slightly charred, 4 to 6 minutes per side. Grill pork with some marinade still clinging until slightly charred and cooked through, 2 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer pineapple and pork to work surface; chop pineapple into 1/2-inch cubes, discarding cores. Chop pork. Transfer to platter; toss to combine.
3. Meanwhile, finely chop remaining onion half and place in medium bowl. Add cilantro; toss to combine. Grill tortillas until warm and slightly charred, about 10 seconds per side.
4. Serve pork-pineapple mixture with onion-cilantro relish, Smoky Salsa, and lime wedges.
 
Mexico City Tequila Queso Fundido 
  • 1 Tbs. olive or vegetable oil
  • 1 large ripe tomato, cored, seeded (if you wish) and cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 1 medium white onion, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  • Hot green chile(s) to taste (roughly 1 large jalapeño or 2 large serrano's), stemmed, seeded (if you wish) and finely chopped
  • 3 Tbs. tequila, preferably a silver tequila
  • 8 oz. Mexican melting cheese such as Chihuahua, quesadilla o or Monterey Jack, mild cheddar or brick, shredded (you'll have about 2 cups)
  • 8 oz cooked Chorizo 
  • 3 Tb chopped cilantro 
 
Directions 
1. Prepare the flavorings. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high
2. Add the tomato, onion and chile(s), and cook, stirring nearly constantly, until the onion begins to soften and brown, about 7 minutes. Add the tequila and cook, stirring, for a minute or so, until reduced to a glaze. 
3. Sprinkle in the cheese skillet Stir slowly and constantly until just melted. (don't overcook, just melted). Pour into a serving/crock dish, sprinkle with the cilantro and serve right away with tortillas for making soft tacos or chips to dip.
 

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