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TND – Election Night

November 29, 2012

We had an Election Night Party on November , partly because Election Night happened to be the same as Dinner Night, and partly because we figured moral support as the returns came in was a good idea.

(side note – the pumpkins are from Halloween carving the week before)

To my mind (thanks to the West Wing) political gatherings should always feature chili, and then I made dessert to get us through the long tense hours of return-watching.  There’s nothing more American than apple pie, except for how I don’t actually love apple pie all that much (I know, heresy – but, for me there’s too high a crust to filling ratio – I’d rather have a crumble or a crisp).  More relevantly, I had this recipe for what is essentially a Russian take on an apple dessert that I’ve been wanting to try, and if anything is more American than apple pie, it’s the immigrant experience.

What with all the excitement/suspense, I mostly forgot to take any pictures of Dinner, although I did manage to remember to take a few of dessert.  But since dessert is, after all, the most important part of the meal that’s okay . . . I am a firm believer in reading menus backwards so I know what to leave room for at the end of the meal.

White Chicken Chili
Apple Cornbread
Salad

Apple Sharlotka with (optional – but tasty) Apple Cider Caramel Sauce
Vanilla Ice Cream (courtesy of the good folks at Ben & Jerry’s)

White Chicken Chili (courtesy of ATK)
(serves 6)

I think the chicken to bean ratio is a little off here, or at least I prefer a higher bean to meat ratio in my chilis.  I think next time I’d decrease the chicken to about 2 lb and add in an extra can of beans.

Also, this looks like it will blow the top off your head with the number of chilis it calls for – it won’t.  This is very mild – so mild I actually ended up adding in a little hot sauce and red pepper flakes to up the spice quotient.

3 lb bone-in chicken breasts
2 (15 oz) cans white beans, drained & rinsed
3 poblano chilis, de-seeded/de-veined, roughly chopped
3 anaheim chilis, de-seeded/de-veined, roughly chopped
3 jalapeno chilis, de-seeded/de-veined, roughly chopped (divided)
2 medium white onions
6 cloves garlic
1 Tbsp ground cumin
1 ½ tsp ground coriander
2-3 cups chicken stock
3 Tbsp lime juice

Season the chicken breasts with salt/pepper and a little olive oil.  Roast in a 375 oven for 35-40 minutes, or until a meat thermometer registers 170.  Allow to cool.  Remove skin, shred the chicken, reserve the bones*.

In a food processor pulse poblano chilis with one onion until they are the consistency of salsa (about 10-12 1-second pulses).  Scrape into a large bowl and reserve.  Repeat with Anaheim chilis and remaining onion.  Reserve.  Mince two of the jalapenos and garlic (I used the food processor for this) and add to bowl.  Mince the remaining jalapeno and place in a small bowl and reserve.

Do not clean the food processor.

In a large pot heat a little oil and add the onion-chili mixture, cumin and coriander.  Cover and cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened.  Turn off the heat.

In the (unwashed) food processor blend 1 cup of the drained beans, 1 cup of the cooked onion-chili mixture, and 1 cup broth until smooth (about 20-30 seconds).  Return the mixture to the pot.  Add the remaining chicken stock (I’d start with less and add if you think you need more) and reserved chicken bones and simmer for 25-30 minutes.  Remove the chicken bones.

Add the reserved minced jalapeno, remaining beans, and shredded chicken to the pot.  Cook for 5-10 minutes, or until beans and chicken are heated through.  Add the lime juice, and adjust seasoning to taste.

* I dislike poaching chicken breasts as a means of cooking because I feel like it leaves them tough.  However, if you would like to stream line the process and skip the roasting part of recipe – sear the chicken skin side down in the pot (drain off all but a film of the rendered fat), remove and proceed with cooking the onion-chili mixture.  Add the chicken back to the pot when you add the pureed bean/chili mixture and simmer for 20-25 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.  Remove the chicken, discard the skin and shred the meat.  Then proceed as above.

Fixings:
Pickled jalapenos (or other pickled hot pepper of choice/availability)
Thinly sliced scallions
Shredded cheddar cheese
Sour cream
Lime wedges
(cilantro – if that floats your boat – it doesn’t float the boat of anyone at Dinner, so I skip it)

Apple Cornbread
Substitute unsweetened apple sauce for the pureed pumpkin.

Recipe previously given:  The Little Snow-pocalypse That Couldn’t

Apple Sharlotka
I snagged this recipe from Smitten Kitchen, who says it’s a traditional food of her husband’s people (i.e the Russians).  The only change I made was to add a little cinnamon, because when can you ever go wrong with apples and cinnamon?

Notes:
Her recipe says that the cake will bake in 55-60 minutes – mine took nearly 1 ¾ hours for a tester to come out clean.  I have no idea why.

I made the cake on Monday night and then warmed it in a low oven for 12-15 minutes on Tuesday night.  I think that between the much longer cooking time, the sitting over night, and the rewarming the apples got a lot more cooked than they’re perhaps supposed to be.  Don’t get me wrong, this was super tasty – but it was a little more like the best applesauce you’ve ever had than it was like a sliceable cake.  I think next time I would make it in a casserole dish and use a spoon to scoop it out rather than trying to slice it into wedges.

6 large apples, peeled & diced (about ¼” dice)
3 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
¾-1 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp cloves
1 cup flour

Preheat oven to 350.  Line the bottom of a 9” or 10” springform pan with parchment paper, then grease the bottom and sides of the pan with butter (see note above).

Pile the chopped apples directly into the springform pan.

Sift together the flour and spices (which are optional – but again, I ask, when is cinnamon and apples not the right choice?)

In a mixer combine the eggs and sugar and beat until thick, and ribbons form on the surface of the egg.  Beat in the vanilla.

Gently stir in the flour with a spoon.  Batter will be very thick.

Pour the batter over the apples, using a spoon or spatula to force it down amongst the apple pieces (I ended up shaking the pan a little to do this) – the batter should be level with the tops of the apples.

Bake for 55-60 minutes (see note above) or until a tester comes out clean.  Allow to cool for 10 minutes, then flip out onto a rack, remove parchment paper and flip back over onto a serving plate.  Dust with powdered sugar.  Serve plain, or get decadent and serve with vanilla ice cream and a spiced apple cider caramel sauce.

Apple-Cider Caramel Sauce

1 cup apple cider, reduced to ¼ cup
¾ cup sugar
1 Tbsp honey
½ cup water
1/3 cup heavy cream
4 Tbsp butter, cubed
½ tsp vanilla
½ tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp cloves
½ tsp kosher salt

Reduce the apple cider to ¼ cup.  Cool and reserve (strain if necessary).

Mix together the cooled reduced apple cider, heavy cream, vanilla and spices.

In a heavy pot (larger than you’ll think you’ll need because this will bubble up a lot and you don’t want it to boil over) combine the sugar, honey, and water.  Bring to a boil and cook until it is a deep amber color (about 12-15 minutes).

Remove from the heat and whisk in the cubed butter (mixture will bubble up a lot – be warned).  Whisk in the cider/cream mixture (ditto on the bubbling).  Return the pot to the heat and simmer for 5-10 minutes, or until caramel is smooth and thick.  Allow to cool and then refrigerate until needed (you may/will need to reheat this to serve).

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2 comments

  1. […] 1 Week Ago White Chicken Chili (recipe previously given: Election Night) Creamed Corn Cornbread (recipe previously given: End of Birthday Season 2012) […]


  2. […] Bread After the Election Night Dinner back in November I found myself with a lot of leftover beer, and since we’re not particularly […]



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