Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler: Chicken, Shrimp and Sausage Jambalaya – Louisiana

Next week is Mardi Gras (February 9, 2016) so the folks down in New Orleans have been celebrating a while now with parties, parades and all manner of revelry.  Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday) celebrations have actually been around for thousands of years as

Chicken, Shrimp and Sausage Jambalaya

festivals of spring and fertility but when Christianity was established, the holiday became associated with the last day of merry making and eating rich food before Lent.

Many dishes are associated with Mardi Gras including crawfish etouffee, gumbo and this jambalaya, a rice based dish that is great for serving a crowd.

If you wondered about the difference between Creole versus Cajun food, one basic difference is that Creole food uses tomatoes while Cajun food generally does not. Since we opted out of tomatoes with this dish, I guess we made Cajun jambalaya but you can use tomatoes if you want to make it Creole. Just add them when the other vegetables go in.

The protein in jambalaya can vary but we went with the very traditional chicken, shrimp and sausage. Feel free to modify based on your tastes.

Mardi Gras will be reaching a full fledged fervor this weekend with parades from the so-called “super krewes” of Orpheus, Bacchus and Endymion which feature the most massive and detailed floats. Check out www.mardigrasneworleans.com for a full schedule.

Chicken, Shrimp and Sausage Jambalaya

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Time: 90 min.
  • Difficulty: moderate
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Ingredients

  • Vegetable oil
  • 3-4 pounds chicken thighs
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 1 rib celery, chopped
  • 1 large green pepper, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • 3 tablespoons parsley, minced
  • 1 pound raw shrimp
  • 6 smoked sausages (Andouille or Polish)
  • 3 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 ½ cups long grain white rice
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 cup water

 Instructions

In a large, heavy pot, heat the oil on medium heat until hot. Cook the chicken pieces with the skin on until golden brown on both sides. Remove chicken and set aside. Add the shrimp and sauté  2 minutes each side. Remove shrimp and set aside. Add all the vegetables into the pot and cook on medium until the onion is translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the sausage and seasonings and cook until the sausage is browned. Add the chicken, broth and water. Stir gently, making sure chicken is submerged. Raise the heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce to low, then cover the pot. Simmer for 35 minutes, stirring occasionally. Uncover and bring heat to medium for 10 minutes or until liquid is almost absorbed. During the last 10 minutes, remove chicken. When it is cool enough to handle, remove meat, discard skin and bones and add shredded meat back into jambalaya. Add the shrimp and cook until heated through.

Oh, You’re Full o’ Beans: Tortilla Soup – Texas

Let’s talk about Tex-Mex, shall we? The term was coined in 1875 and initially referred to the Texas and Mexican Railroad. Some claim that the cradle of Tex-Mex food is San Antonio where Hispanic women, called “chili queens” began serving chili in the plazas in the 1880s. In

Tortilla Soup from Texas is comfort food at its best

the 1930s, several restaurant chains started and popularized the idea of the combo plate with rice and beans. Then in the 1970s, cookbook author Diana Kennedy asserted that Mexican food made north of the border wasn’t truly Mexican food at all. Even though she offended Texans who liked their nachos, fajitas and cheese enchiladas, she probably cemented the idea of regional dishes with big southwest flavors that came to be known as Tex-Mex.

We’ve been making tortilla soup for years and could probably do it while half-asleep, it’s that easy. Our little trick is to pulverize some tortilla chips in the food processor and add these when the veggies are almost done. They add a bit of texture and thicken up the soup nicely.

The last several times we cooked this soup, we made our own chicken stock by simmering bone-in chicken thighs with veggies (a quartered onion, celery, and carrot) and seasoning (salt, peppercorns, bay leaf) for about 40 minutes. But you don’t have to do this. Leftover chicken (rotisserie chicken is particularly good) and canned stock works just as well.

This recipe is easily adaptable. You don’t like heat? Leave out the jalapeno. You don’t eat meat? Make it vegan by leaving out the chicken and subbing vegetable stock.

If you make your way to San Antonio, remember the Alamo (literally), site of the 1836 battle between Mexican troops under President General Santa Anna and Texian defenders. Visitors can take in the shrine, visit the museum and walk the gardens.

Tortilla Soup

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Time: 60 min.
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 carrots, finely chopped
  • 1 rib celery, finely chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 medium red pepper, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, deveined and deseeded, finely diced (optional)
  • 1/2 cup corn tortilla chips, blitzed in food processor
  • 6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 15-oz. can fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 2 15-oz. cans of black beans, drained
  • 3-4 cups cooked, shredded chicken
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste
  • Hot sauce for garnish (optional)
  • Chopped cilantro, chopped for garnish (optional)
  • Shredded cheddar cheese for garnish (optional)
  • Tortilla strips for garnish (optional)
  • Avocado or guacamole for garnish (optional)
  • Sour cream or Greek yogurt for garnish (optional)

 Instructions

Heat olive oil in large stock pot. Add carrots and sauté, 3-4 minutes. Add celery, onion, red pepper, garlic and jalapeno if using. Sauté 3-4 minutes or until onion is translucent. Add tortilla chips, continue cooking until soft. Add stock, tomatoes, salsa and black beans. Bring to a low boil. Reduce heat to low. Add chicken and season to taste with salt, pepper and cumin. Simmer 20 minutes or until vegetables are cooked through. Enjoy with your favorite toppings.

Ono Sweeeeet: Macadamia Nut Blondies – Hawaii

This week’s bitter cold and snow had us dreaming of Hawaii. The sun, the crashing surf, the soaring peaks of Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa. Hawaii has some great food that we’ve talked about before, and no list would be complete without the macadamia nut.

Macadamia Nut Blondies - Hawaii

Macadamias are not native to Hawaii (Australia takes credit for that), but they have a long history in the Aloha State. Trees were first planted in 1881, and commercial cultivation began in the 1920s. The state has 700 macadamia nut farms. While other states including California and Florida produce this nut, they are very much associated with the Aloha State. Walk into any shop or restaurant in Hawaii and you’ll find macadamia nut confections, including ice cream, pies, cookies and chocolates.

Cookie bars are always a hit with the StateEat kids so we decided to try our hand at Macadamia Nut Blondies. We got crazy and used two kinds of chocolate but if you don’t like white chocolate, just use the semi-sweet. Truly ono (Hawaiian pidgin for delicious)!

If you are lucky enough to be headed to Hawaii soon, don’t miss Mt. Haleakala on the island of Maui. You can hire an outfitter so you can bike down, or just go up on your own for some hiking and to watch sunset. But bring warm clothes, it dips into the 40s when the sun goes down.

Us Hiking Above the Clouds on Mt. Haleakala, 2010
Us Hiking Above the Clouds on Mt. Haleakala, 2010

Macadamia Nut Blondies

  • Servings: 4-8
  • Time: 40 min.
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup butter, unsalted, room temperature
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 ¼ cups flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup white chocolate, broken into chunks
  • 3/4 cup semi-sweet mini chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup macadamia nuts, toasted and roughly chopped

 Instructions

Add macadamia nuts to a sauté pan over medium heat. Toast, tossing the nuts every few minutes, until the edges of the nuts begin to brown, about 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat. Let cool before chopping.

In mixing bowl, beat sugar and butter until smooth and creamy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs and vanilla and beat until incorporated.

In a separate bowl, add flour, baking soda and salt. Add flour mixture to the wet ingredients and mix by hand, just until incorporated. Gently add the chocolates and nuts.

Grease a 9×9 glass baking dish. Add dough and smooth evenly and into corners. Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes until the top is golden brown and an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Let cool before slicing.

Getouttaheye: Bagels – New York

Schmeared with cream cheese, toasted with a bit of butter, covered with lox, made into a breakfast sandwich with egg and cheese … who doesn’t love a bagel? Smooth and glossy on the outside, chewy

NYC Bagel

and  delectable on the inside, bagels are one food that has made the jump from ethnic to ubiquitous in the span of about 100 years.

Folklore has it that the bagel was created after Polish King John III Sobieski saved Austria from invading Ottoman Turks in the Battle of Vienna in 1683. A baker made a roll in the shape of a stirrup (called a beugel) to commemorate the victory. Others maintain that the bagel was given to women in Krakow during this same period as a gift after having a baby.

What is clear is that Eastern European Jews brought the bagel to New York at the turn of the century. In 1907, bagel bakers unionized, forming the International Beigel Bakers’ Union, thereby monopolizing and controlling their handmade product. In the 1950s, Murray Lender figured out that he could mass produce bagels, freeze them and deliver them to grocery stores. And with that bold move, bagels became mainstream.

We personally have made it our mission to try bagels all over the country but in our opinion, it’s pretty hard to beat a New York bagel (some attribute it to the fantastic NYC water). If you live in a part of the country where bagels are not so great, try this recipe. You won’t be disappointed.

A couple of pointers: Just use your finger to make the hole in the

NYC bagels - how to shape

bagel. Twirl the dough around your index finger. It’s fun!

Also, bagels get their unique texture from both boiling and baking. The bath the bagels take is not long. For a chewier version that is

 

DSC_1538 label

more like NYC bagels, boil for 2 minutes in each side. If you want a softer bagel, reduce to one minute on each side.

For a unique look at the working class immigrant in the early half of the 20th century, visit the fantastic Tenement Museum on the Lower East Side in Manhattan. The museum has many tours and offerings, you can visit multiple times and not see the same thing.

NYC Bagels

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Time: 2 hrs.
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons of active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of granulated sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups warm water (plus or minus ¼ cup more)
  • 3 1/2 cups bread flour or high gluten flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Egg white from one large egg
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • Caraway seeds (optional)
  • Coarse salt (optional)
  • Poppy seeds (optional)
  • Sesame seeds (optional)

 Instructions

In a small bowl, add ½ cup of warm water, sugar and yeast. Do not stir. Let it sit for five minutes, and then stir the yeast and sugar mixture, until it all dissolves in the water.

In a large mixing bowl, add flour and salt. Make a well in the middle and pour in the yeast and sugar mixture. Pour half of the remaining warm water into the well. Mix and stir in the rest of the water as needed to form a moist and firm dough.

On a floured work surface, knead the dough for about 10 minutes until it is smooth and elastic. Work in as much flour as possible to form a firm and stiff dough.

Lightly brush a large bowl with oil and turn the dough to coat. Cover the bowl with a damp dish towel. Let rise in a warm place for 1 hour, until the dough has doubled in size. Punch the dough down, and let it rest for another 10 minutes.

Divide the dough into 8 pieces. Shape each piece into a round ball. Coat a finger in flour, and gently press your finger into the center of each dough ball to form a ring. Twirl the dough around on your finger, stretching the opening to about ⅓ the diameter of the bagel and place on a lightly oiled cookie sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough.

After shaping the dough rounds and placing them on the cookie sheet, cover with a damp tea towel and let rest for 10 minutes.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Reduce the heat. Working in batches, use a slotted spoon or skimmer to lower the bagels into the water. Boil for 2 minutes, and then flip them over for another 2 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and let drain before placing onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Repeat with remaining batches.

Combine the egg white and tablespoon of water. Brush tops and sides of bagels with egg wash. Top bagels with caraway seeds, coarse salt, sesame seeds or poppy seeds.

Bake for 20-30 minutes at 425 degrees, or until bagels are a golden caramel color. Let sit for 30 minutes so the interior continues to bake.

 

Guest Post: Atole

Hello lovely readers of StateEats! I’m Chrissy, known to most as Chrissy, to others CB, my family Lulubelle and to my readers, The Hungary Buddha. I’m so happy to be guest posting for Kat and Kloh. As they’ve been cooking their way around the U.S., I’ve been cooking my way around the world, and it was not lost on either of us that there is a ton of overlap between the two ideas. After all, our country is indeed a nation of immigrants, and there are little reminders of the old world from whence they came in every bite we take.

Kat asked me to share a recipe for atole, and I’m more than happy to do so because it’s breakfast! And I love breakfast! Plus, it’s perfect for this time of the year when the weather is oh so cold and frightful.

Atole

For some background, I grew up eating a hot, freshly prepared breakfast every weekday morning. #Spoiled. Once in a while we had cereal, but more often than not we had pancakes, french toast, quiche, cheesy toast, cream of wheat, crepes, wheatena…the list goes on. Atole, a warm cornmeal drink with central Mexican and central American origins, would have fit seamlessly in my childhood morning rotation and get me started on the right foot. Especially popular for breakfast, it is also consumed for special occasions, namely on el dia de los meuetos (Day of the Dead) or at Christmas time with chocolate (called champurrado). Because it’s made in the same manner as oatmeal or cream of wheat, it can be as thin or as thick as you like, making it either more drink-like or porridge-like.

I opted for the latter, and I boiled my atole to medium thickness. However, for a gluten-free breakfast on the go, opt for a thinner, more coffee-cup portable version.

Atole

To make the champurrado (chocolate atole), add 2 ounces of chopped Mexican chocolate into the recipe below.

Atole

  • Servings: 2
  • Time: 15 min.
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  •  1 ¼ cup almond milk (or other dairy variety)
  • 1 ¼ cup water
  • 1/4 cup masa harina
  • 2 TB brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • Almonds, to garnish and add crunch (optional)

Instructions

Whisk the milk, water, masa, sugar and cinnamon in a medium saucepan until smooth.  Place the pan over medium heat and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to medium-low and stir until it reaches desired thickness, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla and serve in mugs or bowls.

Note: To make the champurrado (chocolate atole), add 2 ounces of chopped Mexican chocolate into the recipe above.

 

 

Good with Vino or a Cappuccino: Biscochitos – New Mexico

Hello friends! Is your holiday baking well underway? You might want add the biscochito (bis-ko-CHEE-toe) to your repertoire, New Mexico’s official state cookie. This melt in your mouth confection is

Biscochitos - New Mexico

flavored with anise, cinnamon and brandy and is often associated with Christmastime. In the Spanish culture, with the tradition of Las Posadas, where actors reenact Mary and Joseph looking for shelter for the birth of the Christ child, biscochitos are often served in the celebration following the event.

It seems every family thinks their abuela (grandmother) or tia (aunt) makes the best biscochito. Call us crazy, but our idea of fun would be to taste test biscochitos to come up with our favorite. This recipe is adapted from one found on the Albuquerque Convention and Visitors Bureau. This dough does get soft quickly so put it in the fridge when you are not working with it so it stays cold. And yes, equally delicious with a glass of wine or a cappuccino.

Celebrate New Year’s Eve on the Santa Fe Plaza, December 31, with bonfires, hot chocolate, music, food trucks and more.

Biscochitos

  • Servings: 4 dozen
  • Time: 20 min.
  • Difficulty: moderate
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Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups shortening or lard
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons anise seeds
  • 4 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons brandy (can substitute apple juice)
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons sugar

Instructions

 In a large mixing bowl, beat shortening and sugar with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs, anise seeds and brandy and beat until incorporated. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together. Gradually add to the shortening/sugar mixture, mixing until dough forms. Remove dough onto cellophane. Wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.

To make cookies, roll out batches of dough (keeping unused dough refrigerated) to between 1/4 and 1/2 inch thickness. Cut with cookie cutters. Mix cinnamon and the 3 tablespoons of sugar on plate. Dip each cookie in cinnamon-sugar mixture on one side and place on cookie sheets. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes or until cookies are browned at the edges.

Pastrami Burgers with Fry Sauce – Utah

We’ve talked about regional burgers before when we explored the Minnesota Juicy Lucy and the Okie Onion Burger. Now comes the

Pastrami Burger - Utah

Utah Pastrami Burger. Made famous by Utah’s Crown Burgers, the Pastrami Burger has been around since the 1950s in California. Manuel Katsanevas, founder of the Crown Burger on North Temple Street, admits that he learned to make pastrami burgers from a guy in Los Angeles. This ode to beef is topped with sliced lettuce, tomato, onions, cheese and of course, hot pastrami.

And you cannot forget the fry sauce. Fry sauce is a little like a smooth Thousand Island dressing, seasoned with pickle juice rather than relish. Great on the burger, the fry sauce also is a tasty dip for French fries.

Prepared to be dazzled by speed, snow and aerial tricks at various events at Utah Olympic Park in the next few weeks including the Luge World Cup, the Nordic Combined Continental Cup, the US Freestyle Aerials Selection, and the Bobsled and Skeleton World Cup.

Pastrami Burger

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 30 min.
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print
      

Ingredients

For the burgers:

  • 1 1/2 lb ground chuck
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ pound thinly slice beef pastrami
  • Sliced American or Cheddar cheese
  • 4 burger buns
  • Sliced tomato, lettuce, onions (optional)

For the fry sauce:

  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • 2-3 teaspoons pickle juice (to taste)
  • 2-3 dashes hot sauce

Instructions

For the fry sauce: Combine all ingredients in small bowl. Set aside.

For the burgers: Mix ground beef with salt, pepper garlic powder and Worcestershire sauce. Divide into 4 patties. Grill 3 to 4 minutes each side for a medium burger. Place on buns. Top with cheese, then pastrami warmed for a few minutes in a frying pan. Add fry sauce and other desired fixings.

Fry Bread – South Dakota

Fry bread is a scrumptious puffy, chewy carb that is associated with state fairs, powwows and fun. Although it’s the official state bread of South Dakota, fry bread has a complicated and painful history. In

Fry Bread - South Dakota

1864, the U.S. government forced Native Americans in Arizona to relocate to an internment camp 300 miles away in New Mexico. Called “The Long Walk,” the government gave them canned goods, sugar, white flour and lard to prevent starvation. Native Americans created fry bread with these staples and it caught on with many tribes in the plains and southwestern states. Many North American Indians now regard fry bread as a symbol of both persistence and pain.

Lots of variations of this recipe exist, some using yeast and some not. We went with a traditional, no yeast version that uses baking powder as its leavening agent. While fry bread is not going to win any nutritional awards – it’s basically fried dough – it’s a delicious once-in-a-while treat that can be either sweet (drizzled with honey, topped with jam, dusted with powdered sugar) or savory (topped with ground beef or turkey and other taco fixings for fry bread tacos).

Visit Crazy Horse Memorial in the Black Hills. Standing 641 feet long and over 500 feet high, this still-in-progress monument accepts no federal funds. Its mission is to protect and preserve the culture, tradition and living heritage of North American Indians.

Fry Bread

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Time: 40 min.
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 3 heaping teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup milk
  • ¼ to ½ cup warm water
  • Crisco (for frying)

Instructions

 Place dry ingredients in a medium mixing bowl. Add milk and mix with a fork. Add water a little bit at a time and mix just until the dough comes together (do not overmix!). Cover with a tea towel and let sit 30 minutes.

Heat Crisco in an electric or cast iron skillet to medium heat. Pinch off an egg sized piece of dough. On a work surface dusted with flour, flatten and stretch the dough, working out from the center, until it reaches your desired size. Gently place in hot oil and fry until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Flip dough over and fry on the other side. Remove to paper towels. Repeat with remaining dough.

In Celebration of the Cranberry: Cranberry Nut Bread – Massachusetts

Didja know National Cranberry Day is coming up on November 23? We’ve talked before about how the cranberry is the Bay State’s

Cranberry Nut Bread- Mass.

official state berry, thanks to some lobbying school children. We happen to adore the tart flavor of this lovely little fruit so we bring to you this family recipe that is sure to be a hit in your household too. If you’ve got company coming for Thanksgiving, this is an easy quick bread that you can make ahead of time. Perfect for that crazy Thursday morning when your mother-in-law is dashing about the house looking for her misplaced phone and your brother is wrestling with the kids, causing the dog to bark. Just make some coffee, slice it up, and breakfast is served.

Check out America’s Hometown Thanksgiving Celebration in Plymouth, November 20-22, 2015, with a parade, the New England Food Festival, music and more.

 

Cranberry Nut Bread

  • Servings: 10-12
  • Time: 90 min.
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¾ cup orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup chopped pecans
  • 1 cup frozen cranberries, chopped in food processor

Instructions

 In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside. In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar with electric mixer until combined. Add orange juice, zest, and egg; mix until combined. Add pecans and cranberries and stir by hand until combined. Add flour mixture and stir by hand until just combined, taking care not to overmix. Pour into two loaf pans lined with parchment paper. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour or until golden brown.

Playin’ Possum: Possum Pie – Arkansas

When we first heard about this pie, we had the same reaction that most people have. “It’s not made with possum, is it?” We assure you, it’s not (eww). This delicious concoction that should be the official

Possum Pie - Arkansas

state dessert of Arkansas goes by other names in the south including Striped Delight, Chocolate Layer Pie and Four Layer Delight. A sandy bottom crust is the base upon which a cream cheesy layer sits. A chocolate pudding layer comes next, followed by a whipped cream topping. No one is really sure where the name comes from, but the best reasoning is that this pie plays possum by pretending to be something else – in this case the whipped cream hiding the chocolate filling.

We have seen lots of variations of this dessert including those made with a graham cracker crust, instant chocolate pudding and Cool Whip for the topping. You can go that route, but we prefer our version with no processed ingredients.    

If this pie isn’t a near-religious experience, check out Thorncrown Chapel near Eureka Springs. This stunning architectural masterpiece is comprised of 6,000 square feet of glass and 425 windows. Designed to blend into its surroundings, the chapel has won numerous architectural awards and is a must-see if you are in the Ozarks.

Possum Pie

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Time: 60 min.
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

First Layer

  • 1 stick butter, melted
  • 1 cup flour
  • ¾ cup chopped pecans, toasted

Second Layer

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • ¾ cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk

Third Layer

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup Dutch processed cocoa powder
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • Salt, a pinch
  • 3 tablespoon corn starch
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 2 cups whole or 2% milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla

Fourth Layer

  • Whipped cream
  • 1/3 cup chopped pecans, toasted
  • Chocolate shavings (optional)

Instructions

 Place all pecans needed for recipe in a skillet on medium heat until they just begin to turn fragrant and brown, about 3 to 5 minutes (watch closely so they don’t burn). Remove from heat and let cool. Divide for each layer and set aside. Line a 9X9 square pan with aluminum foil, making sure the corners are tight.

For the first layer: Combine melted butter, flour and pecans. Spread the dough evenly over the bottom of the foil-lined pan, pressing down with your fingers. Bake at 350 degrees for about 20-25 minutes or until the dough just begins to brown. Remove from oven and let cool.

For the third layer: While the first layer bakes, in a medium saucepan, add the sugar, cocoa powder, flour, salt and corn starch. In a small bowl, beat egg yolks until broken up, then milk. On medium heat, add milk mixture to dry ingredients, whisking constantly until pudding begins to boil and thicken, about 7-10 minutes. Remove from heat. Add vanilla. Let cool about 5 minutes. Pour pudding in a shallow bowl and place a piece of plastic wrap on the surface so a skin does not form. Place in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

For second layer: In a medium bowl, combine cream cheese, powdered sugar and milk. Beat with electric mixture for 2-3 minutes or combined.

To make pie: Spread cream cheese mixture over the dough base. Remove pudding from fridge. Carefully spread pudding over the cream cheese layer. Top with whipped cream, toasted pecans and chocolate shavings if desired. To serve, remove pie from the pan by lifting up by the foil. Transfer to a serving platter.

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