Saturday, October 30, 2010

Hobgoblin Stew and Broomsticks

Every year around this time it is the same thing; the closer it gets to Halloween, the greater portion of my relatively healthy, balanced diet is replaced by Snickers, Milky Way, Reese Cups, Starburst, or any baked good containing cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice or pumpkin. And while I do make sure to get an apple a day, if I had my way, each one would be liberally coated with caramel and nuts.

Most of this change is simply due to the fact that the get togethers, parties and potlucks around this time are Halloween or autumn themed, and aside from Thanksgiving Dinner, most people relate autumn and Halloween to spice cakes, apple or pumpkin pies or candy out of the bag. I must say that I fall into this category as well, save for one thing – squash. It is one of the few healthy autumn indulgences that I have, so I get really excited when I see it go on sale.

After making butternut squash and shrimp risotto, butternut squash soup and just eating it plain, I wanted to try something different for an office potluck. Chili is always a great chilly-weather comfort food, and this recipe allowed me to incorporate leftover butternut squash. Because it uses ground turkey and has tomatoes, hominy, kidney beans and the squash, this is a comfort food that you can feel good about eating.

As the chili cooks, it smells a little like tacos because of the cumin. It has been a long time since I’ve had hominy, and never in chili, but this seemed like the perfect chance to use it, and I didn’t regret it. If you can’t find it, you can always substitute corn, but I love how the soft, almost al-dente texture of the hominy mirrors that of the roasted squash, and that won’t be exactly the same if you substitute corn kernels for it. The squash lends a delicate sweetness to the chili, which also has quite the kick, thanks to the jalapenos, cayenne and chili powder.
As an added ‘cute’ factor, I made broomsticks out of breadsticks. I thought it would be fitting for the occasion. These were made simply by purchasing the pre-packaged breadstick dough in the refrigerated section. I cut a small section off of the end for the band around the broom, and then I cut 4 inch-long slits in the bottom of each breadstick. After cutting the bristles, I pinched right above there and wrapped it with the small piece I cut off earlier for the band. Move them onto your baking sheet, then twist the handles like you would normal breadsticks. Bake them as directed on the packaging.

Hobgoblin Stew and Broomsticks
Adapted From


2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound ground turkey breast
1 pound roasted butternut squash
1 cup chicken broth
1 (4.5 ounce) can chopped jalapenos
2 (14.5 ounce) cans petite diced tomatoes (you can use plain, but I used the ones with celery and onion)
1 (15 ounce) can kidney beans with liquid (I used dark red, but you can use light red or even just black beans)
1 (15.5 ounce) can white hominy, drained
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 tsp Cayenne Pepper
3 Tbsp Brown Sugar
2 tsp Allspice


1.To roast the butternut squash: heat the oven to 425 degrees. Peel the squash, remove the seeds and cut into 3/4-inch to 1-inch dice. Season with a little olive oil, salt and pepper, and roast in a baking pan for 25-35 minutes, or until soft. Set aside.
2. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Stir in the onion and garlic; cook and stir for 3 minutes, then add the turkey, and stir until crumbly and no longer pink.
2.Add the butternut squash, chicken broth, green chilies, tomatoes, kidney beans, hominy, and tomato sauce; season with chili powder, cumin, and garlic salt. Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the squash is tender, about 20 minutes.

Come join Soup-a-Palooza at TidyMom and Dine and Dish sponsored by Bush’s Beans, Hip Hostess, Pillsbury and Westminster Crackers

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