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Archive for October 15, 2012

HALLOWEEN RECIPE: “Deviled Eyeballs,” Halloween Deviled Eggs

Turn traditional deviled eggs into deviled eyeballs, eye-popping treats that delight young and old alike. We just love this recipe!

Serve the Deviled Eyeballs with Eyeball Martinis.

Makes: 16 halves
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 15 min for eggs



  • 8 hard-cooked eggs (how to make them)
  • 2 fully ripened avocados from Mexico, halved,
    pitted, peeled and diced
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon grated horseradish, drained
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground or cracked black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper (cayenne)

    Are you looking at me? Photo courtesy Avocados From Mexico.


    For The Eyes

  • Roasted red peppers
  • Black olives

    1. BOIL. Cook and peel eggs (cooking instructions). Cut in half lengthwise. Remove yolks to medium bowl; arrange whites on serving platter.

    2. COMBINE. Add avocados and lemon juice to bowl with yolks; mash until smooth, mixing well. Stir in horseradish, salt and black and cayenne peppers.

    3. FILL. Fill egg white halves with heaping tablespoon of mixture, piling high.

    4. DECORATE. To make devilish eyes, thinly slice roasted red peppers to create veins on the “eyeballs.” Top with sliced black olives.
    Find more delicious avocado recipes at


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    FOOD HOLIDAY: National Chicken Cacciatore Day

    Chicken cacciatore. Photo by Evan Joshua
    Swigart | Wikimedia.


    October 15th is National Chicken Cacciatore Day. Chicken cacciatore (cah-cha-toe-ray) is Italian country fare. Cacciatore means hunter, so the dish is “hunter-style” (in Italian, pollo alla cacciatora).

    The game that the hunter brought home was braised in olive oil with garden vegetables—a light tomato sauce with garlic, herbs, onions and bell peppers, plus wild mushrooms and a bit of wine (white wine in the north, red wine in the south).

    The family’s chickens got the same treatment as game.

    Chicken cacciatore has been called a “hunter’s solace,” with poultry from the yard or market replacing the pheasant or hare that got away. The wild mushrooms were foraged in the forest by the hunter, so he didn’t come home empty-handed.

    The dish has its roots in in central Italy in the Renaissance, and has many variations, both there and throughout the country. One of the more unusual is salamino cacciatore, made with a small salame.

    Remember, back in the day, in most homes there wasn’t a kitchen stocked with more food than could be eaten short-term, or a market down the street loaded with options. If you had it, or found it, you used it.

    This recipe serves 6.




  • 4-pound chicken, cut in pieces
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 or more cloves garlic, to taste
  • 1/4 pound mushrooms*, sliced
  • Optional: 1 stalk celery, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup red wine, white wine or sherry
  • 1 can (six ounces) tomato paste
  • 1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes, drained
  • Herbs: basil, bay leaf, fennel seeds, oregano, rosemary, thyme; plus chili flakes for a spicy sauce
    Although it isn’t a tradition, we like to add olives to this dish.


    1. SEASON. Sprinkle chicken pieces with salt, pepper and flour.

    2. BROWN. Brown the chicken in olive oil. Remove from pan and set aside. Add onion, garlic and mushrooms. Stir until onion turns yellow.

    3. COMBINE. Return the chicken to the pan. Add wine or sherry. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes. Remove garlic. Add tomato paste.

    4. ADD. Add crushed tomatoes and herbs. Simmer for 45 minutes. If the sauce is to thick, thin with chicken broth, tomato juice or water.

    Serve atop noodles or rice.

    Find more of our favorite chicken recipes.

    *Use wild mushrooms if possible. You can also use dried wild mushrooms, reconstituted.


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    TIP OF THE DAY: No-Bake Tarts, Sweet & Savory

    We should have published this tip in the summer, when it was too hot to turn on the oven. But it’s a year-round good idea for a quick and easy dessert or appetizer tart.

    You can bake your own tart shells of course, and even freeze a batch for ad hoc use. You can also make or buy a filling for the tart. Then, just top it with fresh fruit.


  • Custard
  • Crème fraîche
  • Greek yogurt, plain or sweetened with agave, honey, maple syrup, sugar or a non-caloric sweetener
  • Homemade whipped cream (see flavored whipped cream recipes)
  • Ice cream or frozen yogurt
  • Mascarpone
  • Vanilla pudding
  • Vanilla yogurt or other fruit yogurt


    Spoon the filling into the tart shell; then arrange the fruit on top. If you’re using ice cream, fill the shell and return it to the freezer until you’re ready to serve; top with fruit and bring to the table.


    You may not need a garnish, but it never hurts to add one for color, flavor or general decor:

  • Chopped nuts
  • Chocolate curl
  • Edible flower
  • Mint leaf

    A beet tart with goat cheese. Photo courtesy
    Bien Cuit.



    Savory tarts can be served as a first course; tartlets (mini tarts) can be served as hors d’oeuvre or with the salad course. Top the filling with:

  • Beets, regular or pickled
  • Grilled vegetables
  • Herbed cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • Marinated vegetables: asparagus, artichoke hearts, mushrooms
  • Smoked salmon
    Savory Tart Fillings

  • Crème fraîche
  • Fresh cheese: fromage blanc, goat cheese, Greek yogurt, labne (kefir cheese), quark, ricotta; plain or seasoned
  • Herbed sour cream (mix in minced chives, cilantro, dill, marjoram or parsley)
  • Unsweetened plain or herbed savory whipped cream
  • Garnishes

  • Capers
  • Caviar or roe
  • Cocktail onion, gherkin slice or olive slice
  • Colorful spices, like pink peppercorns
  • Edible flowers
  • Fresh herbs
  • Sprouts or microgreens
  • Watercress
    Let us know your favorite no-bake tart combinations.

    Find more garnish ideas in our article, Garnish Glamour.


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