IDEA ALLEY: Montagne Court cooks share recipes for two easy chilies and a casserole

(Illustration by Kelly Brant)
(Illustration by Kelly Brant)

Recipes that appear in Idea Alley have not been tested by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

This week's column is brought to you by the cooks of Montagne Court, aka Sally Goss and Co.

First up is this seasonal twist on chili by Susan Charles.

Charles says this extra large recipe is perfect for large gatherings. She says even after cutting it in half, it still makes plenty for eight people.

Pumpkin Turkey Chili

  • 2 onions, diced
  • 1 pound yellow or orange bell peppers, chopped
  • 5 ribs celery, chopped
  • 6 carrots, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon PLUS 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided use
  • Ground black pepper, to taste
  • 3 pounds uncooked ground turkey
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons chile powder
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 (15 ½-ounce) can black beans (do not drain)
  • 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 3 cups beef broth
  • 1 ½ cups canned pumpkin
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Desired garnishes such as sour cream, diced avocado, toasted pumpkins seeds, cheese

Over high heat in a large, heavy bottomed pot saute the onion, bell peppers, celery and carrots with 1 teaspoon kosher salt and black pepper until tender, 10 to 15 minutes.

Push the veggies aside and brown the meat sprinkling it with the tablespoon kosher salt. Or cook meat in a separate pan and then combine it with the vegetables in the pot.

Reduce heat to medium and add the tomato paste, garlic and spices and saute for a few minutes. Add the black beans, diced tomatoes, beef broth, pureed pumpkin and cinnamon. Combine well and simmer for at least 15 minutes.

Top as desired with cheese, sour cream, avocado, toasted pumpkin seeds -- whatever you love!

This creamy chicken chili is from Brenda Weeks.

CrockPot Cream Cheese Chicken Chili

  • 2 chicken breasts, still frozen
  • 1 can Rotel tomatoes
  • 1 can corn kernels, do not drain
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 envelope Ranch dressing mix
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon chile powder
  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese
  • Rice, tortillas or taco shells, for serving

Put the chicken in the crock pot and top with the tomatoes, corn, the drained and rinsed beans, ranch dressing, cumin, onion and chile powders, stir to combine then top with the cream cheese.

Cook low for 6 to 8 hours, stirring once or twice to blend in the cheese.

Shred the chicken into large pieces and serve over rice, in tortillas or taco shells.

And finally we have this baked pasta dish from Goss.

"Because who doesn't like pizza."

Pizza Casserole

  • 1 (16-ounce) box bow tie pasta
  • 1 pound ground meat
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 (26 or 28- ounce) jar pasta sauce
  • 1 can diced Italian style tomatoes
  • ½ teaspoon oregano
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 ounces sliced pepperoni, divided use
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 (8-ounce) package mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • Any other pizza toppings you like such as bacon bits, black olives, sausage, onions, green peppers

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain.

Meanwhile, brown meat in a separate frying pan; drain. Season with salt.

In a lightly greased 9-by-13-inch pan, pour a small amount of sauce to lightly coat bottom. Add a layer of pasta and add half of the sauce, the canned tomatoes, oregano and garlic powder.

On top of pasta, layer the ground meat, then add a layer of pepperoni. Sprinkle parmesan cheese and mozzarella cheese over the pepperoni and then add another layer pepperoni. Top with bacon bits and anything else you like just like a pizza.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until heated through and cheese is melted.

Email recipe contributions, requests and culinary questions to: [email protected]