Hello darlings! Chef Tess is here.  Fall is in the air and with the onset of the cooler weather comes the ever popular return of warm and comforting dinner stews. I have a favorite that has been my go-to for several years. It is a one-pot wonder. It can be made in 20 minutes in a pressure cooker or slow-cooker.  It is a thick Southwestern corn stew . It is similar in flavor to a really savory chili, but it is remarkable with the use of corn hominy instead of beans.  The result is an award-winning masterpiece! The texture of the corn and the combination of Southwestern seasoning with roasted chiles give just the right amount of heat. I’ve won a few chili cook-offs with this one because it is so different and yet so killer to the core. Yeah baby! Everyone who tastes it falls in love instantly…with me.  Okay. They fall in love with the stew. Seriously though, it never hurts to have a killer-amazing new stew in your hip-pocket. Kickin’ Fall into high-gear! 

I serve this stew with the crazy-coolest breadsticks you’ve ever seen or tasted! These are what I call 
” Funky-Fall-Fabulousness”. They’re made with an amazing dough that doesn’t require kneading. The dough can be kept in your fridge up to a week so you can makes as few or as many as you need. 

 No-Knead Tomato Chile Artisan Breadsticks
3 cups Honeyville Alta Artisan Bread Flour
1/2 tsp SAF Instant Yeast
1 tsp Salt
1/4 cup Honeyville Tomato Powder*
2 tsp Chef Tess Southwest Fajita Seasoning
1/4 cup Honeyville Freeze Dried Bell Peppers
1T fresh minced Garlic
2 1/3 cup cool Water

flour as needed (about 1/4 cup)

Directions: Mix all ingredients until well combined in a 1 gallon bucket with a lid or non-metal bowl with a lid. Place in the fridge and allow to raise overnight (at least 8 hours and up to 7 days). No need to knead it. Just mix it until a nice dough is formed.  Remove from fridge. Divide into 12 equal pieces on a heavily floured countertop.

 Roll into rugged long breadsticks, about 12 inches long and place on lightly oiled baking stone or cast-iron baking pan (arranging in rugged tree-branch shapes). 

Now make the cracker dough while the breadsticks are raising…

 Homemade Sweet Corn-Cheese Cracker-Leaves

1/2 cup Honeyville Freeze Dried Cheddar Cheese
1/4 cup warm Water
1 cups Honeyville Whole Wheat Pastry Flour OR 2 cup Honeyville All Purpose Flour
1/4 cup Honeyville Yellow Cornmeal
2T Lucero Olive Oil (garlic or lemon are amazing here)
2 T Sugar
1/4 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Salt 

Directions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a bowl combine the flour, cornmeal, sugar, salt and baking powder.  Combine cheese and water. The warmer the water, the better melted the cheese will be…but don’t get it too hot or it will be gooey cheese. We want it to be able to blend. If using the freeze dried cheese, let it soak about 10 minutes.

Measure your pretty olive oil. I use Lucero Olive Oil because I adore the flavor. Make sure it’s a good oil folks. Combine the dry ingredients with the cheese mixture. Add the oil. Mix until just combined. It only took about a minute.

Roll out the dough on a lightly floured counter top until it is about 1/4 inch thick. Use your favorite leaf cookie-cutter to cut the dough into random leaf shapes. Mine are usually no larger than an inch long.

 Whisk one egg and dot the breadsticks with a spot of egg where you want to attach a leaf. 

 Press the leaf into the breadstick.

I like to alternate the direction of the leaves so they look like real branches.
Place in a 375 degree oven and bake 15-17 minutes until golden brown. Leaves should be crisp.
While breadsticks are baking, prepare the stew. 

Chef Tess Red Pueblo Stew
1/2 cup Honeyville Tomato Powder
3T chile powder- ground ancho chile or hot New Mexico chile
2 tsp ground cumin
1T dry oregano
1 T ground coriander seed
2 cups Honeyville Freeze Dried Chicken
6 cups Juanita’s Mexican Style Hominy
1 small can green chile (or one fresh roasted, skinned and seeded)
3 T minced garlic
3/4 cup Honeyville Freeze Dried Onion
4 cups stock
Juice of 4 limes plus the zest
1/2 cup chopped green onion
1 bunch chopped cilantro (optional for some… a “must have” in my kitchen!)
Salt and cracked pepper to taste
Put first 11 ingredients in a Fagor 3 in 1 pressure cooker on high pressure for 20 minutes.

Allow natural release.  The stew can also be made in a slow cooker 6-8 hours low or 3-4 hours high.
At the end of cooking, add lime juice, green onion, and cilantro. Season with salt and pepper!
Serve with your amazing “Tree-Branch” breadsticks. 

There you go. Make yourself a dramatic and delicious Fall feast!

Always My Very Best,
Your Friend Chef Tess