A Halloween Meal -- Served in Reverse

There’s a trick to this month’s menu, but it’s not tricky for the cook. This dinner is served in reverse order from what one would expect. Apple dumpling pie begins the meal. Not too sweet, but filled with flavor and texture.

Use a variety of tart apples for best results. The bright flavor of fresh ginger enlivens butternut squash soup. It may be made early in the day, or a day ahead.

This meal’s a treat, whether served in tricky or traditional fashion.



Apple dumpling pie

Hunter’s pork

Green salad with pomegranate kernels

Butternut squash soup

Water, Red wine


Apple Dumpling Pie

6 medium cooking apples

Juice of 1 lemon

1/2 c. raisins

2 tblsp. butter

1/2 c. packed brown sugar

2 oz. chopped hazelnuts

1 tsp. apple pie spice

Pastry for large double-crust pie

Peel, core, and thinly slice the apples. This should yield about 5 cups. Toss with other filling ingredients and let rest 30 minutes. Line 9" deep dish pie plate with pastry. Top with remaining pastry or pastry strips and crimp edges to seal, venting top crust if solid. Bake in preheated 400° oven for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350° and continue baking for 45 minutes. Cool. Serve at room temp or slightly warm.

Hunter’s Pork

2 tblsp. oil

1 head garlic

2 med. onions

3 lbs. boneless pork

1/2 oz. dried porcini mushrooms

1-1/2 c. dry red wine

1 14 oz. can beef broth

2 tsp. worcestershire sauce

4 large sprigs fresh rosemary

2 bay leaves

9 juniper berries

6 whole allspice

Peel and slice garlic and onions. Rinse mushrooms well. Heat oil in lidded roasting pan. Sweat garlic and onion over med-low heat until tender but not brown. Remove and set aside. Increase heat and brown meat quickly, in batches if necessary to avoid crowding pan. Return garlic and onion to pan. Add remaining ingredients. Hint: tie the bay leaves, juniper, and allspice in a small muslin bag so they are easy to remove later. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, covered about 1-1/2 hrs., or until meat is very tender. If sauce is too thin, increase heat and cook, uncovered, until sauce is thickened. Remove bag of herbs. Serve over hot buttered noodles.


Butternut Squash Soup

1 med. butternut squash

3 tblsp. butter

3 tblsp. flour

2 c. milk

1 14-oz. can chicken broth

1 tblsp. sugar

2 tsp. minced fresh ginger

Halve squash lengthwise, remove seeds and fibers.  Loosely cover with waxed paper and microwave on high, skin side up, for 9 minutes. Let rest 2 minutes, then cook for 8 more minutes, or until flesh is very tender. When cool enough to handle, scrape flesh away from skin and set aside. In a medium saucepan, melt butter over low heat. Stir in flour, and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add liquids and seasonings. Simmer over medium heat, whisking constantly, until thickened. In blender or food processor, puree squash with a bit of the soup base. Add squash mixture back to soup. Adjust seasonings. 


Wine suggestion:  Stonehedge Merlot 

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