Halloween Dinner Ideas

Amalia Moreno-Damgaard is an award-winning chef and Best Selling Author. She was recently featured on this month’s issue of People en Espanol Magazine, which is an international publication and one of the most trusted voices in Hispanic culture. Amalia stopped by with tasty and spooky Halloween dinner ideas you can make for family and friends.

Sopa Azteca – Chicken and Tortilla Soup
Recipe by Chef and Author Amalia Moreno-Damgaard (AmaliaLLC.com)

Serves 4

2 cups corn tortillas, julienne + 1/2 tbsp canola oil + ½ tsp Kosher salt
2 pasilla chiles, deveined and seeded, torn into small pieces, soaked in hot water for 10 min.
3 roma tomatoes, charred, lightly chopped
1 teaspoon canola oil
¾ cup finely diced yellow onion
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 quart chicken stock, hot
1-1/2 tsp finely chopped epazote
½-1 tsp salt and freshly ground black pepper
1-1/2 cups shredded cooked rotisserie chicken

Possible garnishes (pick 2-3): 1 avocado in cubes, tortilla julienne, epazote leaves, shredded Mexican melting cheese, crema

In a bowl, combine the corn tortillas with the oil. With hands, quickly toss the tortillas to coat lightly with the oil. Spread thinly on a small baking pan. Season lightly with salt. In a toaster oven, crisp the tortillas for 3-5 minutes keeping a close eye as they can burn easily. Save ¼ cup for garnish and use the rest for the soup.

On a nonstick dry skillet at medium heat, cook the tomatoes turning with tongs often just to char the skins, about 2-3 minutes.

Add the 1 teaspoon of oil to a soup pan and at medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, soaked chile pieces, and charred quickly chopped tomatoes and cook for 2 minutes. Add the hot stock. Puree with an immersion blender, or very carefully in a regular blender. Add the epazote. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir well to blend. Cook 2 minutes.

Assemble the soup. Divide tortilla julienne and chicken in 4 equal parts. In each bowl, add 1 part tortilla julienne, 1 part of the chicken, the hot soup, and garnish.


Ayote en Dulce – Squash in Spiced Panela Sauce
Recipe by Chef and Author Amalia Moreno-Damgaard (AmaliaLLC.com)

Serves 4

Spiced Panela Sauce
2 cups water
¼ stick canela (Ceylon cinnamon)
1 star anise
2 cloves
3 allspice berries
1 cup panela, broken into small pieces

1 acorn squash (or any other winter squash buttercup, butternut, calabaza, delicate, Hubbard, spaghetti, sweet dumpling, and Turban, as well as pumpkin)

In a medium saucepan, combine the water with the spices and panela and bring to a quick boil. Lower the heat and simmer covered until the mixture is aromatic and the panela has dissolved and become syrupy (about 20-30 minutes). Discard the spices.

Add the squash peel side down and simmer uncovered until the squash is tender (about 20-30 minutes). The longer the squash sits in the sauce, the better it tastes, and the browner it becomes. This is the traditional way. Make this dish the day before for best results.

Serve the squash at room temperature or cold.


Rhubarb Chia Cocktail
Recipe by Chef and Author Amalia Moreno-Damgaard (AmaliaLLC.com)

3 teaspoons chia seeds
Chilled water
4 tablespoons rhubarb or any other sweetened concentrate
2 teaspoon Rose’s grenadine syrup
2 teaspoons Grand Marnier (optional)
1 raspberry
1 mint leaf

Add the seeds to a champagne flute or tall glass. Fill ½-full with water. Let sit for 2-3 minutes to allow the seeds to swell.

Add the rest of the ingredients. Stir well. Serve.

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