Tasty Fall Recipes to Delight & Entertain

Hurricane Duck

 ‘Tis the season for entertaining & relishing in the gift of all things food. Here are some yummy recipes for you to try! We will continually be adding recipes taken from past issues, our own kitchens, or the kitchens of people and places that have previously been featured. Submit your own recipe for a chance to be featured! Happy cooking.



These duck recipes are from Randy Ensminger and others, from our November 2011 issue. Enjoy!


Try this on a non-duck lover. They will swear it is beef.


Breasts of three ducks

1 12-oz. can lemon lime soda

1 7 oz. can evaporated milk

12 slices thin bacon, cut in half

Chakas MMM sauce or soy-based marinade like Dales or Allegro

Rinse duck and pat dry. Cut each piece into three to four pieces. Combine with soda and milk. Marinate overnight or at least for several hours. Remove from marinade, rinse and wrap with bacon. Secure with toothpicks. Combine with Chakas, Allegro, or Dales marinade for less than 1 hour (I use about 20 minutes). Grill hot for 3-5 minutes per side. You want this medium rare-NO MORE! Serve with any heated marmalade, preferably roasted garlic and onion jam, heated and mixed with butter and Worcestershire.

Note: Chakas MMM sauce can be bought online, Dales and Allegro marinades can be found at your local store.

Recipe from Apron Strings, Junior League of Little Rock…with a few tweaks.


Easy, fool proof and good.


8 duck breast fillets


Lemon pepper seasoning

All-purpose flour

Vegetable oil

Ranch dressing, to serve.

Cut breasts into finger-size strips, and soak in enough milk to cover for 1/2 hour. Drain duck strips, and coat liberally with lemon pepper seasoning. Roll in flour, drop into hot oil, and cook until just slightly pink, 4 to 5 minutes, depending on oil temperature.

Serve with ranch dressing. Serves 8


This recipe is for advanced, experienced cooks. Interesting fact: everyone in these parts parboils their ducks and then uses the meat and broth. In Cajun country the ducks are cooked in a roux; you discard the bones and skin before you eat it. This recipe is unique and from the book The Top 100 Cajun Recipes of all Time-this is as real as it gets.


1 heaping teaspoon of shortening

2 heaping teaspoons of flour

1 large or 2 small onions chopped

1 wild duck, cut into 6 pieces

salt and pepper

2 quarts water

2 dozen oysters and liquid

Melt shortening. When hot, add flour to make roux. When roux is browned, add onion. Cook until tender. Season duck with salt and pepper. When onions are tender in roux, add the duck pieces. Let fry in the roux until blood in duck disappears. Add water. Let boil slowly until duck is very tender. Add oysters and liquid. Cook about 10 minutes longer. Season again, if necessary. Serve with rice.

Recipe from Mrs. Elton Beaulieu, Jeanerette, LA (IBERIA PARISH)


Karol Zoeller's "nut" pie, entered in the Arkansas State Fair, 2016.

Karol Zoeller’s original pie that she entered into the Arkansas State Fair. This year’s pie category: Nut. Karol’s pie- Pecan, Macadamia, buttermilk, and chocolate chip.




1 Cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar

¾ cups buttermilk

3 ½ tablespoons cornstarch

pinch salt

4 egg yolks, large, beaten

4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped

1 tablespoon butter

1 teaspoon vanilla

Whip cream


In a saucepan combine sugar, half and half or cream, buttermilk, cornstarch and salt, whisk until smooth. Place over medium heat and bring to a boil, whisking until thickens, about 5 minutes.

Continue to cook for about 5 minutes whisking constantly.

Pour half cup of the hot mixture into the beaten egg yolks and whisk. Pour the egg mixture into

the saucepan and whisk over the heat until well combined and very thick, 1-2 minutes. Pour mixture into a mixing bowl  and whisk in chocolate, butter and vanilla until combined. Cover with plastic wrap over entire surface and cool to room temperature.

Crust: ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1-1/4 cups graham cracker crumb

           1 tablespoon cornmeal

1 cup sugar

1 tablespoon cocoa

½ teaspoon salt.


Melt the butter and mix with the graham cracker crumbs, coco ,cornmeal, sugar and salt. Press into a 9 inch pie pan and bake for 10 minutes on 350. Cool

Chocolate covered bacon.:  Cook 3 slices of bacon very crisp. Melt ¼ cup milk chocolate chips in microwave. With a small brush paint one side of the bacon with the chocolate and sprinkle with chopped toasted pecans (if desired.)

With the remaining melted chocolate paint the bottom of the cooled crust with the melted chocolate.

Pour layer of salted caramel over the chocolate, (about 1/8-1/4 inch thick.) Pour Pie filling over crust. .Pipe whip cream around edge of pie, sprinkle with crumbled chocolate bacon and drizzle lightly with salted caramel

Salted Caramel: 2  cups granulated sugar

          12 Tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature

  1 cup heavy cream, at room temperature

  2 teaspoons sea salt

In a 2-3 quart saucepan, melt the sugar over medium heat. Once the sugar has melted watch the caramel very carefully swirling the pan occasionally. As soon as the sugar turns amber in color add the butter and whisk vigorously. It will bubble so be careful. Remove the pan from the heat and slowly add the cream and continue to stir vigorously until all cream is incorporated and then whisk in the salt. Cool 5 minutes prior to pouring into a jar.







Yield:  about 4-5 quarts



4 cups dried black beans, sorted and picked over

4 cups diced tomatoes (canned) with their juices

2 large yellow onions, chopped

2 red bell peppers, chopped

1 cup diced green chilies

2 bunches green onions, chopped

½ cup olive oil

2 tablespoons ground cumin

2 tablespoons whole cumin seed

3 tablespoons dried oregano

½ teaspoon cayenne

3 bay leaves

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon paprika

3 tablespoon minced jalapeno peppers

4 cloves minced garlic

2 teaspoon kosher salt

2 cups white wine

¼ cup sugar


Garnishes: Grated Monterey jack cheese, grated sharp cheddar cheese, chopped cilantro and sour cream.

Sort beans carefully and rinse well. Place in a large stockpot and cover with water. Cover pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, uncover and cook for 1 ½ to 2 hours or until beans are tender. Add water if necessary to keep ‘just-covered.’

Heat olive oil in skillet and sauté onions, peppers, jalapenos, garlic, chilies, green onions and whole cumin seeds. Sauté, stirring often for 5 more minutes. Add the vegetable spice mixture to the cooked beans and simmer for 10 minutes. Add white wine and diced tomatoes with their juices. Heat through, about 20 more minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary.

Serve in a bowl with the garnishes above and a blue corn muffin or jalapeno cornbread.



Karol Zoeller’s Dill Green Beans

Karol Zoeller is a life-long participant in Arkansas State and County Fairs. She is also one of the people we featured in our October Issue’s “Real Fair Food”. This is her personal recipe for pickled dill green beans.


Photographer :: Brandon Markin

Photographer :: Brandon Markin

Green Beans-3-4 lbs.


Garlic-1-2 heads

Hot peppers-optional

2 quarts water

1 quart distilled or cider vinegar

1 cup non-iodized pickling salt

Clean, wide mouth pint jars with lids and rings

Select firm, round green beans. Wash and pack tightly into jars. To each jar add 1 head of fresh dill, 2-3 cloves garlic, and 1 small red pepper is desired. Bring water, vinegar and salt to a boil. Pour over beans and seal. Water bath 12 minutes. They should be ready in 8 weeks.


Corn and Red Pepper Pudding

I made this recipe for friends and family using fresh corn cut from the cob, and the testers liked the crunch contrasted with the creamy pudding. Frozen corn will work as well. Be sure to chop the bell pepper and shallot finely. If possible, don’t skip the water bath; it makes a difference in the texture of the pudding.


1 cup milk, whole milk preferred_mg_8584

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

2 large egg yolks

2 teaspoons sugar

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 1/2 cups fresh corn cut from the cob, about 3 ears

2 tablespoons finely chopped red bell pepper

2 tablespoons finely chopped shallot

1 teaspoon snipped sage

Salt and freshly ground pepper

2 large egg whites


Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Butter a 2-quart baking dish, and set it inside a roasting pan. In a medium bowl, whisk the milk, butter, egg yolks, sugar and cornstarch. Add the corn, bell pepper, shallot and sage. Season with a pinch of salt and 5 to 6 grinds of fresh pepper. With an electric mixer, whip the egg whites to soft peaks. Gently fold the beaten whites into the corn mixture just until combined. Spoon the pudding mixture into the buttered baking dish. Carefully pour enough very hot water into the roasting pan to come halfway up the sides of the baking dish. Bake for 40 minutes, or until pudding is firm to the touch and a light golden color. Serves four.

Adapted from Screen Doors and Sweet Tea by Martha Foose



Hot Spinach Dip




20 ounces frozen chopped spinach, thawed

1/2 cup finely chopped onion

8 ounces cream cheese, softened

2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese

1/3 cup half and half or whole milk

1 teaspoon hot sauce, optional

1 11-ounce can chopped tomatoes with green chilies

1 cup chopped fresh tomatoes


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Press spinach to remove any excess moisture. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl, and mix well. Spoon into a greased 2-quart baking dish. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes until bubbly. Serve with baked pita chips or crackers. Serves about 16.

Adapted from Apron Strings by the Little Rock Junior League



 Grilled Peach, Arugula & Goat Cheese Salad




2 firm, ripe peaches

2 large handfuls fresh arugula, about 2 cups

2 large handfuls fresh baby romaine

3 tablespoons fresh goat cheese

1 tablespoon good-quality balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons best-quality olive oil

Halve peaches and remove pits, but leave skin on. Grill stovetop or outside, cut side down for three to four minutes until brown. Remove skins, chop. Combine all ingredients, except oil and vinegar in a large salad bowl. Refrigerate. Just before serving toss with oil and vinegar. Serves four.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma.com


Shredded Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Pecans

This combination of flavors and textures works whether you sauté on the stovetop or roast in the oven. For a variation, use as a sandwich filling with either multi-grain or other dense artisan bread.


4 cups sliced Brussels sprouts, about 1 ½ pounds

5 ounces diced bacon

1 lemon, scrubbed, zested and juiced_mg_4313

½ cup toasted pecans, chopped or ½ cup toasted pine nuts

Salt and pepper, to taste


To sauté on the stovetop: Cook the bacon in a large skillet until crisp. Remove bacon to drain; reserve the grease. Put Brussels sprouts into skillet and sauté in bacon grease just until sprouts begin to wilt, about 4 minutes. Add bacon plus lemon juice, zest and nuts. Toss to combine and sauté an additional 1 to 2 minutes to rewarm bacon. Do not overcook — sprouts will be crunchy and should still be bright green. Serves four.

To roast in the oven: Instead of zesting and juicing the lemon, slice it in half lengthwise, then thinly crosswise. Cook the bacon in a skillet until crisp. Remove bacon to drain; pour reserved grease over sliced Brussels sprouts. Add the lemon slices and toss to combine. Spread in a thin layer onto a foil-lined sheet pan with sides. Roast at 375 degrees for approximately 20 minutes. Transfer to a serving bowl and sprinkle over the cooked bacon and nuts. Serve immediately. Serves four.

Note: If you prefer not to use the bacon grease, substitute 1 tablespoon of canola oil.




Pumpkin Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Sharing cookies with families and friends has become a tradition, and this recipe is a favorite with hot chocolate.


Prep time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 14 minutes

Total time: about 35 minutes

Yield: about 3 dozen


1 cup all-purpose flour

2 cups old-fashioned oats

¾ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

By P. Allen Smith :: Photography by Mark Fonville

By P. Allen Smith :: Photography by Mark Fonville

⅛ teaspoon nutmeg

⅛ teaspoon ground ginger

1 ½ cups unsalted butter, softened

1 cup brown sugar

¼ cup honey

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup pumpkin puree

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

½ cup chopped walnuts, optional


Preheat oven to 375 degrees and grease three cookie sheets. In a large bowl, mix together flour, oats, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger; set aside.

In another bowl, whip together butter, brown sugar and honey until creamy. Beat in egg, vanilla extract and pumpkin puree. Slowly add in dry ingredients, and mix until combined. Fold in chocolate chips and walnuts.

Drop teaspoon-sized portions of the dough onto your prepared baking sheets. Space them about 2 inches apart. Bake for 10 minutes, or until golden brown.



Pumpkin Johnny Apple Cocktail


Whether I’m serving this drink at an intimate get-together around the fireplace or at a festive autumn party, this refresher is always a hit.

Prep time: 5 minutes

Total time: 5 minutes

Serves: 2


7 ounces of unfiltered apple juice

3 tablespoons of pumpkin puree

1 teaspoon of honey

¼ cup fresh lemon juice

¼ teaspoon of vanilla extract

¼ teaspoon of ground cinnamon

⅛ teaspoon of fresh ginger

1 pinch of nutmeg

1 pinch of ground clove

3 ounces of dark rum

Combine all the ingredients in a cocktail shaker. Shake with gusto, pour over crushed ice, and serve.


Easy Fresh Pumpkin Puree

For recipes that call for puree, skip the canned stuff and prepare your own with pumpkin picked fresh from the patch. If you didn’t include pumpkin in your garden this year, pay a visit to your local farmers’ market or check your area for a “U-pick” farm.

Once you have your pumpkin, start by rinsing the exterior in cool water. Cut the pumpkin in half with a serrated knife. Discard the stem and stringy insides clinging to the meat. An ice cream scoop is perfect for scraping out the inside — save the seeds to roast for a tasty snack.

Boil the rind gently in water until it’s soft, or bake it in the oven with the cut side facedown for 45 to 50 minutes at 325 degrees. Then peel off the skin, and mash the flesh with a potato masher or put it in a food processor. The amount of puree will vary, based on the size of your pumpkin.



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