Talk Food Festival: The Twice Baked Twins

Posted on Nov 6, 2013 10:45am

The Twice Baked Twins, identical twins Judy and Joy, joined the ladies in the kitchen for The Talk Food Festival. They each cooked their own versions of a delicious Fall Stew.

The Judy of … Fall Stew

This is my quick twist and also healthier version on Winter Stew. I have lightened up this recipe using a ground white turkey breast, which cooks up quickly, and tossed in frozen vegetables. Serving this stew in a large portabella mushroom cap takes it over the top!  

Serves 4

3 turns around the pan with olive oil

1 lb of ground white turkey breast

kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 1/2 cups of chopped frozen onions

2 cloves of finely chopped garlic

1 1/2 -2 cups of low sodium chicken broth* (*add more broth if you like)

a splash of bourbon or cognac, to your taste

1 pint of pre-chopped tomatoes

2 medium potatoes diced very small pieces (optional)

2 handfuls of frozen green beans

2 handfuls of frozen carrots

To a hot pan add olive oil. Add ground turkey and cook till golden. Season with salt and pepper

Add the onions, garlic, and cook for about 5 minutes.  Add broth, splash of cognac, tomatoes and toss in the handfuls of frozen carrots, green beans, and small diced potatoes. Cover and cook for about 30 minutes.

The Joy of … Fall Stew

This humble beef stew suddenly seems sophisticated when made with luxurious dark chocolate.  It is still hearty, warm and wonderful served by the fire with a loaf of crusty bread. The earthy bitterness of the dark chocolate makes for a luxurious silky gravy and it's a potent antioxidant as well.

Serves 4

3 tablespoons of olive oil

2 tablespoons of butter

1 lb top sirloin, or stew beef cut into 1 inch cubes

1/4 cup of flour

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1 large onion cut into 1-inch chunks

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1-1/2- 2 cups of beef broth

a good splash of cognac or bourbon to taste

2 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks

1 pint of cherry tomatoes

2 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into big chunks

2 handfuls of fresh green beans, trim of ends

1-2 ounces good dark chocolate

Season the meat with salt and pepper and coat in flour. (I do all this in a large ziploc bag and shake). Heat oil in a large pan on medium heat, add butter. As the butter starts to brown, add the beef and cook until all pieces are browned on all sides. Add onions and garlic and cook for about 5 minutes.

Add carrots, green beans, cherry tomatoes, potatoes, broth and bring to a low boil. Add bourbon and let cook off for a few minutes more. Drop in the chocolate and stir to coat all. Turn down heat and simmer about an hour or so. Taste and re season before serving

The Judy of … Roasted Squash with Maple Balsamic Reduction and Candied Walnuts

This is a healthy version.

Serves 2-3 depending on size

Fresh thyme for garnish

1 acorn squash, seeded and sliced

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

Maple Balsamic-recipe to follow

Candied Walnuts-recipe to follow



Preheat oven to 375°F.  Place squash sliced onto a baking sheet and drizzle with oil. Season with salt and pepper.  Roast squash for 30-35 minutes.

Maple Balsamic Reduction

1 cup of good maple balsamic vinegar

Pour balsamic vinegar into a small saucepan. Turn heat to medium high and bring vinegar to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to simmer and let simmer for about 10 minutes until vinegar has reduced down. Stir occasionally. Be sure to keep an eye on it because it can burn quickly.  You will know it is done if it coats the back of spoon.

Remove from heat. Slightly cool and drizzle!

Candied Walnuts

1 cup of nuts

2 tablespoons of vanilla sugar* (*Vanilla Sugar-2 cups white sugar, 1-2 vanilla beans, split. In an airtight container add the sugar and gently push pods deep into sugar. Let sit a few days.)

Place the nuts and sugar in a frying pan and turn the heat to medium. Wait a few minutes until the sugar starts to melt. Start mixing the nuts in the melting sugar. The sugar will begin to turn brown. Melt most of the sugar without burning it. You can add more sugar depending on how sweet and coated you want the nuts to be. Once the nuts are sufficiently covered, take them off the heat and cool for 10 minutes, or until crunchy and dry.

The Joy of … Roasted Squash with Maple Balsamic Reduction and Candied Walnuts

This is a traditional version which is more like a casserole.

3 acorn squash, halved and seeded               

5 tablespoons butter, softened

1/2 cup brown sugar                      

1/2 cup all-purpose flour                      

1/2 cup chopped walnuts                                            

2 eggs                     

1/2 cup vanilla sugar * (*Vanilla Sugar-2 cups white sugar, 1-2 vanilla beans, split. In an airtight container add the sugar and gently push pods deep into sugar. Let sit a few days.)                      

1/4 cup half-and-half                      

1 teaspoon vanilla extract                      

1/2 teaspoon salt



Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Roast the squash cut side up on a baking sheet in preheated oven until the flesh is soft, about 50 minutes. Remove squash from oven and cool, then scoop out the flesh into a mixing bowl, or bowl of a food processor.  Prepare the topping by mixing 2 1/2 tablespoons butter in a bowl with the brown sugar and flour until crumbly. Stir in the walnuts. Set aside until needed.

Lower the oven temperature to 350F. Lightly grease 11x7 inch baking dish. Beat or process the squash until smooth. Add the eggs, sugar, half and half, vanilla, salt, and 2 1/2 tablespoons butter; process until well blended. Spoon the mixture into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the brown sugar/nut topping mixture over the squash.

Bake squash in preheated oven until topping is lightly brown, about 40 minutes.

The Judy of… Tiramisu

"The Judy" is easy and quick if you're in a rush!  Tiramisu Kisses, divinely satisfying, definitely lighter in calories and simple to prepare!

Serves 2

8 store bought meringue cookies

1 cup skim milk ricotta

1 tablespoon honey

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2-3 teaspoons coffee liqueur

cocoa powder for dusting

cinnamon for dusting, optional

Mix all ingredients in a small bowl. Taste and add more of whatever flavor you like. Spread a layer of mixture onto flat side of the meringue and sandwich with another cookie. Sprinkle with cocoa powder and cinnamon if using.

The Joy of… Tiramisu

Serves 6

6 yolks

1 cup vanilla sugar* (*Vanilla Sugar- a Twice Baked Twin favorite- 2 cups sugar, 2 vanilla beans, spilt. Push beans into sugar and let sit to perfume for a few days.)

1 1/4 cup mascarpone cheese

1 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream

2 -12 oz packages Italian Lady fingers

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 cup cold espresso

1/4 cup coffee flavored Liquor (optional)

1 tbsp cocoa for dusting

1/4 cup grated chocolate, garnish

espresso beans, garnish


Combine egg yolks and sugar in the top of a double boiler. Reduce heat to low, and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat and whip yolks until thick and lemon colored. Add mascarpone to whipped yolks, beat until combined. In a separate bowl, whip cream to stiff peaks. Gently fold the whipped cream in the mascarpone mixture and set aside.

Mix the cold espresso with the coffee liquor and dip the lady fingers into the mixture just long enough to get them wet, do not soak them. Arrange the lady fingers in the bottom of an 8 inch square baking dish. Spoon half the mascarpone cream filling over the lady fingers. Repeat process with another layer. Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight. Dust with cocoa and chocolate shavings before serving.

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