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Falling for New Flavors
Latin spices add kick to traditional autumn dishes

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Fiesta Tamale Pie
Harvest Stuffed Squash
Yucatan White Bean Chili

(Family Features) - As temperatures drop and the days become shorter, families begin to crave hearty, flavorful autumn meals. Many fruits and vegetables, including apples, cranberries and squashes, are harvested in the fall, making it a great time to showcase the season's freshest tastes.

This fall, put a twist on traditions by infusing Latin spice into a favorite seasonal dish. The Hispanic population is now over 40 million and it is increasing rapidly. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the percentage of Hispanic Americans will double by the year 2050. This population surge has resulted in a rise in the popularity of Latin cuisine, an increase in Mexican, Cuban and Latin restaurants and new, spicier ingredients.

"Authentic Latin flavors are enjoyed by all ethnicities," said Dan Hernandez, "Flavor Czar," Hormel Foods, who notes that the rise of Hispanic flavors has been sudden and sharp. "A decade ago, chipotle was virtually unknown to many Americans. Now spices like this can be found in a variety of dishes, adding rich flavor to mainstream favorites."

"Nearly one out of four Americans prepare a Mexican entrée for dinner once a week," said Hernandez. "Try branching out from tacos and burritos by introducing chili spices and cilantro to a spicy pork chili or queso fresco and salsa to turkey-stuffed squash."

Home chefs can easily add Latin spice to autumn entrées with small substitutions and new ingredients. For example, consider using rich Mexican crème in place of sour cream or adding chilies or jalapeño peppers to crock pot sauce for a spicier slow-cooked meal. The change to the recipe is subtle but unique and exciting for the taste buds.

Hernandez lends his flavor expertise by adding Latin touches to traditional fall favorites like corn bread skillet and chili. These spiced-up seasonal recipes are sure to delight guests and win rave reviews at your next family feast. For more delicious recipes, visit www.hormel.com.

Enhance Your Dining Experience

Joan Hanson, Test Kitchen Director, Hormel Foods, offers a few tips to make sure the dining table looks as good as the food tastes.

  • Adorn your table with linens in brilliant fall hues including warm browns, rich reds, burnt oranges and golden yellows.
  • Create an easy, seasonal centerpiece using fall fruits and vegetables. Place gourds, pumpkins, chili peppers, dried ears of corn and colored leaves around a variety of fall-colored pillar candles for a harvest-themed decoration.
  • Pumpkin is a delicious recipe ingredient and iconic decoration during autumn. Burn pumpkin spice scented oil in your home to create an inviting aroma.
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Fiesta Tamale Pie

  • 1/2 pound Hormel Always Tender ground pork
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup Chi-Chi's Salsa
  • 2 tablespoons chopped Chi-Chi's Whole Green Jalapeño Peppers
  • 1 (7.4-ounce) package Chi-Chi's Sweet Corn Cake Mix
  • 1 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
  • Additional salsa, if desired
  • Mexican crème or sour cream, if desired

    1. Heat oven to 375°F.
    2. In large skillet, cook ground pork, onion, and bell pepper until pork is no longer pink. Stir in beans, salsa and jalapeño peppers.
    3. In bowl, prepare corn cake mix according to package directions. Spoon corn cake mixture crust into greased 9-inch pie plate. Spoon pork mixture into crust.
    4. Bake 30 minutes or until set. Remove from oven; sprinkle with cheese. Bake 2 to 5 minutes longer or until cheese is melted.
    5. Let stand 5 minutes. Cut into wedges. Serve with salsa and Mexican crème, if desired.

Serves 6
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Harvest Stuffed Squash

  • 3 (1-pound) acorn squash, cut in half, seeds removed
  • 1 tablespoon Carapelli olive oil
  • 1 (20-ounce) package Jennie-O-Turkey Store Lean Ground Turkey
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 (16-ounce) jar Chi-Chi's Salsa
  • 1 cup cooked rice
  • 1 cup frozen corn, thawed
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/2 cup shredded queso fresco or Monterey jack cheese
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • Mexican crème or sour cream, if desired

    1. Heat oven to 375°F.
    2. Place squash, cut side up, in 13-by-9-inch baking pan. In large skillet over medium heat, heat oil until hot. Crumble in turkey; add onion. Cook and stir until turkey is no longer pink and onion is tender; drain. Stir in salsa, rice, corn, chili powder and garlic salt.
    3. Divide mixture among each squash half. Cover. Bake 40 to 50 minutes or until squash is tender. Sprinkle with cheese and cilantro. Serve with Mexican crème, if desired.
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Serves 6
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Yucatan White Bean Chili

  • 1 (27.2-ounce) package Hormel Always Tender original flavored pork filet, cubed
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 (10-ounce) cans diced tomatoes and green chilies, undrained
  • 1 (16-ounce) can white navy beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 3/4 cup Chi-Chi's Salsa
  • 1 Manny's tortilla, cut into 1/4-inch strips
  • Optional toppings: shredded Oaxaca or Monterey jack cheese, Mexican crème or sour cream, chopped cilantro

    1. In large saucepan over medium heat, cook pork, onion and garlic in oil 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
    2. Sprinkle with chili powder, cumin and salt. Cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add tomatoes, beans, bell pepper and salsa. Bring to a boil over high heat.
    3. Reduce heat; simmer uncovered 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Heat oven to 375°F. Place tortilla strips on baking sheet. Bake 8 minutes or until golden brown.
    4. Ladle chili into bowls. Top with tortilla strips and desired toppings.

Serves 6

SOURCE: Hormel Foods

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