Halloween recipes: Homestyle Chili & Classic Wedge Salad

Halloween recipes: Homestyle Chili & Classic Wedge Salad

These two dishes are simple, delicious and they work for a few or for many. Plan ahead-make the chili and the salad dressing the day before.

LOS ANGELES,  October 29, 2015  –  Everyone is running this week, costumes, makeup, school activities and parties, so why not plan ahead for dinner and make a classic wedge salad and a delicious pot of chili for the night of Halloween.

These two dishes are simple, delicious and they work for a few or for many. They will even work for a large party, all you have to do is plan ahead-make the chili and the salad dressing the day before and the day of all you have to do is toast the bread and slice the salad wedges.

Your guests will be impressed with your restaurant quality dinner party.

For those of you who don’t know a classic wedge is delicious iceberg lettuce cut into a wedge, GREAT blue cheese dressing and crunchy crumbled bacon (and no bacon bits will not do). The secret to making it for a large party is to cut them into smaller wedges and cover the cut lettuce with damp paper towels.

This classic chili is made with 85-15% ground beef, but you can use ground turkey, ground pork and even a fattier ground beef to mix up the recipe.

The best thing about chili is you can make it the day before and it will be just as good if not better. You can even make it in a slow cooker, all you have it to do is make it completely in the pot and then add it to the slow cooker to finish.

Don’t forget your toppings-sour cream, sliced green onion, cheese and good bread to dip!

Classic Steakhouse Wedge Salad
Classic Steakhouse Wedge Salad

A classic on any steak house menu, The Wedge’s blue cheese dressing is the secret to the salad’s success.

Classic Steakhouse Wedge Salad

Servings: 4


1 head of iceberg lettuce, cut into 4 equal pieces

1/2 c grape tomatoes, cut in half

½ cup bacon, cooked and chopped

1 c mayonnaise

1/2 c buttermilk

1 c blue cheese, crumbled

1/4 tsp worcestershire sauce

Salt and pepper to taste

1/4 c parsley, minced


Place the iceberg lettuce on your cutting board, and use your chef knife to make ¼ inch cuts to remove the browned bottom. Next, peel 1-2 of the outer layers off and discard them. Cut the iceberg into quarters using the bottom as your guide.

Wash the tomatoes and cut them in half.

Soak the parsley in a bowl with cold water. For proper washing repeat the soaking process three times. Dry between paper towels or using a salad spinner. Remove the stems and pick off the leaves. Place the leaves onto your cutting board and chop the parsley to a fine dust, and set aside.

Reserve half the blue cheese for garnish, and the other half for the dressing.

Blue Cheese Dressing

Combine mayonnaise, buttermilk, blue cheese, and Worcestershire in a large bowl. Mix vigorously. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Place the iceberg lettuce on a plate and make each lettuce wedge face the same direction. Then use a kitchen spoon to drizzle the dressing over the center of the wedge, leaving the ends free of dressing. For a little extra flair, pool the dressing in front of the wedge on the side that will face your guest. Next, place a few tomatoes around the edges of the wedge, and top the whole thing with the rest of the crumbled blue cheese and chopped parsley. Serve with cracked pepper.

Tip- it’s best not to cut lettuce too far in advance, but if you must, then cover the cut lettuce with damp paper towels to keep the lettuce fresh.

Chili for Halloween
Chili for Halloween


Serves 4-6


2 pounds 85-15 ground beef

1 ½ cups yellow onion, small diced

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon Better Than Bouillon beef base

1 can tomato sauce

1 can kidney beans

1 cup of water

1 dark beer

2 tablespoons paprika

2 tablespoons chili powder

1-tablespoon cumin

2 teaspoons salt

Cracked fresh pepper

Grated cheese

Sourdough bread


In a large pot add the olive oil and heat it up.

Once it’s hot add the diced onion and cook until soft, glossy and aromatic.

Next add the meat, crumple the meat into the pot to break it up.

Use a wooden spoon and break the meat apart and cook it until it’s par-cooked.

Next add all of the spices, salt and pepper, stir into the meat well.

Add ¾ of the can of plain tomato sauce into the onion and meat mixture and cook it into the meat 3-4 minutes.

Turn the fire to low and add the beer to the mixture and reduce it by half.

Next add the beef base and water.

Mix everything well and simmer for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes add rinsed kidney beans and the remaining ¼ can of tomato sauce.

Cook for another 10 minutes.

Add salt and pepper as needed.

Serve with toasted sourdough toast or cornbread and grated cheese.

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Mary Moran
Upon graduating from the California School of Culinary Arts in 2002, Chef Mary Payne Moran began her professional career shelling crabs at the world-renowned restaurant, Michael's in Santa Monica. Simultaneously, she launched her own company, Hail Mary’s, founded upon the belief that good food nurtures the soul, and began catering weddings, parties and large corporate events. In the fall of 2008, Mary began teaching her culinary skills to others. Currently she can be found at Hollywood School House teaching her after school cooking class, and teaching her popular "Vegetables or Not Here I Come" assembly. Most recently, Mary has launched another division in her company as well as a chef she is now also a Certified Nutritionist for high profile clients. She helps her clients discover their healthy way of eating. Mary has recently been published in the Los Angeles Magazine, & The New Jersey Star Ledger. Daily she addresses cooking aficionados through her blog - Cooking with Chef Mary as well as her how-to webisodes on You Tube.