A Martellaro Family Favorite

UMKC faculty and staff share cozy winter dishes

While winter break may not look the same this year, there's something cozy about preparing – and then eating – a great dish. So we asked UMKC faculty and staff if they could share recipes for some of their favorite winter treats.

John Martellaro, director of strategic communications, is a former food editor for the Kansas City Star. Here’s a recipe that has become a post-holiday staple for his family.

Do you enjoy cooking/baking? Why?

I was food editor and restaurant critic for the Kansas City Star for about a decade, back in the 20th century. Over the years, it has morphed from a hobby, to a profession and back to a hobby again. It’s an opportunity to be creative in a way that is very different from writing. And I love the complements. 

What’s a dish you enjoy making this time of year?

The cranberry chutney is a Thanksgiving staple in our family, and the spoonbread a favorite use for leftover turkey. Using the chutney as a topping on the spoonbread is a delightful combination. Another post-Thanksgiving tradition for us is a big steaming pot of turkey noodle soup. The wings and the stripped leg and thigh bones go right into the stockpot as I’m carving.  

Do you have any stories attached to this particular recipe?

As a food editor you collect recipes from all over the place and I frankly do not remember the source of the chutney recipe; the photo is the recipe cut out from the newspaper and taped to an index card. We keep it mild to please everybody, but those who prefer spicy can up the pepper-sauce content to their liking. The spoonbread is from an old Butterball pamphlet. It works with any poultry. This year we only had three at the table so we roasted a capon instead of a turkey; the spoonbread came out just fine with those leftovers. One of these days I am going to try it with duck.

Want to share a recipe with your fellow Roos? Submit yours to the UMKC Taste of Home cookbook project. 

Cranberry Orange Chutney

4 medium oranges
½ cup orange juice
1 pound fresh cranberries
2 cups sugar
¼ cup crystallized ginger, diced
½ teaspoon hot pepper sauce
1 whole cinnamon stick
1 medium clove garlic, peeled
¾ teaspoon curry powder
¾ cup raisins

Pare zest from oranges. Slice ¼ cup thin slivers of zest and reserve. Completely peel oranges, leaving no white pith. Slice oranges crosswise into ¼-inch-thick slices and then cut slices into quarters, Set aside.

Combine zest, juice, cranberries, sugar, ginger, hot sauce, cinnamon, garlic and raisins in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until sugar dissolves and cranberries pop open. Remove from heat. Discard cinnamon stick and garlic clove. Add orange pieces and mix lightly. 

Turkey Spoonbread

2 cups chopped cooked turkey
3 cups milk, divided
1 cup yellow cornmeal
¼ cup butter
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground red (cayenne) pepper
1 cup corn kernels, thawed and drained
½ cup finely chopped green onions
4 eggs, separated 

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Combine cornmeal and 2 ¼ cups of the milk in a 3-quart saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thickened, about 8 to 10 minutes. Reduce heat to low. Stir in remaining ¾ cup milk, butter, sugar, baking powder, salt and red pepper. Cook, stirring, about 2 minutes. Set aside.

Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. In separate bowl, beat yolks until thick and lemon-colored. Stir 1 cup of the hot cornmeal mixture into the yolks, then combine with rest of cornmeal mixture in saucepan. Stir in turkey, corn kernels and green onions. Gently fold egg whites into mixture. Turn into well-greased 2-quart soufflé dish or casserole. Bake 1 to 1 ¼ hours. Serve with cranberry chutney.

Published: Dec 14, 2020
Posted In: Our People