We are rapidly approaching that time of year where we cook and eat wayyyy too much. So this year, I thought I would try something a bit different and share with you some of my recipes from when I was a chef years ago, These are relatively easy to make and you will see nothing but smiles when your guests have a taste and think you are a culinary genius. So I hope you enjoy these recipes.
• 2 medium-size onions, diced
• 2 garlic cloves, chopped
• 2 tablespoons butter
• 3 Russet potatoes, peeled and diced
• 2 celery stalks, diced
• 1/4 cup chopped parsley
• 10-15 FRESH basil leaves chopped
• 2 1/2 cups chicken broth
• 5 Roma tomatoes chopped
• 2 1/2 cups half and half
• Salt and pepper to taste
• 1- 8 oz. can of tomato sauce
Brown onions and garlic in melted butter for 3 to 4 minutes.
Mix in potato and celery dices, chopped parsley and basil.
Pour in chicken broth and tomatoes; simmer for 20 to 25 minutes, until vegetables are tender.
Pour in milk; reheat without boiling.
Salt and pepper, to taste.
Puree into a blender.
Serve with a pinch of parmesan reggiano shredded cheese.
▪ 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
▪ 1 Tbsp unsalted butter
▪ 1 medium onion, finely chopped
▪ 4 carrots, finely chopped-or shredded
▪ ½ cup pulpy orange juice
▪ 2 boxes frozen butternut-squash puree
▪ 2-3 cups chicken stock
▪ Grated nutmeg as needed/to taste
▪ 1 Tbsp fresh thyme, chopped
▪ 1 Tbsp orange zest
▪ Salt and Pepper as needed/to taste
➢ In a soup pot over medium-high heat add 1 Tbsp Olive Oil and 1 Tbsp butter. When butter is melted add onions, carrots and thyme, a little salt and pepper to taste, then sauté until they are soft and fragrant and the onions are fully cooked. Deglaze the pan with the orange juice and simmer for 1 – 2 minutes, scraping the bottom of the pan to get all fond off the pot.
➢ Transfer mixture to blender/food processor – or utilize a hand blender (boat-motor) to puree veggies. When veggies are smooth return pan to heat, add the frozen butternut-squash and the chicken stock stirring to blend. Adjust seasonings as needed and include the grated nutmeg. Simmer for a few minutes to allow all the flavors the marry.
Serve hot or chilled, garnish with orange zest.
My wife has always hated cranberry sauce, until I made this recipe for her. Now she licks the bowl clean! This is an EASY recipe that can be prepared in 45 minutes or less. Can be prepared any number of days in advance that you can keep it untouched in the ‘fridge!
o 12-ounce bag of cranberries, picked over and cleaned
o ½ cup honey
o 2 – 3 Tbsp firmly packed brown sugar, or to taste
o 2 cinnamon sticks, at least 3” long
o 6 whole cloves
o 1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg, or to taste
o ¾ cup ginger ale
➢ In a saucepan combine the cranberries, the honey, the brown sugar, the cinnamon sticks, the cloves, the nutmeg, and the water and simmer the mixture, covered, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 10 minutes, or until the cranberries have burst and the mixture is thickened. Remove the cinnamon sticks and place them in the bowl you will be storing the cranberry sauce in.
➢ Transfer the sauce to blender and puree the mixture and then strain into the bowl removing all the pulp. The sauce may be made 2 days in advance and kept covered and chilled. Serve the sauce at room temperature.
Makes about 2 1/4 cups.
Bell Pepper (red or yellow)
Cherry or Grape Tomatoes
o 1 cup+ Pecan pieces
o Granulated Sugar
o Canola Oil
3/8 cup Sherry Wine Vinegar
3/4 Shallots (rough chopped)
1+ Garlic clove
2/3 tsp Dijon Mustard
2 ¾ tsp Honey
2/3 tsp Sugar
¾ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil (not light flavor)
Salt & Pepper to taste
Pecans: Toss the pecans with the oil and sugar until thoroughly coated. Bake at 350⁰ until pecans are lightly browned and the sugar has dissolved.
Vinaigrette: Combine all ingredients in a blender except for the olive oil and blend on high until dressing reaches the correct viscosity. While blending, slowwwwwllllyyy add the olive oil until mixed. Do not over mix. Refrigerate until chilled. **If you have many guests, double the recipe for the dressing.
Salad: Julienne the Bell Pepper(s), slice Cucumbers, rip any over-large Lettuces. Toss all salad parts to mix, Cheese and Pecans provided for personal preference.
Please note; these measurements are dependent on the amount of salad dressing desired.
1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/3 cup melted margarine
1 1/2 lbs cream cheese (3 – 8oz Packages)
1 1/3 cups sugar
5 large eggs
16 ounces sour cream
1/4 cup flour
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons lemon juice
Fill a roasting pan about half way up the side of the spring form pan with hot water
**Remove once cooled and cover with foil and refrigerate until chilled.