Chef's Corner


If you are interested in a specific recipe, please e-mail mrobinson@commonwealthgolf.com     

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Recipes

Starters

Tuscan Style Seafood Minestrone

makes about 3 gallons
   3 medium Spanish Onions, peeled
   2 heads Celery, washed and all leaves removed, medium diced
   2 large Carrots, peeled and top removed, medium diced
   1 bunch Leeks, white and light green parts only, medium diced
   2 tablespoons fresh chopped Garlic
   4 - 6 ounces Extra Virgin Olive Oil
   Fresh chopped Herbs ~ Oregano, Basil, Parsley and 1 Bay Leaf
   2 pounds White Beans, hydrated overnight then rinsed
   2 gallons fresh Seafood Stock or Cold Water
   1 - 2 pounds chopped Clams, 1 - 2 pounds Baby Shrimp, 1 pound Crabmeat, 3 cups Bay Scallops (Mussels optional) Fish Pieces
   Salt and Pepper to taste, if needed a little Seafood Base
   1 cup Red Wine
   1 can Tomato Filets
In large heavy soup pot on moderate heat (allow pot to get hot) place the oil, then the garlic and quickly sauté. (Do not allow to brown.) Throw in all the veggies and allow to sauté about 5 - 8 minutes. Pour in the red wine. Rinse the soaking beans in cold water and drain. Place in soup pot and add the tomato filets. Place the cold stock and seafood in pot and allow to cook until the beans are tender. (Simmer about 1 - 1 1/2 hours.) Skim off the scum. Then add all the chopped herbs, salt and pepper to taste.

In short ceviche or seviche is a Latin American Coastal region dish. Simple to make but slightly time consuming. You are actually allowing the citrus juices cold cook the seafood. With that being said, it is most important that all of the vegetables for the recipe are cut the same size. So, here is the recipe I frequently use. Remember the seafood needs to marinate for about 4 - 5 hours for proper results.

Bay Shrimp and Scallop Seviche

   Red Onion, medium size, fine diced
   1 bunch Green Onion, fine diced
   1 Red or Yellow Tomato, diced
   1 bunch Fresh Cilantro, finely chopped, stems removed
   Red & Green Pepper, seeded & vein removed, fine diced
   Zest from 1 Lime plus Juice from 11 Limes (12 total)
   Zest from 1 Lemon plus Juice from 1 Lemon (2 total)
   1/4 cup Sunflower or Avocado Oil
   1 teaspoon chopped fresh Garlic
   3 oz. Dry White Wine
   2 tablespoons Rice Wine Vinegar
Place all ingredients in a glass or stainless steel bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste. Remember once again, whatever seafood you choose to use, make them relatively the same size so they cook the same. Place the seafood into the marinade and allow at least four hours and then taste test for doneness. Serve as an appetizer or on top of a salad or grilled fish.
 

Tuna Tartare

   8 oz. beautiful, fresh Yellow Fin Tuna, hand diced small, (keep in stainless steel bowl)
   2 tablespoons Mixed Whole Peppercorns
   1 tablespoon Dijon Mustard
   1 teaspoon fresh Lemon Juice
   1 teaspoon fresh chopped Parsley
   2 teaspoons Rice Wine Vinegar
   Kosher Salt to taste
   2 - 3 Scallions, use white only
   1 medium Shallot
   1/3 cup Olive Oil
1. In a blender or Vitamixer, place peppercorns and breakup.
2. Place mustard, vinegar, lemon juice, shallot and scallion.
3. Add the oil.
4. Salt to taste
5. Take some of the sauce and add to the diced yellow fin tuna, try not to add too much sauce as you want the tuna to hold a shape. You don’t want it too loose. Mix together well.
6. Add chopped parsley.
7. Chill for ten minutes
8. Put into a ring mold or any shape you like and serve with a fresh lemon wedge.
 

Onion Soup Gratin marsala thyme broth, Fontina, Provolone, Italian bread

Serves 4
   5  thinly sliced White Onions      
   2 teaspoon finely chopped Thyme        
   2 tablespoon Unsalted Butter        
   1 tablespoon Olive Oil            
   1 Bay Leaf              
   Salt and Pepper to taste            
   1/2 cup Marsala Wine
   1/4 cup Port Wine
   1/4 cup Soy Sauce
   1 tablespoon Sherry Vinegar
   6 cups Vegetable or Chicken Stock
   2 cups Demi Glacé or Beef Broth
1. In a large heavy bottomed pot, melt butter and add olive oil over medium high heat. Add onion, bay, thyme, salt and pepper.
2. Allow onion to cook and soften (about 35 minutes) stirring constantly (salt will cause onion to sweat and draw out moisture, this will allow onion to soften!)
3. Allow all liquid to evaporate (by this time onion will start to soften). Cook onion for 35 - 40 minutes more until onion starts to brown. Deglaze with Marsala, Port, soy and sherry. Cook for 25 more minutes lowering heat to low. Once liquid reduces by half add vegetable and chicken stock. Bring to simmer and allow to cook for 25 minutes more.
4. Ladle soup into four crocks, top with slices of Italian bread, Fontina and Provolone. Place on a sheet pan under your oven broiler until brown on top and bubbling. Serve immediately and enjoy.
 

A popular item is Flatbread (or pizza) on the grill. Here is one you may like but try any toppings you choose and have fun!

Flatbread oven roasted tomatoes, baby arugula, Mozzarella, balsamic drizzle

Basic Pizza Dough
   1 - .25 oz. package Active Dry Yeast
   1 cup Warm Water (110 ̊F)
   2 cups Bread Flour
1. In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
2. In a mixing bowl with dough hook attachment, combine 2 cups flour, 1 tablespoon olive oil, pinch of salt, 1 teaspoon sugar and yeast mixture. Beat at medium to high speed until stiff dough ball has formed. (If dough seems too wet, add a small amount of additional flour.) Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise until doubled in volume, about 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350˚. Preheat grill for grilling the flat dough.
3. Once dough has raised, turnout on a table dusted with corn meal. Cut into desired shape and roll out until thin. Place on a sprayed pan with more corn meal dusted on it. Place in freezer for about 1/2 hour until firm.
4. Spray grill with adequate amount of non-stick spray. Lightly brush olive oil on flat dough and place dough on grill. Turn a couple times until crispy.

Oven Roasted Tomatoes
   6 Roma Tomatoes - thin sliced and placed on sheet tray with parchment paper.
Drizzle lightly with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place in 200˚ oven for approximately 1 1/2 hours (May need to turn over tomatoes midway through.) Lightly sauté́ or steam arugula and place on grilled flatbread. Top with roasted tomatoes, either sliced or shredded fresh Mozzarella and place in pre-heated oven for about 6-8 minutes or until all toppings are heated through and cheese has melted. Then drizzle with balsamic reduction.
 

Chilled Gazpacho

   1 1/2 pounds Tomato Concasse
   10 ounces Cucumbers, peeled, seeded & diced
   10 ounces Green Peppers, diced
   10 ounces Red Peppers, diced
   8 ounces White Bread, cubed
   6 ounces Olive Oil
   4 ounces Red Wine Vinegar
   1 teaspoon Salt, to taste
   1/2 teaspoon White Pepper, to taste
Garnish
   2 ounces Tomato, small dice
   2 ounces Red Pepper, small dice
   2 ounces Green Pepper, small dice
   2 ounces Cucumbers, small dice
   8 ounces Croutons
Combine the ingredients, except the garnish; chill the soup. Let the soup rest overnight. Purée the soup and strain. Garnish each portion or serve garnish ingredients separately.
 

Stuffed Clams

Using Middle Neck Clams, this is the size between Little Necks (which most people use for steamed clams) and Top Neck clams (which are used by restaurants for half shells). This should yield enough topping for at least three dozen clams.
   1 bag fresh Baby Spinach
   2 cups Alouette or Boursin cheese
   1 lb. Cream Cheese
   1 lb. Super Lump Crabmeat
Sauté baby spinach til completely wilted, salt and pepper to taste. Once cooled, drain all liquid from spinach and rough chop. In small mixer, place the Alouette and cream cheese and whip until soft and smooth. In a mixing bowl, place the soft cheese spread, chopped spinach and crabmeat and mix together well. Taste for seasoning and adjust if needed. Open the clams and rinse any dirt from the clam. Top each clam with a spoonful of the crab mixture and place on pan and cook in a 350˚ oven for about ten minutes. Eat and enjoy! You can refrigerate the topping 3-4 days.
 

Crab & Potato Bisque with White Cheddar Cheese

   medium dice - 3 stalks Celery, 3 medium Carrots, 6 medium White Onions, 2 bunches Leeks (washed well, white part only
   3 cups Butter or Olive Oil
   6 medium Potatoes, diced about half inch wide by half thick
   3 cups Dry White Wine
   3 1/2 cups all purpose Flour
   2 tbls. fresh chopped Garlic
   2 tbls. Old Bay seasoning
   3 gallons Hot Shellfish Stock (can be made from clam or crab base)
   1 qt. Heavy Cream
   2 dashes ground Nutmeg
   2 tbls. Worcesthire sauce
   Salt & Pepper to taste
   4 lbs. Super Lump or Jumbo Lump Crab
   1 bunch fresh chopped Parsley
In a hot stock pot over high heat, place the butter or oil, allow to get hot. Add all the diced vegetables, garlic and Old Bay. Allow to sauté till the onion gets transparent. Add the flour in small amounts, turn down heat to medium, stir constantly. Then deglaze with white wine. This will become very thick. Add the hot shellfish stock and whisk the stock and vegetables together well. Allow to cook about 1 hour then add the heavy cream. Add nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste and crabmeat. Add Worcesthire sauce and finally the chopped parsley. If soup is too thick, add some more stock til desired thickness. If soup is too thin, mix some arrowroot and water together and add slowly until soup is as thick as you want it.Once soup tastes the way you like it, place soup in oven-proof bowls. Place some croutons on top then some grated Wisconsin or Vermont white Cheddar. Place in the oven for about 5 to 8 minutes until the cheese melts to nice golden brown. (yields 4 gallons)
 

Cream of Mushroom Soup with crab  

   makes 2 gallons
   4 lb. mixed assorted Mushrooms (white, crimini, portobello, cepes, etc.)
   1 stalk Celery
   2 large Onions
   All of the above diced medium size.
   3-4 oz. Olive Oil to sauté vegetables
   2 qts. Heavy Cream
   3 qts. Chicken Stock
   3 qts. Light Fish or Crab Stock
   1 lb. Jumbo Lump Crabmeat
   1 tsp. Kosher Salt & Black Pepper to taste, if you use any commercial bases for stock
   pinch Nutmeg
   2 cups Dry White Wine
In heavy soup pot, hot, place the olive oil, then the onions & celery. Allow to caramelize but not burn. Stir on occasion. Add the chopped mushrooms; allow to cook through. Deglaze with white wine then add the heavy cream and reduce by half. Add the stocks. Cook for about one hour on medium heat. Season to taste with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Either with submergible blender or stand-up blender, blend soup til smooth. Place back in pot and return to fire. Add 2/3 crabmeat; cook for about 10 more minutes. It is now ready to serve. Place into cups or bowls and garnish with remainder of crabmeat and enjoy!
 

Spiced Summer Melon Soup with mango

   2-3 large Melons, whichever are plentiful in season (casaba, crenshaw, cantaloupe, honeydew) - clean skin & remove seeds, medium diced
   9 Mango - stone removed & pulled of all skin
   10 oz. Grapefruit Juice
   1 cup mince d Shallots
   1 tsp. Cayenne Pepper
   1 cup Sugar - may not need all if  melons are very ripe
   1/2 cup Chinese Five Spice
   1 gallon fresh Orange Juice
   1/2 gallon Apple Juice
   1 quart Yogurt
Blend the melons and mango in the food processor. Remove from the processor and place in a large mixing bowl. Add yogurt and remainder of ingredients. Chill for two hours before serving. Enjoy!
 

Crab Bisque

   1 cup clarified Butter for sauté
   Mirepoix, all medium diced:
   6 medium Onions
   4 medium Carrots
   2 stalks Celery
   1 bunch Leeks (white only)
   1 bunch fresh Tarragon leaves, removed from stems
   4 gallons either Seafood Stock, Shrimp, Clam or Chicken Stock
   6 qts. Heavy Cream
   Salt & Pepper to taste
   4 lbs. Jumbo Lump or Lump Crabmeat
   1/4 tbls. Old Bay seasoning
   1 cup White Wine
Roux, in separate saucepot:
    3 cups clarified Butter
    3 cups all purpose Flour
Sauté diced vegetables in clarified butter till slightly tender and deglaze with white wine. Add stock and allow to reduce till 3/4 volume is left. Add heavy cream and reduce again by 1/3 volume.  While stock and cream are reducing, place in another sauce pot over low to medium heat the roux(butter and flour). Slowly cook roux (Do Not Brown) stirring often. Cook about 8 -12 minutes. Once the stock has reduced, slowly pour in the cooked roux, about half at first. Allow to thicken then more, if needed, till you get the desired soup thickness. Season with salt, pepper and Old Bay seasoning. Do not add all the Old Bay; taste and add more as needed. Allow to cook for about 30 minutes and taste again. Adjust seasoning, if needed. Yields four gallons and freezes well.
 

Potato Leek Soup with apples and bacon (From Meet The Chef Night 11/07)

Makes about 2 gallons
Medium Dice:
   2-3 nice sized Parsnips                     1 head Celery
   3 medium size Onions                        3 bunches Leeks (white part only), rinsed of all sand
   5 lbs. peeled Yukon Gold Potatoes       12 Red Delicious or Golden Delicious Apples
   6 Granny Smith Apples (reserve half for garnish at the end)
   2 gallons fresh or canned Chicken or Vegetable Stock
   2 lbs. Bacon, diced medium               3 cups Heavy Cream
   Salt & Pepper to taste                    1/4 tsp. ground Nutmeg
   1/4 tsp. granulated garlic                    1 Bay Leaf
1. Take a large soup pot and place over high heat until the pot is hot. Place the diced bacon in and render out the fat for sauteing.
2. Remove bacon and hold to the side for later.
3. With the rendered bacon fat still in the pot, place all the veggies, potatoes, apples in and allow to sauté till onion gets tender.
4. Add chicken stock, nutmeg, garlic and bay leaf and bring to slow boil until potatoes are soft.
5. Add cream, cook for about a half hour.
6. With submersified blender, purée the soup until smooth.
7. Adjust seasoning with salt & pepper, if necessary.
8. Add the reserved diced apples and bacon. Cook for 5-12 minutes. It is now ready to serve.

During the course of a chef’s career he or she accumulates thousands of recipes; of which there are probably 10-20 that he has made for so long he could prepare it in his sleep. Recently I have been asked on more than one occasion for this recipe. This recipe I learned from the Chef at the second restaurant I ever worked, The Land Tavern in Spring-field, Delaware Co., way back in 1975. We obviously did his recipe proud, so here it is. I’ll try to reduce it to make about two gallons. *Start getting a heavy duty soup pot hot*

Manhattan Clam Chowder

   3 White Onions
   1 1/2 Celery stalks, not rib stalks
   2 medium Carrots
   2 Green, 2 Red, 2 Yellow Peppers
 All cleaned and medium diced.
   4 - 5 peeled, diced Potatoes
   3/4 cup Olive Oil or Clarified Butter
   2/3 cup all purpose Flour
   3 cups chopped Clams
   2 gal. Clam Stock
   2 c. chopped Tomato or tomato fillets
   2 oz. Worcestershire Sauce
   2 - 3 sprinkles Tobasco sauce
   Salt & Pepper to taste
   2 tbls. chopped Garlic
   2 tbls. dried Italian seasoning
1. In heated soup pot, place olive oil & garlic, sauté for a minute or two (do not allow garlic to brown) then add all diced vegetables and stir. Once veggies start to become transparent, stir in flour and add herbs.
2. Allow flour & oil (roux) to cook for a couple of minutes, stirring frequently.
3. Add the clam stock and stir together, then add potatoes, cook for about 30-40 minutes or until portatoes start to become tender.
4. Add chopped tomatoes & clams.
5. Sprinkle in Worcestershire sauce. Tobasco, salt & pepper.
6. Turn down to a simmer and cook about another hour.
7. Taste on occasion and adjust seasoning if needed.
This soup can freeze if necessary and will also keep refrigerated for about a week.

Salads

Baby Arugula Salad, asparagus, blood orange vinaigrette

Blood Orange Vinaigrette
   1 cup Blood Orange Juice
   2 tablespoons Blood Orange Zest        
   1 cup White Balsamic Vinegar
   2 ounces Dijon Mustard
   Salt and Pepper to taste            
   2 tablespoons sliced Shallot
   2 tablespoons Honey
   1 teaspoon chopped Fresh Rosemary
   4 cups Blended Vegetable Oil        
   1 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
   2 cups Ice Cubes
1. Process juice, zest, vinegar, shallot, honey, mustard and rosemary in a blender until smooth. Add half of ice cubes. Season with salt and pepper. Continue with blender on high.
2. Slowly stream in blended oil until all is incorporated (add ice cubes if dressing becomes too thick). Add olive oil slowly until fully incorporated. Season to taste.
This vinaigrette keeps for up to two weeks in refrigerator. Toss with baby arugula or other greens and asparagus.
 

As the weather warms up, we tend to look for lighter foods and take advantage of the bountiful spring and summer vegetables and fruit. This is a recipe for a vinaigrette dressing to use on just about any greens that interest you at the market. Use the suggested items below or choose your favorites and enjoy!

Market Greens Salad, radicchio, spinach, arugula, endive, haricot vert, fennel, radish, blood orange vinaigrette

Blood Orange Vinaigrette
   3 Blood Oranges juiced, 1 zested
   1 cup Ice Water, reserved
   1 cup White Balsamic Vinegar
   2 cups Blended Vegetable Oil
   1.5 tablespoons Dijon Mustard
   1 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
   Salt and Pepper
   2 tablespoons Honey
1. Place orange juice, vinegar, zest, Dijon mustard, honey, salt, pepper and 4 - 6 ice cubes into blender and blend on high.
2. Slowly stream in vegetable oil, dropping a few more ice cubes in every half cup. Slowly stream in olive oil.
3. After oil is fully incorporated check for seasoning and adjust to your preference.
4. Chill for one hour before using.
 

Crispy Calamari Salad

makes eight - ten servings
Crispy Calamari
   2 lb. Calamari, cut into 1 inch rings
   Whole Milk, enough to cover calamari    
   Ground Peppercorn Blend
   Wondra Flour and Corn Starch (2 parts Wondra flour to 1 part Corn Starch)
Place cut calamari in deep dish and cover with milk, add peppercorn mix and mix well. Marinate for 24 hours. Take out of liquid. Dredge calamari in flour and corn starch mixture. Fry at 350˚ until crispy.
Miso Vinaigrette
   1 cup Miso
   1 1/2 cups Rice Wine Vinegar
   1 cup Sugar
   1 1/2 cups Soybean Oil
   1 cup Soy Sauce    
   1/2 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
In a blender, mix all ingredients except oil. Then while blending, slowly stream in the oil to emulsify.
Salad Mix
   1 head Napa Cabbage, sliced
   1/2 cup Radishes, julienne
   1 head Radicchio, sliced
   1/2 cup Pine Nuts, toasted
   1 head Endive, sliced
   1/2 cup Carrots, julienne
Cut first three ingredients, wash, dry and place in bowl. Put carrots and radish in cold water.
To assemble salad: Place cabbage, radicchio and endive on bottom with nuts, radishes and carrots on top. Dress the salad with miso vinaigrette, then put calamari on top. Toss lightly and place on plates.
 

Jumbo Prawn, wild arugula, endive, clementine Salad

   1 Jumbo Prawn, shell removed (Marinate for 1 hour with fresh ginger, wasabi powder, orange juice, few drops sesame oil)
   2 oz. Wild Arugula, washed & spin dry
   3 leaves Belgian Endive, julienne 2 leaves, the other for garnish
   3 whole Clementine, 2 for dressing,
   1 sectioned for salad    
   1 Lemon
   2 oz. Grape Seed Oil
   4 oz. Orange Juice
   4 oz. Blended Oil
   1/4 teaspoon Fresh Grated Ginger
   1 tablespoon Sugar
   1/4 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
   2 oz. Rice Wine Vinegar
   1/4 teaspoon Wasabi Powder
Clementine Vinaigrette
   1 teaspoon Clementine Zest
   1/2 teaspoon Lemon Zest use micro plane grater to zest
1) Place the mustard, wasabi powder, rice wine vinegar and ginger in mixing bowl along with the zest from the clemetine and lemon. Mix together. 2) Drizzle in the grape seed oil and blended oil. 3) Add the orange juice. 4) Allow to rest for about ten minutes, it should thicken slightly and allow flavor to develop. 5) Salt and pepper to taste.
While the vinaigrette is resting...
1) Sauté the marinated prawns in a hot pan until it is cooked through. Take off heat and add some of the vinaigrette to the prawn and allow it to rest. 2) In a bowl, place the arugula, julienne endive and segmented clementine. 9) Lightly dress and toss. Arrange on plate, add the sautéed prawn. Drizzle with vinaigrette.
Suggested Wine: Tangent Albarino 2012, Edna Valley, California
 

Parma Prosciutto, Arugula, Radicchio toasted pine nuts, shaved Parmesan, lemon caper dressing

   6 slices thinly shaved Parma Prosciutto
   1 tablespoon toasted Pine Nuts
   1 cup fresh Baby Arugula washed, patted dry
   2 ounces shaved Parmesan
   1/4 head chiffonade Radicchio
Dressing
   Zest and Juice from 1 Lemon
   1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard         
   1 teaspoon Sugar
   1 teaspoon Capers
   1 teaspoon Vinegar
   4 ounces Extra Virgin Olive Oil
   8 ounced Blended Oil
   chopped Parsley
   Salt and Pepper to taste
1. Place the lemon zest, lemon juice, sugar, vinegar and dijon in a stainless steel bowl and whisk together.
2. Drizzle in the olive oil and then the blended oil, slowly.
3. Add the parsley and capers. Then salt and pepper to taste.
4. Lightly dress salad.
5. On a plate, place the sliced prosciutto, make so prosciutto touches the plate edge.
6. Place the dressed salad on the plate.
7. Drizzle a little dressing around the outside of the salad.
 

Baked and Caramelized Acorn Squash mustard greens, cider pecan dressing

   2 Acorn Squash, halved, seeds removed
   Whisk together: 4 ounces Olive Oil ~ 1/2 cup Light Corn Syrup ~ 1/2 cup Brown Sugar
1. Place acorn squash on sheet tray, fill with corn syrup mixture. Bake in pre-heated 350˚ oven till tender. (Reserve any stock, etc. from baking.)
2. Cool and then peel skin away from meat.
3. Dice peeled acorn squash into 1 to 1 1/2 inch pieces.
4. Wash mustard greens and dry.
5. Add diced acorn squash and lightly dress with Cider Pecan Dressing.
Cider Pecan Dressing
   1/2 gallon Apple Cider
   Roasted Acorn Squash Pan Drippings
   2 diced Shallots
   1/2 pound chopped toasted Pecans
   1 tablespoon Dijon Mustard
   1 quart Blended Oil
   3 ounces Cider Vinegar
   Salt and Pepper to taste
1. Reduce cider in sauce pot to half its volume and cool.
2. In blender, place the shallots, mustard, vinegar and blend till slightly smooth.
3. Add the oil slowly until mixture starts to thicken.
4. Add the chilled cider and drippings slowly till it starts to become a thin dressing. Add salt and pepper to taste.
5. Place in bowl and stir in finely chopped pecans. Dressing is ready to be served.
 

Pan-Crisped Parma Prosciutto Wrapped Pecorino Tartufo with baby greens and tapenade dressing

Start with a very cold piece of Parma prosciutto and slice super thin (or have it sliced at your meat store). Cut the Truffled Pecorino into medium size squares (you can also use any other favorite cheese). Then wrap the prosciutto around the cheese and chill again. For the dressing, slow roast some peeled garlic, chopped niçoise olives, chopped anchovy, capers, fresh tomatoes, olive oil, lemon juice, fresh oregano, salt & pepper.
This recipe is enough for about ten small servings with your favorite greens.
    4 cloves Roasted Garlic
    6-8 pitted Niçoise or ripe Olives
    4-6 Anchovy Filets
    8-10 Capers (can add a little of the brine from capers also)
    2 fresh ripe Roma Tomatoes, seeded
    10 oz. Olive Oil
    2 tsp. fresh Lemon Juice
    Salt & Pepper to taste
    3 stemmed leaves of fresh Oregano
1. Place all ingredients, except for olive oil in a blender, add the olive oil slowly. Add salt, pepper and oregano to taste but taste the mixture first as the anchovy and capers can be a little salty.
2. To put the dish together, get a skillet medium hot, place just a small amount of olive oil in, then place the reserved prosciutto wrapped cheese and quickly sear on all sides. Remove from pan, keep in low oven. In a small bowl place some micro greens or other favorite salad greens and toss in some of the tapanade dressing and mix together. Place on plate then place the prosciutto wrapped cheese and drizzle with a little more dressing and enjoy.

Entrees

Fall/Winter Sweet Potato Gnocchi  

   5 large Russet Potatoes baked
   2 large Sweet Potatoes baked
   4 cups All Purpose Flour
   2 large Egg Yolks
   Salt
   1 teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
1. While still hot from the oven, peel russet potatoes, and pass through a food mill onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Spread into an even layer and season with salt and nutmeg.
2. Next while still hot cut sweet potatoes in half and scoop out insides. Place into bowl of a food processor and purée until smooth.
3. On a lightly floured work surface form a well with russet and sweet potatoes, place egg in the middle and place 3/4 of flour around and fully incorporate (if needed add rest of flour).
4. Lightly knead dough into a smooth ball, cover with plastic film and refrigerate for 2 hours.
5. On a lightly floured work surface cut dough ball into 4 individual pieces and roll into a long even log and cut into small gnocchi.
6. Dust gnocchi lightly with flour.
7. Lightly dust a parchment lined cookie sheet with semolina or corn meal and run gnocchi against a gnocchi board or on the back tines of a fork. Refrigerate.
8. Bring a large pot of salted water to the simmer and cook gnocchi in small batches until they float. Sauce and serve Immediately.
 

Add risotto or your favorite side dish and enjoy a healthy flavorful meal.

Pan Seared Branzino (Mediterranean Sea Bass)

   2 Branzino Filet
   1 cup Porcini Mushroom Powder
   4 ounces White Wine or Marsala
   4 tablespoons Butter
   Salt and Pepper to taste
   1 tablespoon fresh chopped Garlic
   1 tablespoon fresh diced Shallot
   1/2 fresh Lemon
1. In hot skillet place half of the butter.
2. Dredge the fish filets in the mushroom powder, tap off excess and place into skillet.
3. Allow to brown on both sides.
4. Remove filet from pan and reserve.
5. Into the skillet, add the shallots and garlic. Allow to sauté for two to three minutes.
6. Deglaze with the wine and allow to reduce by half.
7. Add the remainder of the butter and cream the sauce.
8. Add to the sauce the fresh squeezed lemon.
9. Return the fish filet to the pan then plate over top of risotto.
 

Sauce Bolognese (Ragu)

   2 medium Onions, peeled & coarsely chopped
   2 Carrots, peeled & coarsely chopped
   2 Celery Ribs, coarsely chopped
   1 Garlic Clove, crushed
   1/4 cup uncooked Bacon or Pancetta,chopped
   1/4 cup Extra Vigin Olive Oil
   1 1/2 teaspoons Salt
   3/4 teaspoon fresh Ground Pepper
   1 teaspoon fresh Basil
   1 teaspoon fresh Oregano
   1 teaspoon fresh Thyme Leaves
   1 1/2 lbs. Ground Veal, Ground Beef or mixture of both
   1 cup Dry Red Wine
   1/4 cup Tomato Paste
   1 (28 ounce) can Crushed or Puréed Tomatoes
   1/2 cup Milk or Cream
   1 pinch Ground Nutmeg
Place the chopped onions, carrots, celery, and garlic cloves in a food processor. Pulse until the vegetables are finely chopped.
Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add the chopped vegetables and chopped bacon. Stir in the salt, pepper, basil, oregano, and thyme. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes.
Add the ground meat to the pot with the vegetables. Cook over medium-high heat breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon, until the meat is no longer pink, about 6 minutes.
Stir in the wine,  tomato paste, crushed tomatoes, and milk. Add the pinch of ground nutmeg.
Reduce the heat to low and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, for 1 1/2 hours.
Serve over your favorite pasta, cooked al dente, and pass the grated Parmesan cheese. Enjoy!
 

Serve along with any of your favorite summer barbecue side dishes.

Grilled Honey-Caper Shrimp Gambas al Alcaparra

 makes four servings
   1 pound large Shrimp, peeled and deveined
   zest of 1 Lemon
   3 tablespoons Capers
   juice of 1/2 Lemon
   2 tablespoons Pickling Liquid from jar of Capers    
   2 teaspoons Sea Salt
   1/2 cup Honey
   1 1/2 cups Extra Virgin Olive Oil
   2 tablespoons Dry Sherry
   Capers and Lemon Wedges for garnish
1. Put shrimp in a glass baking dish or  bowl.
2. In food processor, puree all remaining ingredients except olive oil and garnishes to make the marinade.
3. While the motor is running, add olive oil in a slow, steady stream.
4. Toss shrimp with this marinade and refrigerate for one hour.
5. Grill over medium-hot coals for about two minutes per side.
6. Serve three to four hot shrimp per person, dressing each plate with capers and lemon wedges.
 

If you can, try to get the scallops from a reputable seafood store such as Heller’s in Warrington or also Wegman’s selection is usually very good as well.

Seared Jumbo Scallops, heirloom tomatoes and saffron

   18 U-10 dry Sea Scallops, pat dry on paper towel, mussel removed
   8 Heirloom Tomatoes, assorted color, large diced
   4 - 6 cloves roasted Garlic, roast off ahead of time
   2 pinches Saffron threads
   1 cup Fish or Vegetable Stock
   1 Onion, medium diced
   1 Bay Leaf
   4 ounces White Wine
   1/2 cup chopped Scallion, green part only
   Salt and Pepper
1. In a sauce pan, sauté the onions in a little olive oil.
2. Add the roasted garlic, then the heirloom tomatoes, sauté about five minutes and add the white wine.
3. Add the stock, saffron and bay leaf. Allow to stew down for about twenty minutes.
4. Remove the bay leaf.
5. In a hot sauté pan with olive oil, carefully place the salt and pepper seasoned scallops. Allow to get golden brown before turning onto the other side to do the same.
6. Place a small amount of the stewed heirloom tomatoes on the plate in 18 different places. Then set a scallop on top of each mound of tomato. Garnish with chopped scallions.
 

Braised Short Ribs with herbs and red wine

   12 14-16oz. Short Ribs
   2 cups Cabernet or Merlot
   3 Carrots, 6 ribs Celery, 3 large Onions large diced
   12 Red Skinned Potatoes, cut in half
   4 sprigs each Thyme, Oregano, Rosemary
   2 qts. Veal or Chicken Stock
   1/2 cup Steak Seasoning
1. In large heavy gauge braising pan on high heat, place a small amount of olive oil just enough to cover bottom of pan.
2. Dry the short ribs from any excess blood or liquid. Place some seasoning on both sides then place in hot pan and nicely brown on both sides.
3. Once browned, remove from pan and add the vegetables, herbs and potatoes. Brown slightly then add the red wine. Scrape the bottom of the pan to remove the “Fonds”.
4. Place the ribs back in the pan and add the stock, cover with aluminum foil.
5. In a 350˚ oven place the pan of short ribs. Cook for 5 hours or until the meat is almost ready to fall off the bone.
 

Trout Filet en Papillote

   4 Trout filets, pin bone out
   Julienne Leeks, Carrots, Celery, Peppers
   King Crabmeat, picked
   Compound Butter    
   Parchment Paper
   2 tbsp. White Wine
   Salt & Pepper
   Your Favorite Fresh Herb
   1 tsp. Olive Oil
   1/2 cup Egg Wash to seal parchment
1. Cut parchment into a big circle.
2. Brush the parchment with a little olive oil.
3. Place the fish filet on one half of the parchment circle.
4. Top with julienne vegetables, king crab and compound butter.
5. Season with salt, pepper and your favorite herb.
6. Sprinkle with white wine.
7. Fold over the other half of parchment until the circle is now a half circle.
8. Brush the outside edges of the paper with egg wash and fold until almost tight on the fish.
9. Place in oven pre-heated at 350˚. Cook for about 20-25 minutes.
 

Wild King Salmon Filet with lemon scallion beurre blanc

   1 - 8 oz. Salmon filet
   2 tbsp. Olive Oil
   1 tsp. fresh Lemon Zest
   Juice from 1 fresh Lemon
   1/2 cup chopped Scallion tips
   1/4 lb. stick Butter (cut into squares and room temperature)
   3 oz. Heavy Cream
   3 oz. Seafood Stock
   1 diced Shallot
   3 oz. dry White Wine
   1 fine chinois strainer
1. In a hot skillet, place the salmon filet flesh side down and allow to get a little crispy (about 5 minutes). Turn the salmon over and cook about 5 more minutes on the skin side. Remove salmon from the pan and place on an oven-proof plate, and if needed, place in a pre-heated oven 350˚ until about 130-140˚ inside temperature.
2. In the same sauté pan, discard the left over oil, then place the shallots, zest, lemon juice, white wine, heavy cream, and scallions. Allow to lightly boil until about half the volume. Whisk in the butter slowly a couple of pats at a time until all is incorporated. Pull it off the heat and add salt and pepper to taste. Then place the salmon on a warm plate and strain the sauce through the chinois. Garnish with a little diced scallion.

 

Sides and Sauces

Marinade for vegetables, fish or poultry for your outdoor barbecue.

Cumin Lime Marinade (adobo)

   8 ounces Lime Juice
   5 Garlic cloves, minced
   1 tablespoon Cilantro
   1 teaspoon Salt
   1 teaspoon Cumin
   1/2 teaspoon Cracked Black Pepper
Mix together all the ingredients. Pour over the meat, fish or vegetables.
Refregierate until served.
 

Coca Cola Barbecue Sauce

for pulled pork, chicken, beef or spare ribs.
   3 chopped Shallots
   24 oz. Coca Cola
   2 tbsp. Molasses
   20 oz. Tomato Ketchup
   3 oz. Chili Sauce
   4 tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce
   2 oz. Cider Vinegar
   4 tbsp. Olive Oil for sauteing
1. In a hot sauce pan place the olive oil and shallots together and sauté until tender. Add the cider vinegar and Coca Cola and reduce by half. Add the ketchup, chili sauce, molasses and Worcestershire sauce, slow cook for 30 minutes.
2. To enhance the flavor of say pulled chicken or pork, add some shredded smoked cheese, like smoked Gouda or smoked Mozzarella. Take the pulled chicken, pork or beef and add asufficient amount of cheese then add some of the barbecue sauce and mix together. Now it’s ready for your favorite bun.
 

Basic Mayonnaise

   3 Egg Yolks, pasturized
   1/2 tsp. Dry Mustard
   3 tbls. Lemon Juice
   2 cups Olive Oil
Beat the yolks, mustard and 1 teaspoon of lemon juice in a bowl using a wire whisk. Add oil in slowly whisking continuously. Use remaining lemon juice to thin out sauce as needed. Mayonnaise is the mother sauce to aïoli, flavored mayonnaise and other dipping sauces. (Yields approx. 2 1/2 cups.)
 

This recipe is simple and is delicious with all seafood.

Key Lime Aïoli

   1 cup homemade Mayonnaise
   6 Key Limes, juiced
   1 tbls. Key Lime zest
   2 cloves Garlic
   1/4 cup Chablis
   1 pinch Kosher Salt
   1 pinch White Salt
   1 pinch Cayenne Pepper
First zest 1 tablespoon of lime then juice the limes. Simply place all ingredients in blender and purée until smooth. 

Desserts

This recipe comes from Ginevra Iverson from the new shuttered Restaurant Eloise in Sonoma County, California and republished in Food and Wine’s Favorite Desserts.

Doughnut Holes with Raspberry Jam

Starter
   3/4 teaspoon Active Dry Yeast
   1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon Warm Water
   1/2 cup All-Purpose Flour
Dough
   3/4 teaspoon Active Dry Yeast
   2 tablespoons Milk, warmed
   1 cup plus 2 tablespoons Flour
   1 teaspoon Salt
   3 large Egg Yolks
   2 tablespoons Unsalted Butter, melted
   3 tablespoons Sugar
Jam
   1 pint Red Raspberries (12 oz.)
   1 1/2 cups Sugar, plus more for coating
Vegetable Oil for frying
Starter: In a medium bowl, dissolve the yeast in the water. Mix in the flour. Cover with plastic and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, one hour.
Dough: In a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook dissolve the yeast in milk. Add the flour, salt, egg yolks, butter, sugar and the starter and mix until the dough forms a ball. Scrape the dough into a bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, one hour.
Jam: In a saucepan, simmer the raspberries with 1 1/2 cups of sugar over moderate heat until thickened, about 25 minutes. Scrape the jam into a bowl and let cool for one hour.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. On a floured work surface, roll out one inch round doughnuts as close together as possible. Re-roll the scrapes and stamp our more doughnuts. Transfer the rounds to the baking sheet and cover with a damp cloth. Let stand for 15 minutes.
Spread sugar in a shallow bowl. In a saucepan, heat one inch of oil to 325˚. Fry the doughnuts until golden, 2 minutes. Drain, then roll the doughnuts in sugar. Serve hot with the raspberry jam.
 


No Bake Reese’s Peanut Butter Cheesecake

Crust
   2 1/2 cups Oreo Crumbs
   5 tablespoons Butter, melted
Filling
   14 ounces Cream Cheese, room temperature
   1/2 cup Sugar
   1 teaspoon Vanilla
   1 1/4 cups Peanut Butter
   30 Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, chopped
   8 ounces Cool Whip or homemade whipped cream
   Chocolate Sauce
1. Combine Oreo crumbs with melted butter.
2. Press crumbs into the bottom and halfway up the sides of a 9 inch springform pan. Set in refrigerator until firm.
3. Mix cream cheese, sugar, vanilla and peanut butter together in a large bowl until smooth and well combined.
4. Gently stir in the Cool Whip (or homemade whipped cream).
5. Add about half of the chopped Reese’s and stir until combined.
6. Pour filling into crust and smooth the top.
7. Refrigerate for about 4 - 6 hours or until firm.
8. Remove cheesecake from spring-form pan and top with remaining chopped Reese’s and chocolate sauce. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
 

Here is a delicious creamy dessert for your next gathering.

Tiramisu Panna Cotta

   1 cup Milk, divide 1/2 cup & 1/2 cup
   1 cup Heavy Whipping Cream
   1/4 cup Mascarpone Cheese
   1 1/2 tablespoons Instant Coffee Powder
   2 tablespoons Kahlua or Coffee liqueur
   1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons Brown Sugar
   1 1/2 teaspoons Agar Agar powder or Unflavored Gelatin
   1 tablespoon Cocoa Powder for dusting
Coffee Syrup
   1/2 cup Strong Brewed Coffee
   1/2 cup Brown Sugar
   2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
1. Combine coffee powder and brown sugar in a pan. Add 1 teaspoon of water and heat until sugar is completely dissolved. Take it off the heat and pour in liqueur. Whisk well and set it aside.
2. Sprinkle agar agar powder in 1/2 cup of milk. Let it bloom for 5 minutes.
3. Combine 1/2 cup milk and heavy whipping cream with mascarpone cheese in a saucepan. Whisk it well. The mixture should be lump-free. Pour the agar agar/milk mixture into the mascarpone mixture. Whisk it well.
4. Cook over low heat until agar agar is completely dissolves and the mixture is near boiling, but do not bring to a boil.
5. Pour in the sugar/coffee mixture and keep stirring. As the mixture coats the back side of your spoon, take it off the heat. Do not overcook. The mixture will thicken more after cooling.
6. Grease ramekin bowls with butter. Pour panna cotta in ramekins or any glass bowl and allow to set for 1 - 3 hours. Cover the ramekins with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming.
7. Carefully run a knife along the ramekins to loosen the panna cotta and place the ramekin in hot water to flip out the panna cotta from the bowl. Unmold onto a serving plate. Panna Cotta should jiggle out of the ramekins.
8. Coffee Syrup - combine coffee and sugar in a saucepan. Bring it to a boil until the syrup reduces to half. Add vanilla and remove from heat. Allow to cool. Drizzle coffee syrup on panna cotta. Enjoy!
 

Autumn also brings more of the spicy flavors we enjoy this time of year and during the holidays. Carrot Cake is one of the items that seems to be a favorite of the season, or any time.

Carrot Cake

   3 1/3 cup Sugar
   3 1/3 cup Flour
   3 1/3 tablespoons Baking Powder
   1 1/3 tablespoons Baking Soda
   1 1/3 teaspoons Salt
   3 1/3 tablespoons Cinnamon
   1 2/3 pounds shredded Carrots
   6 Whole Eggs
   2 cups Blened Oil
   1 1/3 cups chopped Walnuts
   1 1/3 cups raisins
   1/3 cup Sour Cream
1. Mix together  the dry ingredients sugar, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
2. Combine the dry and wet ingredients together and mix well.
3. Grease a 9 inch cake pan.
4. Place enough mixture to fill the pan about 3/4 full.
5. Bake at 325 degrees until dry inside, about 1 - 1 1/2 hours.
Cream Cheese Icing
   1/2 pound Cream Cheese
   1/3 cup Butter
   1 1/3 cup 10x Sugar (sifted)
   1/3 teaspoon Vanilla
1. Soften butter
2. Add cream cheese
3. Add sugar slowly
4. Add vanilla
 

Top with vanilla sugar and creme chantilly, enjoy with torn pizzelle.

Candied Lemon Curd with torn pizzelle, vanilla sugar, crème chantilly

Lemon Curd
   5 Lemons (zested and juiced)
   1 1/2 ounces Triple Sec
   1 cup Granulated Sugar
   4 sheets Gelatin (softened in ice water) or 1 package
   10 Large Egg Yolks (reserve whites for another use)    
   2/3 lb. Soft Butter (cut into squares)
1. Place lemon zest, juice, sugar and eggs in stainless steel bowl. Place bowl over pot of simmering water and whisk until eggs are cooked and mixture is about double in volume.
2. Heat a sauté pan and place the Triple Sec and softened gelatin sheets, stir lightly until they are dissolved. Add to egg and lemon mixture.
3. Take the bowl off the fire and whisk in the soft butter a few squares at a time until totally incorporated.
4. Strain through fine strainer. Place in a container, cover with plastic, make sure the wrap is touching the curd. Leave slightly open on one end to allow heat to escape.
 

This can start a day with a cup of coffee or be enjoyed after dinner.  

Raspberry Almond Coffeecake

   1 cup fresh Raspberries
   3 tablespoons Brown Sugar
   1 cup All Purpose Flour
   1/3 cup White Sugar
   1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
   1/4 teaspoon Baking Soda
   1/8 teaspoon Salt
   1/2 cup Sour Cream
   2 tablespoons Butter, melted
   1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
   1 Egg
   1/4 cup sliced Almonds
   1/4 cup sifted Confectioners’ Sugar
   1 teaspoon Milk
   1/4 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8 inch cake pan with cooking spray.
Combine raspberries and brown sugar in a bowl and set aside.
In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Combine sour cream, butter, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and egg, and add to flour mixture. Stir just until moist. Spoon 2/3 of the batter into a prepared pan.
Spread raspberry mixture evenly over the batter.
Spoon remaining batter over raspberry mixture and top with almonds.
Bake for 40 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack.
Combine confectioners sugar, milk, and 1/4 teaspoon vanilla. Stir well. Drizzle glaze over cake. Serve warm or at room temperature.
 

A different dessert to use pumpkin with a little out of the ordinary.  It’s definitely a different take on pumpkin, not just an ordinary pie so to speak.

Pumpkin and Spice Sour Cream Coffee Cake

   2 cups All Purpose Flour
   1 teaspoon Baking Powder
   1 teaspoon Baking Soda
   1/4 teaspoon Salt
Combine and hold to the side.
   1/2 cup Margarine, softened
   1 cup Granulated Sugar
   2 Eggs
   1 teaspoon Butter Flavoring
   1 teaspoon Orange Extract
   1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
   1 cup cooked and mashed Pumpkin or 1 cup cooked and mashed canned Pumpkin
   1/2 cup Sour Cream
Combine and set aside:
   1 cup finely chopped Pecans
   2/3 cup firmly packed Brown Sugar
   1 1/2 teaspoons Pumpkin Pie Spice
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 10 inch tube pan and set aside. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt, set aside. Cream margarine and granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beat well after each. Add flavorings and blend. Add pumpkin and sour cream and blend well. Batter will have a curdled appearance. Stir in dry ingredients just until mixed. Combine pecans, brown sugar and pumpkin pie spice. Spread half the batter in prepared pan. Sprinkle with half the pecan mixture. Spread remaining batter over, then sprinkle with remaining pecan mixture. Bake in 350 degree oven for 40 to 45 minutes or until cake tester inserted near center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes, then remove from pan to cool completely on wire rack. Enjoy!
 

Enjoy this nice light dessert for summer.

Lemon Mousse

Lemon Curd
   5 Lemons, zested and juiced
   1 cup Granulated Sugar
   10 Egg Yolks
   2 oz. Triple Sec
   1 tablespoon Gelatine
   1/3 lb. Butter, room temperature
1. In large stainless bowl, place the first three ingredients and whisk together. Then place over a pot of simmering hot water, whisk until the eggs are cooked and about two times their volume.
2. In a small pan, place the Triple Sec and gelatine to disolve, then add to the lemon - egg mixture.
3. Take bowl off the heat and whisk in the butter in small amounts until all is incorporated.
4. Chill in refrigerator for about one hour. If the curd gets too solid, reheat until it is pourable but not hot.
In a mixer, place 1 quart Heavy Cream and whip until stiff peaks, slowly add curd and incorporate.
To Serve: In either a bowl or glass, place some mousse then some fresh berries (raspberries, strawberries, blue or blackberries), whatever your favorites. Place more mousse in to cover berries. Chill for two hours then serve. 

Here is a delicious dessert to enjoy on a cold winter day, or any time.

Five Spice Apple Crisp

   6 Granny Smith Apples, peeled and thick sliced
   6 Gala Apples, peeled and thick sliced
   6 Candy Crisp Apples or Pears, peeled and thick sliced
   2 teaspoons Fresh Lemon Juice
   1/2 cup Light Brown Sugar, packed
   3/4 teaspoon Chinese Five Spice
   1/2 teaspoon ground Cinnamon
   1/4 teaspoon ground Allspice
   2 cups crushed Granola
   1/2 tablespoon Cornstarch, diluted in water
   2 cups Apple Juice
1. Toss peeled apples and lemon juice together.
2. Sprinkle with brown sugar and spices and toss again.
3. In heavy pot, place the apples and apple juice together.
4. Cook until tender.
5. Add the cornstarch to thicken slightly.
6. Pour into a hotel pan and sprinkle with crushed granola.
7. Bake for 15 minutes in a preheated 350˚ oven or until golden brown.
8. Allow to cool for approximately 15 minutes before serving.
 

Here is a delicious dessert to enjoy with a hot beverage.

Cappuccino Cheesecake with salted caramel topping

   1 package (9 oz.) Chocolate Wafers
   1 cup Semisweet Chocolate Chips
   1/2 cup packed Brown Sugar
   2 tablespoons Instant Espresso Powder
   1/8 teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
   1/2 cup Butter, melted
Filling:
   3 packages (8 oz. each) Cream Cheese, softened
   1 cup packed Brown Sugar
   1/2 cup Sour Cream
   1/4 cup Kahlua (coffee liqueur)
   2 tablespoons All-Purpose Flour
   2 tablespoons Instant Espresso Powder
   4 Large Eggs, lightly beaten
Topping:
   1/2 cup hot Caramel Ice Cream Topping
   1/2 teaspoon Coarse Sea Salt
1. Preheat oven to 350˚. Place a greased 9 inch spring-form pan on a double thickness of heavy-duty foil (about 18 inch square). Securely wrap foil around pan.
2. Place the first five ingredients in a food processor; cover and pulse until fine crumbs form. Gradually add melted butter, pulsing until combined. Press mixture onto the bottom and 2 inches up sides of prepared pan.
3. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and brown sugar until smooth. Beat in sour cream, Kahlua, flour and espresso powder. Add eggs; beat on low speed just until blended. Pour into crust. Place springform pan in a larger baking pan; add 1 inch of hot water to larger pan.
4. Bake 55 - 65 minutes or until center is just set and top appears dull. Remove springform pan from water bath; remove foil. Cool cheesecake on a wire rack 10 minutes; loosen sides from pan with a knife. Cool one hour longer. Refrigerate overnight, covering when completely cooled.
5. Pour caramel topping over cheesecake. Refrigerate at least 15 minutes. Remove rim from pan. Sprinkle with sea salt just before serving.
 

This can be made a few days ahead and refrigerated.

Pumpkin Maple Pot de Crème

   1 cup Heavy Cream
   3/4 cup Whole Milk
   3/4 cup Pure Maple Syrup
   1/2 cup canned solid pack Pumpkin
   7 large Egg Yolks
   1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
   1/8 teaspoon freshly grated Nutmeg
   1/8 teaspoon Salt
   10 (2-3 oz.) Custard Cups or Ramekins
Preheat oven to 325˚.
Whisk together cream, milk, syrup, and pumpkin in a heavy saucepan and bring just to a simmer over moderate heat.
Whisk together yolks, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in a bowl.
Add hot pumpkin mixture to yolks in a slow stream, whisking constantly. Pour custard through a fine mesh sieve into a large measuring cup, then divide among custard cups (you may have some custard left over, depending on size of cups). Bake custards in a hot water bath, pan covered tightly with foil, in middle of oven until a knife inserted in center of a custard comes out clean, 35 - 40 minutes. Transfer custards to a rack to cool completely. Chill, covered, until cold, at least two hours.
 

Bananas Foster Bread Pudding, vanilla ice cream

   1 loaf Challah or Brioche Bread, cut into 1 inch by 1 inch squares
   1 quart Heavy Cream
   3 tablespoons Cinnamon
   1 quart Half and Half
   1/4 teaspoon ground Ginger
   10 whole Eggs
   1/4 teaspoon ground Nutmeg
   2 tablespoons Vanilla Extract
1. Whisk together the heavy cream, half and half, eggs, vanilla, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg in a stainless steel bowl.
2. Place bread in custard mix and allow to soak.
Bananas Foster
   5 Bananas, cut into 1 inch cubes
   3 ounces Rum
   1/2 cup Brown Sugar
   3 ounces Banana Liquor
   1/4 pound Soft Butter
   1 teaspoon Cinnamon
1. In a hot sauté pan, place the butter and brown sugar, allow it to cream together.
2. Add bananas and sauté for two minutes.
3. Flame first with banana liquor and allow the alcohol to burn off.
4. Flame again with rum and allow the alcohol to burn off.
5. Sprinkle the cinnamon over top and stir together with the banana mixture.
6. Stir the banana mixture into the bowl of custard mix and blend together.
7. Place in individual ramekins and bake in wet bath for 40 minutes at 250 degrees.
 

A refreshing quick dessert to top off any meal.

Lemon Tart

First you can either make a tart crust or pie crust or buy one at the store. Some are already baked for you (can’t get any easier than that). Then just fill with the  this delicious filling.
Lemon Curd
   5 Lemons, grated and juiced
   1 cup Sugar
   10 Egg Yolks
   2 oz. Triple Sec
   4 Gelatin sheets or 4 teaspoons Knox Gelatin (softened in cold water)
   1 - 8 oz. stick Butter, cut into 6-8 pieces
Using a stainless steel bowl, place the first three ingredients and place over a pot with lightly boiling water. Whisk this mixture until cooked and about double the volume. In another small pan, place the gelatin and Triple Sec over low heat until the gelatin has dissolved. Add gelatin to the egg mixture. Take off the heat and add the butter in small amounts until all is incorporated. Allow the lemon curd to cool to room temperature, then pour into your baked shell and refrigerate. Once the curd has set, you can top with whipped cream and your favorite berries and enjoy.
If you choose to make your own crust, roll out the dough, place in tart or pie plate and refrigerate shell until cold. Blind bake at 350˚ by placing aluminum foil inside the shell and fill with uncooked rice or uncooked beans level with the top of the shell. Bake about 10-12 minutes like this then remove the rice or bean weight and bake another 5 minutes until golden brown.
 

Pumpkin Cheesecake

Crust:
   1 cup Graham Cracker Crumbs
   1/2 cup crushed Ginger Cookies
   1 tbsp. White Sugar
   4-5 tbsp. Melted Butter
Pumpkin Cheesecake:
   2/3 cup Light Brown Sugar
   1/2 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
   1/4 tsp. Ground Ginger
   1/8 tsp. Ground Cloves
   1/8 tsp. Ground Nutmeg
   1/4 tsp. Salt
   2 - 8oz. packages full fat Cream Cheese (room temperature)
   3 large Eggs, room temperature
   1 cup Sour Cream
   1 tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract
   1 cup Pure Pumpkin Puree (canned or homemade)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and place the oven rack in the center of the oven. Butter, or spray with a non-stick spray, an 8 inch spring form pan.
Crust: In a medium sized bowl combine the graham cracker crumbs, crushed ginger cookies, sugar and melted butter. Press the mixture evenly onto the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake 8-10 minutes or until set. Let cool.
Pumpkin Cheesecake: In a separate bowl, stir to combine the sugar, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, and salt. In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer) on low speed, beat the cream cheese until smooth (about 2 minutes). Gradually add the sugar mixture and beat until creamy and smooth (1 to 2 minutes). Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well (about 30 seconds) after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat in the sour cream, vanilla and pumpkin puree.
Pour the filling over the crust and place the spring form pan on a baking sheet to catch any drips. Place a cake pan, filled halfway with hot water, on the bottom shelf of your oven to moisten the air. Bake the cheesecake for 30 minutes and then reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees and continue to bake the cheesecake for another 10-20 minutes, or until the edges of the cheesecake are puffed but the center is still a little wet and jiggles when you gently shake the pan. Total baking time is 40-60 minutes.
Meanwhile stir together 1 cup Sour Cream, 1 tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract and 1/4 cup White Sugar. Spread the topping over the warm cheesecake and return the cheesecake to the oven and bake about 8 minutes to set the topping. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Loosen the cake from the pan by running a sharp knife around the inside edge (this will help prevent the cake from cracking). Then place a piece of aluminum foil over the top of the pan so the cheesecake will cool slowly. When completely cooled, cover and refrigerate at least eight hours, preferable overnight, before serving. Serves 10 to 12 people.
 

You may want to use it around Thanksgiving or any time you want to cap off a nice dinner.

Pecan Pie

   4 Eggs, beaten
   1/3 cup Butter
   1 cup Sugar
   1 cup Light Corn Syrup
   1 tsp. Vanilla
   3/4 tsp. Salt
   1 unbaked 9 inch Pie Shell
   1 cup Pecan halves
   2 oz. Rum
1. Combine butter, sugar, rum and corn syrup in a medium sauce pan.
2. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly until sugar dissolves and butter melts.
3. Cool slightly, then add beaten eggs, vanilla and salt to mixture.
4. Stir well.
5. Pour into unbaked pie shell and top with pecan halves.
6. Bake at 325˚ for 50 minutes.
 

Fresh Berry Napoleon

In a bowl, gently combine 6 oz. each blackberries and raspberries. Hull and quarter 1/2 pound strawberries; set aside. Zest lime, and juice 1/2 lime. Process 8 oz. low fat  plain yogurt with lime zest, lime juice, 2 tablespoons honey, and half of the cut strawberries in a blender. Top each of 4 waffle or sugar cookies with 1 tablespoon strawberry yogurt mixture, 1/3 cup blackberry-raspberry mixture, another drizzle of strawberry-yogurt mixture; then sandwich with another cookie. Garnish with remaining strawberries, and serve.
 

Crème Brûlée

Recently we’ve added a dessert to our menu that has received rave reviews and quickly became a CNGC favorite. The recipe was given to us by our Catering Director, Jennifer Davies, who was a pastry chef at one time.
   5 cups Heavy Cream
   1/2 lb. Sugar
   16 Egg Yolks
   1 Vanilla Bean
   Grand Marnier to taste (approximately 1/8 cup)
Pre-heat oven to 300˚. Combine yolks with half of the sugar. Whisk only to combine, not to fluff. Stir occasionally with a spatula to keep eggs from “cooking” while waiting for cream to come to a boil. In a deep heavy pot, combine cream with the other half of the sugar, vanilla bean (split/scrape seeds), and Grand Marnier. Bring to a boil. Pour cream directly into the yolks, whisking to incorporate immediately then finish with a spatula. Separate custard between ramekins. Place on sheet tray in the oven and add water to the sheet pan. Bake until set (approximately 1 hour, but check after half hour). This makes about six or seven ramekins and this recipe can easily be doubled. After baked and cooled, sprinkle with sugar and caramelize with a torch or under a broiler until golden brown and sugar caramelizes.
 

Coconut Custard Tart with chocolate crust

Custard
   8 Egg yolks
   1 cup Half & Half
   2 cups Heavy Cream
   3/4 cup granulated Sugar
   4 oz. Cornstarch with water
   5 sheets Gelatin, softened in ice water
   4 oz. Coconut flavored Rum
Topping  
   1 qt. Heavy Cream
   3 Gelatin sheets
   2 oz. Rum
   1/2 cup 10x Sugar
   4 oz. Cornstarch with water 1 cup Toasted Coconut
   5 sheets Gelatin, softened in ice water
   4 oz. Coconut flavored Rum
Crust  *for Chocolate crust add 1/3 cup Cocoa Powder
   1 cup all purpose Flour
   1/4 cup Powdered Sugar
   Pinch of Salt
   6 tbls. (3/4 stick) chilled Unsalted Butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
   4 tsp. (or more) chilled Whipping Cream
   1 Egg White, beaten to blend
1. In a sauce pot place half & half, heavy cream and sugar, heat until hot (do not scald). Meanwhile in a stainless steel bowl whisk the egg yolks and the diluted cornstarch together. Then add some of the hot cream mixture to the yolk mixture slowly as not to cook the egg. Once the temperature of the egg is about the same, pour the remainder into the bowl. In a separate sauce pot, place the rum and flame off the alcohol. Then add the gel sheets (softened) and allow to dissolve. Pour this into the egg yolk and cream mixture. Over a pot with simmering water, place the custard mixture stirring till it thickens. Chill until just pourable.
2. Crust: Combine flour, sugar, and salt in processor, blend five seconds. Using on/off turns, blend in butter until coarse meal forms. Add 4 teaspoons of cream. Using on/off turns, blend until moist clumps form, adding more cream by teaspoonfuls if dough is dry. Gather dough into ball; flatten into disk. Wrap and chill at least 2 hours.
3. Preheat oven to 350˚F. Roll out dough on floured surface to 12 inch round. Transfer to 9 inch diameter tart pan with removable bottom. Fold overhang in, pressing to form double-thick sides. Bake crust until golden, pressing with back of fork if crust bubbles, about 18 minutes (small cracks may appear).20Brush inside of hot crust twice with egg white. Place back in the oven for a few minutes to seal the crust.
4. Topping: Whip the heavy cream with the sugar til peaks form. Place the rum and softened gel in a pan and dissolve. Just allow to cool (not re-gel) before placing in the whipped cream.
Pour the custard into the cooled pie crust and pipe topping on top of custard filled tart shell. Sprinkle with toasted coconut on top of tart and refrigerate.