Saturday, September 17, 2016

Chicken Tortilla Soup

3 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) (or chicken schmaltz)
3 tbsp Butter
2 Carrots - Diced
2 Celery Stalks - Diced
1/2 Large Onion - Dice
2 Cloves Garlic - Diced
1/2 Red Pepper - Diced
1/2 Green Pepper - Diced
1 Large Jalapeno - Seeds Removed - Diced
1 Can Black Beans - Drained & Rinsed
1 Can Petite Diced Tomatoes
1 Can Hominy - Drained
2 Chicken Breasts - Boneless, Skinless - Grilled w/ salt, pepper, taco seasoning. Shredded.
2 tbsp -Kosher Salt
1 tbsp - Pepper
2 tbsp - Cumin
1 tbsp Taco Seasoning
1/2 Cup Tortilla Soup Seasoning (if you can't find, then just up the other spice levels)
4 Cups - Chicken Stock
4 Cups Vegetable Stock
2 Cups Water
6 Corn Tortillas - Finely shredded

Tortilla Chips
Cheddar Cheese - Shredded

In a large pot over med/high heat add EVOO & Butter.  Add in onions and cook about 2 minutes.  Add carrots and cook about 2 minutes.  Add in celery, garlic, peppers.  Stir to combine.

Add in salt, pepper, cumin, taco seasoning and tortilla soup seasoning.  You might have to add in about 1/2 cup of water.  Cook about 10 minutes.  Add in black beans, tomatoes, hominy.  Cook about 10 minutes.

Add in the chicken stock, vegetable stock and 2 cups of water.  Stir to combine.  Add in shredded tortillas.  Bring to a boil and add in the chicken.  Simmer about 30 minutes.

Adjust seasoning accordingly.  I garnished w/ cheddar cheese, tortilla chips and cilantro and served w/ corn muffins.  Maybe a squeeze of lime and some sour cream would be good too.

#Enjoy #foodie #cheftainment #mexicanfood #foodnetwork #healthyfood #soup

Friday, September 16, 2016

Caramelized Onions

1 Large Onion - Peeled & Sliced
2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
1 tsp Kosher Salt
1 tbsp Sugar
2 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar

In a pan over med/high heat add the EVOO.  After about 10 minutes of occasionally stirring add salt & 1/4 cup hot water and continue stirring.  You will see the onions start to turn brown.

Start stirring more frequently.  Add a splash of water if necessary and cook another 5 minutes.  Add sugar and balsamic and cook another 5 minutes.

Perfect for sandwiches, burgers, quesadillas, eggs, etc.

#foodie #cheftainment #onions #burgers #foodnetwork

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Roast Pork Loin

3 1/2 lb. Pork Loin - Trimmed of fat and patted dry & trussed - Room temperature
Spice Rub:
2 tbsp Kosher Salt
1 tbsp Pepper
1 tsp Garlic Powder
1 tsp Onion Powder
1 tsp Cumin
1 tsp Smoked Paprika
1 tsp Taco Seasoning
1 tsp Dried Mustard
1 tsp Roasted Pepper Powder (Optional - I make my own)
1 tsp BBQ Seasoning
1 tbsp Brown Sugar

1/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
3 tbsp Butter
1/4 Cup Vegetable Oil

1/2 Cup Vegetable Stock (or Chicken or whatever you have)
1/4 Large Onion - Chopped

In a bowl, mix together the spices to combine.  Generously rub the spices over the pork loin and press into the meat.

In a baking dish add vegetable stock and onion.  Set aside.

In a pan over med / high heat, add the EVOO, butter and vegetable oil.  Add the seasoned pork loin and brown on all sides (and ends) about 2-3 minutes per side.  Transfer to baking dish and cover with foil.

In a preheated to 375 degree oven, add the pork loin and cook for about 35 minutes.  Increase the oven to 400 degrees, remove the foil and cook the pork loin for about another 10 minutes or until it reaches an internal temperature of 145 degrees.

Let pork loin rest for 10-15 minutes.

Take the juices and onion from the baking dish and blend for gravy.


#foodie  #cheftainment #porkloin

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Braised Vegetables (vegetarian)

12 New Potatoes - Peeled
2 Carrots - Peeled & carved into a ball (carving optional)
1/2 Onion
12 Brussels Sprouts - Bottom cut off and then cut an X in the bottom
12 Grape Tomatoes
6 Scallions - Roots cut off
3 Cloves Garlic - Peeled, Sliced thick
1 Beet
3 Cups Vegetable Stock
1 tsp Cumin
1 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Pepper
1/4 Pesto
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
1 tbsp Celery or Parsley Leaves for garnish

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  

In a baking dish add potatoes, carrots, onion, sprouts, tomatoes, scallions & garlic.  Sprinkle w/ cumin, salt, pepper.  Add the vegetable stock.  Should cover about 3/4 of the vegetables.  Depending on your baking dish you might need to add more.

Cover w/ aluminum foil.  

Place beet on aluminum foil and drizzle w/ EVOO.  Wrap foil around beet and put on a cookie sheet or baking dish (to catch juice).

Put veggies and beet in oven for 45 minutes.  Take veggies out and raise oven temp to 400 and let the beets continue to cook for 15 minutes.

Let beet cool and peel the skin.  Cut into slices or chunks.

In a bowl or a plate, assemble the veggies and beet.  Pour a little of the veggie stock over them and garnish w/ the celery leaves and pesto.

Maybe serve w/ a chunk of crusty bread to sop up the juices. Should make about 4 portions.


#Cheftainment #foodie #vegan #vegetarian 

Monday, August 22, 2016

Banana Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Egg Rolls

12 Egg Roll Wrappers
3 Bananas - Cut in half in the middle, then cut in half horizontal 
1/2 Cut Chocolate Chips
1/2 Cup Peanut Butter - Warmed
Canola / Vegetable Oil - About 2 cups

Lay the egg roll wrapper on the counter.  Wet the edges w/ water using a pastry brush.  If you don't have a pastry brush, just use your fingers.  Place the 1/4 banana in the lower section of the egg roll.  Drizzle w/ the peanut butter and sprinkle w/ a few chocolate chips.

Fold the left and right side of the egg roll in over the banana.  Wet the new sides of the egg roll and tightly roll up like a burrito.  Place on a cookie sheet lined w/ wax paper and sprayed w/ cooking spray.

In a heavy bottomed pan or dutch oven or cast iron skillet, heat the oil to 350 degrees.  Place the egg rolls in the oil seam side down.  Do not crowd the pan.  I did 4-5 each batch.  

They fry fast, about 20 seconds each side.  Fry until golden brown then transfer to a wire rack or cookie sheet lined w/ paper towels.  They can keep warm in the oven on your low setting or serve right away.

Perfect to make with your children, for parties or even served cold.

#foodie  #cheftainment

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Spicy Roasted Brussels Sprouts

4 cups Brussels Sprouts  - Cleaned and cut in 1/2(not sure of the exact amount, I just used about 2 giant handfuls.
2 tbsp Bacon Fat
1 tbsp EVOO
2 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
1/2 cup Water
2 Bacon Strips - Cooked till crispy and chopped
1/4 Onion - Diced
1 Garlic Clove - Minced
1/2 Fresno Chili - Seeded, sliced into strips
1 tsp Aleppo Peppers - Dried
1/2 tsp Black Pepper
2 tbsp - Locatelli Cheese - Grated

In a pan over med/high heat, add the bacon fat and EVOO to melt.  Add in the brussels sprouts and mix to coat.  Position the sprouts cut side down.  Cook for about 1 1/2 minutes.  Add the balsamic vinegar and cook about 30 seconds.  Add the water, bacon, onion, garlic, chili & aleppo peppers.  Reduce heat to simmer.  Put lid on pan and simmer about 5 minutes or until the liquid has evaporated.

You may need to add a little more water and cover again if the sprouts aren't fully cooked.

Sprinkle w/ black pepper and grate w/ locatelli cheese.

#foodie  #cheftainment  #brusselssprouts

Friday, July 22, 2016

Herbed Crackers

1 1/2 Cup All Purpose Flour
1/2 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
3 tbsp Butter - Room temp
1 tsp Sea Salt
1 tbsp Dill - Finely Chopped
1 tbsp - Parsley - Finely Chopped
1 tbsp - Rosemary - Finely Chopped
1 tbsp - Thyme - Finely Chopped
1 tbsp - Garlice - Finely Chopped
1/2 Cup Milk
1 Egg - Whisked
1 tbsp Sea Salt
1 tbsp Sesame Seeds
1 tbsp Poppy Seeds

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

In a large bowl mix flours, butter, salt, dill, parsley, rosemary, thyme, garlic, milk.  Mix to combine and form into a ball and then flatten out.  Wrap in plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 1 hour.

Place parchment paper on counter.  Flour paper and roll out dough to about 1/8" thin.  Cut into about 1x1" crackers.

Transfer the parchment paper w/ the crackers to a cookie sheet.  Brush with egg wash and sprinkle w/ a salt, sesame seeds & poppy seeds.

Bake 10-12 minutes.

#cheftainment #foodie

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Jalapeno Cheddar Artisan Bread

Jalapeno Cheddar Artisan Bread
1 1/2 Cups White Flour (+ more for dusting)
1 1/2 Cups Bread Flour (Can be made w/ just white flour if necessary)
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Instant Fast Rising Yeast
1 1/4 Cups Hot Water (Hot from the tap is fine)
1 tbsp Honey (or sugar)
1 Cup Cheddar Cheese - Shredded
1/4 Cup Pickled Jalapenos - Seeded & Chopped

In a large bowl, add the flours, salt, yeast.  Stir to combine.  Add the honey to the water and stir to combine.  Gradually add the water/honey to the flour mixture. Add the jalapeno & cheese.

Stir w/ a wooden spoon to combine. Kneed in bowl for about 2 minutes or until smooth and not sticky). Cover bowl w/ plastic and a tight lid and set aside for 8-24 hours. (I do about 24 hours for best results)

Lightly dust your counter w/ flour.  Turn the dough out and gently work it to form a ball (about 1 minute, work as little as possible).  Set aside for 30 minutes.

While the dough sits for 30 minutes, preheat oven to 450 degrees and put the baking vessel in the oven. I used a Dutch Oven.

After 30 minutes take the baking dish out, spray it with cooking spray and place the dough in the center.  Mark an X or other decoration on top of the dough, cover with a lid and place in the oven for 30 minutes. Take lid off and bake another 15 minutes to brown. Misting it w/ water 2x after the lid is off makes the crust more brown and crustier if you desire.

Cool at least 15 minutes and serve.

Enjoy. #Cheftainment

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Spicy Chicken & Waffles

2 Eggs
2 Cups All Purpose Flour
1 3/4 Cups Milk
1/2 Cup Vegetable Oil
1 Tbsp Sugar
4 Tsp Baking Powder
1/4 Tsp Salt
1/2 Tsp Vanilla Extract
4 Slices of Bacon - Crisp / Chopped
1 Cup Cheddar Cheese - Shredded
1/2 Cup Parsley - Chopped
Cooking Spray

4 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
1 Cup All Purpose Flour
2 Eggs - Beaten
2 Cups Bread Crumbs
1/2 Cup Parmesan Cheese - Grated
1 Tsp Salt
1 Tsp Cayenne Pepper
1/4 Cup Parsley - Chopped

1/2 Cup Ketchup
1/4 Cup Hot Sauce
2 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
1/2 Tsp Salt
4 Tbsp Butter

Cut the chicken breasts in 1/2.  In 3 separate stations have the flour in one tray, the eggs in another and the bread crumbs, parmesan cheese salt, cayenne pepper and parsley in the 3rd.

Coat the chicken in the flour, dust off excess, then ad to the egg batter and then to the bread crumb mixture.  Shake off excess.  Place on a baking dish and put into a pre-heated 350 degree oven for about 40 - 45 minutes.

In a large bowl beat the eggs until fluffy.  Beat in flour, milk, vegetable oil, sugar, baking powder, salt and vanilla until smooth.  Fold in the bacon, cheese, parsley.

Spray your waffle iron w. cooking spray.  Ladle waffle mixture on to the waffle iron. Every waffle iron is different.  Mine took about 3 minutes per side.  Yours will differ.

In a sauce pan add the ketchup, hot sauce, worcestershire sauce, salt & butter and cook for about 2 minutes. Pour into a large bowl.

When the chicken is fully baked add to the bowl of hot sauce and mix to coat.

Place the waffle on the plate, the chicken on top and enjoy.  I added gravy on the side of mine to pour over the waffles and chicken and to dip. #cheftainment

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Spicy Asian Soup w/ Spinach, Tofu, Radishes & Sprouts.

1/2 Onion - Chopped
3 Cloves Garlic - Smashed
Handfull of Parsley
1" Ginger - Small dice
1 Fresno Chili - Sliced in 1/2
1 Cup Sliced Crimini Mushrooms
2 Tbsp Miso Paste
2 Tbsp Gochujang paste
2 Cups Chicken Stock
2 Cups Water

In a pot over med/high heat bring to a boil and let simmer for 20 minutes.  Remove from heat.
Strain the broth and put back on the heat.  Add in:

2 Tbsp Soy Sauce
2 Tbsp Sugar
1 Tsp Rice Wine Vinegar
Simmer for 5 minutes.

1 Handful of Spinach
1/4 Cup Sprouts
1 Radish - Thinly Sliced
Tofu - Browned & seasoned

In a bowl, add in the broth, spinach, sprouts, radish & tofu. Enjoy  #cheftainment 

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Cream of Asparagus Soup

1 Bunch Asparagus - Chopped, Tips set to the side
1/2 Onion - Chopped
2 Garlic Cloves - Chopped
1/2 tsp Cayenne Pepper
2 Cups Chicken Broth (low sodium)
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Pepper
2 tbsp Butter
2 tbsp Flour
1 Cup Milk
1/2 Cup Sour Cream

In a medium size pot over med/high heat, add EVOO, enough to cover the bottom.  Add the onions and cook until translucent and slightly brown.  Add in the asparagus and garlic and cook another 5 minutes.

Add the cayenne, salt, pepper. Make sure the asparagus is soft.  Then add in the butter, melt, then flour.  Stir to combine.  Add in milk and sour cream.  Stir to combine.

Simmer about 10 minutes.  Using a blender or immersion blender, blend the soup to a creamy consistency.

Simmer about 5 minutes.  Adjust seasonings.

In a pan over high heat, add about 1 tbsp EVOO, a pinch of salt and pepper. Add in the tips of the asparagus.  Sautee about 1 minute, then add in about 3 tbsp water, cover and cook about 1 minute.

Spoon soup into bowl and garnish w/ asparagus tips, chicken, croutons, red peppers, etc,.


Saturday, March 12, 2016

Artisan Bread


1 1/2 Cups White Flour (+ more for dusting)
1 1/2 Cups Bread Flour (Can be made w/ just white flour if necessary)
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Instant Fast Rising Yeast
1 1/4 Cups Hot Water (Hot from the tap is fine)
1 tbsp Honey (or sugar)

In a large bowl, add the flours, salt, yeast.  Stir to combine.  Add the honey to the water and stir to combine.  Gradually add the water/honey to the flour mixture.

Stir w/ a wooden spoon to combine. Kneed in bowl for about 2 minutes or until smooth and not sticky). Cover bowl w/ plastic and a tight lid and set aside for 8-24 hours. (I do about 24 hours for best results)

Lightly dust w/ flour your counter.  Turn the dough out and gently work it to form a ball (about 1 minute, work as little as possible).  Set aside for 30 minutes.

While the dough sits for 30 minutes, preheat oven to 450 degrees and put the baking vessel in the oven. I used a Dutch Oven.

After 30 minutes take the baking dish out, spray it with cooking spray and place the dough in the center.  Mark an X or other decoration on top of the dough, cover with a lid and place in the oven for 30 minutes. Take lid off and bake another 15 minutes to brown. Misting it w/ water 2x after the lid is off makes the crust more brown and crustier if you desire.

Cool at least 15 minutes and serve.

Enjoy. #Cheftainment

Friday, January 22, 2016

Vegetable Puff Pastry Tart

2 Sheets Puff Pastry - Thawed + flour for dusting & rolling out
1 Shallot - Sliced thinly
2 Cloves Garlic - Smashed & finely diced
2 Leeks - Sliced 1/2" coins - rinsed and dried
2 Cups Mushrooms - Sliced
3/4 Red Onion - 1/4" slice
1/2 Green Pepper - 1/4" slice
3 tbsp EVOO
3 Roma Tomatoes - 1/2" slice
4 oz. Goat Cheese - Thawed
4 oz. Fontina Cheese - Sliced thin
4 oz. Havarti Cheese - Sliced thin
1 Tbsp Salt
1 Tbsp Pepper
2 tbsp Italian Seasoning

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out puff pastry to about 1/4" thick.  Place on a baking sheet lined with lightly buttered parchment paper.

In a large pan on med/high heat add the EVOO.  Add the shallot, garlic, leeks, mushroom, onion and pepper.  Sautee about 5 minutes.

Schmear the puff pastry w/ the goat cheese.  Lay the cheese slices on top.  Add on the mushroom, etc. mixture.  Spread evenly.  Sprinkle the Italian Seasoning, Salt & Pepper over everything.  Evenly place the tomatoes on top.

Roll up the sides of the puff pastry to create a "wall".  Place in oven for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.  Let rest about 10 minutes before cutting into.  Served w/ an arugula salad is nice.


Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Bacon Jalapeno Popper Cheesy Pretzel Bites

1 pkg Active Dry Yeast
12 oz. Warm Beer (I used Blue Moon) - Microwave to 110 - 120 degrees)
2 tsp Sugar
3 1/2 + Cups Flour
1 tsp Salt
2 tbsp Baking Soda
2 Cups Water
8 oz. Cream Cheese - room temp
2 Cups Shredded Cheese (I used Cheddar & Swiss)
2 Jalapeno - Diced, Seeded
1 Cup Crispy Bacon - Chopped
2 Eggs - Beaten
Sea Salt

In a large bowl add beer, yeast, sugar. Bloom about 5-10 minutes.  Add flour & salt. Stir to combine and set aside 5-10 minutes.

In a medium bowl add cheeses, bacon, jalapeno,  Mix to combine. Set aside.

Mix dough and roll out on a floured surface. Roll out dough to about 1/4" thick and cut into about 5" diameter pieces. Stuff w/ cheese mixture, a little more than a table spoon. Fold dough over the cheese mixture and rotate until sealed.  Forms about 2" balls.

In a pot bring 2 cups (or more) of water, to a boil.  Add 2 tbsp baking soda.

Add balls to the water a few at a time.  Don't over crowd.  Cook about 3 minutes, making sure they rotate and cook on all sides.

Place them on a parchment lined baking sheet that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Brush the tops of each ball with the beaten egg and sprinkle w/ sea salt (or any other seasoning you might like).   In a pre-heated 450 degree oven, bake for about 8-10 minutes or until golden brown.  They will most likely leak, don't worry, it's fine.  It gives you a little crunchy cheese "tail".  Enjoy

* I served mine w/ a cheese dipping sauce.  I just made a rue, then added cheese.  More cheese is never a bad thing.  #cheftainment

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

(Tastykake) Tandy Cake

4 Eggs
2 Cups White Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
2 Cups Flour
1 tsp Baking Powder
1 Cup Milk
2 tbsp butter
2 Cups Peanut Butter (+2 tbsp confectioners sugar)
2 Bags Chocolate Chips (1 Milk, 1 Dark) (+1 tbsp butter, 1 tbsp brewed coffee, 2 tbsp milk)
Sea Salt

Sift together the flour and baking powder and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine eggs, sugar, vanilla.  Beat on high until light and almost a lemon color. Slowly beat in flour mixture.  Heat milk and butter (until melted).  Stir into mixture.

Line a 10x15" pan w/ parchment paper and spray w/ cooking spray.  Pour batter into pan and spread evenly.  Place in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Cool cake at least 1/2 hour.  In the microwave heat peanut butter and confectioners sugar until melted). Spread the peanut butter evenly over cake.  Refrigerate about 1 hour.

In the microwave, melt the chocolate, butter, coffee, milk in 30 second intervals until fully melted.  Spread evenly over peanut butter layer.  Sprinkle w/ sea salt. Refrigerate about 1/2 hour.  Cut and serve.

New Jersey Childhood memories are brought back with this dessert.  Enjoy.  #Cheftainment

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Naan Bread

2 Cups Flour (I used 1 cup white and 1 cup bread)
1/2 tsp Salt
2 tbsp Sugar
4 tbsp Butter - Cold and cut into pieces
1/2 Cup Milk
Water - If needed.  I needed about 4 tbsp.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil

In a large bowl, mix flour, salt, sugar.  Add the butter and using a fork or a pastry cutter mix together.  Gradually add in the milk and combine.  If needed, add in a little water at a time till you get a consistency that holds together but it's too wet.

Lightly oil your counter and knead dough for about 10 minutes.  Set aside covered with a damp towel for 30 minutes.

Cut dough into 4 even pieces.  Roll dough out and keep folding it over itself.  Dough should be sort of thin.  Mine was a little thinner than 1/4 inch and the shape is up to you.  Mine ended up being sort of rectangle.

In a pan over medium / high heat add about 2 tbsp EVOO and place the rolled out dough.  It cooks fast, maybe 1-2 minutes on each side.  It will bubble up and blister.  It burns FAST so keep an eye on it.

I used mine as a flat bread pizza base but you can eat as is or put herbs in the dough.  Enjoy. #Cheftainment

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

2 tbsp EOO
1/2 Onion - Diced
1 Carrot - Diced
1 Cup Mushrooms - Diced
2 Garlic Cloves - Minced
2 Bunches of Broccoli (stalks & tops) - Chopped
2 Cups Kale - Chopped
1/4 Cup White Wine
1 Qt. Chicken Stock or Vegetable Stock
1/4 tbsp Cumin
1/2 tsp Smoked Paprika
1 Cup Cheddar Cheese

In a large pot over med/high heat, add the EVOO.  Add in the onion and carrot and a pinch of salt.  Cook about 5 minutes then add in the mushrooms and another pinch of salt and cook another 5 minutes.  You may add in a little bit of water if necessary to keep from sticking to the bottom.

Add the garlic and cook about 3 minutes.  Add the broccoli and kale and another pinch of salt and pepper.  Cook down about 15 minutes or until everything starts to break down.

Add in the cumin and paprika.  Cook about 2 minutes and then add in the wine.  Cook about 5 minutes and then add in the chicken or vegetable stock.

Bring to a boil and then reduce to simmer for about 15 minutes.

Using a blender or an immersion blender, puree the mixture.  Add in the cheddar cheese and whisk until melted and combined.  Taste for seasoning.

I served my soup topped w/ homemade garlic parmesan croutons and diced red pepper.  May also add a dollop of sour cream if desired.  Enjoy.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Ricotta Gnocchi w. Pesto

2 Cups Ricotta
1/2 Cup Parmesan Cheese
1 1/2 tbsp EVOO
1 tbsp Salt
2 Large Eggs - Beaten
1 1/4 Cups Flour (+ More for dusting)

Combine Ricotta, Parm Cheese, EVOO, Salt & Eggs.  Add in the flour in 3 parts.

Roll out the dough on a floured service.  Cut into 4 quarters.  Roll into long ropes about 1" thick.  

Cut into 1" cubes and place a fork impression.

Place on a semolina lined tray.  Boil in salted water about 2 minutes or until they float to the top. 

Cover in Pesto and Enjoy.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Apple Spice Cake

1/2 Stick Unsalted Butter
3 1/2 Granny Smith Apples - Peeled & Small Dice (keep the 1/2 apple separate)
1/2 Lemon - Juiced
1 Cup Apple Cider
1 3/4 Cups Flour (+3 tbsp for dusting)
1 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Nutmeg
1 tsp Baking Soda
3/4 Cup Brown Sugar
3/4 Cup White Sugar
Pinch of Salt
1 Egg - Beaten
1 tsp Vanilla

In a medium sized sauce pan over medium heat, melt the butter and add the 3 apples, lemon juice and apple cider.  Stir to combine, reduce to low/medium heat and cook until apples are softened and the liquid has reduced by 1/2.  About 30 minutes.

Add the apple mixture to a blender or food processor and pulse until the mixture becomes coarse.  You do not want to puree it.

In a large bowl combine the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, both sugars and salt.  Make a well in the center of the bowl and add the cooked apple mixture, the reserved 1/2 apple, egg and vanilla.  Stir to combine.

Butter and flour (the 3 tbsp reserved) a loaf pan.  Pour out excess flour from pan.  Pour batter into the pan and place on a cookie sheet as there will be over spill.  Place in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for 40-45 minutes or until a tooth pick comes out from the center clean.

Let sit for about 10 minutes then turn out onto a cooling rack.  Really good by itself or warm with butter.  This cake comes out so moist and delicious and perfect for school bake sales.

Enjoy.  #Cheftainment

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Roasted Garlic Soup

5 Slices Crispy Bacon (save bacon fat)
25 Large Cloves of Garlic - Peeled
1 Med/Large Onion - Diced
1/2 Loaf Italian Bread - Ripped into pieces
1 Cup EVOO
4 Cups Chicken Stock
1/2 Pint Heavy Cream
2 tbsp Fresh Thyme
2 tbsp Fresh Parsley

In a Dutch Oven or medium sized pot over med/high heat, add 2 tbsp EVOO and 2 tbsp Bacon Fat.  Add in Garlic and Onions and brown for about 5 minutes.  Lower heat to low/med and add the rest of the EVOO.  Cook for about 1 1/2 hours or until garlic smashes easily w/ a fork.

Add the thyme, parsley, chicken stock and heavy cream.  Cook for about 1/2 hour.  Add in the ripped bread and then blend with an emersion blender.  If you don't have one, put soup into the blender in stages so as not to burn yourself.  Blend until smooth and cook for another 15 minutes on a low simmer.

I topped my soup w/ roasted chicken, crumbled bacon and garlic bread.  The garlic soup becomes a sweet garlic flavor, not overpowering at all.  If you have leftovers it makes a fantastic pasta sauce.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

1 lb Brussels Sprouts - end trimmed and sliced in 1/2
2 tbsp EVOO
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Pepper
1 tsp Garlic Powder
1/4 Cup Water
1/4 Cup Balsamic Vinegar
1/2 Parmesan Cheese (Or an Italian Mix)

In a cast iron skillet or oven proof pan, heat on the stove to high.  Add the EVOO, then layer in the sprouts, cut side down.

Sprinkle w/ salt, pepper, garlic powder.  Cook until bottom of sprouts are caramelized brown.  About 4 minutes.

Reduce heat to medium.  Add water and vinegar.  Cook until liquid is reduced.  Place in oven.

Cook about 10 minutes.  Sprinkle cheese over sprouts and cook about 3 more minutes or until cheese is melted and browned.


Thursday, July 30, 2015

Quickles - "Quick Pickles"

2 Cups Red Wine Vinegar
1 1/2 Cups Sugar
1/4 Cups Kosher Salt
1 tsp Mustard Seeds
3/4 tsp Coriander Seeds
1/2 tsp Celery Seeds
1/4 tsp cracked black peppercorns
2 Cloves Garlic - Smashed
1 Fresno Chili - Seeded and sliced
6 Kirby Cucumbers - Sliced about 1/4" thick
1/2 Onion thinly sliced
1 bunch Dill - Rough Chop
4 Radishes - Thinly Sliced

In a saucepot combine the vinegar, sugar, salt, mustard seeds, coriander seeds, celery seeds, peppercorns, garlic, chili and 2 cups water and bring the mixture to a boil to dissolve the sugar and salt.

Once the mixture boils, pour the liquid over the sliced veggies until submerged.  Let the mixture sit in the liquid until it comes to room temperature.

Put in containers and store in the fridge.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Rustic Italian Bread

2 Cups Bread Flour
1 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
White Flour for dusting
2 tsp Sugar
3/4 tsp Salt
2 tbsp EVOO
1 pkg Active Dry Yeast
1 Cup Warm Water heated to about 110 degrees (+ a little extra)
1 tbsp EVOO
1 Egg - Beaten
2 tbsp Italian Seasoning

In a stand mixer w/ the dough hook, add the bread flour and whole wheat flour, sugar, salt, evoo and yeast.  Turn mixer on low and start to combine.

Slowly add the water to form a rough dough ball.  Sprinkle counter w/ white flour and turn dough out on counter and kneed for about 6 minutes.  You may need to keep wetting your hands to bring the dough together.

Once it is a smooth ball, drizzle a bowl w/ about 1 tbsp of evoo.  Place in the bowl, covered with plastic wrap for about 1 hour.

Sprinkle counter with white flour and roll out dough into either a ball or long form or whatever you desire.  Place on the desired baking sheet and cover with a damp towel for 30 minutes.

Slice cross hatches in the top of the bread and brush with egg wash.  Sprinkle w/ Italian seasonings or whatever you like and bake in a pre-heated 375 degree oven for 25-35 minutes or until top is crusty golden and the center sounds hollow when tapped.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Homemade Pasta

2 Cups 00 Flour + 1 1/2 Cups Flour + More for dusting (can use regular flour if don't have 00)
4 Large Eggs + 1 Egg Yolk
1 Tbsp Salt
1 Tbsp EVOO
1 Tbsp Garlic Powder

Pour the flour on the counter in a mountain formation.  With a fork, burrow a hole in the center forming a well.  In a bowl mix the eggs, salt, evoo & garlic powder.

Pour the egg mixture into the well.  Slowly, with a fork, stir the egg mixture together gradually combining the flour from the sides.  Use a bench scrape  if necessary to pull the dough off the counter to combine.  Dough will be dry and crumbly.  Wet your hands and start to combine dough into a ball.  May have to add water 1 tbsp at a time until dough forms a combined smooth dough.  Probably kneed for about 10 minutes.

Flatten dough to about a 1" disc, wrap in plastic wrap and set on counter for about 20 minutes.

Unwrap dough and cut into 4 quarters.  Roll each quarter out with a rolling pin to about 1/2".  Place in your pasta rolling machine on the largest setting and continue down until the lowest setting.  Then place in whatever setting you want:  Spaghetti, Flat, etc.  Dust with flour.

Fresh pasta cooks in about 3 minutes in salted boiling water.

Enjoy.  Ultimate pastabilities with this recipe.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Matzo Ball Soup (Jewish Penicillin)

1 Whole Chicken
3 Medium Onions - Diced
3 Carrots - Diced
3 Sticks of Celery - Chopped
4 Cloves of Garlic - Peeled and Chopped
a few sprigs of fresh thyme
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
1/2 Bag Jewish Fine Egg Noodles
1/2 Bunch Parsley - Chopped
4 tbsp Fresh Dill - Chopped

For The Matzo Balls:
4 large eggs
4 tablespoons chicken fat
1 teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 Box Matzo Meal

In a large pot cover chicken with cold water to come about 2 " above the chicken. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down and simmer for 30 minutes. Skim the froth off the top of the chicken.

Add the chopped veg, garlic cloves, and thyme sprigs, and season with a good pinch of salt. Bring everything back to the boil, then turn the heat down and leave it to simmer for 1 hour. Carry on skimming the broth, reserving 4 tablespoons of this fat for your matzo balls.

To make your matzo balls, beat the eggs in a large bowl and add your cooled chicken fat and the salt and pepper. Beat again, then slowly stir in your matzo meal until well blended. Leave in the fridge for 30 minutes, then wet your hands with cold water and roll the dough using a 1" scoop.  They will double in size when cooked.

When the soup has had its hour and a half, use tongs to carefully transfer the chicken to a roasting pan. Leave to cool, uncovered, for a few minutes. Remove the soup from the heat and strain it through your biggest sieve or colander. Pull out the decent-looking bits of veg and put these back into the soup, getting rid of anything else. Put the pan back on a medium heat and bring back to the boil, then add your matzo balls. Put a lid on the pan, turn the heat down a bit and simmer for 20 minutes, until the balls are light and puffy. Halfway through the 20 minutes, add your noodles or spaghetti to the pan and cook gently for the final 10 minutes.

When your chicken has cooled enough to handle, shred the meat off the bone. Pick the leaves from your parsley and roughly chop them with the dill. Add all your shredded chicken meat to the soup, along with the chopped herbs, and warm through for 3 minutes. Taste, and season with salt and pepper.   Enjoy.

Original recipe: