Chef’s Corner Recipes
Spring is for Celebrating…
Love to entertain, but hate the planning and prep? We have your back! We’ve put together an amazing dinner menu for this Easter Holiday that is bound to impress your guests. Save room for dessert! ______________________________________________________________________
Easy Cranberry Margaritas
You can use fresh cranberries, limes (wedges, slices, curls, you name it!), ice (cubed, crushed, blended), or whatever your cranberry-margarita-loving-heart desires.
1 1/2 cups cranberry juice (I recommend using a brand that is 100% juice)
3/4 cup fresh lime juice
3/4 cup tequila
1/2 cup orange-flavored liqueur, (such as Cointreau or Triple Sec)
Instructions: Stir all ingredients together until blended. Serve over ice in sugar- or salt-rimmed glasses, garnished with fresh cranberries and lime wedges if desired.
Apple Cider Mimosas are simple, delicious and perfect for fall! You deserve such a fun and bubbly treat once in a while. Thanksgiving is the perfect time for this Apple Cider Cocktail, especially one as easy and tasty as this. I love a good mimosa recipe, and this is my favorite one for the holidays!
1/2 cup Apple Cider
1/4 cup Champagne
Gold and Silver sprinkles for rim of glass (optional)
Apple slices for garnish (optional)
Dip the top of each champagne glass into water and then dip in the sprinkles to coat.
Pour each champagne glass 1/2-3/4 full with apple cider.
Top with champagne ______________________________________________________________________________________
Pumpkin-Shrimp Bruschetta Appetizer
20 fresh or frozen jumbo shrimp in shells
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese, at room temperature (2 ounces)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon honey
1 cup arugula
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
1/2 cup toasted pumpkin seeds*
1/4 cup bottled Italian vinaigrette salad dressing
20 3/4-inch-thick slices baguette-style French bread
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 ounces Parmesan cheese, shaved (optional)
- Peel and devein shrimp, leaving tails intact. Rinse shrimp. In a large skillet, cook shrimp in a large amount of boiling water for 2 to 3 minutes or until shrimp are opaque. Drain well.
- Preheat broiler. In a medium bowl, whisk together pumpkin, goat cheese, lemon juice, and honey; set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine shrimp, arugula, onion, pumpkin seeds, and salad dressing; set aside.
- Brush both sides of baguette slices lightly with olive oil. Arrange on a large baking sheet. Broil 3 to 4 inches from the heat about 2 minutes or until toasted, turning bread over once.
- Spread pumpkin mixture on one side of toasted baguette slices. Top each with a shrimp and some of the arugula mixture. If desired, top each with shaved Parmesan cheese. Makes 20 appetizers.
* Tip - To toast pumpkin seeds: Place pumpkin seeds in a dry large skillet; cover. Heat over medium heat about 5 minutes or until seeds are toasted, shaking skillet occasionally.
The small serving and light flavor will hold guests over while the big flavors will win them over on the same note. Served this in a glass votive or demitasse cup. To make ahead, let soup cool completely and chill for up to three day. Pureed to perfection, the soup should be dolloped with a sweet Coconut Cream and toasted flaked coconut for a delicious finish.
3 tablespoons butter
2 large shallots, sliced
1 small red bell pepper, chopped
garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 jalapeño pepper, seeded and diced (optional)
1 (1-lb.) package baby carrots, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1/4 teaspoon pimentón (sweet smoked Spanish paprika)
6 cups vegetable broth
1 (15-oz.) can pumpkin
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup heavy cream
Garnishes: toasted flaked coconut
1. Melt butter in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat; add shallots, next 2 ingredients, and, if desired, jalapeño, and sauté – 5 minutes or until golden. – Add carrots, and sauté 5 minutes. Stir in ginger and pimentón, and cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute.
Stir in broth and next 3 ingredients. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 25 minutes or until tender. Remove from heat; let stand 5 minutes.
2. Process soup with a handheld blender until smooth. Stir in heavy cream and salt and pepper to taste. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes or until hot. (For a thinner soup, stir in more broth, 1 Tbsp. at a time.)
- Pour into small glasses; dollop with Coconut Cream.
With the Coronavirus pandemic many families have opt to stay home this Thanksgiving and roast a small turkeys. Our recipe is easy with No Stress…
– 1 (14- to 16-lb.) fresh or frozen, thawed whole turkey,
with giblets and neck reserved for Homemade Turkey Stock
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 large (12 oz.) yellow onion, quartered
3 bay leaves
1 head garlic, halved crosswise
2 tablespoons olive oil
(Optional) Use Bacon across turkey
Step 1 – Preheat oven to 450˚F with oven rack in lower third of oven. Place a roasting rack in a large roasting pan lined with aluminum foil. Pat turkey dry with paper towels. Season on all sides with salt and pepper; place onion, bay leaves, and garlic in cavity. Tie ends of legs together with kitchen twine; tuck wing tips under. Place on rack in prepared pan, breast side up, and brush with oil.
Step 2 – Bake in lower third of preheated oven 45 minutes. Loosely cover turkey with aluminum foil, and reduce oven temperature to 350˚F. Continue baking until golden brown and a meat thermometer inserted in thickest portion of thigh registers 165˚F, 1 ½ to 2 hours. Transfer to a cutting board, and rest 30 minutes before carving. – Pour pan drippings through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl; discard solids
Reserve 1 ½ cups strained drippings for Old-Fashioned Turkey Gravy or Mushroom Gravy.
Their is nothing better that goes with turkey than homemade stuffing.
1 cup chicken flavored dry stuffing mix
1/2 cup water
1 cup chopped apple
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup chopped toasted pecans
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
salt and black pepper to taste
Add all ingredients to list
Directions: Prep 25 – Cook 1 Hour – Ready in – 1 h 35 m
- Preheat an oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Combine the stuffing mix and water in a mixing bowl; set aside. Grease a roasting pan with cooking spray.
- Trim the fat and connective tissue from the pork loin. Cut from one side through the middle horizontally to within 1/2-inch of the other side. Open the two sides and spread them out like an open book. Place the pork loin between two sheets of heavy plastic (resealable freezer bags work well) on a solid, level surface. Firmly pound the pork with the smooth side of a meat mallet to a thickness of 1/2-inch.
- Stir the apple, cranberries, pecans, and onion into the stuffing mix. Season the pork loin with salt and pepper to taste, then spread the stuffing mix onto the cut side of the loin. Roll the pork into a firm cylinder, and secure with cooking twine. Place into the prepared roasting pan.
- Bake in the preheated oven until the pork is no longer pink in the center, about 1 hour. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read 145 degrees F (63 degrees C). Cover the meat with two layers of aluminum foil, and allow to rest in a warm area for 10 minutes. Remove kitchen twine before slicing and serving.
Sweet Potato Casserole is a must for every holiday table. A praline-pecan topping makes this easy sweet potato casserole recipe taste more like dessert than a side dish
3 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes (about 5 medium), peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
1/3 cup honey
1 large egg
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon packed dark brown sugar
1/3 cup finely chopped pecans
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Mist an 8-inch square baking dish with cooking spray.
Bring a few inches of water to a boil in a pot with a large steamer basket in place. Put the sweet potatoes in the basket, cover and steam until tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer the potatoes to a bowl and let cool slightly. Add the honey, egg, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, the nutmeg, ginger and 1/2 teaspoon salt; whip with an electric mixer until smooth. Spread the sweet potato mixture in the prepared baking dish.
Mix the brown sugar, pecans and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon in a bowl; sprinkle over the potatoes. Bake until hot and beginning to brown around the edges, 40 to 45 minutes. ________________________________________________________________________________________
24 whole fresh chestnuts
– Using a sharp knife, cut an X in the flat side of each chestnut. (This allows the shell to peel easily and prevents the nut from exploding during cooking.)
– Arrange nuts in a single layer in an ungreased baking pan.
– Bake in a 425 degree F oven for 15 minutes, tossing once or twice. Cool slightly; peel while warm.
Tip: Roast and peel chestnuts up to 2 days before using in stuffing. Store, covered, in the refrigerator.
Green Bean Casserole
2 9 ounce package frozen French-style green beans
1/3 cup chopped onion
2 teaspoons margarine
3 tablespoons fine dry bread crumbs
1 10 3/4 ounce can lower-sodium condensed cream of mushroom soup
1/4 cup plain fat-free yogurt
2 tablespoons diced pimento
1/8 teaspoon pepper
- Cook the green beans according to the package directions, except omit salt. Drain well.
- Meanwhile, in a small saucepan cook the onion in margarine until onion is tender. Stir in the bread crumbs; set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl stir together the soup, yogurt, pimiento, and pepper. Stir in the beans. Transfer mixture to a 1-quart casserole. Sprinkle bread crumb mixture atop beans in casserole.
Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until the mixture is heated through and the crumbs are golden. If desired, garnish with additional pimiento pieces. Makes 5 side-dish servings.
Pumpkin Cheesecake Lasagna
it’s the pumpkin cheesecake equivalent of Mt. Everest. – Serves: 12 – 15
2 (8-oz.) block cream cheese, softened
1/2 c. sugar
1 c. heavy cream
2 c. whole milk
3 (3.4-oz.) packages vanilla pudding mix
1 c. pumpkin puree
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
12 graham cracker sheets
1/2 c. caramel
Chopped pecans, for garnish
- In a large bowl using a hand mixer or in the bowl of stand mixer using the whisk attachment, beat cream cheese and sugar until light and fluffy. Slowly add heavy cream and beat until stiff peaks form.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together milk, pudding mix, pumpkin, and pumpkin pie spice until smooth and thick.
- Assemble lasagna: Spread a thin layer of cream cheese mixture in a 9×13-inch baking dish. Top with a layer of six graham crackers. Add half of pudding mixture and top with half of cream cheese mixture. Drizzle with half of caramel and repeat, ending with cream cheese layer (reserve remaining caramel until ready to serve).
- Cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 4 hours and up to overnight.
- Drizzle with remaining caramel and garnish with pecans before serving.
Kentucky Bourbon Pie
If you love chocolate and pecans, you’ll love this dessert .
1/2 (14.1-oz.) pkg. refrigerated piecrusts
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans
1 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup (2 oz.) unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons (1 oz.) bourbon
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon table salt
Whipped cream and chocolate shavings
Directions: Preheat oven to 325°F.
Step 1 – Fit piecrust into a 9-inch metal pie plate; crimp edges. Sprinkle pecans and chocolate chips evenly over piecrust.
Step 2 – Whisk together corn syrup, granulated sugar, and brown sugar in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high; boil, whisking occasionally, until sugars are dissolved, about 5 minutes.
Step 3 – Whisk together eggs, butter, flour, bourbon, vanilla, and salt in a heatproof bowl. Slowly pour 1/3 cup of the hot corn syrup mixture into egg mixture, whisking constantly until fully incorporated. Whisk in remaining hot corn syrup mixture until smooth. Pour filling over pecan mixture in piecrust.
Step 4 – Bake in preheated oven until pie edges are set and begin to puff up, but pie center is still slightly jiggly, 45 to 50 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool completely to room temperature, about 2 hours. Slice and garnish with whipped cream and chocolate shavings.