Leftovers? Make Mash Potato Bombs!  

Baked or fried these are a fun way to use up any left-over mash potatoes… or, a good excuse to make more!

You’ll Need:

Filling:

3 cups chilled mashed potatoes

1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded

½ cup bacon, chopped small dice

1 bunch chives, chopped

Pepper to taste

Breading Station:

1 cup flour or GF flour

2 eggs, beaten

1 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs or GF breadcrumbs

3/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated fine

Xtra virgin coconut oil, Ghee or Organic Canola Oil for pan frying

Here’s How: 

Preheat the oven to 425°F degrees, unless pan frying.

Cook the bacon until crisp. Drain on a paper towel and set aside.
In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine the leftover mashed potatoes with the eggs, cheese, chives and bacon bits. Mix to combine, cover and set aside in the refrigerator.

Prepare 3 breading stations. One bowl of flour, one bowl of beaten eggs and one bowl of panko bread crumbs mixed with the Parmesan cheese.

Dust your hands with flour and use an 1/2 ounce portion control scoop to measure the balls. Or a Tablespoon.

Pat them gently to form them into balls and roll them in the palm of your hands to get them perfectly round.

Immediately dust them with flour again and set aside. Repeat until you have 24 flour-dusted balls.

Drop a ball into the egg mixture and use a spoon to turn the potato ball over until fully coated.

Lift the potato ball out of the egg mixture with a fork. Drain off any excess. Immediately drop the potato ball into the panko and cheese mixture and use another spoon to dredge it fully.

Pat in any excess bread crumbs that might be falling off the ball.

Set aside on a parchment lined cookie sheet and repeat with remaining balls.

Fry in batches in hot oil over medium high heat until golden brown on all sides, about 3 minutes. Drain on paper towels.

Or, bake at 400’F degrees for 5-10 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with my homemade ketchup! 

 

 

Yum! Makes approximately 2 dozen potato bombs!

The Ultimate Thanksgiving #Leftovers! Hot, Open-Faced Turkey and Gravy Sammies!

elisa-bauer

Nothing like a Good ol’ Fashion Open Turkey and Gravy Sandwich the Day after Thanksgiving! 

You’ll Need:

1 1/2 lb leftover turkey meat, sliced

1/2- 1 cup  leftover turkey gravy

Stock or water (to thin the gravy if needed)

4 large slices of rustic Italian bread

Butter

Crushed fresh garlic

Salt and fresh ground pepper

Here’s How:

In a medium sized skillet heat the gravy until bubbly, reduce to a simmer. If the gravy is too thick, thin with a little stock or water. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.

Add the sliced cooked turkey to the gravy mixture. Coat evenly on all sides and simmer  until the meat is heated through.

Slice and toast the bread until golden brown. Butter well and rub smashed garlic clove over the toasted bread like coloring crayon.

Arrange the slice of rustic buttered bread on a plate. Top with sliced turkey and smother in gravy.

Breath deep! Mmmmmm!

Serve with mash potato bombs!

Photo credit: Elisa Bauer

Southwestern, Turkey Tamale Pie!

Got leftovers? Dont worry- they will disappear in a second with this recipe!

Tamale pie is a casserole dish found in the cuisine of the Southwestern portion of the US. Typically prepared with a cornmeal crust and ingredients used in delicious recipes indigenous to the region. A typical comfort food and a welcomed change of flavors after an abundant holiday chow down! Originally developed as a standalone meal and not to rework leftovers– and rightfully so.

Tamale Pie was developed sometime in the early 1900s- and may have originated in Texas. Its first known published recipe- dates way back to 1911.

You know it’s gotta be good. Yum!

You’ll Need:

3-5 cups shredded large chunks of cooked turkey

2 cups your favorite fresh prepared salsa

2 cups your favorite enchilada sauce

1-12-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 cup cooked corn kernels

1 cup sliced black olives

1 onion, cleaned and diced small dice

1 1/2 -2 cups good quality chicken or turkey broth

1 Tablespoon ground chili powder

1 Tablespoon ground cumin

4 scallions sliced

1 1/2 cup cornmeal

1 cup cheddar cheese, grated medium

1 Tablespoon unsalted butter

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Garnishes:

Sour cream

Sliced black olives

1 bunch cilantro, chopped

2 beefsteak tomatoes, chopped

2 avocados, large dice

1-2 jalapeño or Serano chilies, sliced

Crumbled Mexican cheese

Here’s How:

Preheat the oven to 400’F degrees. Prepare a 9 x 13 x 2 ovenproof baking dish with non stick cooking spray. Or, a large cast Iron pan. Set aside.

If using the cast iron pan- prepare everything on the stove and transfer to the oven later. If not, use a medium saucepan, over medium heat and warm the turkey with the salsa, sauce, beans, onions, 1/2 cup of the stock, chili powder and cumin. Stir to combine and bring to a simmer.

Remove from the heat and fold in the scallions and sliced black olives. Set aside.

In an additional medium sized sauce pan, combine the cornmeal with the remaining 2 cups chicken or turkey broth. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring, until very thick, 5 to 7 minutes.

Remove from the heat and stir in the cheddar cheese and the butter. Taste, and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Spread the cornmeal mixture over the filling and bake until cooked through, about 30 minutes. Let stand for 15 minutes.

Serve warm, with a platter full of delicious garnishes.

Stuffed Mushrooms with Italian Sausage, Sherry and Parmesan Cheese

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First, a little “Housekeeping” regarding mushrooms:

How to purchase a brown ( Cremini ) or white ( Button) shaped mushroom.
If you know me, you know I love to forge in the wild for mushrooms. Shopping for mushrooms in a large chain grocery store can be like hunting. By the time a mushroom is picked, boxed transported and stored on display– they are not so fresh. If you don’t have the luxury to know a mushroom vendor; here are a few hints on how to ensure you are choosing the freshest mushroom from your local grocery store chain.

When hunting for your fungi in the grocery store – never purchase a package. Find the loose box and for this recipe – consistently choose two-inch sized mushroom caps. While they look bigger than bite size, mushrooms are full of liquid and they dramatically evaporate when baked, resulting in a decrease in size.

Choose mushrooms that have closed gills. Look in the area where the stem and the cap- meet. Turn the mushroom over and look under the cap. If the gills are exposed, it’s a sign the mushroom is not fresh.

Choose mushrooms without brown spots, or dents and ones that are firm–not shriveled or wrinkled. Avoid any mushrooms coated with a notable slime feel.

I like to choose the one with the least amount of soil.Mushrooms are very porous. Chefs usually don’t wash them in liquid. Brushing mushrooms is the best method. Less soil means less work!

How to Clean a Mushroom 
To clean mushrooms, wipe them gently with a damp paper towel. I reserve a very soft-bristled babies hair brush; just for this application. If they are really dirty give them a very quick rinse and a fast dry. We want the mushrooms flesh to be filled with flavor, not water.

The Recipe:

Ingredients: 
24- 2 inch cremini, or white button mushrooms, cleaned thoroughly.
3 cloves of fresh garlic, cleaned
1/2 cup fresh flat leaf parsley, plus more for garnish
2 shallots, cleaned
1/2 cup walnuts ( optional )
3 Tablespoons good quality olive oil
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
2 1/2 tablespoons good quality sherry ( optional )
3/4 pound bulk sweet Italian sausage, or–removed from the casings
1 red bell pepper cut into small confetti ( cut thin matchsticks, then into very small dice pieces- chefs call this cut: “Brunoise” bro͞onˈwäz – typically 1/8 x 1/8 inch )
2/3 cup panko crumbs
5 ounces cream cheese
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method:

Preheat the oven to 375’F Degrees. Remove the stems from the caps and place the stems inside the bowl of your food processor. Add garlic, parsley, shallots, walnuts and a pinch of salt and a few grinds of fresh pepper. Pulse process until everything is the size just under a small pea shape. Set aside.

 
Slice a very small, and very thin slice of the rounded edge of the mushrooms that wobble and wont stand up straight. Add the pieces to the mixture. You will want assurance they mushroom caps will sit flat and not tip over once it is filled, baking or when you serve them. Place the prepared mushroom caps in a bowl and toss with 3 Tablespoons of the olive oil, and a good dusting with salt and pepper. Remove the mushroom caps from the bowl, and place the rounded side down on a high-sided baking sheet lined with a silicon baking mat, or parchment paper. Set aside. Keep bowl available for future use.

 
In a large sauté pan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the mushroom and herb mixture from the food processor. Sauté until the mushrooms are soften, about 3-5 minutes. Add the sausage. Stir to crumble and cook stirring to incorporate the mushroom mixture evenly throughout.

 

When sausage is cooked- about 8-10 minutes, remove the pan from the heat and stir in the sherry. Return to heat and cook an additional 1 minute. Place the cooked sausage mixture into the bowl you tossed the mushrooms in the oil earlier. Set aside to cool.

 

Once the mixture has cooled, add the creamed cheese, parmesan cheese, panko and the red bell pepper confetti. Add about 7-8  twists of fresh ground pepper. Taste. Adjust seasoning with salt if necessary. Mix to throughly to combine. Refrigerate for a minimum 30 minutes covered air tight.

 
Fill each mushroom generously by using a 1/2 ounce portion scoop or a heaping tablespoon. Mound high. Bake for 45- 50 minutes until golden brown. Dust with a sprinkling of grated parmesan the last 2 minutes of baking.

 

Remove and sprinkle with chopped fresh parsley before serving.

 
Note: Mushrooms can be stuffed ahead a few hours, covered and refrigerated until guests arrive, then bake and serve.

Luscious Parsnip Purée with Truffle Oil ! 

Chef Gigi Gaggero


Parsnips are my all time favorite root vegetable to purée or mash ! They are so naturally sweet and not too starchy, which makes for an ultra-silky side dish!

Ingredients:

1 pound parsnips, peeled, thinly sliced- tough cores should be removed on larger parsnips but not necessary

2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

½ cup heavy cream, or substitute

½ cup whole milk, or substitute

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, or substitute

Kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon white pepper

Good quality truffle oil

1/4 cup sprigs of fresh chervil for garnish or chopped flat leaf parsley

Method:

Bring parsnips, garlic, cream, milk, and butter to a boil in a medium saucepan.

Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until parsnips are very soft, 10–15 minutes. Uncover and cook until liquid is reduced by half, about 5 minutes; season with salt and white pepper. Purée in a blender or food processor until smooth.

Serve…

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Decadent Creamed Corn Casserole!

Trust me when I say– someone at your dinner table will ask you for this recipe! 

You’ll Need:

8-10 ears of fresh shucked corn off the cob, or 1 pound frozen white kernels and 1 pound frozen yellow kernels. Or, all yellow.

1/2 onion, peeled halved and studded with 3-4 cloves

1 large russet pototo peeled and cut in large 1/2 inch dice

1 clove garlic, peeled and smashed

1 pint unsweetened whipping cream

1 cup chicken stock

1/4 cup cane sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1/2  teaspoon white pepper

1/4 teaspoon Cayenne pepper

2 Tablespoons very cold butter

2 Tablespoons flour

Chopped parsley for serving

Paprika for garnish

1/2 cup grated Parmesean cheese, divided

Fresh homemade crutons

Here’s How:

Preheat the oven to 350′ F Degrees. Generiously butter an 4 quart casserole dish, and dust with grated parmesean cheese. Set aside on a foil lined sheet pan.

In a large heavy bottomed saucepan, combine all the ingredients except for the butter and flour bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 2-3 minutes.

In a small dish combine the flour and butter to form a paste. Mix into the corn mixture and continue to cook until thicken.

Adjust seasoning with salt, white pepper and cayenne. Add additional sugar if your prefer your recipe a bit sweeter. Remove smashed garlic and studded onion. Discard.

Add diced potato and parmeseasn cheese and mix to combine,

Place in prepared casserol dish and cover. Bake for 10-20 minutes until flavors are incorporated and potatos are cooked.

Serve piping hot. Garnish with warm homemade crutons with a sprinkling of paprika and chopped parsley.

Makes approximately 8 to 10 servings

Variations:

Add chopped fresh pimento for a little kick .

Roasted Pumpkin Salsa

Everyone is turnin’ up for Pumpkin! Pumpkin is not only the leading food this time of year, it also has amazing health benefits! If you want a food to fill you up, but not fill-you-out… Pumpkin will be your new fav!

 
You’ll Need:
 
Good quality olive oil
 
1 small sugar pumpkins
 
1 organic heirloom tomato, de-seeded and cut small dice ( optional ) 
 
1/2 cup fresh white or yellow corn
 
1/2 red onion, cut julienne 
 
1 serrano chili, seeded and finely chopped
 
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
 
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
 
1 clove garlic, fine dice
 
1 lime, zested and juiced
 
1/2 lemon juiced
 
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
 
Drizzle of maple syrup  
 
Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
 
Hulled pumpkin seeds, or sesame seeds for garnish 
 

Here’s How:

Preheat oven to 350′ F Degrees. Carefully cut pumpkins open with a serrated knife. Remove pulp and seeds. Slice into 1/2 inch slices for easy skin removal, reserve seeds in salted water for roasting. 

On baking sheet, lay pumpkins slices, drizzle with 1 teaspoon olive oil, flip and season with salt and pepper.

Roast uncovered for about 10-12 minutes depending on size. Poke with a fork to check doneness. Be sure to under cook the pumpkin to hold their shape when diced. Cool quicky to prevent over cooking. When cool, remove skin and cut into dice.

In a small bowl- combine tomato, red onion, jalapeno, cilantro, garlic, lemon, lime zest and juice, cumin and 1-1 1/2 teaspoon olive oil. Add cooled diced pumpkin. Toss to coat.

Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper add additional cumin and maple syrup to taste.

Serve with corn tortilla chips.

Butternut Squash and Candy Cap Mushroom Brûlée

Incorporating these two seasonal ingredients into a crème brûlée makes perfect food pairing sense! Not to mention a sophisticated Thanksgiving dessert. Extracting the famous candy caps’ flavor is done by infusing the maple flavored mushrooms in cream. The same recipe method can also be used to flavor seasonal ice creams or custard bases for pie fillings. The natural maple-flavored essence of candy caps paired with sweet butternut squash will be most harmonist and unusual food pairing on your holiday dessert table this year! 

You’ll Need:

1 butternut squash, cut horizontally and seeds removed

3 cups heavy cream

1/2 ounce Dried Candy Cap Mushrooms

6 large egg yolks

2/3 cup candy cap sugar (see recipe below) plus ½ to 1 cup more for caramelizing 

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Pinch kosher salt

Here’s How: 

Position a rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350°F Degrees.

Place the butternut squash and ½ cup water in a 9 x 13-inch baking dish — cover and roast for 35 to 40 minutes, or until soft and tender.

Remove from the oven, and place the squash in a fine-mesh strainer over a large bowl and drain for at least 30 minutes to release any excess moisture, press gently to extract all the liquid. Reserving the liquid for another use. After removing any excess liquid, place the squash scoop the flesh in the bowl of your food processor and purée until smooth. Discard the skin.

Reserve 1 cup of purée and save any remaining squash meat for another recipe.

Reduce the oven temperature to 325°F Degrees. Arrange eight 6-ounce crème brûlée dishes or ramakins in a large roasting pan. Set aside.

Bring a large pot of water to a simmer while you finish making the custard.

To Make the Custard:

Place the cream and candy cap mushrooms in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring just to a boil, then turn off heat and allow to rest for about 30 – 60 minutes to infuse flavors.

Strain the infused cream through a fine-mesh strainer into a small saucepan, pressing on the mushrooms to extract all of the flavor.

In the bowl of your standing mixer whisk the yolks, 2/3 cup of the candy cap sugar, vanilla, and salt.

Reheat the strained cream to a gentle boil, then slowly drizzle the hot cream stream into the egg whisking mixture while on low to medium speed paying special attention to carefully introduce the hot cream to the egg mixture a-little-at-a-time until the egg mixture is almost the same temperature as the cream–this technique is called tempering and will prevent the eggs from scrambling.

Once you have tempered the cream into the egg mixture, add the squash purée.

Strain again through a fine-mesh strainer into a medium-size bowl. For an even creamier texture, strain a few times, or through a cheesecloth lined strainer.

Divide the mixture among the ramekins in the roasting pan. place the pan on the middle rack of the oven and pour enough of the simmering water into the roasting pan to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins allowing them to bake in the water bath for about 20-25 minutes, or until just set. The centers may still appear to be slightly jiggly- that is a perfect indicator it is time to remove from the oven. With tongs and a dishtowl, carefully remove the crème brûlées dishes from the water bath and place on wire racks to cool to room temperature.

Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.

Makes approximatly 6-8 servings 

Before Serving: 

Sprinkle 1-2 tablespoons of Candy Cap Sugar evenly on top of cold Crème Brûlée. Brown the tops using a blowtorch or by placing the ramekins under the broiler until the sugar is melted and bubbling. Wait 1 to 2 minutes for the sugar crust to cool and set up before serving.

Success Tips :

The drier the butternut squash purée, the better. Make sure to cook it until it is very tender, then give it the full time to release all of the excess liquid and steam. You can prepeare a couple of days ahead of time and refrigerate the purée until you are ready to use.

Substitutions and Variations:

You can use regular or vanilla-infused sugar in place of the candy cap sugar. Other winter squash varieties, such as acorn or kabocha squash, can be substituted for the butternut. Just be sure to precook the squash until very tender and to purée until smooth. Add a little spice, try a pinch of cardamom or allspice. Too much, however, will overpower the delicate flavor of the candy cap mushrooms.

Infused Candy Cap Sugar:

Infused sugar is one of the easiest things you can make, and as a bonus, it’s delicious, very pretty, and incredibly versatile. An infused sugar can enhance everything from baked goods to cocktails, and you can let your imagination run wild dreaming up a variety of flavor combinations and different ways to use them.

Plan accordingly – it can take up to a week or two to be fully infused after you make the sugar, but it will keep well for up to 3 months in dry storagae.

To make infused sugars, you just start with sugar—cane, beet or coconut sugar! Add the desired herb or spice to the sugar—the drier it is, the less the sugar will clump.

Infused Candy Cap Sugar 

You’ll Need: 

1 cup dried Candy Caps 

2 cups granulated sugar

Here’s How:

In the bowl of your food processor blitz the dry candy caps to a powder. If any moisture is exposed due to the friction, remove the mushrrom powder from bowl onto a parchment lined baking sheet and dry at room temperature. 

Once dry, combine with the sugar, stir well and store air-tight for a minumin of one week for infusion to take place.

Makes about 2 1/2 cups

Holiday Cheat Sheet- Just in case you’re wondering how much to Shop, Cook and Serve! 

As a professional chef, one of the most frequent question I’m asked is  how much food do you need to feed each guest? So, I decided to build a mini cheat sheet for the upcoming holiday season! Hope this helps!

Every 2.4 pounds of food you donate creates a meal for someone else. 

Cocktails: if you are serving throughout a two-hour cocktail party or dinner with spirits and mixers – One 750 ml. bottle of spirits will serve 17 drinks. Plan on 3 drinks per person if you have a fun crowd!.

Finger food: On an average, guests will eat about 3-4 appetizers each during the first hour and will eat about 3 appetizers each for each subsequent hour. Especially If consuming alcohol. My rule of thumb is  to be prepared to serve : 3-4 pieces per person with alcohol and 2-3 without alcohol. 10-12 pieces will be equivalent to a full holiday meal replacement.

Main Protein: Turkey: 1 1/2 pounds per person.

Gravy: 1/2 cup per person.

Cranberry Compote: 1/4 cup per person.

Stuffing: 1 1/2 cups per person.

Side dishes : 1/2 cup per person for more than one side dish. If serving only one side dish plan on 1 1/2 cups per guest.

Potatoes or sweet potatoes: 5 to 6 ounces per person, which is about about 1 large golden yukon, or small russet potato, or half of a large sweet potato.

Salad: plan for 1/2-1 cup of salad per person unless the majority of your guests are counting calories, then I would increase by 50%.

Bread : estimate 1 1/2 rolls per person 

Pie: 1 pie will feed 8 people if you are serving additional desserts. If not, plan on one pie serving 6 guests .

Whipped topping: 1/4 cup of cream (measured before ) whipping per guest.

After dinner drinks: plan on 1 drink per guest. Depending on who your friends are. 

Wine: A typical wine bottle size is 750 ml that contains 25.4 fluid ounces. The glass size determines how many servings. For example, you’ll get approximately six servings per bottle using a 4-ounce wine glass compared to five servings using a 5-ounce glass.

Sparkling wine: I usually recommend 2 glasses of sparkling wine per guest. There are 6 full glasses of sparkling wine in a standard 750ml bottle.

Coffee: plan on 1 1/2 cups per guest after a meal.

Happy Holiday

The Best Thanksgiving Stuffing I’ve Ever Made! 

Grand Mariner Apricot and Sausage Stuffing. 

This recipe is adapted from The Silver Palate Cookbook. One of the first cookbooks I ever purchased. Co-Authors, Sheila Lukins and Julee Rosso Miller were hot on the gourmet carry-out scene in 1980’s. They really kicked off the “Artisan” food trend!

From that birthed, The Silver Palate Cookbook in 1982. An instant success! This book helped cement America’s interest in quality cooking and helped acquaint cooks with purchasing much-needed  “gourmet” ingredients.

Pioneers, if not legends for their Manhattan, food-to-go and gourmet ingredient boutique ! One of my favs!

You’ll Need:

1 cup diced dried apricots

1 1/2 cups Grand Mariner

1 cup unsalted butter

2 cups coarsely chopped celery

1 large onion, chopped small dice

1 lb bulk pork sausage

1 lb herb stuffing mix

1 cup slivered almonds, toasted

2 cups rich chicken broth

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon dry sage

Salt & freshly ground black pepper

Here’s How:

Place the apricots and 1 cup of the Grand Marnier in a small saucepan. Heat to boiling. Remove from heat and set aside

Melt ½ cup of butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the celery and onion and saute for 10 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl.

In the same skillet, cook the sausage, crumbling it with a fork, until it’s no longer pink. Remove from heat and add to the celery & onion mixture.

Add the stuffing mix, apricots with the liquid, the almonds. Stir to combine.

Heat the remaining 1/2 cup butter and chicken stock just until the butter melts. Pour over the stuffing mixture and add the remaining 1/2 cup of Grand Marnier. Stir well to moisten the stuffing, adding the thyme, ground sage, salt and pepper to taste.

Bake stuffing in a large buttered casserole at 325’F degrees for 30-35 minutes.

Note: Enough to stuff a 21-24 pound bird with a small extra casserole on the side.

Now, should you stuff the bird is the question!

Happy Holidays