Traditional Herb Crusted Prime Rib with Red Wine Reduction!

A true prime rib that is labeled USDA Certified Prime, is heavily marbled with a generous amount of fat. These cuts are usually reserved for top restaurants and are hard to come by. It may be better to seek out a fine aged prime rib. Aged beef is similarly hard to find in the supermarket, but you’ll find aged prime rib and other cuts for sale online that come right to your door. But ask your butcher first!

The typical prime rib serving size is around 10 ounces per person; a roast weighing 7-7½ pounds should serve 11 or 12 people.

You’ll Need:

8 ribs – prime rib of beef. Center cut, chine bone removed. (make sure to give your butcher a friendly reminder to remove the chine bone)
1 cup fresh Italian parsley leaves plus 1 large bunch
1/4 cup fresh thyme leaves
1/8 cup fresh rosemary leaves
1/4 cup fresh oregano leaves
1/4 cup fresh marjoram leaves
1/4 cup good quality olive oil
6 cloves of garlic, peeled and root removed
3 whole heads garlic, 1/4 cut off the top exposing cloves, skin and root left intact.
3 large shallots, cleaned roots removed
1 large onion, cleaned, cut into quarters
1 carrot, cleaned and sliced lengthwise
2 ribs of celery, cleaned cut in half
1/2 pound of unsalted butter, cut into pieces and kept cold
2 cups good quality Pinot Noir wine
Preferably Maldon salt or large flat crystal salt
Fresh ground black pepper

Here’s How:

Preheat oven to 475’F degrees. Clean and pick the leaves of the fresh herbs, reserving the stems. Except the extra bundle of parsley.

Prepare a large roasting pan with organic non-stick cooking spray. Check to make sure the roast will fit. Spray a cookie cooling rack with non-stick cooking spray, and lower into the roasting pan. Build a bed for the roast to lay on with the bundle of parsley, and all the stems left over from the herbs on top of the cookie rack. Add the carrot, onions quarters, the 3 whole heads of garlic on the side, and the celery ribs. Spritz everything with a good drizzle of olive oil and sprinkle of salt and pepper. Set aside.

Pat the roast dry with paper towel. Season the roast generously with salt and fresh ground pepper by hand massaging it in ; on all sides. Set aside. In the bowl of your food processor, add 4 cloves of garlic, all the fresh herbs except the extra bundle of parsley, add 2 shallots and pulse to small mince.

Add salt and pepper and cold butter, pulse to combine well- make a paste.

Place roast, horizontally with the fat side up, in the roasting pan. Smother the roast with the butter mixture paying extra attention to the sides of the roast. Add 1 cup of beef stock to the bottom of the roasting and roast for 1 1/2-2 hours (20 minutes per pound), for rare –or until internal temperature reaches your desired temp ranges. ( see roasting notes below ) Bathing with juices from the bottom of the roasting pan every twenty minutes, without fail!

Start with high heat oven of 425’F Degrees and reduce temperature to 325’F Degrees after about 15 minutes of oven time.

When roast reaches your desired internal temperature, remove from the oven and allow to rest a minimum 10-20 minutes.

Keep in mind the internal portion of the roast will continue to cook, make sure to remove it from the oven ten minutes prior to your desired internal temperature. See below for important roasting notes.

Variation: To serve roast without bone, use a sharp knife and cut between the bone and the flesh. With your slightly angled knife, saw towards the bone, carving slowly–keep following the bone to the bottom where it can be completely removed.

Chef Notes: 

Use your meat thermometer about a half hour before the expected end of the roasting time. Make sure to insert it in the thickest part of the meat, not touching the fat or the bone.


When the internal temperature reaches 120° F
Degrees pull it out of the oven, and cover with foil.

Allow the roast sit for twenty minutes.

While resting the roast will continue to cook, reaching a temperature of about 125° F Degrees to 130° F Degrees. This is called the endo-thermic reaction. Cooking from the inside out.

A nice resting period allows the juices and flavors to permeate back into the roast instead of all over the cutting board!

Rare measures in at 120° to 125° with a bright red center that grows slightly pinkish towards the exterior.

Medium rare measures between 130° F Degrees to 135° F Degrees and are characterized by the extremely pink center portion that grows brown towards the exterior.

Medium meats have a light pink center, brown outer portions and readings of about 140°F Degrees to 145°F Degrees.

Medium well is not pink at all, and is achieved at 150° F Degrees to 155° F Degrees.

Well done is at 160° F Degrees and above and is characterized by a uniform brown color. 

Cover any exposed bones with a little oil and foil.

Red Wine Reduction

While roast is resting, strain drippings from the pan. Defat and add the remaining juices into a medium saucepan with wine, remaining garlic cloves, remaining chopped shallot.

Bring to a boil, and cook stirring occasionally until the liquid is reduced to 2/3’s of a cup, about 10 -15 minutes. Adjust heat as necessary to avoid boiling over or burning.

When liquid is reduced, remove from heat and whisk in remaining cold butter, 2 or 3 pieces at a time, waiting until pieces are melted before adding more. Season with salt and pepper.

Cover to keep warm and set aside. To serve beef cut between rib bones and serve bone in.

Serve sauce at the table on the side.

30 Minute Individual Chocolate Lava Cakes

Molten chocolate lava cakes were developed by one of the worlds most famous chefs- Jean-Georges Vongerichten! He says more than a thousand of these cakes are made in his restaurants everyday.

The ingredient list is simple –butter, chocolate, eggs, sugar and flour which makes this recipe easy for busy people! Below is my adapted recipe.

Rich creamy chocolate pudding in a sauce pan with chocolate chunks and kitchen utensils

You’ll Need:

6 ounces of unsalted butter plus melted butter for brushing the ramekin

Dutch processed Unsweetened cocoa powder, for dusting

4 ounces good quality bittersweet (70% ) chocolate, chopped 

2 large egg yolks

2 large whole eggs

1/4 cup granulated sugar

2 teaspoons sifted flour

1/4 teaspoon of kosher salt

Here’s How: 

Preheat the oven to 450’F Degrees. Brush 4 – 6 to 8 ounce ramekins with melted butter, and dust with cocoa powder. Set aside in a high sided roasting pan. 

In a microwave-safe bowl, melt the chocolate with the the butter in 30-second intervals stirring in between each zap. If you don’t have a microwave melt on the stove top very low heat–melting the butter first then adding the chocolate. Whisk until smooth.

In a medium sized bowl, with a hand whisk, whip the egg yolks with the sugar until creamy about a minute. Add the chocolate mixture while continually stirring. Combine until completely incorporated. Add the flour and mix to combine.

Divide the batter among the buttered and dusted ramekins, filling them two-thirds full. Place pan on oven rack. Add 1/2-1 inch of hot water to the pan.

Bake the cakes in the center of the oven until the tops and sides are set but the centers are still soft, 7-9 minutes. You will notice the centers will still wiggle.

Let stand for 30 seconds, then run the tip of a knife around the rims and invert the cakes onto serving plates. Remove the ramekin just before serving. Waiting will help hold it’s shape. 

Dust with cocoa powder or powdered sugar and serve with vanilla bean ice cream or whipped cream! 

Makes 4 Servings

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.

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 Brussel Sprout Files!

Below is a formula sure to make your Brussel sprouts are a success no matter what flavor profile you’re after. Sweet, salty, or tangy!

Brussel sprouts are aggressive in flavor. You either love them or hate them. So many ways to cook them too– from baked chips to chopped salads. At my home we love our sprouts pan-fried with crisp pancetta– caramelized with lots of butter and my homemade infused olive oil, & lots of crispy fried garlic cloves.

Brussel sprouts caramelize naturally. On special occasions we make a few variations. Addition of maple syrup, or a sprinkling of brown sugar with a handful of candied walnuts will make your family roar! Sometimes we like to add crispy bacon, a nice citrus finish with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and lot of lemon zest– then an good dousing of parmesan cheese. I add a fair amount of fresh cracked black peppercorns!

Here’s How : 

To properly sauté brussels sprouts, you’ll need a fair amount of fat in the skillet. While bacon is a classic pairing, use your families favorite flavor. Ground pork sausage,  Italian sausage, apple sausage, duck fat, or –If you’re a vegetarian, good quality olive oil is perfect. As mentioned, I use pancetta. So delicious and I love the little crispy, crunchy salty nuggets. How much to use is up to you- I personally like a lot of Pancetta floating around in my dish- so I use a least a pound or two ( shhhh) per stock/stem of Brussel sprout! about 40- 50 spouts.

If using something like bacon or sausage, start by browning the meat in a very large skillet  – I use two of my largest skillets, and split the recipe between them. (Brussel sprouts contain lots of water– so, if you over-crowd the Brussel spouts in the pan, they will steam not caramelize. Tragic.)  Always halve the sprouts and trim the root-end clean.

Sauté the pancetta or your choice of fat, over medium-high heat. Render the fat. Once the meat is cooked, remove it with a slotted spoon set it aside for later addition. Add the halved brussels sprouts to the fat, shaking the skillet so that as many as possible landing cut side down or use tongs to ensure the sprout is positioned for optimum caramelization. Now, step away from the pan. Resist the urge to move them around. Distribution will prevent them from cooking through and becoming crispy golden brown  and delicious. They need to stay in contact directly with the surface heat. Cook until they have a nice  brown sear on one side, about 8 to 10 minutes. If a knife runs easily through, they are done.

Just before removing from the heat, add in  your favorite seasonings–like chopped garlic, sliced onions, fresh thyme, sprinkling of brown sugar, maple syrup, honey  or lemon juice  with lots of zest. Return the sautéed meat you rendered the fat from and toss to coat nicely. Cook for an additional 1- 2 minutes. If making an addition of candied nuts, now is the time to do so. Toss well and serve. (The candies nuts will remain crunchy if not added to the cooking process.)

Salt and pepper. Serve!

Steaming Method: 

Clean Brussels sprouts and slice in half lengthwise. Fill a large stock pot with about 2 inches of flavored stock and water combination– place a metal steamer basket on top. Bring the water to a simmer, add the brussels sprouts to the basket, season with salt and pepper and cover. Steam until the brussels sprouts are bright green and just cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove the lid from pot and let them cool slightly before removing. I like to shock my sprouts in cool ice water so they retain a bright green color. Then right before serving I dunk in hot boiling water or toss quickly in a pan with some olive oil, salt and pepper until warmed trough. About two minutes. See my method here for retaining color and nutrition in steamed veggies.

Baking Method:

Halve brussels sprouts (or quarter them, if they are especially large), making sure to hold on to any leaves that fall away (these get the crispest) and toss with plenty of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, and scatter them onto a rimmed baking sheet, making use of every inch. Brussels sprouts contain a good bit of water, and if they’re too crowded on the tray, they’ll steam instead of brown. If you need to use two or three sheet pans, do it.

Roast in a hot pre heated 450’F degrees oven, tossing every 10 minutes or so, until the outer leaves have begun to almost char, and the innermost part of the sprout is just tender, 25 to 30 minutes. Finish growing by making sure the cut side of the sprint is face down on the baking sheets surface so they get nicely caramelized. While they caramelize well on their own, tossing the sprouts with a tablespoon or two of maple syrup, honey or light brown sugar will give them a bit of holiday flavor. Remove from oven– add your favor flavors to finish, like lemon zest and fresh thyme, or fresh rosemary, or pine nuts with a sprinkling of parmesan cheese — toss well and return to the oven for an additional five minutes. Remove, set aside to cool. You can even toss with a bit of reduced balsamic reduction –. Whatever flavors you’ve decided on — enjoy– it’s all you!

I’d love to hear about your favorite way to make Brussel sprouts. Leave me a message and tell me how.

Happy Holiday!

Skinny Garlic Pommes Frites

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In the production of a really good ‘French Fry” the type of fat used to fry with can make all the difference. Not to mention the type of potato and the potatoes sugar content will make a difference as well. Seriously, this subject for scholarly debate! Many establishments that place “Pommes Frites” on the menu are doing the potato justice because they are correctly frying them in animal fat (tallow, lard, duck or goose fat). I think there might be one thing we all agree on– we are all looking for the same great flavor and texture in a skinny pommes frites. If so, this recipe is for you!

Ingredients:
1/8 cup good quality olive oil
4-6 cloves fresh garlic, peeled and cut and smashed to paste
Grapeseed cooking spray, or your favorite high smoke point oil
3 russet potatoes, washed and dried
Kosher salt
fresh cracked black pepper
1/4-1/2 cup fresh grated, good quality Parmesan cheese ( optional)
1 bunch fresh Italian parsley, finely chopped

 

Method:

Combine the oil and crushed garlic in a large mixing small bowl. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 425 F- 450°F. Lightly coat a baking sheet with cooking spray. If you use Aluminum, lay a sheet of foil inside baking sheet and spray foil with non-stick cooking spray. This will ensure easy cleanup. Set aside.

Cut the potato lengthwise into 1/4-inch thick slices; cut each slice into 1/4-inch thin strips. Once cut, pat dry with a paper towel.

Toss cut potatoes in the bowl containing the oil and smashed garlic. Use your hands to evenly coat. Season with salt and black pepper after they have been coated with the oil and garlic mixture. Place oil coated cut potatoes onto the prepared baking sheet.

Bake uncovered in the center of the oven until tender crisp and golden brown, about 10 minutes on each side. Remove from oven and toss with cheese and fresh chopped parsley. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.

Serve immediately. if you like, serve with my HomeMade Ketchup Recipe at 30 Second Mom

Variations: You can use other root vegetables like sweet potatoes or parsnips.  Or try Yukon gold, or other variety of potato. Increase bake time for sweeter content root vegetables.

The BEST Ever Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe. 

I have ever so slightly adapted the very, very famous- New York Times, chocolate chip cookie recipe. Enjoy! 
Ingredients:

8½ ounces cake flour

8½ ounces bread flour

1¼ teaspoons fresh baking soda

1½ teaspoons fresh baking powder

1½ teaspoons kosher salt

10 ounces unsalted butter, at room temperature

10 ounces dark brown sugar

8 ounces granulated cane sugar

2 eggs

1 egg yolk

2 teaspoons vanilla extract or 1 Tablespoon Vanilla bean paste

20 ounces good quality dark chocolate chunks,( at least 60% cacao content) chopped into 1/4 -1/2 inch nuggets

Maldon salt, for garnish on top

Method
Step 1: In a medium size bowl, sift together the flours, baking soda, baking powder and kosher salt. Incorporate well to ensure ingredients are evenly distributed. 

Step 2: In the bowl of your stand mixer or large mixing bowl with paddle attachment; cream together the butter and both sugars until mixture is pale in color and creamy in texture.

Step 3: Add the eggs and yolk, one at a time- mixing well after each addition. 

Step 4: Add the vanilla. Reduce the mixer speed to low, and gradually add the dry ingredients. Mix until just combined. 5 to 10 seconds. Do not over beat.

Step 5: Using a rubber spatula, scrape the bottom of the bowl and mix an additional 10 -15 seconds. Fold in the chocolate by hand.  

Step 6: Chill in an airtight container over night or up to 72 hours. Using a 3 1/2 ounce portion scoop. Portion onto cookie sheet immediately before baking. 
Step 7: Preheat oven to 325’F.  Sprinkle lightly with sea salt and bake until golden brown but still soft, 18-20 minutes. 

Notes
Makes approximately 1 1/2 dozen large 5 inch cookies. Or approximately 40 smaller, 2-3 inch. 
I like to use a 1 ounce portion control scooper and scoop onto a parchment lined baking sheet, wrap and freeze individually overnight. Once frozen, I pack into one larger airtight container- store in the freeze and use as needed straight into the oven. Bake 1 ounce cookies for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown, and no signs of shimmering sugar crystals on top. 

This recipe works well in a parchment log and sliced in 1/2 inch rounds prior to baking.

Dough should always be baked when chilled.

Variations with nuts or white chocolate chunks or both combine are delicious. 
Photo credit: NYT

10 Minutes to Creamy! Chocolate Avocado Mousse! 

Chocolate Mousse has never been healthier …or faster! When choosing Avocados use Haas variety- they tend to have a rich creamy finish. 

You’ll Need: 

4 ripe avocados

3 Tablespoons honey, maple syrup or optional liquid sweetener. ( do not use granulated sugar) 

3/4 cup good quality cocoa powder

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Small pinch of Himalayan or your favorite salt

4-5 Tablespoons cow or nut milk

1 cup washed berries for garnish 

Cocoa for dusting 

Here’s How:
Split the avocados in half lengthwise and remove the pits.

Using a spoon, scoop out the meat and place into your food processor. Add honey, cocoa, vanilla, salt, and milk.

Blend until very smooth. About 1 minute. Taste and adjust sweetness. Add additional milk to adjust consistency. 

Place mixture into serving bowls or glassware, and chill until ready to serve. 

Top with fresh raspberries and a sprinkle of cocoa. 

Makes Approximately 4-6 servings   

Eat it all up! 

Stromboli- Dinner in 30! 

Unlike a calzone, a stromboli does not contain sauce. Invented in the 1950’s on the east coast in Pennsylvania.

An Italian Restaurant & Pizzeria claims to be the first to have used the name, Stromboli. Rumor has it the pizzeria owner had experimented with “pizza imbottito”, or “stuffed pizza”, and added ham, salami, cheese and peppers into a pocket of raw bread dough. A family member suggested he name it after the recently released movie Stromboli, which, at the time was notorious for an off-screen affair between married actress, Ingrid Bergman, and married director, Roberto Rossellini that resulted in a love child. Remember, it was early in the 1950’s. Can you imagine how scandalous this must have been back then?

Traditionally, Stromboli’s are filed with layers of thinly sliced salami, pepperoni and smoked Provolone cheese then baked in a flaky crust that was rolled into a log. Often referred to as a turnover. Serve with additional sauce on the side for dipping. Today- you can use any filling imaginable.

Personalize your Stromboli !

Ingredients:

1 pound ready made pizza dough

1 cup spicy pizza sauce

1 cup grated smoked provolone or substitute with mozzarella cheese

2 dozen slices of good quality salami

20 slices thin cut pepperoni substitute with deli ham

1 egg, beaten for egg wash

Additional pizza sauce for dipping, warmed.

Method:

Preheat oven to 375’F. Prepare a high sided baking sheet with parchment and spray lightly with non-stick cooking spray.

Place the dough on a clean lightly floured work surface roll out to approximately 10×16 inch rectangle. Roll up onto the rolling pin and transfer the dough into the parchment- lay flat.

Spread pizza sauce over 2/3’s of the dough lengthwise, leaving a 3×16 rectangle of plain dough along one of the edges.

Top the sauce with half the grated cheese, salami and ham. Top with remaining cheese.

Brush the blank strip of dough with the egg wash. Fold in the ends ( sorta like rolling a burrito ) about an inch, and brush them with egg wash as well. This will assist with the Stromboli from oozing out all its goodness in the oven.

Roll up like a jelly roll lengthwise starting along the long edge of dough topped with all the fillings and ending with the plain strip of dough on the bottom of the roll. Bake seam side down to keep closed.

Brush the entire Stromboli with the additional egg-wash and gently cut thin slits on the top of the dough every 1-2 inches.

Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and bake 8-10 minutes or until crispy and golden brown.

Remove from oven, cool 5-8 minutes and slice into pieces. Serve with additional pizza sauce for dipping or drizzling.