Tag Archives: recipe

5 Perfect Recipes for the Holidays

It’s the greatest time of year, and it’s all because of the…presents? The weather? The holiday movie specials on television? No, it’s pretty much all about the food. Picture a toasty evening by the fire, everyone is huddled up listening to the soft snow brushing up against the window, the eggnog has made its way into your belly, and the sleepiness after a good meal is starting to kick in. Best feeling ever.

We have five fantastic recipes from our Chefs of the Month that we’d love to share with you so you can have a great holiday meal too!

1.Chef Yvonne Anderson-Thomas’ Smoked Chicken Legs Recipe

Smoky and savory, this chicken recipe is sure to delight family and friends alike!

smoked chicken

3. Chef Claude’s Sirloin & Mushroom Casserole Recipe

Why not take a risk and try a juicy sirloin for a holiday meal? Chef Claude’s recipe is so delicious that we just can’t stop thinking about it!

sirloin

3. Chef Megan’s Spicy Gorgonzola Sweet Mashed Potatoes

Try a little spin on a classic dish!

Spicy Mash

4. Chef Lauren’s Asian Pear Slaw

A salad is a great, yummy and healthy addition to any meal! Try adding this side salad to your main course!

Asian Pear Slaw Image

5. Chef Julie’s Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes

Fall and Winter has us pining for Pumpkin! Chef Julie’s delicious cupcakes will be the perfect sweet treat to any holiday meal!

YBC-pic Pumpkin Pie

Some of the recipes above are traditional and some have a little twist. The holidays are all about joy and love, why not spread a little? Chef style!

 

Chef Gina’s Pesto Recipe

pesto salad.jpg

Roasted Pesto Potatoes, Pesto Noodles, Caprese Grilled Cheese with Arugula Pesto and Pesto Salad. What do all these delicious dishes have in common? Pesto.

Pesto is a delicious, yet simple sauce that can be bought at any supermarket or grocery store, but Chef Gina has a better idea. She has shared a great and simple-to-make pesto recipe that is guaranteed to enhance the flavor to any dish! Find her recipe below.

Ingredients

Fresh Basil(2 -3 cups, but I say you can never have enough basil)

Sometimes I’ll add arugula if I have leftover for some extra kick & nice color 

Pignoli nuts (about 2-2.5 tablespoons)

Fresh garlic (to taste)

Cucina Bambina Extra Virgin Olive oil

Parmesan cheese

Salt & pepper

Directions

1. Blend basil, pignoli nuts and garlic in a blender. Gradually add the olive oil and Parmesan cheese until desired consistency.

2. Season with salt & pepper to taste.

3. Enjoy!

 

Connect with our November Chef of the Month: 

Instagram: @cucinabambinainc

Twitter: @CucinaBambina

Facebook: Cucina Bambina Inc

Chef Gina’s Bruschetta Recipe

Bruschetta is a tasty and easy-to-make dish that can be a great compliment to an Italian entree, a delicious appetizer, or even a platter to serve while entertaining! Our Chef of the month, Gina Sansonia has shared her yummy Bruschetta recipe. Find it below!

Bruschetta

Ingredients

Roma tomatoes – small dice (leave seeds & juice that’s the best part!)

Chopped Basil

Cucina Bambina Extra virgin olive oil

Red onion – small dice (optional)

Salt

Pepper

1 clove of garlic – minced (you can use garlic powder if you don’t have fresh garlic)

1 baguette – thinly sliced on a bias

Directions

1. Lightly brush/drizzle olive oil on bread slices.

2. Season bread with salt and fresh pepper, then toast in the oven to a desired crisp.

3. Set aside and allow to cool.

4. In a separate bowl, mix all the ingredients.(You can do this a day or so in advance for the flavors to marinate together. The longer it sits, the better it tastes).

5. When ready to serve, spoon tomato mixture over your toasted bread. (I use a slotted spoon to ensure the bread isn’t too wet).

6. Spoon a little of the juice on top & garnish with extra basil.

7. Assemble when ready to serve & enjoy!

 

Connect with our November Chef of the Month: 

Instagram: @cucinabambinainc

Twitter: @CucinaBambina

Facebook: Cucina Bambina Inc

 

November 2018 Chef of the Month Gina Sansonia

Shop Her Look!

Image 2We’re delighted to introduce our November 2018 Chef of the Month, Gina Sansonia! Chef Gina is the Executive Chef/Owner of Cucina Bambina, a mobile, gourmet Italian eatery that is located in Hollywood, FL. Gina is a driven and passionate chef, with a zest for life…and basil! We can’t wait to share her story and delicious recipes!  Read below to learn about Chef Gina Sansonia and her passion for food.

 

 

1. Where were you born? 

I was born and raised in New York.

2. Where do you work and where are you based? 

I’m the Executive Chef/Owner of Cucina Bambina Inc. We’re a mobile, Gourmet Italian Eatery based out of Hollywood, FL. We travel all over the state participating in various festivals in addition to catering private events.

3. What is your favorite kitchen tool in creating your masterpieces/dishes?

I have an obsession with spoons…. they’re just so handy!

4.What is your sharpest sense out of all the 5 senses?

I have a keen sense of smell.

5. What advice would you offer for aspiring chefs?

Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do something. If you have passion, drive, a strong work ethic and a vision….you can make it happen-you just have to put in the work

6. What is one culinary tip every chef should know and perfect?

Work smarter …. not harder.

7. What does good food mean to you?

I firmly believe that good food comes from the heart, along with quality ingredients.

8. What features are important to you when selecting your chef outfit? 

COMFORT and style.

9. Favorite ingredient to work with? 

I’m OBSESSED with basil.😍

10. Favorite City to dine out in? 

NYC, baby! Although I would like to check out the Chicago food scene. I hear amazing things.

11. Best Dish you have ever made? 

I make a mean rice ball if I do say so myself and many call me “The Meatball Queen”. Both of those are always crowd pleasers.

12. What do you like to eat most on your days off?

I typically don’t sit down and eat structured “meals”. I’m content with a good old bag of Doritos surprisingly enough!

13. Person you most like to cook for? 

Hands down my nieces and nephews. I love how excited and engaged they become.  It really is special.

14. What made you decide to become a chef? 

After losing my father to cancer, and being diagnosed with Celiac Disease, it made me look at food differently and (not to sound cliché) made me realize that life is too short. I just went for it!

Connect with our November Chef of the Month: 

Instagram: @cucinabambinainc

Twitter: @CucinaBambina

Facebook: Cucina Bambina Inc

Chef Penelope’s Black Mussels with Korean Street Corn Espuma

IMG_4803.JPGShellfish may seem intimidating to some cooks without experience, but our September Chef of the Month, Chef Penelope Wong, crafts a seafood recipe fit for anyone to attempt. Serve these Black Mussels with Korean Street Corn Espuma for your next casual dinner to impress your guests with the complex and delicate flavors of seafood!

Ingredients

Mussels:

  • 1 pound fresh black mussels
  • 1 ear corn
  • 2 oz. roasted garlic oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp. sambal chili garlic paste
  • 4 oz. Japanese mirin rice wine
  • 2 oz. unsalted butter

Espuma:

  • 2 ears fresh sweet corn, kernels cut off, reserve cobs
  • 1 shallot minced
  • ½ tsp. Spiceology Korean chili flake
  • ¼ tsp. kosher salt
  • pinch ground black peppercorn
  • ¼ C. Japanese mirin rice wine
  • 1 C. homemade chicken stock
  • 2 oz. unsalted butter, chilled
  • 6 oz. heavy whipping cream
  • Micro cilantro

Procedure

Espuma:

  1. In a small stock pot, add in 1 tbsp. olive oil, sauté shallots and cut corn for 2 minutes, until corn becomes slightly charred.
  2. Add in reserved corn cobs, Korean chili flake, salt and pepper and continue to sauté.
  3. Add in mirin rice wine and allow to reduce by half.
  4. Add in chicken stock and lower heat to a slow boil.
  5. Continue to cook for 15 minutes.
  6. Remove cobs and discard. Transfer items to a high-speed vita mix blender and add in cold butter.  Starting on low speed and low power, puree and gradually increase speed to high and turn power on high, slowly pour in heavy whipping cream.
  7. Allow mixture to cool slightly to approximately 80 degrees F.
  8. Transfer to an ISI charger and reserve.

Mussels:

  1. Submerge mussels in a bowl of cold water to clean.
  2. Rub fresh corn with garlic oil and salt & pepper. Char on a grill until lightly browned.
  3. Cut kernels off of the cob and discard cob.
  4. Strain mussels.
  5. Heat a sauté pan with 1 tbsp. olive oil, add in mussels and sauté for 2 minutes or until they just start to open.
  6. Add in cut corn and sambal and sauté for 1 minute.
  7. Add in mirin rice wine and cover to continue cooking mussels for 1 minute.
  8. Add in butter and swirl in pan to slightly emulsify.

For plating: apply corn espuma into the center of a shallow bowl.  Spoon mussels on top of espuma and sprinkle with additional Korean chili flake and garnish with micro cilantro.

Connect with Our September Chef of the Month:

Shop Her Look!

Instagram: @penelopewong

Chef Penelope’s Pan Roasted Snapper Recipe


IMG_4536Our September Chef of the Month, Chef Penelope Wong, has shared with us a gourmet recipe for your next dinner party or event – her Pan-Roasted Red Snapper with Star Anise roasted Bok Choy, Radishes, and Dashi. This Asian-influenced dish offers mild, earthy flavors and sweetness blended with the nuttiness of red snapper. Follow the steps below to recreate Chef Penelope’s masterpiece for yourself!

Ingredients:

4-6 oz. skin-on red snapper fillet, scaled

8 oz. unsalted butter

2 bulbs bok choy, quartered

½ tsp. ground star anise

4 oz. roasted garlic oil

1 tsp soy

8 assorted radishes, cleaned and tops trimmed

4 oz. dashi broth

½ gallon cold water

16 oz. dried kombu seaweed

3 cups bonito flakes

1 shallot

4 oz pickled ginger

1 oz soy

6 oz Japanese mirin

Steps:

Dashi Broth

  1. Soak kombu in water over a very low flame for 1 hour.
  2. Add bonito flakes and increase heat slightly.
  3. Continue to simmer to 45 minutes and strain.
  4. In a separate stock pot, heat 1 tbsp sesame oil and saute minced shallot and pickled ginger.
  5. Add in soy and mirin, reduce by half.
  6. Add in strained bonito broth.
  7. Simmer 30 minutes – strain and plate.

Veggies

  1. Heat dashi broth in a small stock pot.
  2. Add in cleaned radishes and allow to simmer on low heat to poach the radishes for 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  4. Marinate quartered bok choy in star anise, roasted garlic, and soy.
  5. Place in shallow baking pan and bake for 5-7 minutes, or until cooked through and browned.

Pan-roasted Red snapper

  1. Put 2 tbsp. olive oil in a high-heat well-seasoned saute pan.
  2. When oil starts to smoke, add fish fillets skin side down to sear,
  3. Sear 1 minute and flip with a fish spatula,
  4. Add in butter and start to baste the skin of the fish with the hot butter to crisp the skin,
  5. Continue to baste for 1-2 minutes, or until fish is cooked through and skin is browned and crisp,
  6. Plate pan-roasted red snapper on top of roasted bok choy (and wasabi whipped potatoes if desired). Ladle dashi broth around, garnishing with a few poached radishes.

Connect with Our September Chef of the Month:

Shop Her Look!

Instagram: @penelopewong

Chef Claude’s Sirloin & Mushroom Casserole Recipe

sirloinOur August Chef of the Month, Chef Claude of Pizza Rustica Hollywood, has shared with us a recipe to save for a romantic date or dinner party for two – his sirloin with a mushroom casserole and white bean tomato salad. Steak can sometimes be a daunting challenge, but Chef Claude’s elegant recipe, featuring two succulent side dishes, can be easily prepared with the steps below!

 Ingredients: 

1 7oz lean sirloin

Butter

Olive Oil

White Wine

Red Wine Vinegar

1 cup mushrooms

Minced garlic

Parsley

Asiago Cheese

2 Tomatoes

1/4 Onion

1/4 Can of White beans

Salt/Pepper to taste

Directions: 

Lean Sirloin

  1. Pre-heat a pan and brush your steak with half an ounce of olive oil and salt/pepper.
  2. Sear steak on hot pan for 2 minutes on both sides, if steak is an inch thick.
  3. Place on a cutting board to rest for at least 5 minutes. Once rested, slice steak against the grain.

Mushroom Casserole

  1. Pre-heat butter and olive oil in a pan.
  2. Cook mushrooms in butter and olive oil at medium heat until tender.
  3. Halfway through cooking, add minced garlic, parsley, salt/pepper, and a splash of white wine.
  4. Let liquids deglaze the pan and add asiago cheese. Let cheese melt at low heat while covered.

Tomato White Bean Salad

  1. Dice 2 tomatoes and a ¼ of an onion. Place in a bowl.
  2. Add fresh basil, parsley, olive oil, and ¼ can of white beans that have been rinsed.
  3. Splash with red wine vinegar and salt/pepper to taste.
  4. Toss salad and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  5. Serve with tortilla chips on the side.

Connect with Our August Chef of the Month:

Shop his look!

Instagram: @pizzarusticahollywood

Facebook: Pizza Rustica- Hollywood

 

Chef Claude’s Sicilian Classic Pizza Recipe

IMG_3382Our August Chef of the Month, Chef Claude has shared with us a fan favorite recipe – his delicious Sicilian Pizza! As the owner of the Pizza Rustica Hollywood location, he is surrounded by pizza everyday. Everyone loves pizza and each person has their own favorite. However, you can never go wrong with a classic cheese Siclian pizza! Get his recipe below to make yours at home!

Ingredients: 

1 package of aged pizza dough, precooked

Tomato sauce (recommended with basil, parsley and garlic)

Fresh mozzarella cheese

Directions: 

1. Pre-heat oven to 400 F°.

2. Roll out your precooked dough onto a sheet pan.

3. Add cold tomato sauce that has fresh basil, prasley and garlic on top of the dough. You can buy tomato sauce or make your own!

4. Top the dough and sauce with fresh mozzarella cheese.

5. Cook for 10 minutes. Slice into squares and enjoy!

Connect with Our August Chef of the Month:

Shop his look!

Instagram: @pizzarusticahollywood

Facebook: Pizza Rustica- Hollywood

 

Chef Julie’s Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes

Pumpkin Pie is always a fan favorite during the holiday season. Time to lighten it up with Chef Julie’s Pumpkin Pie Cupcake recipe! Experience the holiday warmth in a fluffy cupcake all year round finished off with a whipped cream frosting – what could be better!?  YBC-pic Pumpkin Pie

Cupcake Ingredients:

Homemade pie crust

1 can (15 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin

4 large eggs

1/2 cup canola oil

1/2 cup water

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

3 cups all-purpose flour

2 cups sugar

1 tablespoon cornstarch

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

1/2 teaspoon salt

Whipped Cream Frosting:

2 cups heavy whipping cream

1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar

Ground cinnamon or nutmeg

 Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Line 24 muffin cups with grease proof liners.
  2. On a work surface, roll out pie crust.
  3. Cut 24 circles with a floured 2-1/4-in. round cookie cutter, re-rolling scraps as necessary.
  4. Press one pastry circle into each liner. Bake 5 minutes. Cool on wire racks.
  5. In a large bowl, beat pumpkin, eggs, oil, water and vanilla until well blended.
  6. In another bowl, whisk flour, sugar, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, pie spice and salt; gradually beat into pumpkin mixture.
  7. Pour 1/4 cup batter into each prepared cup.
  8. Bake 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, rotating pans halfway through baking. Cool in pans 10 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely.
  9. For whipped cream frosting: in a large bowl, beat cream until it begins to thicken. Add confectioners’ sugar; beat until soft peaks form. Pipe onto cupcakes with your favorite piping tip and sprinkle with cinnamon or nutmeg.

Enjoy!

Connect with Our June Chef of the Month:

Shop Her Look!

Website: http://www.youbetchacupcake.com/

Instagram: @youbetchacupcake

Facebook: You Betcha Cupcake

Twitter: @YouBetchaCupcak

 

December 2016 Chef of the Month Rod Knight

chef-rod-jump-with-hat2Can you believe 2016 is coming to a close already? We are extremely excited to showcase our last Chef of the Month for the year: Chef Rod Knight!

We guarantee this is one Chef of the Month you don’t want to miss! Chef Rod went above and beyond and his step-by-step recipes are incredible. Read more about his life and chef career below and make sure to check back next week for his first recipe!

1. Birthplace: Danbury, Connecticut

2. Where do you work and where are you based?

I work at a French brasserie called Thursdays on Las Olas Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

3. What is your favorite kitchen tool in creating your masterpieces/dishes?

My favorite kitchen tool is the vacuum chamber machine. It allows me to literally marinate or pickle something within seconds. It significantly cuts down a lot of time and the amount of waste. Plus, once you vacuum an item it increases the shelf life exponentially.

4. What is your sharpest sense out of all the 5 senses?

Interesting, I think that my sense of touch is my sharpest sense. I have never cut myself more than a nick and I think that has to do with my sense of touch.

5. What advice would you offer for aspiring chefs?

I would say stay curious and focus intently on the details. Good dishes are a combination of very small parts that are put together well. Make sure you are aware of how you communicate. How you communicate is a very important part of being a chef because how you speak and what you say translates to everyone you work with and it will literally better the team.

6. What is one culinary tip every chef should know and perfect?

Keep your pans hot. You aren’t going to get far without hot pans.

7. What does good food mean to you?

Good food to me is something that is exciting to share with others. It also takes into account health and nutrition. I believe you can’t untwine the two. What we are eating and how we are eating but it has to be good for you. Also, good food is fresh with fresh ingredients. I guess to sum it up good food is passion on a plate.

8. What trends do you see emerging in the near future?

There’s been a lot of talk about no tipping. All of the servers’ wages and all of the food prices would get raised to cover the no tipping paradigm. Personally, I think if companies do raise the minimum wage, they will expect more from the employees.

I see a lot more with digital cloud services for cooks training and communication. I think we are going to see a breakdown of titles and positions and see more of the cooks and prep cooks taking on more responsibility which would allow the chefs on duty to administer more effectively. With everything online we are learning faster and quicker and the guys on my team who are in school ask me questions that stump me all the time. On a broader level, this will lead to a lot more creativity to make the things.

9. What features are important to you when selecting a Chef Coat? (particular fabric, style, sleeve length, pockets)

I definitely go with a short sleeve. I like to go with styles that breathe easy. I do like a more traditional style but with a modern fresh approach. I am slim, so I prefer a slimmer fit. I don’t like button ups. The coats I have now have material like Nike dry fit that wicks away moisture and are light weight.

10. What is your go-to chef outfit? Do you prefer coats, tees, pants, shorts, aprons, hats, etc?

For my go-to workwear, I usually wear a cargo style black pant. I typically wear one of my white chef coats. Sometimes I will wear a cap but I always wear crocs.

11. Favorite ingredient to work with?

This is hard, my favorite ingredient I like to work with is Dijon mustard.  I specifically like to pair it with maple, mustard, and Cajun to make a really good marinade that is a little spicy. For a quick fix, I like to have pan seared salmon and splatter mustard on there and bread crumbs. Or red wine vinaigrette adding Dijon. I find it to be a very versatile condiment. But of course, you can’t live without eggs.

12. Best Dish you have ever made?

Okay, so this is fun. I came across this recipe maybe a year ago. I came across a website that had Berbere, an Ethiopian spice. Last year I really got into spices. This one is really cool, so I tried it out. It is smoky, spicy and red in color. It is extensive work to toast it and to process it. It has a very eastern flavor, I guess they have been using it for centuries. So I went to the fish market and got Bronzino. I was having some people over for dinner so I did a dry rub and got a really nice roast on the fish, it was almost magical. I served it with lemon roasted tomatoes. It was very exotic, with Chile peppers, garlic, ginger, basil, and a little bit of nutmeg.

13. Place you eat most often on your days off?

There is a sushi place in Pompano Beach. It is called 9 Face Sushi and they knock it out of the ballpark. Always fresh, the service is amazing. I like to sit outside and enjoy the view.

14. Person you would most like to cook for?

You know what, I’d like to cook for Stan Lee.

15. What made you decide to become a chef?

I am an only child. My mom is a chemical engineer. I would get out of school and go home. I would watch 3 shows on Food Network. These shows got me into and gave me permission to get my hands dirty. I would have food made, I can’t imagine it was good at the time. So I started doing things in elementary school.

But I applied and got into a Connecticut vocational technical school in the culinary department when I was in high school. I started learning techniques. My junior year, Johnson and Wales got accreditation and I got an associate’s degree in culinary. It took burning a lot of things and figuring out where I went wrong and teaching it to the next person. To sum it up, I became a chef because of curiosity and a lot of it has to do with the fact that I am creative. Being a chef, I found a happy place to be and express my creativity every day.

16. What is new on your DVR?

On my DVR is Preacher, The Walking Dead, and The Flash. Those are my top three shows that I make time to watch.

Once again thank you to Chef Rod Knight and don’t forget to stay tuned for his recipes that will be featured throughout the month.

 

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