Today I received news that I have been honored by being named in Full Service Restaurant Magazine’s “40 Under 40-Rising Stars” (a link to the article will follow this recipe). I was so excited by this I decided to commemorate the day by writing my first post in almost two months!
Many of my favorite recipes were either accidents, twists on something I read, or things taught to me I just couldn't help but stop and write it down. This is my Leather Bound Book.
Since it has been so long since my last entry I decided to make this one really shine. When I decided to make a Butternut Squash Lasagna I scoured the web trying to find something within the realm of what I wanted to do. I found some that put cookies in it, some with cinnamon and sugar, and some very far off ones that made it with marshmallows. I tossed the idea around my head trying to find complex but complimenting ingredients. I knew a red sauce wouldn’t work, so I went with the subtle and simple béchamel which wouldn’t overpower the squash and would complement the ricotta. Low and behold, success.
When I wake up on most rainy mornings I just shrug it off because this is Pennsylvania. This morning however, I couldn’t shake the feeling. One day snow, one day bitter cold, and the next a light drizzle: It’s Christmas season and I want snow! Then I started thinking, what did I make the last time it rained that made me feel better? The answer was a dish I have not craved in a long while: Soup. This soup in particular I used in a cooking competition against a fellow Chef and Restaurateur, and I owe some of that success to this soup. This is one of those simple soups that does not require a lot of steps, nor is there a high chance of failure and the family will love it.
This year I was lucky enough to cook a private dinner for an amazing group of people from the local Relay for Life. It had been years since I had done an event like this, but I knew no matter what I would make sure they had a dinner to remember. This is the first of four posts and the start of a delicious and fun evening. I am a huge fan of cheese with fruit as an appetizer and it has been a long time since I have found anyone that doesn’t love cheese. This recipe combines the creaminess of brie, texture of a crispy fresh baguette, sweetness of honey glazed pear and the spice from the walnuts. My guests called it a flavor explosion and you are sure to enjoy it too.
A couple of weeks ago I went on vacation to my favorite beach in the world. Normally my vacations consist of eating out for 2 meals a day, only going to locally owned places of course. When I dine out, I want it to be an event. I want to meet the Chef or the owner and I want to know the history of the place and their experiences. I started off saying “normally”, because this year we tried doing something different. Lucky me, I cooked lunch and dinner often. One of the nights I decided to do something I have never done at home: Make meatballs. I remember making meatballs with my Mema Ellie when I was a child, but not at home since I became a Chef. Since I was making it for my girlfriend, I did it a little different than Mema Ellie’s or I that do at my restaurant.