Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Look Out Green Bean Casserole Here Comes the Competition

What could be better than Pancetta and squash together.  Well add some roasted Brussels sprouts and Boursin cheese and  you'll find out.  This recipe can be made ahead and it is so delicious.
Pancetta, Brussels’ Sprout and Squash Gratin

              Butter for pan
1   lb       Brussels sprouts trimmed and shredded
4   cups  butternut squash large dice
2   Tbsp..   olive oil
6            slices pancetta chopped into ½ inch pieces
1          small onion diced
4   oz    Boursin cheese
1   cup  chicken stock
1   cup  gruyere or Swiss shredded


1   Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Butter a 13x9 pan.

2   Toss squash with oil; season with salt and pepper. Roast on a rimmed baking sheet 30-35 minutes; until tender crisp.  Stir half way through baking.

3   Meanwhile cook pancetta in a skillet over medium heat until crisp.  Drain on paper towels .Cook onions in pancetta grease until tender and fragrant.  Add Boursin and chicken stock.  Whisk until cheese is melted and smooth. Bring to a boil then simmer 1 minute. Place vegetables in buttered pan ;toss to combine.  Pour cheese sauce over vegetables.  Stir gently.  Sprinkle with gruyere.  Bake 20 minutes.  Cover with foil if cheeses begin to brown too much.
Take it One Prep at a Time,
Chef Jackie

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Where's the Beef?

At the beginning of the holiday season I can wait to have turkey and ham by Christmas I am ready for something else.  This flank steak fits the bill.  I is easy and a change of pace while still being special.  I do drag out the grill and sear it because I like the flavor and the way it looks.  It can be seared in a pan if you rather not go outside.  Who knows with Michigan weather I may end up inside too:)

Winter Steak with Wild Mushroom Ragout

2            Flank steak, cleaned
½   cup  red wine
½   cup  olive oil
2    Tbsp.  garlic
2    Tbsp.  herbs (thyme, parsley)
             Salt and pepper to taste
Wild Mushroom:
1    cup  shitake mushrooms cleaned and sliced
1    cup  Portobello mushrooms, sliced
1    cup  button mushrooms, quartered
¼   cup  olive oil
¼     cup  red wine vinegar
                salt and pepper to taste
Blue Cheese Ragout:
5      Tbsp.  butter
½             small onion, diced
3      oz.    dry sherry (optional)
6      Tbsp.  white flour or brown rice flour
1 ½   cup  hot heavy cream
¾     cup  good quality crumbled blue or gorgonzola cheese
½     lb.     sliced Pancetta or bacon, fried crisp and crumbled or diced small.



1   Combine marinade ingredients. Marinade flank overnight and grill on BBQ or sear and roast in oven. Let flank rest and slice on bias.

Wild Mushroom Ragout:

1   Mix mushrooms with oil, vinegar and salt and pepper.  Roast on baking sheet at 350 for 15 minutes or until tender or pan fry until liquid from the mushrooms have evaporated.

Blue cheese Fondue:

1   Melt butter and sauté onion until golden, deglaze with dry sherry.

2   Add flour and cook for 2-3 minutes over moderate heat.

3   Add hot cream and whisk until smooth.  Simmer over low heat for 10-12 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.

4   Remove from heat and stir in blue cheese.  Stir in roasted mushrooms.

Platter or plate set up:

1   Arrange mushroom/blue cheese fondue on platter or plate top with steak slices. Garnish with pancetta.

Yield: 10-12 servings
Grain free-Omit the flour
Take it One Prep at a Time,
Chef Jackie


Monday, December 15, 2014

Pies the Limit-Seafood Pot Pie

This seafood pot pie is so versatile it can be a main coarse or a appetizer.  Sometimes I top it with puff pastry and other times phyloo dough.  If I cool the filling I can roll it in phyloo to make strudel or individual pastry purses.  This is a nice addition to any holiday gathering.
It can also be served as a soup or stew.

 Making the Filling
Phyloo Topping
Puff Pastry Topping 
 Finished Pie

New England Holiday Pot Pie

1/2   cup        butter
3     Tbsp.        minced shallots
2                   celery stalk diced
1                   red pepper diced
1/2   cup        flour
½    cup        white wine or sherry
2     cups      seafood stock, chicken or clam juice
4     cups      heavy cream
1     pound    slipper lobster meat, sliced into medallions
2     pounds  raw shrimp (21/24)
1    pound   bay scallops
1    pound   crab meat, picked
¾   cups     corn
12   oz         cleaned baby spinach or kale
1                 lemon juice and zest
2    Tbs       mustard powder
2    tsp        sea salt
1    tsp        fresh cracked pepper
2    Tbs       fresh dill
2    sheets   puff pastry


1   Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In large heavy bottom rondo style pot melt butter and sauté’ shallots, celery and red pepper.  Stir in flour and cook 1-2 minutes.  Deglaze with white wine or sherry; add corn.

2   Add seafood stock or clam juice, cream and seasonings; cook 2 minutes or until liquid begins to thicken.

3   Add seafood, corn, spinach and lemon juice and zest; continue to cook over medium low heat for 3-4 minutes.

4   Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper and pour into 12-16 individual or 1-15x9 inch glass baking dish preferably white.

5   For individual servings cut pastry dough to fit on top of each serving and bake until a deep golden brown.

6   For large crock place puff pastry sheet over filling and bake until a deep golden brown; about 30 minutes.

Yield: 12-16
Take it One Prep at a Time,
Chef Jackie


Sunday, December 14, 2014

Delicious and Nutritious Holiday Salad

I don't know about you but after a few holiday parties and dinners I really crave some thing healthy.  This salad can be served at the main event or as light lunch or dinner during the holidays.

Holiday Jeweled Baby Kale Salad

4    cups  of baby organic Kale
¼   cup    chopped apricots
¼   cup    dried cherries
¼   cup    candied dates
¼   cup    toasted walnuts
½   cup    crumbled goat cheese
1            small red onion shaved thin
4   Tbsp..    chopped parsley
2   cups  cooked quinoa (red or white)
              Seeds from 1 large pomegranate
              4-6 ounces; Cider, lemon or balsamic vinaigrette
              Sea salt and pepper to taste


1   Toss all ingredients together and serve.

Take it One Prep at a Time,
Chef Jackie