Celebrity Chef Recipes

In a cooking rut? Try one of these celebrity chef recipes to break out of it.

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Mini Prime Cheese Burgers with Remoulade and Aged Cheddar

-- Wolfgang Puck, celebrity chef and restaurateur.


Makes 12 mini burgers


3/4 pound ground Wagyu Snake River Farms beef
Pinch of Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
6 ounces aged cheddar cheese, sliced
6 slices Brioche bread, punched out with a 2-inch ring cutter
Remoulade Sauce (recipe follows)
Arugula leaves
6 cherry tomatoes, sliced
3 cornichons, sliced


Preheat a grill or grill pan.

Put the ground beef in a bowl and season with a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Mix together with your hands to combine. Take a small amount (about 2 tablespoons worth) of the ground beef and roll it in the palm of your hand like you are making meatballs. Flatten the top slightly and put the mini burger patties on a side plate. Drizzle the burgers with oil and season the tops with salt and pepper. Turn the burgers over and season the other side.


Place the burgers on the hot grill. Cook for 3 minutes, then turn them over with tongs. Put about 1/2 ounce of aged cheddar cheese on top of the burgers, allowing it to melt. While that’s cooking, put the brioche circles on the grill. Let them toast slightly on both sides, about 2 minutes total time.


To put the burgers together: Put the toasted brioche circles on a platter. Top each with a small spoonful of Remoulade. Put the burger on top (cheese side up), followed by an arugula leaf, a slice of tomato and a slice of cornichon.


Remoulade Sauce


2 cups heavy cream
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon sweet paprika
2 tablespoons peanut oil
3/4 cup of brunoise of red onion
1/2 cup of brunoise of red bell pepper
1/2 cup of brunoise of yellow bell pepper

In a saucepan, combine the heavy cream, garlic, rosemary and paprika. Reduce by half. Allow to cool to room temperature. In a sauté pan, heat the peanut oil. Sweat the onions, red and yellow bell pepper until glossy. Transfer to a plate and allow to cool to room temperature.

Photo Credit: Wolfgang Puck Fine Dining Group

Crispy Tuna Sliders with Citrus Slaw

-- Nadia Giosia, host of the Cooking Channel show, Nadia G's Bitchin' Kitchen, and author of Cookin' For Trouble.

Canned tuna can be depressing... although it has become slightly less depressing ever since they discovered that water purification plants can’t filter out antidepressants, but I digress. Watch tuna go from blah to Bitchin’ with these crispy tuna sliders: golden pan‑fried tuna patties, topped with citrusy slaw, served on fresh mini buns.

Makes 8 sliders

1 small red cabbage, shredded

1 1/2 tbsp raw sugar
sea salt
1 tbsp poppy seeds
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 fresh lime, juiced
freshly ground black pepper,
to taste
1/2 cup minced fresh parsley
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1 fresh red chile pepper, minced
1 rib celery, minced
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp celery seeds
1 egg, beaten
1 tbsp heavy cream
3 green onions, finely sliced
2 cups canned tuna in water, drained
1/3 cup dry breadcrumbs
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
canola oil
8 slider buns


To make the slaw:

In a large bowl combine the shredded cabbage, 1 tablespoon of raw sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt. Toss it, cover, and refrigerate for 30 minutes to brine. In a jar, combine the poppy seeds, mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon of Dijon, lime juice, 1/2 tablespoon of raw sugar, 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt, and lots of freshly ground black pepper. Close the jar and shake it until it’s well mixed. Pour the dressing into the slaw along with 1/4 cup of parsley, and toss.

To make the tuna patties:

Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the garlic, chile pepper, rib of celery, cayenne, celery seeds, 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt, and freshly ground pepper to taste. Sauté for 3 minutes, then take it off the heat and let the mixture cool for about 10 minutes. In a large bowl whisk together the egg, cream, 1 tablespoon of Dijon, green onions, 1/4 cup of fresh parsley, the garlic-chile-celery mixture, and sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Fold in the tuna and breadcrumbs. With lightly floured hands, shape about 1/4 cup of tuna mixture into a patty. Repeat with the remaining tuna mixture. Dredge the patties in flour, and pop them in the freezer to firm up for 10 minutes. Heat 1/2 inch of canola oil to 350°F on a thermometer in a large frying pan, and fry the tuna patties for 3 to 5 minutes, until golden and heated through. Drain them on paper towels.

Place each tuna patty onto a slider bun, and top with the citrusy slaw.


From COOKIN' FOR TROUBLE by Nadia Giosia. Published by Ballantine.


Photo Credit: Courtesy of Ballantine

Slow Cooked Carnitas Tacos

-- Marcela Valladolid, host of the Food Network show, Mexican Made Easy, and author of the cookbook, Mexican Made Easy.


Uruapan, a city in the central part of Michoacan, is famous for its pork carnitas—so much so that it is also the name of one of the most popular carnitas restaurants in Tijuana. Traditionally, pork is cooked in lard in large copper pots (prized for their even heat conductivity) until it’s melt-in-your-mouth tender. At this particular restaurant, I would sit at a large communal wooden table, with the carnitas and all their toppings in the center. I’d always order an orange soda, but for the grownups there’s nothing like an ice-cold beer with the carnitas. For this recipe, you don’t need the copper pot or to be watching over the cooking process. Just pop the seared pork in the slow cooker and let it go.


Serves 4 to 6


½ cup lard or trans-fat–free vegetable shortening
2 pounds pork butt, cut into 2-inch cubes (4 cups)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 black peppercorns
2 bay leaves
2 medium white onions
4 garlic cloves, peeled
12 (6-inch) corn tortillas, warmed
Salsa Asada (page 148) or purchased salsa
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro


1 Melt the lard in a heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle the pork all over with salt and pepper and add to the pan. Sear the meat on all sides, turning occasionally, until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Transfer the meat and juices to the insert of a slow cooker along with ½ tablespoon salt, the peppercorns, and bay leaves. Quarter one of the onions and add to the slow cooker with the garlic cloves. Cover the slow cooker and cook on high until the meat is very tender and falling apart, about 3½ hours.

2 Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pork to a cutting board. Discard the onion and garlic. Cool slightly. Using your fingers, shred the pork. Transfer the carnitas to a platter.


3 Slice the remaining onion. Serve the carnitas with warm tortillas, the salsa, sliced onion, and cilantro for making soft tacos.


beans and carnitas: Chop the carnitas and reheat with rinsed and drained canned black beans and 1 whole serrano chile. Mix with fresh cilantro and serve in individual soup bowls.
carnitas volcano: Crisp corn tortillas on a baking sheet in a 400°F preheated oven for 15 minutes. Sprinkle each tortilla with shredded Oaxara or mozzarella cheese and cook until the cheese is completely melted. Top each with carnitas and serve with fresh salsa.


Reprinted from Mexican Made Easy by Marcela Valladolid. Copyright © 2011. Photos copyright © 2011 by Jennifer Martiné. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, a division of Random House, Inc.

Photo Credit: Jennifer Martiné

Pumpkin Bread Pudding with Spicy Caramel Apple Sauce

-- Bobby Flay, Food Network star and author of several cookbooks, including Bobby Flay's Bar Americain Cookbook: Celebrate America's Great Flavors

This fantastic dessert is perfect for the cool months of late fall and winter. Cubes of tender pumpkin bread are baked in a rich custard laced with bourbon and maple syrup. Crisp apple cider is the base of a buttery caramel sauce spiced with fresh ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and star anise. Forget about serving the same-old pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving and put this out instead for a new twist on two old classics. The recipe includes directions for making your own pumpkin bread to use in the pudding, but you can of course also use a loaf of pumpkin bread from your favorite bakery. Brioche or cinnamon-raisin  bread would also work perfectly.


Serves 8


Unsalted butter, for the pan
8 cups 1⁄2-inch cubed Pumpkin Bread (see below) or other bread
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
6 large egg yolks
1⁄2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1 cup canned pumpkin puree, not flavored pie filling
2 tablespoons bourbon
Freshly whipped cream, for serving


1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Butter a 10-inch glass baking dish.


2. Spread the bread cubes on a large baking sheet and bake in the oven, turning once, until lightly toasted, about 15 minutes. Let cool.


3. Combine the cream, milk, and vanilla bean and seeds in a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to a simmer.

4. Whisk together the yolks, sugar, maple syrup, and pumpkin puree in a large bowl. Slowly whisk in the hot cream mixture until combined. Discard the vanilla bean and whisk in the bourbon.


5. Scatter the pumpkin bread cubes in the prepared baking dish. Pour the custard over the bread, pressing down on the bread to totally submerge it in the custard. Let sit for 15 minutes to allow the bread to soak up some of the custard.

6. Place the dish in a larger roasting pan and pour hot water into the roasting pan until it comes halfway up the sides of the glass dish. Bake until the sides are slightly puffed and the center jiggles slightly, about 1 hour. Remove from the oven and the water bath and cool on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes before serving.


7. Serve the warm bread pudding topped with
whipped cream and drizzled with spicy caramel
apple sauce (see below). Sprinkle with pumpkin seeds if desired.


Pumpkin Bread
Makes 1 (9-inch) loaf
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, plus more for the pan
1 3⁄4 cups all-purpose flour
1⁄2 teaspoon fine salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1⁄2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1⁄2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1⁄4 teaspoon ground allspice
1⁄4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 1⁄2 cups sugar
1⁄4 cup vegetable oil
Scant 1 cup canned pumpkin puree, not flavored pie filling
2 large eggs


1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter a 9-inch loaf pan.


2. Whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves in a small bowl.


3. Beat the butter, sugar, and oil on high speed in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl a few times, until light and fluffy, about 1 minute.


4. Add the pumpkin puree and mix until combined. Add the eggs, one at a time, and mix until just incorporated. Mixing on low speed, slowly add the flour mixture and 2⁄3 cup water and mix until just combined. Spread the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove from the pan and let cool completely.

Spicy Caramel Apple Sauce
Makes about 2 cups
1 cup heavy cream
1⁄2 cup apple juice
1 star anise
1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
4 cloves
2 cinnamon sticks
1⁄8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 1⁄2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon apple schnapps


1. Combine the cream, apple juice, star anise, ginger, cloves, cinnamon sticks, and nutmeg in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Remove from the heat and let steep for at least 20 minutes. Strain the mixture into a clean small saucepan and place back over low heat while you make the caramel.

2. Combine the sugar, 1⁄2 cup water, and the vinegar in a medium saucepan over high heat and cook without stirring until a deep amber color, 8 to 10 minutes. Slowly and carefully whisk in the warm cream mixture a little at a time, and continue whisking until smooth. Add the apple schnapps and cook for 30 seconds longer. Transfer to a bowl and keep warm. The sauce can be made 2 days in advance and refrigerated. Reheat over low heat before serving.


Reprinted from Bobby Flay’s Bar Americain Cookbook by Bobby Flay with Stephanie Banyas and Sally Jackson. Copyright © 2011. Photos copyright © 2011 by Ben Fink. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, a division of Random House, Inc.

Photo Credit: 'Bobby Flay's Bar Americain Cookbook', Clarkson Potter

Roasted Salmon with Hot Mustard Cracker Topping

-- Sara Moulton, author of Sara Moulton's Everyday Family Dinners, and host of "Sara's Weeknight Meals" on Public Television.


Serves 4

1 1/2 teaspoons prepared English mustard (preferably Coleman’s)
1/2 teaspoon packed light brown sugar
35 to 40 wasabi rice crackers (I like the Kame brand)
Four 6-ounce pieces center-cut salmon fillet, skin removed
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Combine the sour cream, mustard, and brown sugar. Coarsely crush the crackers (about 1 cup).


2. Season the salmon on all sides with salt. Arrange the pieces in one layer in a shallow baking pan, skinned side down. Spread the top of each piece with the sour cream mixture and top with some of the crushed crackers. Bake the salmon 10 to 12 minutes, until barely cooked through and serve right away.

Photo Credit: Jessica Leibowitz

Hong Kong–Style Noodles with Chicken and Vegetables

-- Guy Fieri, host of The Food Network Show, Guy's Big Bite, and author of Guy Fieri Food: Cookin' It, Livin' It, Lovin' It.


Serves 4 to 6


6 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons minced ginger
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons chili- garlic paste
4 tablespoons cornstarch
2 small boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1⁄4- inch slices
1 pound chow mein noodles ( the size of spaghetti or soba noodles; I recommend Annie Chung brand)
11 tablespoons canola oil
1 cup white onion cut in 1⁄8- inch shreds
1⁄2 cup red bell pepper cut in 1⁄4-inch strips
1 cup carrot cut in 3 by 1⁄4- inch sticks
1 cup sliced celery cut on a bias, 1⁄2- inch thick
1⁄2 cup stemmed shiitake mushrooms cut in 1⁄2- inch strips
3⁄4 cup snow peas cut in 1⁄2- inch strips
1 cup fresh bean sprouts
3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
1⁄4 teaspoon sesame oil
1 1⁄2 cups Chicken Stock
1⁄2 cup green onion strips (3 by 1⁄4 inch)




1. In a resealable 1- gallon plastic bag, place 3 tablespoons of the soy sauce, the ginger, garlic, chili- garlic paste, and 2 tablespoons of the cornstarch and mix thoroughly. Add the chicken, seal the bag, and marinate for 1 hour in the refrigerator.


2. Fill a large bowl with ice and water. Bring water to a boil in a medium stockpot. Cook the noodles al dente, according to the package directions. Drain the noodles and plunge them into the ice water. Shake them dry and toss with 2 tablespoons of the canola oil to keep them from sticking.


3. Drain the chicken and discard the marinade. In a large skillet or wok over high heat, heat 2 tablespoons of the canola oil until almost smoking and add the chicken, separating the pieces. Stir- fry until browned on all sides and cooked through. Remove and keep warm.


4. In the same skillet, add 2 tablespoons more of the oil. Heat until almost smoking, then add the onion, bell pepper, carrot, and celery. Stir- fry for 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms, snow peas, and bean sprouts. Stir- fry for 1 minute. Return the chicken to the skillet and stir- fry for 1 minute. Add the hoisin, the remaining 3 tablespoons soy sauce, and the sesame oil, toss, and use a slotted spoon to transfer the mixture to a bowl and keep warm.

5. In a small bowl, mix the remaining 2 tablespoons cornstarch and the chicken stock. Pour the mixture into the hot skillet and simmer until reduced by one- third.


6. Meanwhile, heat a 12- inch nonstick skillet over high heat, pour in 3 tablespoons of the oil, and heat it to almost smoking. Add the noodles, flatten into a cake and cook on one side, without stirring, until crispy and light golden brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Flip the noodles, add another 2 tablespoons
oil, and cook the other side until browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Drain the noodle cake on paper towels.


7. To serve, place the noodle cake on a rimmed serving platter, top with the chicken and vegetables, and pour the reduced sauce on top. Garnish with the green onion.


 From GUY FIERI FOOD: COOKIN' IT, LIVIN' IT, LOVIN' IT by Guy Fieri. Published by William Morrow.

Photo Credit: John Lee

Oven-Roasted Crab Buon Natale

-- Cat Cora, first and only female Iron Chef. She partnered with Macy’s for a new restaurant concept that premiered in December 2008 and opened her first stand alone restaurant at Walt Disney World BoardWalk Resort in September 2009. President and Founder of Chefs for Humanity.


Serves 4 to 6



Four 1 to 1 1/2-pound Dungeness crabs OR two 2-pound crabs, cooked, cleaned, cracked (reserve juices and tomalley)

Tomalley Sauce
Reserved tomalley
1 teaspoon chili flakes
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Reserved crab juices
1 cup of mayonnaise or aioli 
1 /2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper

1/4 pound butter (1 stick)
4 tablespoons olive oil
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
2 tablespoons lemon zest (about 4 to 5 lemons)
4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons roughly chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley

4 to 8 slices crusty bread, toasted, rubbed with garlic cloves and drizzled with olive oil



Lemon slices or wedges, for garnish

 Make the tomalley sauce by pushing the tomalley through a sieve with a wooden spoon into a small pot. Add the chili flakes, thyme, garlic, and lemon juice. Pour in the reserved crab juices, mix, and bring to a quick simmer. Give it a final quick stir and remove the pan from the heat. Pour the tomalley mixture into a small mixing bowl and allow it to cool.  (Start roasting the crab once the tomalley sauce is cooling.) As soon as the tomalley sauce feels lukewarm to the touch, add mayonnaise or aioli and taste it to check seasonings. Add more salt, pepper, or thyme if you like.


Place a rack in the oven in the middle or lower third and preheat the oven to 500°F.


On the stove, in a large oven-proof sauté pan or casserole, heat the butter, olive oil, garlic, thyme, and lemon zest over medium-high heat until hot. Add the pieces of crab, season with salt, pepper, and the remaining thyme and mix well. Place the pan in the oven and cook until the crab is hot throughout and the garlic is golden brown. (Watch carefully; the crab heats very quickly and at 500° the garlic can burn easily.) Drizzle with 4 tablespoons of lemon juice and scatter the parsley over the top.


To serve, stack the crab on a platter and drizzle the tomalley sauce over the top or serve the tomalley sauce in a small bowl and allow your guests to help themselves. Garnish the platter with lemon wedges and slices of garlic-rubbed toast. Serve immediately.


Credit: From COOKING FROM THE HIP by Cat Cora with Ann Krueger Spivack. Published by Houghton Mifflin.

Photo Credit: Deborah Jones

My Mother’s Praised Chicken

-- Nigella Lawson, author of Nigella Kitchen, Nigella Express, Nigella Fresh, Nigella Christmas, Nigella Bites, Feast, How to be a Domestic Goddess, as well as How to Eat, and host of the Food Network series, Nigella Kitchen.


Serves 4 to 8 (cooked this way it seems to go much further than roasted chicken, so you can feed more the first time, or have plenty for the rest of the week)


1 large chicken, preferably organic

2 teaspoons garlic flavored oil
scant ½ cup white wine or dry white vermouth
2–3 leeks, cleaned, trimmed, and cut into approx. 2 inch logs
2–3 carrots, peeled and cut into sticks
1–2 celery stalks, sliced
approx. 2 quarts cold water
1 bouquet garni (mixed herb sachet or bag) or 1 teaspoon dried herbs
fresh parsley stalks or few sprigs, tied or banded together
2 teaspoons kosher salt or 1 teaspoon table salt
2 teaspoons red peppercorns, or good grinding pepper

to serve:
chopped leaves, from parsley stalks above
chopped fresh dill
English mustard




Get out a large, flame-safe cooking pot (with a lid) in which the chicken can fit snugly: mine is about 11 inches wide x 4 inches deep.

On a washable board, un-truss the chicken, put it breast-side down, and press down until you hear the breastbone crack. (As you may imagine, I like this.) Then press down again, so that the chicken is flattened slightly. Now cut off the ankle joints below the drumstick (but keep them); I find kitchen scissors up to the task.


Put the oil in the pan to heat, then brown the chicken for a few minutes breast-side down, and turn up the heat and turn over the chicken, tossing in the feet as you do so. Still over a vigorous heat add the wine or vermouth to the pan and let it bubble down a little before adding the leeks, carrots, and celery.


Pour in enough cold water to cover the chicken, though the very top of it may poke out, then pop in the bouquet garni or your herbs of choice, and the parsley stalks (if I have a bunch, I cut the stalks off to use here, but leave them tied in the rubber band) or parsley sprigs along with the salt and red peppercorns (I just love these beautiful red berries) or a good grinding of regular pepper.


The chicken should be almost completely submerged by now and if not, do add some more cold water. You want it just about covered.


Bring to a bubble, clamp on the lid, turn the heat to very low, and let cook for 1½–2 hours. I tend to give it 1½ hours, or 1 hour 40 minutes, then leave it to stand with the heat off, but the lid still on, for the remaining 20–30 minutes.


Serve the chicken and accompanying vegetables with brown basmati rice, adding a ladleful or two of liquid over each shallow bowl, as you go, and putting fresh dill and mustard on the table for the eaters to add as they wish.


The cooked meat can be frozen, as soon as it is cool, in resealable bags or airtight containers for up to 2 months.


From Nigella Kitchen by Nigella Lawson. Copyright© 2010 Nigella Lawson. Published by Hyperion. Available wherever books are sold. All Rights Reserved.






Photo Credit: 'Nigella Kitchen', Hyperion

Chipotle BBQ Pulled Pork Sliders

-- Ellie Krieger, host of The Food Network show "Healthy Appetite," which now airs on The Cooking Channel, and author of several cookbooks, including Comfort Food Fix.


The lip-smacking flavor of these mini sandwiches with their tangy-sweet, smoky, spicy sauce is so memorable you are sure to catch yourself dreaming of them later. They are perfect for a party or game night when you want a crowd-pleaser that’s fun to eat. Using lean pork loin keeps them healthy, and when cut into thin strips gives that “pulled” effect you get from much fattier cuts.


Makes 24 sliders


6 large cloves garlic, minced (2 tablespoons)
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
3 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon olive oil
One 2 1/2-pound center-cut pork loin, trimmed of all visible fat
1 medium onion, chopped
One 14-ounce can no-salt-added low-sodium tomato sauce
1/2 cup strong brewed coffee
1/3 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup unsulfured molasses
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons finely minced canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
24 slider rolls
1 medium red onion, halved lengthwise and each half cut into 8 slices


Preheat the oven to 350°F. Using the broad side of a knife blade, mash together the garlic and salt to form a paste. Transfer the paste to a small bowl and stir in the chili powder, cumin, 2 tablespoons lime juice, and 1 teaspoon oil. Set aside 2 tablespoons of the paste. Rub the remaining paste all over the pork.

Transfer the pork to a roasting pan and roast until an instant read meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 155°F, 1 to 1 1/4 hours. Transfer the roast to a cutting board and allow it to rest for 15 minutes.


Meanwhile, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and cook, stirring, until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the reserved 2 tablespoons chili paste and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the tomato sauce, coffee, vinegar, molasses, tomato paste, and chipotle and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer for 20 minutes. Stir in the cilantro and the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons lime juice.


Cut the pork into thin slices, then cut the slices into thin, shredded strips. Add the pork strips to the sauce and simmer for 5 minutes.
Split the buns, scoop out the bread to remove the soft inner portion, and discard. Place one slice of red onion on the bottom half of each bun, then pile on about 1/4 cup of the pork mixture and cap with the bun tops.


Per Serving (2 sliders): Calories 360; Total Fat 10 g (Sat Fat 3 g, Mono Fat 4.2 g, Poly Fat 1.8 g); Protein 26 g; Carb 40 g; Fiber 3 g; Cholesterol 55 mg; Sodium 560 mg
Excellent source of: Iron, Manganese, Niacin, Protein, Riboflavin, Selenium, Thiamin, Vitamin B6
Good source of: Calcium, Copper, Folate, Fiber, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Vitamin C, Zinc


From COMFORT FOOD FIX by Ellie Krieger. Reprinted by permission of John Wiley and Sons Inc. 2011.

Photo Credit: 'Comfort Food Fix' John Wiley and Sons Inc. 2011

White Chocolate and Raspberry Bread Pudding

-- Lorena Garcia, author of New Latin Classics: Fresh Ideas for Favorite Dishes, guest chef on NBC's "The Biggest Loser," "America's Next Great Restaurant," and "Top Chef-Allstars" Season Finale.

Torta de pan is Venezuela’s version of bread pudding, made with condensed milk for extra creaminess and spiked with rum for a kick. I make mine with flaky croissants, and instead of condensed milk, I make a silky white chocolate sauce that gets poured over croissant cubes and fresh raspberries. It bakes into a rich custard, creating an incredibly elegant yet simple dessert – especially when they’re baked in individual portions.


Serves 6 to 8


1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
4 plain day-old croissants, cut into 1” cubes
3 cups heavy cream
1 vanilla bean
4 ounces white chocolate, finely chopped
½ cup dark rum
2 tablespoons sugar
1 pint fresh raspberries
4 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
Whipped cream for serving, optional


Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease a 9-inch square baking dish with butter

Spread the croissant cubes out in an even layer on the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Set aside


Pour the cream into a medium saucepan. Use the back of a paring knife to scrape the vanilla seeds from the bean and add both to the cream. Stir in the white chocolate. Heat over medium-low heat, stirring often, until the white chocolate is melted, about 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and set aside. 


In a small saucepan, heat the rum, sugar and ¼ cup of water over medium-low heat, stirring often, until the sugar is dissolved, about 10 minutes. Place the raspberries in a medium bowl and pour the rum syrup over the berries. Gently stir to combine. Cover the croissant cubes with the rum-soaked raspberries and syrup.


Whisk together eggs and egg yolks in a large bowl. Remove the vanilla bean from the white chocolate mixture and then whisk about 1 cup of the white chocolate mixture into the eggs. Once the bottom of the bowl is warm (you may need to add ½ to 1 cup more of the white chocolate mixture to sufficiently temper the eggs so they don’t curdle), whisk in the remaining white chocolate mixture. Use a rubber spatula to scrape this mixture evenly over the raspberries and croissant cubes.

Place the pan with the bread pudding in a roasting pan. Fill the roasting pan with enough warm water to reach halfway up the sides of the baking dish. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the center of the pudding is set and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and cool completely. Service with a dollop of whipped cream, if using.

From the Book, NEW LATIN CLASSICS by Lorena Garcia. Copyright © 2011 by Lorena Garcia. Reprinted by arrangement with Ballantine Books, an imprint of The Random House Publishing Group, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. 

Photo Credit: Quentin Bacon

Whole Wheat Pappardelle with Roasted Butternut Squash, Broccoli Rabe and Pumpkin Seeds

-- Anne Burrell, Food Network personality and author of Cook Like a Rock Star

Serves 6 to 8

This is an amazing dish because it takes everyday ingredients and joins them in a delicious and unexpected collaboration. Both the squash and the broccoli rabe have their own strong personalities—one sweet and one bitter—and each brings something to the party that would be sorely missed if one of them didn’t show up. Combined with the nutty, earthy flavor of the whole wheat pasta, this is what I call a real team effort.


1 butternut squash, peeled and cut into ½ -inch dice
Extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt
1 bunch of broccoli rabe, tough bottom stems removed
3 cloves garlic, smashed
Pinch of crushed red pepper
1 ½ cups veggie or chicken stock
1 recipe Chef Anne’s All-Purpose Pasta Dough or 1 pound fresh pappardelle
1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano
Big fat finishing oil
½ cup pepitas (green pumpkin seeds), toasted


1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
2. In a large bowl, toss the butternut squash with just enough olive oil to lightly coat it and sprinkle with salt. Put the squash on a baking sheet and roast for about 20 minutes, or until soft. Reserve.
3. Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil. Add the broccoli rabe, give it a swish, and immediately remove it from the water; save the water to cook the pasta. When the rabe is cool enough to handle, coarsely chop it and set aside.
4. Coat a large wide saucepan generously with olive oil. Toss in the garlic and red pepper and bring to medium heat. When the garlic is golden brown and very aromatic, 2 to 3 minutes, remove it from the pan and ditch it—it has fulfilled its garlic destiny. Add the roasted squash and the stock to the pan. When the stock has reduced by about half, 5 to 6 minutes, add the broccoli rabe.
5. In the meantime, bring the broccoli rabe water back to a boil, add the pasta, and cook for 4 to 5 minutes or until tender but tooth-some. Drain the pasta and add it, along with ½ cup reserved pasta cooking water, to the squash and rabe. When the pasta water has evaporated, remove the pan from the heat, add about two-thirds of the Parmigiano, and a big drizzle of the big fat finishing oil. Toss or stir vigorously to combine. Divide among serving bowls and top with more Parm and the pepitas. Squash it!

Reprinted from the book Cook Like a Rock Star.  Copyright © 2011 by Anne Burrell.  Photographs copyright © 2011 by Ben Fink.  Published by Clarkson Potter, a division of Random House, Inc.

Photo Credit: Ben Fink

Turkey Meatloaf with Tomato Relish

-- Tyler Florence, host of The Great Food Truck Race on the Food Network, and author of several cookbooks, including Family Meal. Partnered with Alexia Foods.

Pair with Alexia Oven Red potatoes with olive oil, parmesan and garlic.

Serves 6 to 8


Tomato Relish Ingredients:
Extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 bay leaves
2 red bell peppers, cored, seeded, and finely diced
2 tomatoes, halved, seeded, and finely diced
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 (12-ounce) bottle ketchup
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


Meatloaf Ingredients:
3 slices white bread, crusts removed, torn into chunks by hand
1/4 cup whole milk
2 1/2 pounds ground turkey
2 eggs
Leaves from 2 fresh thyme sprigs
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 to 4 bacon slices



Relish Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a skillet with a 2-count of oil and place over medium heat. Saute the onion, garlic, and bay leaves for a few minutes to create a base flavor. Throw in the red peppers and cook them for a couple of minutes to soften. Now add the tomatoes; adding them at this point lets them hold their shape and prevents them from disintegrating. Stir in the parsley, ketchup, and Worcestershire; season with salt and pepper. Simmer the relish for 5 minutes to pull all the flavors together. Remove it from the heat; you should have about 4 cups of relish.


Meatloaf Directions:
Place the torn white bread in a bowl and add the milk to just barely cover, swish the bread around in the milk and let it sit while you get the rest of the ingredients for the meat loaf together.


In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground turkey with 1 1/2 cups of the tomato relish, the eggs, and thyme; season with salt and pepper. Squeeze the excess milk from the bread and add the soaked bread to the meat mixture. To test, fry a small hamburger patty of the meatloaf until cooked; the patty should hold together but still have a soft consistency. Taste the patty for seasoning.


Lightly oil a cookie sheet. Transfer the meat mixture to the center of the cookie sheet and form into a log about 9 inches long and about 4 inches wide. Coat the top of the meatloaf with another 1/2 cup of the tomato relish. Lay the bacon across the top lengthwise.


Bake the meatloaf for 1 to 1 1/2 hours until the bacon is crisp and the meatloaf is firm. Rotate the meat loaf while it's baking every now and then to insure that the bacon browns evenly. Remove the meatloaf from the oven and let it cool a bit before slicing. Serve with the remaining tomato relish on the side. Unbelievably moist! 

Photo Credit: Tyler Florence / Alexia Foods

Chocolate Strawberry Shortcake Cupcakes

-- Chloe Coscarelli, first vegan chef to win Food Network's Cupcake wars. Author of the forthcoming cookbook Chloe's Kitchen.


Rich, creamy, choclately vegan goodness that was the first vegan recipe to win on Food Network.

Makes 14 cupcakes

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour (or gluten-free all-purpose flour plus ¾ teaspoon xanthan gum)
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup coffee, water, or coconut milk
½ cup canola oil
2 tablespoons white or apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening
3 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 to 5 tablespoons soy, almond, or rice milk
1 ½ cups hulled and sliced fresh strawberries
Powdered sugar


To make the chocolate cupcakes:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 (12-cup) cupcake pans with 14 cupcake liners.


In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together coffee, oil, vinegar, and vanilla. Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and whisk until just combined. Do not over mix.


Fill the cupcake liners about two-thirds full with batter. Bake for 16 to 18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcake comes out clean with a few crumbs clinging to it. Cool the cupcakes completely before frosting.


To make the frosting:

Using a handheld or stand mixer, beat the shortening until smooth. With the mixer running on low, add powdered sugar, vanilla, and 1 tablespoon nondairy milk at a time, as needed, until frosting reaches a spreadable consistency. You may not need to use all of the nondairy milk.


Beat on high for 2 more minutes until light and fluffy.
To assemble the cupcakes: Once the cupcakes are completely cooled, slice off the top 1/3 of each cupcake and slather with frosting and sliced strawberries. Place the top of the cupcake back on top and add an additional bit of frosting and sliced strawberries. Dust with powdered sugar. 


Credit: From CHLOE'S KITCHEN by Chloe Coscarelli. Published by Free Press, March 2012.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Chloe Coscarelli

Thai Bouleh

-- Richard Blais, winner of Top Chef All-Stars, Executive Chef of The Spence


This is a great dish on its own, or as a side for grilled fish or chicken.

Serves 4 to 6


2 cups cracked bulghar wheat 

6 cups coconut water  

1/2 cup cilantro, chopped  

1/4 cup basil, thai, chopped 

1/4 cup mint, chopped 

1/4 cup salted peanuts, roasted 

1/2 cup cherry tomato, halved 

2 tablespoons fish sauce 

1/4 cup lime juice 

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 

Crystal hot sauce or similar a good few shakes
Salt & black pepper to taste, and be aggressive


1. Heat the coconut milk to a boil and pour over the bulghar in a mixing bowl. Wrap some plastic  film over the bowl and steep for 15 minutes until the bulghar has absorbed the liquid fully and is tender. 


2. While the bulghar is steeping, mix the remaining ingredients together.


3. Combined the cooked bulghar with the vinaigrette and let the flavors come together for an hour or so, or even overnight.  



Photo Credit: Heidi Geidhauser, Our Labor of Love Photography

Flourless Chocolate Cake

-- Lisa Vanderpump, The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills cast member and author of Simply Divine: A Guide to Easy, Elegant and Affordable Entertaining.


YOU COULD CALL this cake “the little black dress” of desserts. It is pretty easy to make, keeps for a couple of days for make-ahead entertaining, and can be dressed up with all kinds of “accessories,” from whipped cream to ice cream to fresh fruit and edible flowers, or a combination. The cake can be prepared up to 2 days ahead, covered with plastic wrap and stored at room temperature. If you refrigerate it, the cake gets a fudgy texture. It’s great either way.


Serves 6 to 8


All-purpose flour, for the pan 7 ounces high-quality semisweet chocolate, chopped
14 tablespoons (1 3/4 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons, at room temperature, plus more for the pan
4 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
1 cup sugar, divided
Whipped Cream (page 68) or vanilla ice cream, for serving
Fresh raspberries, sliced strawberries, edible flowers, or a combination, for serving


1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 375°F. Butter and flour the inside of an 8-inch springform pan, tapping out the excess flour.


2. Melt the chocolate in the top part of a double boiler over very hot but not simmering water, stirring occasionally. One tablespoon at a time, whisk the butter into chocolate until smooth.
Remove the top part of the double boiler from the heat.


3. Beat the egg yolks and 1⁄2 cup of sugar in a medium bowl with an electric mixer on high speed until pale yellow and thick, about 1 minute.


4. Add to the chocolate mixture and fold in with rubber spatula. Using clean beaters, beat the whites in another bowl with the mixer on high speed until soft peaks form. A tablespoon at a time, beat in the remaining 1⁄2 cup sugar until the whites form stiff, shiny peaks. Stir about one-fourth of the whites into the chocolate mixture to lighten it, then fold in the remaining whites. Scrape into the springform pan and smooth the top.


Recipe reprinted with permission from SIMPLY DIVINE © 2011 by Lisa Vanderpump, Running Press, a member of the Perseus Book Group.

Photo Credit: Jason Varney

Holy Cannoli Cupcakes

-- Teresa Giudice, author of Fabulicious!: Teresa's Italian Family Cookbook and cast member of The Real Housewives of New Jersey.


Makes 12 cupcakes


For the cupcakes:
11/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
11/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cubed, at room temperature
1/2 cup low-fat yogurt
1 large egg plus 2 large egg yolks, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


For the cannoli cream:
1 cup ricotta impastata
1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips

Cocoa Whipped Cream
12/3 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips, for decoration (optional)


1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Have your littlest helper put paper liners in a standard 12-cup muffin pan.


2. To make the cupcakes: In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add the butter, yogurt, egg and yolks, and vanilla. Mix with an electric mixer on medium speed for 3 minutes (set a timer), occasionally scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Divide the batter evenly among the cups.


3. Bake until the cupcakes are golden brown and a wooden toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Remove the cupcakes from the pan, transfer to a wire cooling rack, and let cool completely.


4. To make the cannoli cream: In a mixing bowl, whisk together the ricotta, confectioners’ sugar, and vanilla until smooth. Stir in the mini chocolate chips. Transfer to a quart-sized resealable plastic bag. Using scissors, snip off 1/2 inch from a closed corner of the bag. You will use the plastic bag as a pastry bag to fill the cupcakes.


5. Using a small knife, cut a deep, inverted cone out of the center of each cupcake, and remove the cones. You won’t need the cupcake cones, but I’m sure you can find a willing customer to help you eat them. Use the plastic bag to fill the cupcakes with the cream. Use a knife to smooth the top of the filling flush with the cupcake.


6. To make the cocoa whipped cream: In a chilled medium bowl combine the heavy cream, confectioners’ sugar, and cocoa powder and beat with an electric mixer on high speed until the cream forms stiff peaks.


7. Snip 1/2 inch from a closed corner of a gallon-sized resealable plastic bag. Insert a large star tip (such as Ateco 825) in the bag and poke it through the snipped end. Transfer the cocoa cream to the bag. Pipe swirls of the cocoa whipped cream over each cupcake. Sprinkle each with about 1 teaspoon of mini chocolate chips. Refrigerate, uncovered, until ready to serve.


Recipe reprinted with permission from FABULICIOUS! © 2011 by Teresa Giudice, Running Press, a member of the Perseus Book Group.

Photo Credit: Ben Fink

Lamb Belly with Carrots, Parsnip and Maitake Mushroom

-- Chris Crary, cast member for 9th season of Top Chef, Chef de Cuisine at Whist at Viceroy Santa Monica

Serves 8 to 10

1 lamb belly (local preferably)
2 cups carrot juice
2 cups orange juice
1 cup soy sauce
1 cup grapefruit juice
4 carrots
4 stalks celery
1 white onion
1 bunch thai basil


Carrot Gel:
4 cups carrot juice
2 whole star anise
1/2 cup sherry vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon agar agar


Yuzu Carrots:
2 bunches baby carrots
1 cup Yuzu Juice
1/2lb butter
4 whole star anise
salt and pepper


Crispy Parsnip and Maitake Mushroom:
2 parsnips sliced thin
2 maitake mushrooms
4 cups grape seed oil


Sear lamb belly over high heat until browned on both sides. Then add remaining ingredients and cook for 2 hours at 300 degrees. For carrot gel, combine all ingredients except agar agar and reduce by one quarter. Then blend on high with agar agar for 30 seconds. Allow to cool and then blend again.


Cook carrots in the Yuzu butter mixture until semi soft. Then place parsnips in cold grape seed oil bring to a simmer until the parsnips are golden brown, remove them and season with salt. In the remaining hot oil add the maitake mushrooms and fry until crispy. Plate with carrot tops and market herbs.


Jennifer Jeanne Patterson is a freelance writer and author of 52 Fights. She lives in Minneapolis with her husband and three children. Find her blog at Unplanned Cooking.


Related: Best-Loved Family Christmas Recipes


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Photo Credit: Christian Horan

First Published December 1, 2011

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