Author Archive for: ‘Denise Simmons, Corporate Executive Chef’

Spiralized Beet Salad with Mint & Pistachios

Serves 4-6

1-2 red beets

1-2 golden beets

2T fresh mint, thinly sliced

1/4c pistachios, chopped

Dressing

1/4c fresh orange juice

1T white balsamic vinegar

1T local honey

2T olive oil

to taste s&p

 

1. Spiralize beets, cut beet noodles in half

2. Place beets in bowl with mint & pistachios

3. Combine dressing ingredients in  jar, shake to blend

4. Pour dressing over beets, toss

Note: can prep the day before, but wait to combine with dressing until close to serving

Peach BBQ Baked Beans

Serves 8

6 slices thick cut bacon, chopped

4 cans, 1 ea: cannellini, black, kidney, pinto

3 ripe peaches, chopped

1½c bbq sauce

½c maple syrup

½c bourbon or apple cider

1/4c balsamic vinegar

2T grainy dijon

1t ea chili powder, smoked paprika, ginger

to taste s&p

chopped fresh basil

 

1. In dutch oven, cook bacon until crisp, 5 mins

2. Add other ingredients, stir well

3. Bake on 350°F for 45 mins

4. Garnish with fresh basil

Avocado & Strawberry Salsa

Serves 8

1lg fresh avocado, diced

1c strawberries, diced

1lg navel oranges. diced

1/2c grape halves

1/4c red onion, finely diced

½t+ jalapeno pepper, seeded, finely diced

1½T fresh lime juice

1½T olive oil

3T fresh cilantro, chopped

taste s&p

 

1. Combine all ingredients, stir in avocado last, chill

Great accompaniment to fish, chicken & pork dishes!

Roasted Tomato & Pesto Soup

Serves 8

2lbs ripe plum tomatoes, cut ½

2 cloves garlic, whole

1 carrot, large pieces

1 med onion, thick slices

1-2T brown sugar

2T olive oil

to taste s&p

2c veggie stock

4T basil pesto

touch of half & half, optional

fresh basil, chopped

 

1. Preheat oven to 350°F

2. Toss tomatoes, garlic & onions with oil, sugar, s&p

3. Spread in 1 layer on baking sheet, roast 30 mins

4. Transfer to large pot, add veggie broth, bring to boil

5. Reduce heat, simmer 20 mins, reducing liquid by ⅓

6. Stir in pesto

7. Using immersion blender, purée until smooth

8. Can add “touch of” half & half for more creaminess

9. Garnish with freshly chopped basil

Quinoa Cakes

Serves 6

2T olive oil

1 onion, finely chopped

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

2½c cooked, chilled quinoa

14oz can black beans, drained & rinsed

3lg eggs, beaten

½t fine sea salt

1/3c fresh chives, chopped

1/4c grated parmesan

1/4c goat cheese

2c gluten free bread crumbs

1T olive oil or clarified butter

 

1. Combine quinoa, eggs, black beans & salt in bowl

2. Lightly sautée onion & garlic in oil, DO NOT brown

3. Add onions to quinoa, stir in other ingredients (except oil/butter)

4. Form into 12, 2″ patties. Best chilled before cooking

5. Heat oil/butter in skillet, med high, sautée 3 mins per side

Serve with red onion marmalade, tomato chutney, and/or horseradish cream

Veggie Moroccan Stew

Serves 8

1T olive oil

3/4c ea diced carrots & yukon potatoes

1½c ea diced eggplant & butternut squash

½c ea diced mushrooms & leek

1/4dried cranberries, raisins or prunes

14oz can chickpeas, rinsed

14oz can diced tomatoes

1C veggie broth

2t ea cumin, coriander, paprika

1 cinnamon stick

pinch crushed red pepper, s&p

Garnishes

1/4C fresh parsley

1/4C sliced almonds

 

1. Sautée veggies in oil, over med heat, 8-10 mins

2. Add other ingredients (except garnishes), bring to boil

3. Reduce to simmer, cook 20-30 mins

4. Remove cinnamon stick

5. Serve over basmati rice or couscous

6. Top with fresh parsley & almonds

Note: cut veggies small dice, ½”

A Twist on Tradition

Before Valentines, take time to read “True love starts in the kitchen“… with Chef Anne from Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, highlighted in Richmond Times-Dispatch! Sink your teeth into these Valentines Day foods with a makeover.

Bacon Bourbon Jam

12oz bacon, diced

½c onion, diced

pinch salt

3T brown sugar

2T bourbon (Maker’s Mark best)

2½c chicken stock

1T butter

 

1. In medium stock pot, cook bacon until it begins to crisp, 5-7 mins

2. Add onion & salt, cook 5 mins

3. Add bourbon & brown sugar, stir

4. Crank heat high, add 1 c stock, stir until liquid is almost gone, 7 mins

5. Add 1 more c stock, repeat

6. When “jammy” consistency, add last ½ c stock

7. Blend mixture in blender to smooth

8. Return to pan, cook on low 7 mins

9. Remove from heat & stir in butter

Excellent on steaks or other grilled or roasted meats

Cider Glazed Salmon

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Serves 8

8 salmon fillets

1c tamari

1c apple cider

4t sesame oil

4t bourbon, plus additional c for soaking planks

2t brown sugar

splash+ tabasco

1t black pepper

1t minced garlic

½t turmeric

 

1. Purée all glaze ingredients

2. Pour over salmon, marinate for 4 hours

3. Soak cedar planks in 1 gal water & 1 c bourbon

4. Lightly spray planks with pan spray, top with salmon

5. Heat gas grill to med high

6. Put planks with salmon on grill

7. Cook with grill top down, 15-20 mins, or until nicely browned

Salty Caramel & Pecan Oatmeal Cookies

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Yields (about) 48 cookies

1c butter, softened

1c granulated sugar

1c packed dark brown sugar

1t salt

1t baking powder

½t baking soda

2 eggs

2t vanilla

1½c all-purpose flour

3c rolled oats

11oz package caramel baking

1c pecans, coarsely chopped

coarse sea salt

 

1. Preheat oven to 350°F

2. In mixer, beat butter on medium for 30 seconds

3. Add both sugars, 1t salt, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda; beat until combined

4. Beat in eggs & vanilla; then flour

5. Stir in oats, caramel bits, & pecans

6. Using small scoop, drop 1½” mounds of dough, 2″ apart on parchment lined cookie sheet

7. Sprinkle “sparingly” with sea salt

8. Bake for 11-12 mins, until edges light brown