Pork Belly Tacos

1 lb pork belly, seasoned and roasted
8 small flour tortillas, warmed
4 T. mayonnaise
4 T. chipotle salsa
1 jalapeno, seeded and sliced
2 green onions, thinly sliced
2 cups Asian cole slaw mix or a mixture of assorted chopped cabbage
1 lime cut into 8 wedges

Mix together the mayo and salsa in a small bowl.  

Cut the porkbelly into small chunks or thin slices and heat in a small frypan.  Lay out the tortillas on a board and top each with 1 T. of the mayo-salsa sauce.  Place pieces of the porkbelly on each tortilla then top with jalapeno, green onion, and slaw.  Top each with a lime wedge to squeeze over the taco.

Makes 4 servings

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Pork Belly Tacos

Lobster and Brie Mac and Cheese

½ lb macaroni or any desired pasta, cooked to package directions for al dente
4 T. butter
4 T. flour
2 c. milk
¼ t. freshly grated nutmeg
Dash of freshly ground pepper
8 ounces grated gruyere cheese
4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese
4 ounces brie, rind removed, cut into cubes
1 lb. langoustine lobster
1 c. panko bread crumbs
1 T. melted butter

In a large fry pan, melt the butter.  Add the flour and cook for a minute stirring constantly but do not allow to brown.  Slowly drizzle in milk and cook until thickened.  Add nutmeg and pepper then stir in cheese.  Add lobster and macaroni.  Blend through.  Place in a 9 X 9 casserole or in 4 smaller individual casserole dishes.  Mix the panko and melted butter and sprinkle on the casserole(s).  Bake at 350º for 25 minutes or until bubbly and the crumb is browned.

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Lobster and Brie Mac and Cheese


3 T. olive oil, divided
2 large onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 lbs lean beef cut into chunks (tenderloin, sirloin, round)
6 ounces tomato paste
2 c. strong beef stock
1 c. dry red wine
2 T. sweet Hungarian paprika
½ t. toasted caraway seeds
1 red bell pepper, cut into bite sized pieces
1 green bell pepper, cut into bite sized pieces
1 jalapeno, seeded and sliced (optional)
½ t. salt
8 ounces baby potatoes cut into ½” slices (peel on)
4 cups chopped fresh tomatoes

In a large fry pan heat 1 T. olive oil and sauté the onions and garlic until translucent.  Remove from heat and hold.  

In a stock pot, heat the remaining oil and sauté the beef until all sides have seared.  Add the tomato paste and cook stirring frequently for about 5 minutes.  Add the beef stock, dry wine, paprika, caraway, peppers, salt, and potatoes and cook for 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook for 40 minutes until potatoes are softened and the goulash is thickened.  

Serves 6

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Peach Torte

Prepare a 7” springform or tart pan by buttering and dusting with flour

In a food processor fitted with a cutting blade, process the following:

4 fresh ripe peaches

7 ounces amaretto cookies

4 lady fingers


1 egg

¼ c. cocoa powder

2 T. sugar

Process until smooth scraping down the sides of the processor frequently to prevent chunks from blending. Pour into the pan and bake for 15 minutes at 350º degrees F. Reduce the heat to 300º F and bake an additional 50 minutes.  Turn off the oven and leave the torte in the pan overnight then refrigerate. Cut into slices and serve.

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Peach Torte

Surf and Turf with Sambuca Maître D' Butter

Prepare the butter:

1 stick butter
1 chopped shallot
2 -3 T. sambuca
1 T. fresh parsley, minced
Salt to taste

In a small fry pan, saute the shallot in 2 T. butter until the shallot is soft. Add the sambuca and just heat through.  In a blender place the remaining 6 T. butter. Strain the solids from the sambuca/butter mixture and place the remaining liquid in the blender.  Add the parsley and process until smooth. Taste for salt and add as needed.  Chill the butter if needed so the mixture holds up to the heat of the steak and shrimp. Makes enough butter for six steaks.

For each serving of Surf and Turf you will need:

1 – 8 ounce filet mignon
3 large shrimp
Salt and pepper to taste

Prepare a grill or a grill pan if using the cooktop.  Heat until very hot and add the seasoned steak and shrimp. Cook on each side until desired doneness for the steak and until the shrimp are just done but not overcooked. Place the steak on the plate and top with three shrimp. Place a scoop of the chilled butter mixture on top of each Surf and Turf and serve.

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Surf and Turf with Sambuca Maître D' Butter

Potato Pesto Pasta

4 starchy potatoes, peeled and cut into ½ inch dice
¾ lb pasta with ridges to hold the sauce (rotini or spiral shapes work great)
1 ½ cups pesto, homemade or purchased will work well

Cook the potatoes until soft but not falling apart. Drain but reserve the water. Cook the pasta according to package directions.  

Place the pasta and potato in a mixing bowl and toss with pesto. Thin as needed with potato water to be sure the pesto is not too thick. Serve.

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Potato Pesto Pasta

Smoked Herb Rubbed Pork Loin Wrapped in Bacon

3 lb pork loin
12+ strips bacon
4 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 t. fresh thyme leaves
1 small sprig rosemary, leaves removed and stem discarded
½ t. salt
½ t. fresh ground pepper
1 t. poultry seasoning
3 T. olive oil

On a cutting board lay out the bacon strips side by side to the length of the pork loin.  This usually takes 12 strips but depending on the thickness of the pork and length of the loin, you may need a few more or less pieces of bacon.  Lay the pork loin on the bacon strips so when you eventually pull the bacon strips over the loin, they wrap it like a ribbon.  Mix together all the remaining ingredients then rub the pork with the mixture.  Pull the ribbons of bacon around the pork loin and place the loin with bacon edges down on the cooking surface.  I smoke the loin at 225 for about 3 hours but, in the winter, when I don’t want to pull out the smoker, I have roasted the loin in a 350 degree oven for about 1 hour until the loin measures the desired doneness.  When smoking the loin, I usually let it register 170 but when roasting, 155 is perfect for me.  

Allow the loin to rest 10 to 15 minutes before serving.

Smoked Herb Rubbed Pork Loin Wrapped in Bacon

Tropical Fruit Salad with Honey Poppy Seed Dressing

In a jar mix together:
    2 T. Dijon mustard
    3 T. honey
    3 T. seasoned rice wine vinegar
    4 T. olive oil
    1 t. poppy seeds

For the salad:
    16 ounces salad greens
    4 ounces tempered blue cheese
    4 cups assorted berries (blueberries, strawberries, raspberries)
    1 c. fresh pineapple chunks
    3 grilled chicken breasts cut into strips
Arrange greens on a platter.  Top with cheese, berries, pineapple, chicken and any other desired fruits and meats.  Serve with dressing.  Serves 4 to 6.

Tropical Fruit Salad with Honey Poppy Seed Dressing

Scallop Ceviche on Fried Wontons

1 lb scallops, sliced or chopped
½ c. seeded chopped fresh tomatoes
1 t sea salt
1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and diced small
1 jalapeno, seeded and diced small
1/3 c. finely chopped red onion
1 clove garlic, finely minced
¼ c. olive oil
6 to 8 limes juiced or ½ c. lime juice
1 bunch fresh chives, thinly sliced
2 T. finely minced cilantro
20 Wonton Wrappers

Place the scallops in a small bowl, cover and refrigerate.  In a second bowl, place the tomatoes and salt.  Mix well, cover and refrigerate.  In a third bowl, place the red pepper, jalapeno, red onion, garlic, olive oil and lime juice.  Cover and refrigerate about 6 hours.  Drain the liquid from the tomatoes.  Toss the tomatoes, scallops and vegetable mixture together and allow to rest for one hour before serving.  While the scallops “cook” in the acid, cut each of the wontons into two triangles.  Deep fry in a pan of hot oil until crispy and brown.  Drain well and use as a base for the ceviche.  Makes 40 appetizers.

Scallop Ceviche on Fried Wontons

Dark Chocolate Cheesecake

9 ounces chocolate wafer cookies
1 T. sugar
4 T. melted butter
8 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips
1 ½ c. sugar
1 t. instant espresso powder
32 ounces softened cream cheese
4 eggs

Preheat the oven to 350º F.  Spray a 9” spring form pan with a non-stick cooking spray and wrap the bottom and sides of the pan with aluminum foil to prevent water seepage during backing.  

In a food processor, chop the wafer cookies until completely crumbled.  Mix in the sugar and butter and process until completely blended.  Pat into the bottom of the spring form pan.

Melt the unsweetened chocolate and the chocolate chips in the microwave or on the cooktop in a double boiler.  In a mixing bowl, place the sugar, melted chocolate and espresso powder. Blend until well incorporated scraping down the sides of the bowl often to prevent hardening of the chocolate.  Mix in the cream cheese and blend well.  Add eggs one at a time and mix until smooth and creamy. Pour into the spring form pan and tamp down to release any air bubbles.  Smooth over the top with the flat edge of a knife.  

Create a water bath for the cheesecake but placing the wrapped spring form pan in a larger baking pan and filling the external pan with water up about 1 inch.  Place the “waterbathed” cheesecake in the oven and bake for 1 hour and 30 minutes.  At the end of the bake time, turn off the oven door and open the oven door a few inches to slowly allow the heat to dissipate.  Leave in the oven cooling for an hour then remove to the counter and take the spring form out of the water bath.  Run a knife around the edge of the cake to be sure the cheesecake is releasing well.  Cool completely then remove the ring from the pan.  Chill for at least one hour in the refrigerator before slicing.  Serve with whipped cream and raspberries.  Serves 16.

Dark Chocolate Cheesecake

Baked Halibut with Fresh Corn Salsa
Serves 6

6 halibut pieces approximately 6 ounces each
4 T. olive oil, divided
Salt and pepper
3 cobs corn, steamed and cut from the cob
½ red bell pepper, cut in a small dice (about the size of the corn kernels)
¼ c. finely chopped red onion
1 jalapeno, seeded and finely minced
Juice of 2 limes

Preheat oven to 450ºF. Place the halibut pieces on a cookie sheet sprayed with pan release and brush with 1 T. olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and bake for 10 minutes. While fish bakes, make the salsa.

Mix together the corn, red pepper, red onion, jalapeno, lime juice, and 3 T. olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Remove fish from oven and serve with salsa.

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Baked Halibut with Fresh Corn Salsa

Tenderloin of Beef with Tarragon Pepper Rub and Bacon-Stilton Portobello Sauce

Serves 8

3 lb fully trimmed tenderloin of beef
3 T. fresh tarragon, finely minced
1 t kosher salt
½ t freshly ground black pepper
1 clove finely minced garlic
1 T. olive oil
4-6 cups coarsely chopped onions, carrots, and celery for the roasting bed
½ c. water
4 slices bacon
3 T. butter
8 ounces Portobello mushrooms, sliced or cubed
1 shallot, thinly sliced
1/2 c. dry white wine
½ c. sour cream or heavy whipping cream
4 ounces stilton cheese, crumbled and divided
Additional tarragon for garnish

Preheat the oven to 450ºF. Blot the tenderloin dry. Mix together the tarragon, salt, pepper, garlic, and olive oil. In a roasting pan, place the chopped vegetables in the bottom of a small roasting pan to support the beef. This keeps the meat elevated and allows it to roast rather than braise. Rub the loin all over with the tarragon mixture and place on the vegie bed. Pour the ½ c. water into the bottom of the pan. Do not pour over the meat as this will remove the rub. Roast for 10 minutes then reduce the oven temperature to 325º and roast approximately 45 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches desired doneness.

Remove the roast and allow to rest 15 minutes while making the sauce.

In a frying pan, fry the bacon over medium to medium-high heat until crisp and remove to a plate to cool. Crumble the bacon to use as garnish. Reserve the drippings. To the frypan, add the butter and cook until melted. Add the Portobello mushrooms and shallot. Sauté until the vegetables begin to soften, approximately 5 minutes. Add the wine and simmer for 5 minutes scraping up the bits from the bottom of the pan to release the flavors. Stir in the sour cream or whipping cream. Reduce the heat to simmer. Add half the cheese and stir through until melted.

Slice the beef and arrange on a platter. Drizzle with sauce, top with remaining cheese and crumbled bacon. Garnish with tarragon sprigs.

Watch the Video Here!
Tenderloin of Beef with Tarragon Pepper Rub and Bacon-Stilton Portobello Sauce

Lemon Crab Stuffed Flounder with Lemon Butter Sauce

8 flounder filets
½ lb lump crab
½ c. seasoned panko crumbs
1/4 t. cayenne pepper
zest of ½ lemon
1 egg beaten with 1 T. water
½ t. dill weed
2 T. red bell pepper finely minced
2 green onions, thinly sliced
Juice of ½ lemon
1 c. dry white wine
¼ c. softened butter
salt and pepper to taste

Heat the oven to 350ºF.

Lay out the flounder filets on a cutting board.

Mix together the crab and next seven ingredients. Blend well and divide among the filets. Roll eth flounder and crab into pinwheels and place on a buttered cookie sheet with the tucked end down to prevent the flounder pinwheels from unrolling. Bake at 350ºF for 6 minutes.

In a small saucepan or fry pan, heat the lemon juice and wine and cook until reduced by half. Remove from heat and whisk in the butter. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Drizzle the sauce over the fish and serve. Serves 8.

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Lemon Crab Stuffed Flounder

Pan Seared Duck Breast with Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Pecan Butter

2 duck breast halves
Salt and pepper to taste
2 T. clarified butter mixed with 1 t. olive oil
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled, sliced, and cooked to soft
1 T. cream, optional
2 T. softened butter
2 T. pecans

Score the duck breasts on the fat side in a cross hatched pattern approximately every half inch. Cut through the fat but not into the flesh of the duck. Sprinkle the duck breasts with salt and pepper on both sides.

Heat a frying pan on over medium high heat. Add clarified butter mixture in the pan and place the duck breast fat side down. The duck fat will render as the breasts are cooked. Continue cooking on the fat side until the color is a rich brown, approximately five minutes. Turn the duck over and cook for approximately 4 to 5 minutes until the duck is rare to medium rare. Cook longer for a more well done duck breast. Remove from the pan and rest for 8 – 10 minutes before cutting into slices from tip to tip.

Drain the sweet potatoes and mash with a fork. Add the cream if the potatoes are dry. Season with salt and pepper. In a small fry pan, melt the 2 T. butter over medium to medium high heat and add the pecans. Sauté in the butter until toasted and add the butter and pecans to the sweet potatoes. Stir through and serve with the duck. Serves 2.

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Pan Seared Duck Breast

Apple and Walnut Galette

1 rolled pie crust, softened
2 baking apples, peeled, cored and cut into chunks
¼ c. walnuts
2 t. lemon juice
2 T. sugar
1 T. cornstarch
½ t. ground cinnamon
¼ t. freshly ground nutmeg
sprinkle of ground cloves

Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Roll out the pie crust onto a greased cookie sheet. In a medium bowl, stir together the remaining ingredients. Mound in the middle of the pie crust. Pull 2 inches of the crust up all the way around pleating over itself until the crust is pulled up all the way around. The filling should show through in the center. This is an open-faced apple pie. If desired, brush the crust with milk or egg wash. If desired, sprinkle all over with sugar or cinnamon and sugar. Bake for 20 minutes. Cool slightly before serving.

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Apple and Walnut Galette

Steak Oscar

¼ c. clarified butter (if frying)
4 filet mignon steaks – 8 to 10 ounces each
salt and pepper to taste

2 T. clarified butter
2 large cloves garlic finely minced
1 lb lump crab
½ lemon, seeds removed

Smoked Hollandaise Sauce:
3 egg yolks
1 ½ T. white wine
½ t salt or salt and pepper mix
pinch smoked paprika
pinch ground cayenne pepper
½ c. hot melted butter

If frying the steaks, heat a large frypan (preferably cast iron) over medium to medium high heat. If desired, the steaks can be grilled to desired doneness or seared then baked to desired temperature. Season the steaks with salt and pepper and cook to desired doneness. Hold warm.

Melt the 2 T. of clarified butter for the crab in a medium frypan. Add the garlic and the crab and saute until the crab is hot and garlic is cooked through. Hold warm.

In a blender, place the egg yolks, white wine, salt and pepper, smoked paprika, and cayenne. Turn the blender to low speed and blend well. Drizzle the hot butter into the blender while running on medium speed. Increase the speed for one to two minutes or until the sauce is thick.

Place the steaks on dinner plates and top each with ¼ of the crab. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice then top with hollandaise sauce. Dust with additional smoked paprika and serve with asparagus.

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Steak Oscar

Chicken Saltimbocca with Modified Beurre Blanc Sauce

4 chicken breasts, split or pounded
4-8 slices prosciutto
2 T. olive oil
2 ounces gruyere cheese, thinly sliced
1 large shallot, finely minced
1 c. white wine
1 c. strong chicken stock
Juice of half a lemon
Pinch of cayenne, optional
Small bunch of fresh sage leaves, optional
1/4 lb butter, softened
12 ounces fresh fettuccini, cooked
1 lb steamed broccoli florets

Heat the oven to 350ºF. Place a slice or two of prosciutto on each chicken breast and roll up the chicken and prosciutto tightly into a long thin roll. Secure with toothpicks. Heat a frying pan and add olive oil. Quickly saute the chicken on all sides and place on a cookie sheet to finish in the oven. Bake at 350ºF for 20 minutes then top with cheese. Return to the oven for three minutes to just melt the cheese.

While the chicken bakes, place the shallot, wine, stock, lemon juice, cayenne and sage in a small frypan over high heat. Bring to a boil and reduce by a half until there is about 1 cup of liquid remaining. Strain the solids from the sauce and keep the liquid hot. Remove from heat and whisk in the butter a little at a time until the sauce is thick.

To plate, place 3 ounces of cooked pasta on each plate. Remove the picks from the chicken and slice each into pinwheels. Place one chicken breast on each plate then top with sauce. Finish the plate with steamed broccoli florets.

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Chicken Saltimbocca with Modified Beurre Blanc Sauce

Eggplant Lasagna

2 large eggplants
Pasta Sauce:
1-28 ounce can San Marzano tomatoes
¼ c. tomato paste
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 t. dried basil
½ t. dried oregano
1 t. dried parsley
½ t. salt
¼ t. dried pepper flakes (optional)
2 lbs grated mozzarella cheese, divided
15 ounces ricotta cheese
1 t. dried basil
½ t dried oregano
1 T dried parsley
1 grated carrot
1 grated zucchini
10 ounces frozen spinach, thawed and drained – squeeze out extra water (optional)
½ c. parmesan cheese, divided
½ t salt

Peel the eggplants and slice into 1/4“- thick slices that serve as “noodles.” Sprinkle each slice with salt and allow to rest for 30 minutes. Wash well with cold water and drain in a colander. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Divide the eggplant “noodles” into three piles. In a greased 9X 13 lasagna pan, pour 2 cups pasta sauce and spread evenly over the bottom of the pan. Layer on 1/3 of the eggplant “noodles.” Mix together 3 cups mozzarella, the ricotta, 1 t. basil, ½ t. oregano, 1T.parsley, grated carrot, grated zucchini, optional squeezed spinach, ¼ c. parmesan and the salt. Spread the entire mixture over the first layer of noodles. Top with another layer of “noodles” then 2 ½ cups sauce, one-third of the remaining mozzarella then repeat beginning with the remaining “noodles.” Top with the final ¼ c. parmesan and cover tightly with aluminum foil. Bake 45 minutes then remove the foil and finish another 15 minutes. Rest 15 minutes before cutting.

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Eggplant Lasagna

Chicken with Mushroom Sauce

4 ounces butter, divided
6 chicken breast halves, deboned and skinned
flour for dredging and thickening
salt and pepper
10 ounces white mushrooms, sliced
4 T. white wine
2 T. lemon juice
2 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup cream (optional)

Heat 2 ounces butter in a skillet over medium heat. Clean chicken breasts and sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper. Dredge in flour and fry until lightly golden and partially cooked through. Add the mushrooms to the pan and lightly sauté. Remove chicken and mushrooms from the pan and add the remaining butter. Sprinkle ¼ c. flour over the melted butter and cook through for about two minutes stirring frequently to prevent burning. Pour the wine and lemon juice into the pan and stir vigorously to lift ay remaining frying bits from the chicken and to smooth the flour mixture. Add the chicken stock and stir until all lumps are dissolved. If desired, add cream. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Return the chicken and mushrooms to the pan and cook through until the chicken reaches 165 degrees.

Watch the Video Here!
Chicken with Mushroom Sauce

Shrimp and Grits

2 cups heavy cream
2 cups strong chicken stock
4 T. butter
1 c. grits

Heat heavy cream and stock until boiling.  Add butter and grits and lower heat to a simmer.  Cook stirring frequently until the grits are done.  Stir in the shrimp mixture.

4 T. butter
4 ounces prosciutto, chopped
1 large shallot, chopped
1 lb. shrimp

In a medium fry pan, melt butter over medium-high heat.  Add the prosciutto and the shallots.  Cook until the prosciutto is crisp and add the shrimp.  Cook until the shrimp are just pink then stir into the grits and continue to cook another minute or two.  Serves 4 to 6.
Shrimp and Grits

Red Wine Poached Pears with Red Wine Caramel Sauce

4 Pears, peeled and core removed from bottom to top with a melon baller (top stem intact)
1 bottle dry Virginia Wine
2 ½ c. sugar, divided
2 snips vanilla bean
1 T. whole cloves
1 star anise
1 cinnamon stick
1 stick butter, room temperature, cut into 1 T. pieces

Melt the sugar in the wine in a saucepan over medium heat.  Add the spices and simmer 2 minutes then add the pears.  Simmer moving the pears frequently until the pears are slightly tender .  Remove the pears and strain out the spices.  Return the liquid to the pan and add ½ c. sugar.  Simmer to reduce to about ½ c. liquid.  Remove from heat and add the butter with a whisk one tablespoon at a time.  Whisk well after each addition.  

Lay out 4 plates and drizzle a bit of the caramel over each plate.  Top with a pear and a scoop of vanilla ice cream.  Add another small drizzle of caramel and serve.

Serves 4
Red Wine Poached Pears with Red Wine Caramel Sauce

Marinated Rack of Lamb with Cherry Sauce

1 Frenched rack of lamb
2 T. Dijon mustard
4 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 large sprig of rosemary, all leaves removed from stem and stem discarded
3 c. DuCard petite Verdot

Blend all the marinade ingredients together and marinate the rack of lamb for 1 ½ to 2 hours or overnight.

Remove from the marinade and dry the rack of lamb.  Brush with olive oil if desired and place on a roasting rack.  Bake at 425 for 15 minutes then reduce the oven temperature to 350 and roast to 140 to 165 degrees depending on desired doneness.  Serve with cherry sauce.

Cherry Sauce:
4 T. butter
1 large shallot
2 c DuCard Petite Verdot
1 T. Dijon mustard
½ t dried parsley
¼ c. dried cherries

In a small fry pan, melt butter and sauté shallots.  Cook until shallots are softened then add wine.  Simmer to reduce by ½.  Strain the shallots out and add the mustard, parsley, and dried cherries.  Simmer for 5 minutes until the cherries are softened.  Serve over lamb.  Serves 2
Marinated Rack of Lamb with Cherry Sauce

Italian Meatloaf with Red Wine Mushroom Sauce

2 lbs ground meat (I use meatloaf mix which is 1/3 pork, 1/3 beef, and 1/3 veal)
2 clove garlic
1 t dried oregano
1 t dried parsley
1 t. dried basil
2 egg
1/2 c panko bread crumbs
1/2 c. shredded or grated parmesan cheese

4 ounces prosciutto
4 ounces mozzarella cheese
¼ c shredded Parmesan cheese
½ c julienned sundried tomatoes

Preheat the oven to 450ºF. In a mixing bowl, place the ground meat, garlic, oregano, parsley, basil, egg, panko, and ½ c. Parmesan cheese. Mix well and spread out in a rectangle on parchment paper (I use three sheets – one centered and two slightly off center on either side to lengthen the whole piece of paper). On one long side of the meatloaf, spread out the prosciutto evenly giving a 1-inch space without any fillings on either side of the filling area. Spread the mozzarella and parmesan evenly over the prosciutto. Sprinkle the sundried tomatoes evenly across the cheese mixture. Roll the meatloaf up jellyroll style and seal the ends by pinching together. Pinch the seam of the meatloaf down the entire length. Roll up in the parchment so six inches or so of parchment is at either end of the meatloaf. Tightly twist the ends of the parchment and place the rolled meatloaf on a cookie sheet. Bake 5 minutes at 450 then reduce heat to 350ºF. Bake 45 – 60 minutes at 350ºF or until baked through. Unwrap after cooling 15 minutes and slice. Serve with Red Wine Mushroom Sauce which follows.

Red Wine Mushroom Sauce

2 large shallots, sliced
1 lb. assorted wild mushrooms
4 T. butter
4 T. flour
1 c. red wine
3 cups strong chicken stock

Sauté shallots and chopped mushrooms in butter in a fry pan over medium heat. When vegetables are slightly softened, stir in flour and cook through, stirring to keep from sticking. Add red wine to deglaze the pan then slowly add chicken stock. Simmer until thickened and serve with meatloaf. The red wine makes the sauce pink. For a brown sauce, use white wine.

Watch the Video Here!
Italian Meatloaf with Red Wine Mushroom Sauce

Tassie’s Virginia Garden Crab Cakes

1 lb lump crab, picked clean of shells
½ c. seasoned panko crumbs
1 t. dry mustard
1 T. finely minced onion
¼ finely minced red bell pepper
¼ finely minced green pepper
1 egg, beaten (use 2 eggs if the mixture is dry)
1 t. hot sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
Additional panko for coating, optional
1 stick butter for frying, optional
Lemon Dijonnaise: recipe follows

In a mixing bowl, mix together crab, panko, mustard, onion, and minced peppers until well blended. Add the egg and hot sauce with a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Mix well and divide into cakes or balls. Pat into the desired shape.

To fry the cakes, dredge the crab cake or crab balls in additional panko to coat. Freeze slightly to allow the crab cakes to stabilize and hold together better through the frying process. Melt half the butter in a frying pan and when hot and bubbling, add the crab cakes. Cook over medium heat until the crumbs on the fried side are golden brown (approximately 5 minutes). Add remaining butter and flip the crab cakes. Cook through until the cake is a golden brown. Serve with Lemon Dijonnaise.

Watch the Video Here!

Tassie’s Virginia Garden Crab Cakes

Grilled Pork Spare Ribs with Herb Mop

One full rack of pork spare ribs
Salt and pepper to sprinkle
1 ½ cups vinegar
1 t. Tabasco
½ t chili pepper flakes
2 T. brown sugar
½ t. black pepper
1 T kosher salt

Heat the grill to medium.  Pork is most tender when grilled low and slow.  Rub the ribs with salt and pepper and grill.  

Mix together the vinegar, Tabasco, chili pepper flakes, brown sugar, black pepper and Kosher salt.  Tie a bunch of assorted herbs to the end of a long wooden spoon.  Use the herbs as a mop for the basting mixture.  Mop every 5 – 10 minutes until the ribs are done and pull away from the bone.

View Recipe Here
Grilled Pork Spare Ribs with Herb Mop

Pesto Fried Chicken

2 cups buttermilk
½ c. pesto
4 deboned, skinless chicken breast halves
1 cup all purpose flour
4 cups corn flakes, crushed
1 – 1/1/2 cups peanut oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Mix together the buttermilk and pesto in a bowl.  Add the chicken breasts and marinate overnight.  

Heat the peanut oil in a large skillet over medium to medium high heat.  Remove chicken and drain well back into the bowl.  Lightly pat the chicken to remove pools of buttermilk but do not pat dry.  Dredge each breast in flour and dip into residual buttermilk mixture then dredge into corn flakes.  Place the chicken pieces into the hot oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Cook five minutes per side or until golden brown.  Check internal temperature with a meat thermometer.  The chicken should register 165 degrees.  When chicken is to temperature, remove to paper towels to drain then serve.  

This recipe can also be finished in the oven.  After lightly browning the chicken on both sides, transfer to a cookie sheet and finish in a 350ºF oven to an internal temperature of 165ºF.

View Recipe Here
Pesto Fried Chicken

Salmon with Root Vegetable Puree

4 – 6 to 8 ounce pieces of skinless salmon
2 T. fresh gingerroot, minced
coarsely ground pepper
1 small celery root, peeled and cubed
1 large baking potato, peeled and cubed
7-8 T. butter, divided
2 – 4 T. heavy whipping cream
white pepper
1 large shallot
2 c. cabernet sauvignon or merlot

Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Place the salmon pieces on a greased baking sheets. Sprinkle each with pepper and top with minced fresh gingerroot. Roast in the oven for 8 to 10 minutes.

Place celery root and potato in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil and cook until tender enough to mash. Place in a blender with 2 T. butter and enough heavy cream to make a very thick puree. Season with salt and white pepper.

Mince one large shallot and sauté until soft in 2 T. butter. Add cabernet sauvignon and simmer until sauce reduces by one half to two-thirds. Remove from heat, strain, and whisk in 3 T. softened butter. If preparing the sauce in advance, do not whisk in the butter until ready to serve. Return sauce to the heat and bring the temperature up to a simmer. Remove from heat then whisk in the butter. 

To Assemble:

Drizzle the plate with the sauce and top with a spoon of the puree. Top with the salmon and drizzle again with sauce. Serve with green beans or asparagus.

Watch the Video Here!
Salmon with Root Vegetable Puree

Butternut and Pear Soup

1 large butternut squash, cut in two lengthwise, seeds removed
1 shallot
1 pear, peeled
1 T. olive oil
½ c. strong chicken stock, warmed
1 c. whipping cream, warmed
2 T. butter
1 t. grated gingerroot (opt)
¼ t. nutmeg (opt)
½ t. cinnamon (opt)
additional milk, cream, or stick to thin as desired
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400ºF. Brush the insides of the squash with olive oil and place flesh side down on a greased baking dish. Roast 25 to 40 minutes or until a knife inserted in the thickest part of the squash goes in and comes out easily. Rest the squash for 10 minutes then scrape all the flesh from the outer peel and put it into a blender. Saute shallot and pear until tender. Add to blender along with the chicken stock, heavy whipping cream, and butter. If desired season with gingerroot, nutmeg, or cinnamon – or any one or a combination of your favorite herbs and spices. Thin if needed with additional stock, cream, or milk. For a reduced fat version, use a milk product with less fat such as whole milk, 2% milk, or even fat free milk.

Serve in a soup bowl with a swirl of sour cream and a snip of chives if desired.

Watch The Video Here!

Butternut and Pear Soup

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