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Tag Archives | Cooks 2014 Recipes

Curried Chicken Pot Pie



5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
½ head cauliflower, cut into florets
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons curry powder
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper, optional
½ cup all-purpose flour
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup green peas
3 cups shredded, cooked chicken
2 tablespoons dried parsley
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1 ready-made pie crust sheet, frozen


Melt butter over medium-high heat in large pot. Add onion and cauliflower and cook until softened, about 8 minutes. Add garlic, curry powder, and red pepper (if using) and cook 30 seconds, until fragrant. Add flour and stir to coat vegetables. Slowly add broth, whisking constantly until sauce is smooth. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until thickened, 6–8 minutes. Stir in peas and chicken. Add parsley and season to taste with salt and pepper.

To freeze: Let filling cool completely and transfer to 1-gallon freezer bag or 2-quart freezer container. Freeze for up to 4 months.

To assemble/bake: The day before serving, remove filling and pie crust from freezer and thaw overnight in refrigerator.

Heat oven to 375°. Pour filling into a 2-quart baking dish. Unroll pie crust and roll it out to 1/8-inch-thick, if necessary. Place dough over baking dish, pressing any overhanging dough onto the sides of the dish. Cut several small vents in the surface of the dough. Place dish on a rimmed baking sheet and bake, uncovered, until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbling up, about 45–50 minutes. Let sit 15 minutes before serving

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White Bean & Tomatillo Turkey Chili



1½ tablespoons olive oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 small jalapeño, seeded and finely sliced
½ teaspoon kosher salt
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1 (4-ounce) can diced green chiles, drained
2 pounds ground turkey breast
1 (28-ounce) can tomatillos, drained and chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
2 tablespoons ground cumin
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
3 cups cooked white beans, about 2 (16-ounce) cans, drained and rinsed
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice


Heat oil in large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion, bell pepper, jalapeño, and salt and cook until softened, 8–10 minutes.

Add garlic and chiles and cook, stirring continuously, for 30 seconds. Add turkey and cook, stirring often, until cooked through, 5–8 minutes. Add tomatillos, oregano, and cumin and cook for 1 minute, stirring frequently. Add chicken broth and beans. Bring to a gentle boil, reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for about 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Stir in the cilantro and lime juice.

To freeze/serve: Allow chili to cool completely and transfer to 1-gallon freezer bag or a 2-quart freezer container. Freeze for up to 6 months. To serve, thaw chili overnight in refrigerator and reheat on stove over medium heat. Try serving with cornbread and garnish with sour cream and Monterey Jack cheese, if desired.

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Butternut Squash, Caramelized Onion & Spinach Lasagna



1 small head garlic, unpeeled
3 tablespoons coconut oil, divided
1 large butternut squash, halved and seeds removed
2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 large sweet onion, thinly sliced
16 ounces baby spinach
5 cups whole milk, divided
5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese, divided
9 no-boil lasagna noodles


For squash filling: Heat oven to 400°. Slice ¼-inch off the top of the head of garlic, exposing cloves. Spoon ½ tablespoon of coconut oil over exposed surface and wrap the head in foil. Rub inside of each butternut squash half with ½ tablespoon coconut oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Place squash in large baking dish. Roast squash and garlic until soft, about 50 minutes. Remove both from oven, unwrap garlic, and let cool. Scoop flesh of squash into a medium bowl. Add roasted garlic, squeezing bottom of the head to push cloves out of their paper skin and mash them together with a fork. Stir in sage and season with salt and pepper.

For spinach-onion filling: Heat 1½ tablespoons coconut oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook for 4 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook until onions are soft and golden brown, about 15 minutes. Transfer to medium bowl, and set aside. Add 2 tablespoons of water and spinach to now empty skillet. Cook over high heat until spinach wilts, about 2 minutes. Drain spinach in a colander, squeezing out excess liquid. Combine spinach and onions.

For béchamel-cheese sauce: Heat 4½ cups milk in medium saucepan over medium heat until steaming hot and bubbles form along the edges. In small bowl, combine remaining ½ cup milk and flour. Whisk flour mixture into hot milk until blended. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, stirring constantly, until thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in red pepper, nutmeg, 1½ cups cheese, and season with salt.

To assemble: Line 9-by-13-inch baking dish with heavy-duty, non-stick aluminum foil, allowing several inches of foil to extend over each side. Spread ½ cup of béchamel-cheese sauce on bottom of pan. Cover with layer of 3 pasta sheets. Top with half of squash mixture, then half of spinach mixture, and then 1 cup of béchamel-cheese sauce. Repeat layers: pasta, squash, spinach, béchamel. Top with remaining pasta sheets. Spread remaining béchamel-cheese sauce over pasta and top with remaining ½ cup cheese.

To freeze/bake: Freeze unbaked lasagna until firm. Lift from baking dish by holding edges of foil. Fold foil ends over lasagna. Wrap lasagna in additional foil, sealing it tightly. Freeze for up to 1 month.

Remove lasagna from foil and place on lightly- greased 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Cover and thaw overnight in refrigerator.

Heat oven to 425°. Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes. (If baking the lasagna frozen, plan to double the baking time.) Allow to sit for 10 minutes before serving.

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Naked Olive Oil & Orange Blossom Cake


For the cake:

3 eggs, beaten
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 cup orange blossom honey
1⁄3 cup orange juice, plus 1 tablespoon zest
1½ teaspoons orange blossom water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon sea salt

Heat oven to 350°. Grease bottom and sides of two 9-inch, parchment-lined cake pans.

In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, olive oil, honey, orange juice and zest, orange blossom water, and vanilla extract. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add dry mixture to wet mixture and mix until well combined.

Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake until golden brown and a cake tester comes out clean, 30–35 minutes. Place pans on a cooling rack until warm, and then turn out cakes onto rack to cool completely.

Almond-Orange Buttercream


½ cup unsalted butter, softened
½ cup unsalted, creamy almond butter
¼ cup orange juice
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
1½ teaspoons orange blossom water
3 cups powdered sugar
¼ teaspoon sea salt

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and beat until creamy and fluffy.

To assemble the “naked cake,” frost the middle layer and top of the cake, leaving the edges unfrosted. This exposes the colors and textures of the cake inside. Garnish the cake with flowers (such as fresh lavender, or orange blossoms when in season), herb sprigs (such as rosemary and thyme), sliced almonds, and/or twists of orange zest.

NOTE: Orange Blossom Water, distilled from bitter orange blossoms, is traditionally used in Mediterranean countries to flavor drinks, salads, and desserts. It can be purchased at local Mediterranean restaurants Sahara Café & Market or Oasis Café.

* Double cake recipe to get a stunning four-layer look.

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Roasted Root Vegetable Salad with Maple-Apple Cider Vinaigrette


6 heirloom carrots , peeled and halved lengthwise
4 parsnips, peeled and sliced into ½-inch- thick rounds
8 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
10 ounces red pearl onions, peeled or 2 medium onions, sliced ¼-inch-thick
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
4 medium beets (golden or candy stripe if available), cut into bite-size chunks or wedges
12 ounces fresh arugula
4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
Toasted walnuts, for garnishing

Heat oven to 400°.

Toss carrots, parsnip, garlic, and onion with 2 tablespoons oil and season with salt and pepper. Spread on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Toss beets with remaining 2 tablespoons oil and spread on separate parchment-lined baking sheet (to prevent bleeding). Roast both sheets of vegetables until tender when pierced with a knife, tossing
midway, 30–40 minutes.

Allow vegetables to cool slightly, then toss with fresh arugula. Dress salad with Maple-Apple Cider Vinaigrette (recipe follows) to taste, and garnish with toasted walnuts and crumbled goat cheese.

Maple-Apple Cider Vinaigrette


3 tablespoons raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
2⁄3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ t easpoon freshly ground black pepper

Whisk all ingredients together until combined and creamy

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Provençal Lamb Stew


3–3½ pounds boneless lamb shoulder, or boneless leg of lamb, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 medium red onions, sliced
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary
2 tablespoons minced fresh thyme
2 pounds baby red or purple potatoes, halved or quartered, depending on size
2 cups dry rosé wine
1 cup pitted green olives, halved
4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth or beef broth

Season lamb with salt and pepper. Heat 4 tablespoons oil in heavy-bottomed Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add lamb and cook until browned, 10–12 minutes, working in batches if necessary.

Transfer, using a slotted spoon, to plate.

Add remaining 2 tablespoons oil to fat in pot. Add onion, garlic, rosemary and thyme, cook over medium-high heat until onions are softened, about 5 minutes. Add potatoes and cook another 2 minutes. Add wine and bring to a boil. Cook until liquid is reduced by half, stirring to deglaze the pan, about 5 minutes.

Return lamb to pot, add olives and stock, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until lamb is tender and potatoes are cooked through, 35–45 minutes.

Serve with crusty French baguettes, or fresh-baked sourdough bread.

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Cheese Board with Honey-Herb Candied Nuts


4 different cheeses, room temperature (preferably an aged, a soft, a firm, and a blue)
Crackers or flatbread
Dried figs and apricots
Olives and/or tapenade
Orange marmalade
Honey-Herb Candied Nuts (recipe follows)

Honey-Herb Candied Nuts


¾ cup orange blossom honey
3 cups roasted, salted mixed nuts
¼ cup Herbes de Provence

Heat honey over medium heat in a large skillet until bubbly. Add nuts and herbs and toss to coat. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 2 minutes, stirring continuously. Remove from heat and transfer to parchment-lined baking sheet. Let cool, tossing occasionally as the nuts harden.

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Typsy Gypsy Cocktail


4 cups blood orange juice
2 cups Absolut Hibiskus vodka
1 cup honey-lavender simple syrup
(recipe follows)
1 cup champagne
Combine juice, vodka, and simple syrup in large pitcher or bowl and chill. Add champagne just before serving.

Honey-Lavender Simple Syrup


½ cup water
½ cup orange blossom honey
1⁄3 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon culinary lavender

Bring water, honey, and sugar to a boil over medium-high heat. Add lavender. Reduce heat and simmer until thickened, about 10 minutes. The syrup is done when it coats a spoon. Remove from heat and pour through a fine-mesh strainer to remove lavender.

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Roasted Salmon with Spicy Glaze



4 (6-ounce) center-cut salmon fillets*
¼ cup pineapple juice
2 tablespoons fresh lemon* juice (Meyer lemon, if available)
2 tablespoons brown sugar
4–5 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
¾ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon finely ground sea salt
Olive oil, for pan

Combine salmon, pineapple juice, and lemon juice in a large resealable plastic bag. Seal and marinate in refrigerator for 1 hour, turning occasionally.

Heat oven to 400°. Remove fish from bag and discard marinade. Combine sugar, chili powder, lemon zest, cumin, cinnamon, and salt in a small bowl. Rub fish with spice mixture and place in baking pan coated with olive oil.

Bake until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork, about 12 minutes. Serve with lemon slices, roasted heirloom carrots, and Quinoa with Roasted Garlic, Tomatoes, and Spinach.

Visit for Roasted Rainbow Carrots recipe.

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Quinoa with Roasted Garlic, Tomatoes, and Spinach


1 small, whole head of garlic*
1 tablespoon olive oil (can use flavored, like basil)
1 tablespoon finely chopped onions*
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
½ cup uncooked red quinoa, rinsed and drained
1 tablespoon dry white wine
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup baby spinach leaves*
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil*
½ cup grape tomatoes*, halved
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese*
1–2 dashes balsamic vinegar*
¼ teaspoon freshly ground sea salt


Heat oven to 350°. Cut ¼-inch from top of garlic head. Wrap in foil and bake for 1 hour. Cool 10 minutes. Squeeze head into small bowl to extract garlic pulp. Discard skins.

Heat oil in medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and red pepper and cook 1 minute. Add quinoa and cook, stirring, 2–3 minutes. Add wine, stirring until liquid is absorbed. Add chicken broth and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed.

Remove from heat; stir in garlic pulp, spinach, basil, tomatoes, cheese, vinegar, and salt to taste. Serve immediately.

*These items can be purchased locally at the Downtown Bradenton Farmers’ Market.

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Roasted Honey Mustard Rabbit with Vegetables



1 (2–3 pound) fryer rabbit
6 tablespoons honey mustard
¾ cup olive oil, divided
10 sprigs fresh rosemary, divided
½ onion, diced
1 lemon, halved
Salt and freshly ground pepper
3 large leeks, sliced into ½-inch pieces
(white part only)
4 carrots, cut into 2-inch pieces
2 large potatoes, cut into large pieces


Place rabbit in 1-gallon resealable baggie or large baking dish. Combine honey mustard, ½ cup olive oil, 2 sprigs rosemary, onion, and juice of ½ a lemon in medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Rub marinade into meat of rabbit, inside and out. Marinate overnight in refrigerator.

Heat oven to 350°. Place leeks, carrots, and potatoes in large roasting pan. Toss with salt and pepper, remaining 8 sprigs rosemary, and remaining ¼ cup olive oil. Spread vegetables in bottom of roasting pan, making a bed for the rabbit. Place rabbit on top of vegetables positioned on its side. Squeeze juice of remaining ½ a lemon on top of the whole dish.

Roast for 1 hour. Flip rabbit over and continue roasting for an additional hour. Transfer rabbit and vegetables to a platter and cover with aluminum foil; let rest for 15 minutes. Slice rabbit and serve with roasted vegetables, ladling juice on top of each serving.

Photo by Kathryn Brass-Piper

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Spiced Squash Soup



1 butternut squash, halved lengthwise
Olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 quart vegetable stock
1 large carrot, diced
2 shallots, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2–3 tablespoons curry powder
1½ tablespoons ground cinnamon
Seeds from 6 cardamom pods, optional
1–2 cups water, if necessary
¼ cup heavy cream (or 1/3 cup milk or almond milk)
1/3 cup thick plain yogurt


Place rimmed baking sheet oven and heat to 400°. Remove seeds and stringy flesh from squash, reserving seeds. Rub squash flesh with oil, and season with salt and pepper. Place flesh-side-down on preheated baking sheet and roast until skin has browned and wrinkled and a knife slides easily into the caramelized flesh, about 25 minutes. Rinse squash flesh off seeds and pat dry. Arrange in a single layer on aluminum foil-lined baking; season with salt. Roast until toasty brown, about 10 minutes. Let cool.

Meanwhile, prepare vegetables and soup base: Gently warm stock in small saucepan over low heat; do not bring to a simmer. Heat a good glug of oil in Dutch oven over medium heat. Throw in carrot and cook for 2 minutes. Add shallots, stir, and cook for 2 minutes. Add garlic, cook for—you guessed it—2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and add curry powder, cinnamon, and cardamom seeds, if using. If pan gets too dry, deglaze with a little stock.


Once squash is roasted, remove from oven and let cool enough to handle.

Remove skin and mash, scoop, or chop the flesh up and add to pot. Stir, breaking up squash as much as possible.

Add stock and water, if necessary, to cover vegetables in liquid. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until flavors are combined, squash has broken down, and soup is thick but not stew-like, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and, working in batches, carefully purée in blender. Do not overfill blender; the steam of the hot soup could pop the lid off, so hold down with a dish towel over your hand to prevent getting burned. Return soup to clean pot.

Stir in cream and taste. The soup should be a little spicy, a little sweet and creamy without tasting fatty. Adjust the seasoning as needed. Serve hot or cool completely, refrigerate, and serve cold. Top with a dollop of thick yogurt and a good sprinkling of toasted squash seeds and kosher salt.

Recipe courtesy of The Working Class Foodies Cookbook by Rebecca Lando.

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Spice-Rubbed Venison Tenderloin with Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes



1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled
1/3 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons thinly sliced green onion
1–2 teaspoons chipotle in adobo, minced
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
8 ounces venison (or beef) filets
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon chili powder
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
½ cup grape tomatoes
8 cups spinach leaves
Lime Crema*
Compound Butter*


Place potatoes in a large pot of salted water. Bring to a boil and cook until tender. Drain well. Mash potatoes with buttermilk until smooth. Add green onion, chipotle, and season with salt. Keep warm while preparing venison.

Rub venison with brown sugar, paprika, chili powder, and salt and pepper to taste. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in cast iron skillet over high heat. Add steaks and cook 2–3 minutes per side for medium-rare, or to desired doneness. Remove from pan and keep warm while preparing spinach.

Heat remaining tablespoon oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Add tomatoes and cook until blistered. Add spinach and cook until wilted. Season with salt and pepper.

To plate, divide mashed potatoes between two plates, top with Lime Crema, spinach, and steaks. Top steaks with Compound Butter and serve.

*Visit for Lime Crema & Compound Butter recipes.

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Bohemian Sapphire


2 ounces Bombay Sapphire
½ ounce Sauvignon blanc (preferably from Marlborough New Zealand)
½ ounce Bénédictine
Dash of Peychaud’s bitters
Dash of Angostura bitters
Grapefruit zest


Stir all ingredients until properly diluted. Pour into a chilled glass. Perfume glass with grapefruit zest.

NOTE: This is my version of a Martinez cocktail, the precursor of the martini. The original calls for a malty gin, sweet vermouth, Luxardo Maraschino, and orange bitters. In my version I make a vermouth on the fly utilizing white wine, Bénédictine, and bitters to create a sweet-bitter balance.

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