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Chef's Corner

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Cooking with Chef Dylan

from Barking Frog

Executive Chef Dylan Herrick and team share their world and showcase the season for you

If food is your passion, you've come to the right place. Join Executive Chef Dylan Herrick and team behind the scenes of the Barking Frog as they share what's new in their culinary world, what's in season, and how it's inspiring them in the kitchen.

Find out what's fresh. Get seasonal recipes that look as fabulous as they taste. Learn simple, ingenious tips for finessing everything from food prep to presentation. And get step-by-step instructions that make it easy to master techniques.


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1 lb. Chestnuts
1 lb. Celeriac, cleaned
1 lb. Apples
Water, as needed
Cream, as needed
1 c. Honey
1/4 c. Apple Cider Vinegar
1/4 c. Champagne Vinegar
3 Tbl. Bourbon
Sachet (Bay Leaves, Black Peppercorns, Fresh Sage)

In a large pot, combine the chestnuts, celeriac chunks and apple chunks.  Cover by 1 inch with an equal mixture of water and cream.  Heat the soup very slowly and simmer for two hours.  (A bigger batch will require longer cooking time.) Season the soup with honey, salt, white pepper to taste, apple cider vinegar and champagne vinegars.

For the garnish, equal parts of small diced apples, chestnuts and celeriac are caramelized and tossed in enough honey to stick together.  When caramelizing, first do the celeriac, then the apple, the chestnuts, honey and the bourbon last. Season with salt.
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2 - 3 avocados (pits removed)
1/2 lb. tomatillos
1 - jalapeno
1/2 bunch cilantro
2 - limes (juiced)
salt & pepper

Remove husks of tomatillos.  Drizzle olive oil on top and grill with jalapeno until soft.  Cool.  Peel jalapeno and use with out or without seeds.

In a blender, add all ingredients and puree.  Season with salt and pepper.
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Yields: Two 9x13 casserole dishes of Focaccia
Total time to make: 3 hours
Pairs with: Mark Ryan Winery 2018 Olsen Vineyard Chardonnay
Note: Recipe can be halved

Step 1: Make the Starter 10 3/4 oz water (body temp) 1T + 1tsp dry yeast 11oz AP flour, sifted Stir together yeast and water, add flour, mix by hand Scrape down bowl, wrap in plastic and place on top of the oven (not too hot of a spot) for 15-20 minutes

Step 2: Make the Dough Take the starter and add the following to make the dough: 8oz water (body temp) 5 ½ oz white wine 5 ¼ oz olive oil 1Lb 6 oz AP flour, sifted 1 ½ oz salt 4 sprigs of rosemary finely chopped
- Mix liquids together, mix dry together
- Add liquid, then dry ingredients, vigorously mix together by hand
- Scrape down bowl, wrap in plastic and place on top of the oven (not too hot of a spot) for 15-20 minutes

Step 3: Prepare Focaccia Toppings 2 yellow onions 2 pints of cherry tomatoes ¼ cup of olive oil 3 sprigs of rosemary, finely chopped Salt and pepper to taste Red chili flakes to taste

- Chop onions and sauté in olive oil in pan until golden brown
- Wash tomatoes and place them on lined baking sheet and toss with chopped rosemary and oil, salt, pepper and red chili flakes
- Bake tomatoes in oven at 275 degrees for two hours

Step 4: Forming the Focaccia Note: Divide the dough into two to make two focaccias or freeze other for later
- Cover the bottom of two large casserole dishes with olive oil
- Divide in two and scrape dough out on to a very well-floured surface, cover the dough with plastic wrap and press out to approx. the size of the pan
- Carefully pick up dough and place in oiled pan, spread out and leave at room temp for 30 minutes
- Make sure sides of the pan are still oiled and dough is not sticking
- Lightly press fingers into dough

Step 5: Bake Focaccia
Bake at 350 degrees convection oven for 15 minutes then flip out on cooling rack, bake another 15 minutes
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2 c. Fresh Basil Leaves (one bunch)
1/4 c. Pine Nuts - slightly toasted
1/8 c. Roasted Garlic Oil
1/4 c. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Lemon Zest (juiced)
Salt and Pepper to taste
Heaping 1/4 c. Pecorino or Parmesan Reggiano (freshly grated)

Pick and clean all basil leaves.  Save the bud tips to use for pesto as well.  Using a stick blender, vita-prep or robot coup is the best way for a smooth finished product.  (Even a mortar and pestle will get the job done).  Place the toasted pine nuts along with the garlic oil and begin to pulse together.  If using a stick blender, get a small bowl that will cover up to the blade.  You might need a little more oil to start the puree to come together.  Add the fresh basil to the mixture while the blade is still running.  Season the pesto with fresh lemon juice and zest.  The parmesan will add a creamy texture to the pesto.  Taste and season and adjust with salt and pepper.
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BEET PASTA DOUGH: 4 c. flour, 2 T. olive oil, 1 T. salt, 10 each egg yolks, 1 c. beet juice
Mix flour, oil, salt and egg yolks and slowly add enough beet juice until the dough comes together.  Do this a day in advance if possible.

CRAB FILLING: 1/2 c. goat cheese, 1/2 c. mascarpone cheese, 1 c. picked crabmeat, 1 tsp. chopped tarragon, 1 tsp. chopped onions, salt and pepper to taste
Mix filling together and set aside until ready to form raviolis

HERBED BEURRE BLANC 2 c. white wine, 1 ea. lemon, halved, 1 ea. shallot, 5 cloves garlic, 1 ea. bay leaf, 1 T. black peppercorn, 1/4 c. heavy whipping cream, 1/2 lb. butter in 1/2 inch cubes, salt and pepper to taste, 1 T. chopped herbs
Mix wine, lemon, shallot, garlic, bay leaf and peppercorn in sauce pan and reduce until almost all the wine is evaporated.  Add cream and once it's boiling, turn off the heat and whisk in enough butter until the beurre blanc starts to thicken slightly.  Once thickened, strain out solids, season with salt and pepper and mix in herbs.  Keep in a warm location to prevent breaking later, but do not put it back over direct heat or it will separate.

Roll out two sheets of pasta to 4-5 thickness on pasta roller.  Etch the ravioli shapes in bottom sheet to determine how many raviolis each sheet will make.  Fill each ravioli with no more than 1 tsp. filling or the raviolis will blow out in the water.  Brush edges with egg wash, place second pasta sheet on top, force out all the air bubbles and punch raviolis out.  Drop into boiling water and cook until they start to float.  Any extra raviolis can be placed on a half sheet pan with parchment paper, frozen, and bagged up for later consumption. Strain raviolis or use a spider to scoop out.  Toss in enough beurre blanc to coat and serve.  Garnish with extra chopped herbs.
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Waffle Batter: 2 c. flour, 1 t. salt, 4 t. baking powder, 1 Tbl. ground black pepper 2 Tbl, sugar, 2 eggs, 3/4 c. buttermilk, 3/4 c. milk, 1/3 c. Canola oil
Mix dry ingredients and wet separately and then mix them together.  Don't over mix.  Let batter sit for 30 minutes.

Fried Chicken: Chicken - Use anything you want - boneless, bone-in, wings, thighs, breast - it doesn't matter.  Bone-in chicken will add a little bit to the cooking time.

The amount of flour and buttermilk will be determined on how much chicken you use, but I'd say about two cups of flour for every pound of chicken.  The chicken just needs to be covered by the buttermilk.

The spice mixture for two cups of the buttermilk mixture are:
1 t. smoked paprika
1 t. dried thyme
1 t. ancho chili powder
1 t. chipotle chili powder
1 t. granulated garlic
1 t. onion powder
1 t. black papper
1/4 t. cayenne powder

Make the spice mixture separately and then add it to the flour along with plenty of salt.

Marinate the chicken in buttermilk for at least an hour.  This can be done the night before for even better flavor.

Pull chicken from buttermilk and dredge in flour.  Make sure it is covered in flour and then shake excess off and place back in the buttermilk.  Cover completely in buttermilk and dredge in flour again.  Immediately drop into the fryer until golden brown. Once its golden, pull and finish in the oven or the outside will get burnt and the inside will remain raw.  (It's also a good idea to do the waffle a little ahead of time and finish in the oven to get that crisp again.)

The maple butter consists of 1 part maple syrup, 1/2 part bourbon and 4 parts butter. This can be made and whipped ahead of time, but I recommend letting it sit at room temperature to soften up before serving. We finished the plate with Noble Bourbon Barrel-Aged Maple Syrup, but any good maple syrup would suffice.
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1/2 sheet pan of peeled, split and seeded butternut squash
1 c. sherry wine
1 vanilla bean
3 carrots
3 celery stalks
1 onion, chopped
1/8 c. poached garlic
1/2 Tbl. chili flakes
1/2 jalapeno, stemmed and split
1/2 bunch thyme
1 Tbl. black peppercorns, crushed
2 bay leaves
creme fraiche

Roast squash with parchment paper and 1/4 c. butter until edges have a medium dark caramelization.  Deglaze squash with 1/2 c. sherry and roast until au sec.

In a large stainless steel pan, caramelize carrots, deglaze with water, add celery and onion and lightly caramelize.  Deglaze with 1/2 c. sherry and bring to a full boil.

Add sachet (chili flakes, jalapeno, thyme, peppercorn and bay leaves), roasted squash, vanilla bean (split and scraped) and 4 cups of water to pan.  Simmer until squash is tender enough to blend.

Remove sachet and vanilla pods.  Blend soup in large blender until smooth and pass through a china cap into a large bowl.  Add creme fraiche to taste and season with salt and white pepper.

Serves 10
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Yield: 1 serving
1/2 clove finely chopped
1/2 English cucumber, seeded
6 mint leaves, chiffonade
1 1/2 c. plain or greek yogurt

Shred the cucumbers on a box grater.  Combine everything in a bowl and mix together.  (For a finer texture, use a blender).

Add ice water until desired texture is achieved. Let everything rest for at least 4 hours or overnight, if possible.  Serve with your favorite proteins or vegetables.  Goes great with scallops, shrimp or smoked salmon.
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2 - each Delicata squash (peeled, seeded & cut 1 1/2" thick)
1/2 c. white wine
salt & pepper

1 - head of roasted garlic or 1/3 c.
1/2 c. water
1/4 c. Canola oil
2 Tbl. white balsamic vinegar
1 Tbl. lemon juice
salt & pepper to taste

3/4 c. cooked & cooled farro
1/3 c. crumbled Cougar Gold cheese
1/3 c. dried craisins
1  Asian pear - julienned
1 1/2 lb. winter greens chiffenade
Aged balsamic to drizzle
salt & pepper to taste

Peel squash, turning every 1/2 inch leaving on some skin.  Cut squash into 1 1/2" thick rings.  Remove the seeds.  Place squash rings on a parchment lined baking sheet.  Season with salt and pepper.  Roast in a 350 degree oven for 12 minutes.  Squash should be cooked through, but still firm to the touch.  Leave out on baking sheet pan until ready to serve so the squash will still be warm.

Heat garlic with water, just to a simmer, and pour into blender with vinegar and lemon juice.  Blend on high for 15 seconds and then slowly drizzle in Canaola oil for dressing to emulsify.  Season to taste.  Pour into a sauce pan and keep sauce pot on very low to keep the dressing hot.

In a slightly hot, heat-safe mixing bowl, combine the farro and winter greens with warm dressing.  Over a very, very low heat source, toss until greens become slightly wilted.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Place squash on each plate and cascade greens out of squash and across the plate.  Top with the remaining salad components and serve immediately.
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20 - prawns
1 1/2 c, corn starch

1 c. Grand Marnier
4 c. orange juice
3 T. dried orange zest (pulse in a coffee grinder)
2 c. mayonnaise

For the sauce, add the Grand Marnier and orange juice together in a sauce pan, reduce to a syrupy consistency and cool immediately.  Combine the reduction and pulsed orange zest powder with the mayonnaise and refrigerate.

To cook the prawns, heat canola oil or frying oil to 350 degrees.  Dust the prawns in the cornstarch, shaking off any excess starch. Fry the prawns until crispy (about 2 minutes) and drain on paper towels. In a large bowl, toss the hot prawns in the Grand Marnier mayonnaise to coat and sprinkle with sesame seeds to garnish.
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Rib Eye Rub:
1/4 c. white sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. paprika
1/4 c. kosher salt
1/4 c. chili powder
1 T. dry mustard
2 tsp. old bay
1/2 tsp. cayenne
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. granulated garlic

Start with five 14-16 oz. bone-in rib eyes.  Season the meat with the spice blend rub.  Rub the blended spices into the meat.  Place the rib eye directly over the grill on medium high heat and cook for 2 minutes.  Then mark the meat by rotating 30 degrees and cook for another 2 minutes.  Turn the rib eye over and repeat by marking the side for a total of 4 minutes.  Let the meat rest for 3-4 minutes and serve medium rare.  Serve with Pickled Peaches and Baby Arugula tossed with a Gewurztraminer Vinaigrette.

Pickled Peaches
3 c. rice wine vinegar
3 c. Mirin
1/2 ea. jalapeno (halved)
2 tsp. green cardamom
1 tsp. pickling spice
4 peaches (medium size)

Combine the first five ingredients in a pot and bring to a boil.  Prep peaches by washing, halving and seeding.  Cut each half into three even slices and place in a container large enough to hold the peaches and the liquid.  Strain liquid to remove the spices.  If peaches are firm, pour over them while it is still hot.  If the peaches are soft, cool liquid down before introducing to the peaches.  Let the peaches "pickle" overnight. Gewurztraminer Vinaigrette 1/4 c.

Gewurztraminer vinegar
1 1/2 tsp. sugar
salt - to taste
white pepper - to taste
2 1/2 c. grape seed oil (or Canola oil)

Combine all ingredients in a mixer (except the oil).  Pulse to blend.  With the blender on, slowly drizzle the oil in to create an emulsification.
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This recipe requires a scale as quantities are in weight. Doing so delivers a more exact and consistent result that is particularly important in baking applications. If you don't have a digital scale, now is the time to make a purchase you won't regret? Note: The converted recipe is also available at the end of this recipe.

500 g. half & half
100 g. honey
25 g. dry yeast
250 g. whole eggs
150 g. unsalted melted butter
600 g. bread flour
480 g. all purpose flour
120 g. potato starch
21 g. salt

Method: Combine half & half and honey in saucepot and heat over low heat until just warm, then add yeast to activate. When yeast is alive, the top of the liquid will be frothy. While the yeast is waking up, we can get our dry ingredients ready.

Sift all dry ingredients into a stand mixer bowl. This recipe can also be done without a stand mixer, but will take some extra kneading time and elbow grease. Different flours are used to provide texture. Bread flour is higher in protein and provides a chewier texture. Potato starch is added to make the dough a little more delicate and easier to shape, as well as giving us a roll that is moister since it retains more moisture than flour.

Pour all wet ingredients into the dry and mix with dough hook attachment in stand mixer just until everything is combined. Allow to rest for 20 minutes. Once rested, knead for 10-12 minutes. Start off slowly and bring the speed setting up to 8. This step can also be done by hand by combining ingredients with a wooden spoon until the dough is formed. Then knead on a tabletop. You will just have to knead for about 20 minutes. When kneading the dough, it will be a little wet and sticky. Place in greased bowl and allow to rise for 1 hour. Cover with plastic wrap so dough doesn't crust up. It will double in size.

After first rise, punch down dough with fingertips and divide into rolls. A scale can be used for this to ensure evenly sized rolls...but an eyeball and feel works just fine too. Size of rolls is dependent on preference. We have found balls sized somewhere between a golf ball and tennis ball work best. Place dough balls on parchment lined sheet tray about 4 inches apart or in greased baking dish about 2 inches apart. The second method will provide more of a pull apart roll. Cover with plastic and allow to rise a second time for 45 minutes. Dough balls should double in size.

Remove plastic wrap and brush top with a little milk, then place in pre-heated 350 degree oven on the middle rack. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown. Serve warm with butter, miso butter made with 1 part red miso, 4 parts unsalted butter and a little honey is absolutely delicious.

Converted Recipe:
2 c. half & half
5 Tbl. honey
1 1/2 Tbl. yeast
6 whole eggs
1/2 c. melted unsalted butter
4 1/2 c. bread flour
4 c. all purpose flour
1/2 c. + 1 Tbl. potato starch
2 tsp. salt
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(Serves 4)

1 each heirloom tomato, Golden Jubilee
1 each heirloom tomato, Brandywine
4 slices each yellow watermelon
4 slices each red watermelon
1/4 c. grape seed oil
1 Tbl. tomato vinegar
1/4 c. tomato scraps
1/2 c. watermelon scraps
1 each, 8 oz. container of Burrata
2 Tbl. olive oil
1 Tbl. micro basil or substitute regular basil
1 tsp. pine nuts (or candied pine nuts)
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. water
10 yr. aged balsamic vinegar
SaltWorks Artisan Balsamic Salt or substitute sea salt
salt and white pepper

For the tomatoes and watermelon: Slice the tomatoes 1/2 inch thick and reserve 1/4 c. tomato scraps for the vinagirette.  Slice the watermelon 1/2 inch thick in a triangular shape and reserve 1/2 c. of watermelon scraps for vinaigrette.

For the Burrata: Puree Burrata cheese in a food processor and add the olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Reserve the Burrata for the assembly of the salad.

For the candied pine nuts: Boil 1/2 c. sugar and 1/2 c. water which makes a simple syrup.  Once the sugar and water has incorporated to make a simple syrup, place the pine nuts in the syrup and boil for 3 minutes.  Strain the pine nuts out of the simple syrup and toss in sugar immediately and cool.

For the tomato and watermelon vinaigrette: In a blender, place the tomato scraps, watermelon scraps and tomato vinegar and puree until smooth.  Once pureed, slowly drizzle in the grape seed oil until the vinaigrette is emulsified.  Season with salt and pepper.

Assembly: On a medium sized plate or bowl, place 3 Tbl. of the Burrata puree in the center of the dish.  Place one slice of the Golden Jubilee tomato and drizzle a small amount of the vinaigrette on the tomato.  Season with balsamic salt.  Place one slice of the red watermelon on the Golden Jubilee tomato and season once more with the salt.  Repeat the first step substituting Brandywine tomato and yellow watermelon.  Drizzle a small amount of the vinaigrette and the aged balsamic around the outer edge of the Burrata and garnish with candied pine nuts and micro basil.

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1/2 gallon water*
1 c. salt
1 c. brown sugar 1 T. black peppercorns
5 each bay leaves
1 bunch thyme
1 bunch rosemary
5 cloves garlic 1 T. cardamom pods
1 onion
1 T. allspice
1 T. sloves
2 oranges
Ice as needed

Boil everything in a large pot for a few minutes.  Pour into a bucket large enough to hold the turkey.  Add ice as needed until ice starts accumulating and not melting.  Place turkey in the liquid overnight.

*Note: The recipe above is for the speed method.  If you are leaving your turkey overnight to cool, use 1 gallon of water instead of the half gallon with no ice.
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For the Lamb Burger or Sliders: (2 oz. or 8 oz portions)
1 lb. Ground Lamb
1/2 medium Onion - minced
1 T. Mustard Seed - toasted
Salt & White Pepper to taste

Combine above and allow to sit refrigerated for 1 hour.  Portion into 2 oz. (for sliders) or 8 oz. patties and pan sear when ready to serve.  Add a small portion of gruyere cheese to burger when you flip it over.

Red Wine Onions
Roasted Garlic Aioli
Gruyere Cheese
1 c. Baby Arugula
4 slices Gruyere or 1/2 oz. Goat Cheese per burger

Grill each patty for approximately 2 minutes per side.  Add gruyere or goat cheese when you flip it for the first time.  Toast the buns.  Brush the rolls with a little bit of the aioli, add a small amount of onions, baby arugula and serve.

Marinated Onions:
1 ea. Medium Red Onion - thin slices
1/2 c. Red Wine Vinegar
1/2 c. Red Wine

Heat vinegar and wine to a simmer.  Pour hot liquid over shaved onions.  Let steep and cool.

Roasted Aioli   (will hold in the refrigerator)
4 ea. Egg Yolks
Pinch Salt
Pinch White Pepper
Pinch Dry Mustard
2 tsp. White Wine Vinegar
1/4 c. Canola Oil
6-8 Cloves of Medium Sized Roasted Garlic

Toss roasted garlic cloves in canola oil and place onto baking pan covered with foil and cook at 350 degrees until golden brown and soft to the touch.  Strain oil and add garlic.

Whip egg yolks in mixer on high speed until frothy.  Add dry ingredients and half the vinegar, whisk to combine.  Begin adding the oil, a little at a time, until the mix starts to thicken and an emulsion begins to form. Add the remaining oil in a slow, steady stream, thinning occasionally with vinegar until all has been incorporated.  Adjust seasoning and add lemon juice and toasted garlic to taste. Refrigerate until needed.
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Caper Remoulade:
1 Tbl. white onions, minced
1 Tbl. capers, minced
1 Tbl. pickles, minced
1/8 tsp. dried mustard
1 tsp. lemon juice
1/4 c. mayonnaise
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. dried dill, minced (or 1 tsp. fresh, if available)
Mix everything together and adjust seasoning, as necessary.

Pickled Onions:
2 c. cider vinegar
1/4 c. sugar
1 Tbl. each mustard seed, black peppercorns, coriander seed, fennel seed
2 sprigs fresh thyme
2 ea. bay leaves
2 cloves garlic
Combine everything and bring to a boil.  Strain and pour over:
2 c. white onions, sliced julienne

Let steep for one hour at room temperature and store overnight.

For the potatoes: Fill a pot with fingerling potatoes and cover in water.  Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer.  Cook until tender. Remove from heat and immediately cool under running cold water or in the refrigerator.  Once cool, slice in half and then cook them over low heat in duck fat.  (Alternatively you can just sear them in a saute pan with oil or butter)

For the dish: Bring a saute pan to high heat, season filet of black cod with salt.  Add 2 Tbl. oil to the pan.  Place the cod in the pan skin side down.  Sear until skin is crispy and separates easily from the pan.  Finish cooking in a 450 degree oven for 6-8 minutes or until the flesh flakes apart.  While fish is cooking, saute the vegetables in a separate pan with oil or butter. Season with salt and pepper (and a dash of malt vinegar for that extra fish and chips flavor).
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6 - eggs
1/2 c. + 2 T brown butter**
2 c. brown sugar
3 c. corn syrup
1 T. vanilla extract
1 tsp. salt
pecan pieces, as needed

**For brown butter, take about 1 1/2 times the amount of butter you need and boil it on high (using a little bigger pot then you'd think as it foams up).  Whisk occasionally until it starts turning brown and smells nutty.  Pour into a heat proof container and cool.
Mix everything together on low speed.  Do not overmix.  Par bake tart/pie shell of choice with pie weights or beans until a light golden brown.  Fill sheel full of pecan pieces.  Pour the liquid filling over the pecans until the shell is filled and level. (If the filling was refrigerated, microwave it a little at a time to melt the butter on top).

Bake at 350° until the filling doesn't jiggle and it's nice and dark.  Cool at room temperature.  Top with Bourbon White Chocolate Whip.

Bourbon White Chocolate Whip
1 c. whipped cream
14 oz. white chocolate, chopped (about 2 cups)
2 1/2 c. whipped cream
bourbon to taste
Melt chocolate over a water bath (or carefully in the microwave in short increments).  Heat first cream to a boil.  Pour over chocolate and thoroughly combine.  Add second cream.  Refrigerate overnight.  Whip to stiff peaks with bourbon to taste.
Pipe or spoon over pecan pie.
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Coconut-Curry Broth
1 - bottle White Wine
2 oz. fresh Ginger, peeled and sliced
1 - stalk Lemongrass, smashed
3 - Kaffir Lime Leaves
1 - large Shallot, sliced
6 - cloves Garlic, smashed
2 - Bay Leaves
1 Tbsp.. Black Peppercorns
1 Tbsp. Tumeric

Combine all of the above ingredients in a stock pot and reduce by 3/4.  Strain and add to the following ingredients.

1 pinch - Saffron
2 - Limes, zested and juiced
1 can Coconut Milk (13/5 fl. oz.)
1/4 c. Cream of Coconut
1/8 c. Yellow Curry Paste

Simmer for 15 minutes and cool.
1 lb - Fresh Mussels, cleaned and washed
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Poaching Liquid
2 c. port
1/2 c. + 2 Tbl. cranberry juice
juice from 1 lemon
1 c. sugar
5 whole cloves
10 peppercorns
2 cinnamon sticks
1 vanilla bean, optional
pears of your choice, preferably Asian pears

Bring everything but the pears to a boil.  Peel the pears and using a melon baller (the small size), get as many pear spheres as you can.  Place the pear spheres into the hot liquid.  Poach the spheres at a light simmer  until tender and dark, approximately 30 minutes.  Pour everything into a container and refrigerate.

Cranberry Compote
1 - 8 oz. bag cranberries
1/2 c. water
1/2 c. + 2 Tbl. sugar
1 c. port
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1 - orange - zested
2 - connamon sticks
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Simmer all ingredients until berries pop, color turns dark and liquid is evaporated.

Whipped Goat Cheese
1 c. heavy cream
1/4 c. soft goat cheese
2 Tbl. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Whip all ingredients together to medium peaks.

Olive Oil Cake
3 egg yolks
3 Tbl. + 1 tsp. sugar
zest of 1 lemon
2 Tbl. + 2 tsp. olive oil
2 Tbl. + 1 tsp. Riesling wine
1/4 c. + 1 Tbl. all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
4 egg whites
2 Tbl. sugar
Whip together the first three ingredients.  Slowly add the oil while whisking.  Whip for another minute.  Slowly add wine, then fold in sifted dry ingredients.  Whipe white and second sugar until stiff.  Fold the two together.  Spray muffin tins and fill 3/4 full.  Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Drop a dollop of goat cheese on the place and smear a streak 3-4 inches long.  Tear the cake into 3-4 pieces and arrange in a loose circle.  Place a small spoonful of the cranberry in the middle and place 3 pear spheres on top of the cranberry.  Finally microplane a touch of orange zest over the dessert.  
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Hazelnut-Red Pepper Romesco
1 tbsp. minced garlic
2 ea. roasted red peppers, seeded and skinned
1 c. hazelnuts, roasted and crushed
1/4 c. lemon juice
1 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. cayenne
1/4 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. dried parsley
1/2 c. extra virgin olive oil

In a small pan over low heat, combine olive oil with garlic and cumin.  Lightly toast until fragrant.  Remove from heat and combine with all ingredients except olive oil.  Place in a blender and add 1 tbsp. water.  Puree until a thick past forms. (You can also crush everything by hand in a mortar and pestle). Slowly add the oil while blending until desired texture is achieved. Season with salt and sherry vinegar to taste.

Red Wine Braised Octopus
1 ea. 4-5 lb. octopus, tenderized, head and beak removed
1 bottle red wine
2 qts. water
2 ea. sprigs of rosemary
4 ea. bay leaves
6 cloves garlic, peeled

Combine all ingredients, except for the octopus, in a pot and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to a low simmer and add the octopus.  Cover and simmer for about 2 hours.  Octopus is done when you can easily insert the tip of the knife into the tentacles and they don't feel tough, but still bounce back when squeezed.  Remove the octopus from cooking liquid and cool until ready to use.

For the Dish 1/2 c. castelvetrano olives, halved
1/2 c. Spanish chorizo, thinly sliced
1/4 c. pine nuts, toasted
1 batch of romesco
1 octopus, cooked
olive oil
1 head of cauliflower or romanesco, cut into florets

Heat a saute pan over medium-high heat.  Add a small amount of oil and char the octopus and romanesco or cauliflower. Season with salt to taste.  (Be careful not to over salt, as the octopus can get salty quickly). Deglaze with water or wine. When the octopus is tender, it is ready to serve.  Remove the octopus from the pan and cut to desired size or serve whole, if preferred.  Place romesco on the bottom of each dish.  Divide cauliflower or romanesco, chorizo, olives and pine nuts between each plate.  Drizzle with oilive oil and serve.
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1 - loaf brioche, sliced about 3/4"-1" thick, 2 slices per sandwich, should get approximately 6 sandwiches per loaf

Per Sandwich:
2 - slices brioche
1/2 oz. roasted garlic aioli
1 oz. smoked cheddar cheese, slices
1 oz. Fontina cheese, sliced
1 oz. arugula
lemon olive oil
Kosher salt & pepper

Lightly spread the garlic aioli on both sides of the sliced brioche and lay on the griddle to toast.  Top one side of the sandwich with the sliced cheddar and the other with the sliced fontina.  In a bowl, dress the arugula with a little lemon oil and season with the salt and pepper.  Place the dressed arugula on one half of the sandwich and top with the other half. Cut in half diagonally and serve with a bowl of the tomato fennel soup.

2 c. garlic cloves, peeled
3 c. Canola oil

In a small plan, cover the garlic cloves with the oil, cover and roast at 350 degrees for about 35 minutes or until golden and soft.  Drain the cloves and reserve the oil.  Cool them both.
2 eggs, large
2 egg yolks
1 T. lemon juice
pinch of Kosher salt and pepper

In a food processor, add the eggs, yolks, lemon juice with salt and pepper.  Run the processor until the eggs are frothy. With the machine running, add about 1/2 cup of the reserved roasted garlic cloves and slowly drizzle in the reserved, cooled, garlic oil.  Season to taste.

2 - yellow onions, medium size, peels and diced
2 - fennel bulbs, chopped
1 Tbl. garlic, chopped fine
1 Tbl. fennel seed
1 - 12 oz. can tomato paste
1 - #10 can Alta Cucina Plum Tomatoes
1/2 bunch - thyme, washed, rinsed and tied in a bundle with twine
1 qt. heavy whipping cream
2 Tbl. Kosher salt
1 tsp. black pepper, ground

Sweat onions and fennel in large pot until translucent.  Add garlic and fennel seeds and sweat another 4-6 minutes.  Stir in tomato paste (#10 size) and thyme bundle, tying to the side of pot. Simmer for 30-40 minutes.  Add heavy cream plus salt and pepper.  Simmer another 15-20 minutes.  Remove from heat and remove the thyme bundle.  Pour in a blender and season to taste.
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I always like to serve squash on a holiday table in some form and this dish is easy to prepare but will wow guests with the textures, flavors and interesting combination of ingredients. Black futsu squash is a fun variety that looks like a mini pumpkin with an edible skin. If it is hard to find, kobacha squash can be easily substituted. Preparing all components of this dish ahead of time will make the day of a holiday event an absolute breeze and all that needs to be done is reheating the squash. The recipe has been scaled to serve 4.

Roasted Squash
4 ea. small black futsu or 1 ea. kabocha squash
1 Tbl. olive oil
1 tsp. salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. If using black futsu, cut top just under the stem and remove all seeds with a spoon. If using kabocha, cut in half and remove all seeds, then cut into wedges with a max size of 2 inches in middle. Toss squash in oil and salt, then place on sheet tray and roast in oven for 15-20 minutes or until fork tender. Set aside to cool.

Apricot-Pine Nut Granola
1 c. rolled oats
1/4 c. small diced dried apricot
2 Tbl. pine nuts
1 tsp. chia seeds
1/4 tsp. ground cardamom
1/4 tsp. ground allspice
1/2 tsp. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. honey
1/2 tsp. canola oil
1/2 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a bowl, combine rolled oats, chia seeds, cardamom, allspice, sugar, honey, salt and oil, tossing to evenly coat everything. Spread evenly on sheet tray and roast for 15 minutes, stirring every five minutes. Combine pine nut and apricot and roast an additional 10 minutes, stirring once after five minutes. Combine pine nut and apricot and roast an additional 10 minutes, stirring once after five minutes. Set aside to cool at room temperature. Store in airtight container once completely cool.

Savory Caramel
1 c. chicken stock
1 each peeled and diced granny smith apple
1/4 c. granulated sugar
1 c. heavy cream
1 Tbl. soy sauce

Combine chicken stock and diced apple in saucepan and cook over medium heat until apples are soft, then blend until smooth with a stick blender or regular blender, then pour back in pot. Add sugar and cook until caramel stage is reached. Color should be a rich brown. If using a thermometer, this stage is reached around 350 degrees. Whisk in cream and soy sauce, then reduce by half and cool at room temperature.

To serve, place cooked squash in casserole dish for serving and warm through in 350 degree oven. Should only take about 5 minutes. Drizzle with caramel and sprinkle with granola. Some roughly chopped parsley can be used to add a pop of color for presenting if desired.
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Panna Cotta
32 oz. cream
12 oz. milk
12 sheets of silver gelatin
8 oz. yogurt
4 oz. sugar
Lemon juice, to taste
Rose extract, 2 caps full

Heat cream.  Add sugar and gelatin.  Add milk, yogurt - then lemon and rose extract.  Fill tube molds lined with acetate (to the top).  Freeze.  Run under hot water briefly and unmold.  Cut into 3 1/2 inch segments.

Pink Peppercorn Cake
750 g. white chocolate
90 g. apple butter
180 g. lurpak
225 g. sweetened condensed milk
225 g. cake flour
150 g. almond flour
2 tsp. pink pepper, ground
12 eggs
Melt first three ingredients.  Whisk remaining ingredients together.  Fold in chocolate mixture.  Bake on half sheetpan at 350 degrees for approx. 15 minutes.  Freeze.  Shave in robot coupe with grater attachment.

Whipped Strawberry
500 g. strawberry puree
100 g. sugar
7.5 g. versawhip
75 g. xanthan gum
Thoroughly blend all 4 ingredients together.  Whip a portion, as needed, to stiff.

Candied Sicilian Pistachios
300 g. sugar
100 g. water
30 g. trimoline
1 qt. Sicilian pistachios
Make a syrup from the first three ingredients.  Pour over the nuts.  Toss to coat.  Strawin off excess syrup.  Spread single layer on silpat.  Sprinkle with salt.  Dry at 275 degrees until  no longer sticky.

Rhubarb Compote
340 g. water
510 g. sugar
340 g. port
zest of one orange
1 vanilla bean
60 g. red wine vinegar
4 T. cornstarch, slurred with a little port
10-12 stalks of rhubarb, chopped small
Cook down everything except slurry.  Gradually stir in slurry - boil one minute more.  Pour in bowl.  Cover directly and cool.  Fine dice two stalks of rhubarb and fold into mixture.

Shiso Strawberry Salad
6-8 strawberries, sliced
Clear glaze
Strawberry reduction (below)
Chiffonade of shiso

Tarragon Meringue
100 g. tarragon sugar
100 g. egg whites
100 g. powdered sugar, sifted
Whip first two ingredients into stiff peaks.  Fold in the powdered sugar.  Pipe with small round trip onto silpat.  Dry at 275 degrees until crispy - approximately 30 minutes.

Strawberry Reduction
1,000 g. strawberries, chopped
200 g. sugar
Thoroughly todd together.  Wrap tight in bowl and put on man marie (approximately 30-40 minutes until berries are grey),  Strain and reduce to nappe consistency.

Brush a stripe of strawberry reduction on the plate.  Spoon a pile of pink peppercorn cake on the reduction and lay the panna cotta on top.  Spoon three piles of strawberry salad around the cake.  Place a few pistachios with the salad piles.  Place a few meringue on and around the panna cotta.  Pipe a few tear drops of whipped strawberry on and around the panna cotta.  Garnish with a few leaves of red sorrel.
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1 - loaf potato bread (medium dice)
4 - c. heavy cream
4 - whole eggs
1/3 c. chopped herbs (parsley, chive, thyme)
2 - medium yellow onions (caramelized)
4 - cloves garlic
2 - turkey legs (confit or roasted)
salt & pepper

Whip cream and eggs together.  Combine all ingredients and mix together.  Spoon into 4" ramekins.  Bake for 20 minutes in a 350 degree oven.
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Serves 8

1/2 lb. unsalted butter
3/4 c. lemon juice
1 c. garlic
1/4 c. balsamic
1/3 c. hot water

Start with hot roasted garlic.  Place in a blender.  Cover the garlic with lemon juice.  Add the balsamic and water and puree.  In a smoking hot pan, add the cold butter to the puree until emulsification.  Season with salt and pepper.

1 1/2 lb. baby spinach
1/2 c. goat cheese
1/2 c. craisins

2 c. blanched walnuts
1/2 c. powdered sugar
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 350°.  In a medium sized bowl, mix together the sugar, cayenne and salt.  Bring a small sauce pan of water to a boil.  Add the walnuts and blanch them for 3 minutes.  Drain well and then immediately roll the walnuts in the sugar mixture.  The sugar will melt slightly.  Transfer the walnuts to a baking sheet or pan and bake, stirring occasionally until they are a deep golden brown - about 10 minutes.  Cool completely before serving.
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1 gallon fresh apple juice
1 c. fresh orange juice
1/2 c. fresh lemon juice
1/4 c. Captain Morgan's Spiced Rum (optional)
4 whole cinnamon sticks
1 T. whole cloves
1 T. allspice
1 tsp. fresh ground nutmeg
2 c. maple syrup
3 fresh sliced oranges

Simmer for 30 minutes and garnish with orange slices and cinnamon sticks.

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