Saturday, July 13, 2013

Buttermilk Biscuits and Sausage Gravy

Flaky pan-fried buttermilk biscuits enrobed with a creamy sausage and cracked black pepper gravy.

Skillet Buttermilk Biscuits
Makes 10-15 medium sized biscuits

All Purpose Flour   250g  
Buttermilk              170g
Salt                         1g
Black Pepper          pinch
Baking Soda           4g
Baking Powder      10g
Unsalted Butter      63g

Method of Preparation:
  1. Whisk the dry ingredients together until homogenous.
  2. Then rub in the butter with your hands until the mixture is coarse and grainy. Similar to the texture of sand.
  3. Place flour mixture onto a flat surface and make a well. Pour some buttermilk into the well and begin to slowly mix in the flour barrier. Continue to add buttermilk until a slightly sticky dough forms. (Note: not all of the buttermilk may be needed)
  4. Begin to lightly knead the dough into some flour and form dough into a rectangle.
  5. Refrigerate dough for thirty minutes.
  6. Remove from the cooler and on a lightly flour surface begin to roll out to a 1/2 inch thickness.
  7. For circle biscuits cut the dough with a cookie cutter, can or glass for uniform shapes. Or for a more rustic look cut 3in by 3in squares.
  8. Place some oil in a skillet and pan-fry the biscuits on medium-high heat for about 3-5 minutes on each side until the form a deep charcoal brown crust.

Black Pepper Sausage Gravy

Mild Bulk Sausage       454g
All-Purpose Flour         57g
Buttermilk                    113g
Whole Milk                  113g
Black Pepper                2g
Salt                               pinch

Method of Preparation:
  1. Crumble and cook sausage over medium-high heat until browned and slightly crispy.
  2. Stir in the flour until fully cooked out and dissolved.  
  3. Whisk the two milks together and gradually (so no lumps form) stir into the gravy.
  4. Cook the gravy until it begins to thicken and bubbles form.
  5. Season with your salt and fresh black pepper and serve hot over the buttermilk biscuits.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Tiramisu Torte

Layers of lady fingers soaked in a coffee and Marsala wine simple syrup. Filled with a whipped sweet mascarpone and enrobed with a coffee buttercream. Garnished with a cocoa powder stencil.

Lady Fingers

Cake Flour              148.5g
Cornstarch              148.5g
Egg Whites             340.5g
Granulated Sugar    192g                 
Egg Yolks               255g
Lemon Extract        7.5g
Granulated Sugar    Extra

Method of Preparation:
  1. Preheat oven to 350-360 degree F.
  2. On a piece of parchment use the bottom of a 9-inch cake pan to create three circular outlines for your lady finger layers. Flip over parchment circle stencil and very lightly spray with pan release.
  3. Sift cornstarch and cake flour on a piece of parchment paper.
  4. In a stationary mixer bowl, whip egg whites to a medium-stiff peak while adding 2/3 or the sugar.
  5. In a separate bowl, whip egg yolks and the remaining sugar until pale yellow and thickened.
  6. Carefully fold the egg whites into the egg yolks and add extract.
  7. Then carefully fold in the sifted dry ingredients until well combined and no streaks are visible.
  8. Place batter into a pastry bag fitted with a large circle tip (round 804).
  9. Starting from outside of the circle stencil, pipe a consistence spiral slowly reaching the center.
  10. Quickly sprinkle the piped rounds with your extra granulated sugar.
  11. Immediately bake until golden brown. (About 5-10 minutes)
  12. Allow to fully cool and then wrap with plastic wrap to prevent any further drying out.

Coffee & Marsala Simple Syrup

Coffee                 99g
Marsala Wine     28.35g
Sugar                  56.7g

Method of Preparation:
  1. In a medium size sauce pot, whisk the coffee, Marsala and sugar in and bring to a boil.
  2. Once sugar has fully dissolved, remove from the stove and allow to cool. Refrigerate until needed.

Sweet Mascarpone

Mascarpone Cheese     605g
Confectioners Sugar    140g
Fresh Lemon Juice      1 each
Method of Preparation:
  1. Using an electric mixer, whip the mascarpone cheese until light and fluffy.
  2. Sift the confectioners sugar onto a piece of parchment.
  3. Continue mixing the mascarpone and slowly in small doses add in the sifted confectioners sugar alternating with the fresh lemon juice.
Note: Not all of the lemon juice or confectioners sugar may be needed. The flavor ratio above varies depending on several variables such as preferences, climate, ect.

Coffee Swiss Buttercream

Instant Espresso Powder         23g
Hot Water                               30g               
Unsalted Butter (softened       453.6g
Egg Whites                             165g
Granulated Sugar                    283.5g

Method of Preparation:
  1. Dissolve the instant espresso powder into the hot water.
  2. Meanwhile, place the egg whites and granulated sugar into a heat proof electric mixer bowl over a double boiler (pan of simmering water) and whisk constantly until the sugar is fully dissolved and the egg whites are hot to the touch and flows like a ribbon.
  3. Transfer bowl to stationary mixer with a whisk attachment and whip on high speed until stiff glossy peaks form (about 15 minutes).
  4. Lower the speed and add the softened butter. Whip until combined.
  5. Remove from the stationary mixer and gradually fold in espresso liquid making sure to taste after each addition to flavor for your specific preference.

  1. Place one lady finger round on a 8-inch cake circle. Generously blot with coffee Marsala simple syrup.
  2. Generously pipe the sweet mascarpone filling on top of the first layer (enough for about a two inch layer of mascarpone filling). Repeat this process once more then top with the final lady finger round.
  3. Refrigerate until set.
  4. Crumb coat with the coffee Swiss buttercream then refrigerate.
  5. Final ice the torte.
  6. Place a stencil or create your own with cardboard and a X-acto knife. Lightly dust with cocoa powder and carefully lift the stencil. (Lift one end of stencil up carefully instead of lifting both up quickly for a clean stencil.)
  7. Lastly transfer to a gold cake circle and pipe your shell borders.
Note: This torte is best served slightly chilled and with a glass of Madeira wine!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Potato Souffle

A creamy warm potato souffle that is perfect for any chilly winter night. 


2 tbsp Unsalted Butter
1 lbs Potatoes (peeled and quartered)
3/4 cup heavy cream
2 cups Shredded Gruyere Cheese
1 tsp Fresh Thyme (minced)
1 tsp Fresh Rosemary (minced)
Salt and Pepper to taste
5 egg yolks
7 egg whites
Pinch Cream of Tartar

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. 
  2. Butter and flour mini souffle dishes. ( makes about 7)
  3. Cook potatoes until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain then return to pot. 
  4. Add butter to potatoes and mash. Stir in heavy cream to cool potatoes, but just enough. (Do not make too runny)
  5. Stir in cheese, herbs and salt and pepper to taste. Whisk in egg yolks. Set aside and allow to cool.  
  6. Meanwhile, Whip egg whites with cream of tartar to a stiff peak. 
  7. Stir in 1/3 of the whipped egg whites into the potato mixture. 
  8. Then fold in the remaining egg whites carefully. 
  9. Carefully place mixture into souffle molds, then place souffle molds in water bath and bake until golden brown. (45 minutes)
  10. Serve immediately and garnish with parsley and dusting of Gruyere cheese. 

Prime Rib and Vegetable Medley

A delicious prime rib roasted in fresh herbs. Served with a healthy herb vegetable medley. 

Roasted Herb Prime Rib:

1 Bone-in Prime Rib (6-7 lbs)
9 Garlic Cloves (Thinly Sliced)
Salt and Pepper 
1 sprig Thyme
1 tbsp Fresh Thyme (chopped)
1 tbsp Fresh Rosemary (chopped)
4 cups Beef Stock
2 cups Red Wine
2 Fresh Bay Leaves (Whole)

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 
  2. Make small openings in the prime rib and fill with sliced garlic. 
  3. Drizzle the rib with olive oil and sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper and place sprig of Thyme on top. 
  4. Place in a rack on the roaster pan, roast for 2hrs for a med-rare rib. 
  5. Remove from oven and place meat in foil. 
  6. Using the pan drippings heat the stove burners to high heat. Add red wine to pan and reduce while scraping up the pan drippings. 
  7. Add stock and bay leaves reduce by half. Then remove leaves.  
  8. Add remaining herbs and salt and pepper to taste. 
  9. Slice meat and spoon over sauce. 

Vegetable Medley:

3 cups Corn
2 cups Bell Peppers (small diced)
1 Onion (Diced)
1 Garlic Clove (minced)
Salt and Pepper
Olive Oil
1/2 tbsp Fresh Thyme

  1. In a medium pot drizzle olive oil liberally and heat on medium heat. 
  2. Add onion, peppers, and corn. Cook until onion is slightly translucent. 
  3. Then add garlic, thyme and salt and pepper to taste. 
  4. Toss and plate. 

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Cheese Steak Empanada's

A classic Philadelphia dish meets a wonderful Mexican flare in these individual appetizers. Perfect for cocktail parties or sports events. Easy to make, store and freeze. 

Empanada Dough:

3 cups Flour
Salt (pinch)
2 tsp Sugar
3 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 cup Lard or Shortening
3/4 cup Chicken Stock
1 Egg
Frying Oil


  1. Whisk egg and whisk into chicken broth. 
  2. Whisk wet into flour and knead until dough forms. 
  3. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes. 
  4. Lightly flour surface and roll to 1/4 in. thick. 
  5. Cut into 4-inch circles. 
  6. Place a little under 1 tbsp of filling in the center of the dough. 
  7. Fold dough over and using a fork press edges together. 
  8. Refrigerate for 3 hours. 
  9. Deep fry empanada's until golden brown, in 350 degree frying oil. About 10-15 minutes. Lightly sprinkle a touch of sea salt once out of the oil. 
  10. Then garnish with additional cheez wiz and some pickled jalapenos. 

Filling: Makes 15 small empanada's 

1/4 lb Black Angus Top Round, Thinly Sliced
1 cup Onion (Diced)
1 cup Bell Peppers (Diced)
1 cup Mushrooms (Diced)
1 cup Cheez Wiz or Shredded Sharp Cheddar
Salt and Pepper to taste
Dough (recipe above)


  1. Saute meat in hot pan for two minutes. 
  2. Add the onion and the bell peppers. Salt and pepper to taste. Cook for 3 minutes.  (Optional: I like to add a pinch of red pepper flakes for a kick.)
  3.  Place in a bowl and allow the mixture to come to room temperature. Or chill in a refrigerator. 
  4. Fill as listed above in the dough recipe. 

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Ganache Tartlets

                             A sweet shortbread crust, filled with a creamy chocolate ganache.

Ganache: 15 (3in round tartlets)

16oz Dark Chocolate
1 1/4cup Heavy Cream
4tbsp Unsalted Butter
2tbsp Brandy


  1. Heat heavy cream, butter and brandy until a simmer.
  2. Pour over chocolate in a bowl and allow to sit for 3 minutes. 
  3. After allowing it to sit, emulsify it by stirring the chocolate until it begins to thicken. 
Tip:  You can fold in whipped cream to make a whipped ganache consistency, to resemble a cream pie. 

Shortbread Crust: 15 (3in round tartlets)

2cup Unsalted Butter (room temperature)
1cup Confectioners' Sugar
4cups All Purpose Flour
1/2tsp Baking Powder
1/4tsp Vanilla Extract

  1. Cream butter and confectioners' sugar until light and fluffy. 
  2. Sift flour and baking powder. 
  3. Blend into butter mixture, and add the vanilla. Mix until combined.
  4. Portion into 15  (2 1/2oz) balls. 
  5. Roll out and place into tartlet shell. 
  6. Dock the tartlets and bake at 350 degrees until lightly browned. 
  7. Cool, then remove from tarlet form. 
  1. Take the cool shell and fill with the ganche. 
  2. Either plate it or platter it. 
  3. Serve with some chantilly cream and shaved chocolate. 

Poached Pears

Poached in a white wine, infused with citrus fruits and cinnamon sticks. Once dried filled with a nice cinnamon mascarpone cream. 

Ingredients: Poaching Process

8 Bosch Pears 
1/2cup Sugar
Nice Red or White Wine (fill 3/4 stock pot)
Citrus Fruit Slices (Oranges, Limes, Lemons)
Cinnamon Sticks

Tip: You can use anything to flavor your poaching liquid, some chefs just use a basic simple syrup (1:1 parts sugar to water)


  1. Peel the skin off the pairs and using a apple corer remove a small amount from the bottom of the pear, leaving the stem in. (Leaving the pear whole, you can see above in the red wine pears that you just remove a small portion.) 
  2. Add all the ingredients minus the pears to a large stock pot and heat. Do not bring to a boil!!!
  3. Place pears into the hot liquid. 
  4. Simmer until fork tender. Do not allow the poaching liquid to boil, it may destroy the structure of the pear. 
  5. Cool pears and liquid to room temperature. 
  6. Remove pears and place on a paper towel to remove excess liquid. 
  7. Make filling. 
Tip: It may take a few hours for it to become tender. If your in a hurry, cover the top in plastic wrap and simmer. Be sure to watch, making sure it wont boil. 

Creamy Mascarpone Filling:

16oz Mascarpone Cheese (softened)
1/2cup Heavy Cream
Pinch Ground Cinnamon
1/2cup Confectioners' Sugar

  1. Whip Mascarpone until smooth. 
  2. Add in cinnamon and confectioners sugar. 
  3. In separate bowl whip heavy cream. 
  4. Fold in the whipped cream into the mascarpone mixture. 
  5. Place in a pastry bag with a medium round tip. 
Wine Reduction Sauce:

Remaining Poaching Liquid
2tbsp Butter

  1. Heat poaching liquid to a simmer and reduce by half. 
  2. Add butter to reduced sauce and stir until well combined. 
  3. Spoon generously over plated pears. 
  1. Take dried poached pear and fill were you cored in the middle with your cinnamon mascarpone cream. 
  2. Place on a nice plate.
  3. Generously spoon hot wine reduction over top.
  4. Garnish with Chantilly cream and a light dusting of cinnamon.