Archive for the ‘Appetizer’ Category

A Chef of Your Own will be doing a demo at The Fresh Market in Dr Phillips, Orlando today from 1-4. Would love for you to stop by if you are in the area, just to say hi.

Warm Indian Spiced lentil Soup

3  tablespoons TFM Extra Virgin Olive Oil, divided
1    onion, diced
3    carrots, diced
3    celery stalks, diced
1  package  tofu, drained and cubed optional
1/3 cup   Blackstone Chardonnay
1  package  Jaali Bean Lentil Soup Kit
1 1/2 cups TFM Vegetable Stock
1  can  coconut milk
dollop  Greek yogurt, for serving (optional)
1  package  Stonefire Naan Bread, for dipping
Heat a large soup pot over medium high heat for 2 minutes. Add 2 tbsp of the olive oil and swirl to coat. Add vegetables and cook until they begin to soften and onions become translucent, about 5 minutes. If using, add cubed tofu and cook until browned, about 5 minutes. Remove pot from heat and add wine, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.Return pot to heat and cook until liquid evaporates, about 2-3 minutes. Add 1 tbsp olive oil and the spice packet contained in the soup kit and cook for 40-50 seconds, stirring continuously until fragrant. Add vegetable stock, package of lentils, and coconut milk and bring mixture to a boil. Lower heat to medium low, cover and cook for 25 minutes. Serve immediately with Greek yogurt on top and naan bread

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121207_003Here is a easy holiday entertaining idea from a Fresh Market demo, recipe from Chefs USA this past Friday. This time of year, The Fresh Market, comes out with a booklet of easy entertaining Holiday Recipes. This is the third year A Chef of Your Own has participated.

The PB Crave is an amazing product. It is a creamy, smooth, all natural peanut butter with the addition of yummy ingredients, chocolate chips, raspberry swirl, honey. Pick some up today!

Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Cheese Ball

1 Block (8 oz) TFM Cream Cheese, softened to room temperature

1/4 cup powered sugar

2 Tbls Madhava Raw Agave Nectar

3/4 cup PB Crave Cookie Nookie Peanut Butter

1 cup vanilla wafers, crushed, plus additional for serving

1 cup chocolate chips

1 Honeycrisp apple, sliced

Combine cream cheese, powdered sugar, agave nectar and peanut butter in a bowl and stir until thoroughly combined. Form mixture into a ball, place on plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 4 hours, preferably overnight. To serve, unwrap and roll ball in crushed wafers and chocolate chips. Serve with wafers and fresh apple slices.

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A Chef of Your Own cooked an early Mother’s Day Lunch this past Sunday. The guests requested a “Kosher Style” menu and after working together, we came up with a winner. The appetizer was Baba Ganouj, or roasted eggpant spread. I got this recipe from an amazing cookbook, “Our Food,” by Anita Hirsch.

Baba Ganouj

1 medium eggplant (about 1 1/2 pounds)

2 cloves garlic, peeled and slices

2 Tbls tahini

2-3 Tbls lemon juice

1/8 tspcumin

2 Tbls finely chopped fresh parsley

6-8 greek olives

1 tomato, chopped finely

Place the eggplant in the oven, under the brioler, or over a glass flame until the skin is scared and black, about 25-30 minutes. Thew flesh will feel soft and juicy. Cool for 10 minutes. Rub the skin off, holding the eggplant under cool water. Squeeze out as much juice as possible, since it is bitter. Puree the eggplant. Add the tahini, lemon juice, garlic and  cumin and continue pureeing until well combined. Serve with parsley, olives, and tomatoes. Serve with pita chips or other flat bread.

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This recipe is for Jennifer, A Chef of Your Own had the pleasure of cooking for last week. The group was in from Canada and Jennifer wanted me to try to recreate a dish of mussels and tomato sauce she had in the past. This is my attempt.

Mussels with Tomato Broth

1 medium onion, chopped

1 tsp garlic

1 tsp salt

28 oz crushed tomatoes

1 Tbls basil

1 tsp oregano

1 tsp sugar

Saute onion and garlic in a small amount of oil. Add remaining ingredients and simmer about an hour. Puree with stick blender, keep warm and set aside.

1/2 cup butter

2 Tbls minced garlic

1 cup favorite white wine

mussels – 1 lb for 2-4 as an appetizer

Clean mussels, removing any beards. Place butter in large stock pot, add garlic and saute garlic until fragrant. Add wine and when boiling, add mussels, cover and steam. Remove as they open. When all are open, return to pot and add tomato sauce. Stir and spoon into bowls. May serve with bread to catch all of  the juices.

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Here is another recipe from the Fresh Market demo from this past weekend. Enjoy!

Deviled Blue Cheese and Bacon Dip


1 8-oz tub TFM Whipped Cream Cheese

¾ c blue cheese, such as Maytag or Danish

¾ c Robert Rothschild Farm Horseradish Sauce

1 shallot, finely minced

1 tsp Dijon mustard

6 slices Applewood smoked bacon, cooked and crumbled

Quely Whole Wheat Crackers


Add all ingredients except bacon and crackers to food processor

and pulse until very smooth. Transfer mixture to a bowl and fold in

bacon until combined. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour, or overnight.

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It’s that time of year again when A Chef of Your Own will be doing the Holiday entertaining demo at The Fresh Market. I was at the Dr Phillips store yesterday and I will be at the store in Altamont today. By far the hit of the demo yesterday was the Fig and Olive Tapanade with goat cheese. I will add the other recipes throughout the holiday so be sure to check back. I wish you all the best this holiday season, and a very happy and prosperous New Year. For ease of this recipe for the demo, I poured the tapenade over the log of goat cheese.

Fig & Olive Tapenade with Goat Cheese


1 c Dalmatia Fig Spread

½ c pitted Kalamata olives, chopped

2 tbsp O Roasted Garlic and Mission Olive Oil

1 tbsp TFM balsamic vinegar

1 10-oz log soft fresh goat cheese, such as chevre

TFM French Rounds


In a bowl, combine fig spread, olives, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar,

stirring to mix well. Season tapenade to taste with salt and pepper.

Cover and refrigerate; tapenade can be made up to three days

ahead. Before serving, bring tapenade to room temperature. Spread

goat cheese on French Rounds and top with tapenade.

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A Chef of Your Own did a very special birthday party yesterday. Here are some pictures

Lobser Cocktail served with Costamolino

Fruit Sausages with Onion Marmalade

 Winter salad with apples, dried cherries, feta cheese, carmelized pecans and a balsamic vinagrette

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A Chef of Your Own will be in the Altamont Fresh Market today, October 22, from 3-6. Stop by to try an awesome fall salad and pork dish.

Garlic Sage Pork Chops with Butternut Squash Sauce

Serves 4, Ingredients:

1/4 c T FM Extra Virgin Olive Oil

6 whole sage leaves

4 Center Cut Boneless Pork Chops,

seasoned with salt and pepper

1 shallot, minced

2 garlic cloves, minced

⅓ c Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc

1 jar D ave’s Gourmet Butternut Squash

Pasta Sauce

1 c cream

In a heavy saute pan, heat olive oil for 2 minutes, until hot. Add

sage leaves, and fry for 2 minutes each side, until crispy. Remove

and set aside. Lower heat to medium, add pork chops and cook for

5 minutes, flip, and cook for an additional 3 minutes until juices

run clear. Remove to a platter and keep warm. Add shallots and

garlic, saute for about a minute, and take away from heat to add

wine, scraping up any browned bits. Add pasta sauce, cream and

combine. Serve by pouring sauce over rested pork chops and placing

sage leaves over top.

Fennel Salad with Blood Orange Vinaigrette

Serves 4


4 c mixed salad greens

1/2 c chopped walnuts

1 fennel bulb, sliced thinly- reserving fronds and chopping them

1 blood orange, or navel orange, peeled and segmented or sliced

1 large Honeycrisp Apple; cored and diced

1/4 c dried cranberries (optional)

1 clove garlic, minced

1/4 c Cuisine Perel Blood Orange Vinegar

1/4  tsp each Sea Salt and fresh cracked pepper

2 tbsp T FM Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Combine in a large salad bowl, the greens, walnuts, fennel

and fronds the apple and orange. In a small bowl, combine

garlic, blood orange vinegar, salt and pepper. While whisking

gently, pour in olive oil to incorporate. Pour over salad

mixture, toss lightly to coat the leaves and serve immediately.

If using dried cranberries, toss them in last.



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A Chef of Your Own will be doing a surprise party this weekend. Pasta station, carving station and a few  appetizers. This is a nice fresh recipe for those that grow your own tomatoes and are looking for something new to do with them

Bruschetta with Tomato and Basil

6 or 7 plum tomatoes (about 1 1/2 lbs)

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 Tbls extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp balsamic vinegar

6-8 basil leaves, chopped

salt and pepper to taste

1 French bread or baguette, sliced thin

1/4 cup olive oil

Score tomatoes and parboil tomatoes for one minute in boiling water. Drain and peel. Cut in half, remove skins.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

While the oven is heating, finely chop the tomatoes and place in a bowl. Add the garlic, olive oil, vinegar and basil. Season with salt and pepper.

Slice baguette about 1/2 inch slices. Coat one side with olive oil with pastry brush. Place on cookie sheet, olive oil side down. Toast on top rack on oven so do one sheet at a time. Toast for 5-6 minutes, until just turning golden brown.

Either top each slice with bruschetta or serve in a bowl surrounded by the bread slices.

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A Chef of Your Own is cooking for The Sweet Bay Golf Tournament to be held tomorrow at Reunion, FL. They will have a selection of appetizers including these

Warm Artichoke Cheese Dip with crackers

Small jar Artichoke hearts

½ cup mayonnaise

Salt, pepper, garlic powder to taste

8 oz mozzarella cheese

8 oz parmesan cheese

Combine all ingredients, spread in a thin layer in an oven proof dish, Bake in a 350 degree oven until golden and bubbly. Serve with Crackers.

Seven Layer dip with tortilla chips

Correction, I actually used 8 oz of sour cream

1 package taco seasoning

2 14 oz cans refried beans

8 oz salsa

3 tomatoes, diced

4 oz shredded Colby jack cheese

Bunch green onions, sliced thinly

¼ cup diced jalapeno

1/2 cup olives, optional

Soften cream cheese and mix with taco seasoning and layer in bottom of a shallow serving dish

Combine refried beans with salsa and layer on top of cream cheese.

Sprinkle with tomatoes, cheese, green onions, jalapeno, and olives. Chill and serve with tortilla chips.

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