Classic Steakhouse Wedge Salad With
Steffani’s Best Gorgonzola & Bacon Dressing
Recipe Steffani Adaska, 2013
4 ounces Gorgonzola, crumbled
6 strips bacon, cooked, drained and crumbled
1/3 cup sour cream
1/3 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 large head of Iceberg lettuce, outer leaves removed and discarded.
2 plum tomatoes, cored, diced
½ small red onion, sliced thinly (optional)
1. Cut head of lettuce in quarters. Place each quarter on chilled salad plates. Sprinkle with diced tomatoes and sliced red onion.
2. Put the Gorgonzola in a small mixing bowl and mash it with a fork. Add bacon bits, sour cream, buttermilk, mayonnaise, vinegar, Worcestershire and pepper. Stir to combine. Store in a glass jar, in the refrigerator for up to 1 week, or serve immediately over salad wedge.
Yield: 1 1/4 cups dressing
Sweet Pea Soup w/ Bacon Lardons and Crème Fraiche
By Chef Steffani Adaska, Director – Taste of Mountains Cooking School
A heavenly chilled Spring Soup made with garden fresh sweet peas, leeks, bacon drippings, fresh rosemary, vegetable broth and a touch of cream, garnished with Bacon Lardons & Crème Fraiche.
6 slices of thick bacon, sliced into 1” lardons
2 medium leeks, white and tender green only, cleaned & thoroughly, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, minced
5 cups vegetable stock or low-sodium broth
1 sprig of fresh rosemary
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 pound sugar snap peas, thinly sliced
2 pounds, fresh peas, shelled (or two 10-ounce boxes frozen baby peas)
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/3 Cup crème fraiche
1 tablespoon minced shallot
1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves, sliced thinly
1. In a medium stockpot over medium-high heat, render bacon until browned and crisp, about 5 minutes. Transfer bacon to paper towel lined plate. Reserve for later.
2. Pour off all but 2 Tablespoons of bacon fat. Reduce heat to medium-low.
3. Add the leeks, garlic and rosemary sprig over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened (do not brown), about 6-7 minutes. Add vegetable broth and season with salt and pepper. Simmer about 15 minutes to marry flavors. Remove rosemary sprig.
4. Add the sugar snaps and the fresh (or frozen baby) peas, cook 3 minutes.
Remove to a blender and puree until smooth. Strain. Cool soup in a large bowl set in a larger bowl of ice water to cool. Add heavy cream.
1. Once soup is chilled, taste for seasoning. Add more salt or pepper if needed.
2. In a small bowl, mix crème fraiche with minced shallot. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Ladle chilled soup into chilled bowls. Add a dollup of crème fraiche mixture to soup. Garnish with parsley and reserved bacon lardons. Serve.
Chef’s Note: The soup can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.
French Onion Soup
By Chef Steffani
3 Tbls. unsalted butter
7 large yellow onions halved lengthwise, sliced 1/4" thick
1 1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
2 C water
1/2 C sherry (preferably dry)
5 C chicken broth (low-sodium/low -fat ideal)
1 1/2 C beef broth
5 sprigs fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
Ground black pepper
Bread slices and Gruyère (or swiss) for garnish
1. Adjust oven rack to lower-half of oven. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Spray heavy-bottomed 7-quart Dutch oven with nonstick spray. Add butter, onions and 1 tsp. salt. Cover Dutch over and cook 1 hour. Remove Dutch oven from oven and stir onions. Return to oven with lid slightly ajar and continue to cook until onions are caramelized, 1 1/2 to 1 3/4, stirring onions and scraping bottom and sides once or twice during cooking. BE PATIENT. Caramelization takes time and cannot be rushed.
2. Remove Dutch oven and place on stove-top over medium heat. Cook onions until liquid evaporates, about 15 minutes, , stirring frequently. Continue stir until bottom of Dutch oven is coated with dark crust (6 to 8 minutes). This is called FOND. Stir in 1/4 cup water, scraping pot bottom to loosen crust, and cook until water evaporates and pot bottom has formed another dark crust, 6 to 8 minutes. Repeat process, adding 1/4 cup water, 2 to 3 more times, until onions are dark brown and water is gone. Deglaze with sherry, stirring until sherry is gone.
3. Add chicken and beef broth, 2 cups water, thyme, bay leaf, and 1/2 teaspoon salt, scraping up any final bits of browned crust on bottom and sides of pot. Increase heat to high and bring to simmer. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer 30 minutes. Remove herbs, then season with pepper, adding additional salt if needed.
To serve: Adjust oven rack 6 inches from broiler element and heat broiler. Set individual broiler-safe crocks on baking sheet and fill each with about 1 3/4 cups soup. Top each bowl with 1 or 2 baguette slices (do not overlap slices) and sprinkle evenly with Gruyère. Broil until cheese is melted and bubbly around edges, 3 to 5 minutes.
Chipotle- Orange BBQ Rub
Chef Steffani Adaska
Yield: Makes about 1 cup
2 tablespoons Kosher salt
4 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons ground cumin
3 tablespoons Chipotle Chili powder
2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1/4 cup dried orange zest
Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and mix well; use as a dry rub on beef, chicken, lamb or pork.
Store in airtight container in cool, dark pantry.
Cipollate con Pancetta (Bacon-Wrapped Scallions)
recipe from Chef Steffani Adaska, Director of A Taste of the Mountains
Yields: 4 Servings
Who doesn't like bacon? Right? My kids and I can never get enough.
This tasty dish originates from Italy. In Italy, they make with pancetta, often called Italian bacon. That's a true enough description, but unlike American bacon, which is most often smoked, pancetta is unsmoked pork belly that is cured in salt and spices. It's then dried for a several months.
I serve this as an appetizer with a a horseradish cream drizzle, or as a side dish. It is so easy to prepare and always a crowd pleaser. I like with the pancetta or the traditional smokey bacon. Try it both ways. Choose your fave!!
24 large scallions, trimmed of roots and green tips
8 strips bacon (or pancetta)
Sea salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/4 cup olive oil
Wrap 3 scallions together with 1 strip of bacon. Repeat with remaining scallions and bacon and season with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a 12″ skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, add bacon-wrapped scallion bunches, and cook, turning as needed, until browned and crisp on all sides, 6–8 minutes.
Alternatively, you can do this over the grill for added flavor. Either way they are delish. Serve hot. Enjoy!
Gluten-Free Banana Cake
Ingredients1 1/4 cup almond meal
1 cup sweet sorghum flour
1/2 cup tapioca or arrowroot starch
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
6 eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup of milk, room temperature
6 over ripe bananas (nastier the better), mashed
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare 2 9-inch tart pans by spraying with cooking oil. Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl and whisk. Combine the wet ingredients in a medium bowl and whisk. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and gently combine. Add the banana. Stir well. Pour mixture into pans and bake for 30 minutes. Cake will brown slightly and rise in the middle. It should be firm to the touch. Let cool slightly and then remove the bottom of the tart pan from mold.
Frost with peanut butter cream cheese frosting
Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting
2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1stick unsalted butter, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla
5 -5 1/2 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons milk, room temperature
Mix together cream cheese, peanut butter and butter with mixer until smooth.
Add vanilla and powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, along with the milk and beat until spreading consistency.
Spread on cooled cakes.
Spiced Up Molten Chocolate Cakes
1 cup unsalted butter or unsalted margarine*
8 ounces semisweet chocolate chips, or bars, cut into bite-size chunks
5 large eggs
1/2 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
½ teaspoon chili powder
4 teaspoons flour (or matzo meal, ground in a blender to a fine powder)
8 extra-large paper muffin cups (or use regular paper muffin cups, which will make 12 cakes)
Serve with your favorite vanilla ice cream
- Melt butter and chocolate in a medium heat-proof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water; remove from heat. Beat eggs, sugar and salt with a hand mixer in a medium bowl until sugar dissolves. Beat egg mixture into chocolate until smooth. Beat in chili powder and flour or matzo meal until just combined. (Batter can be made a day ahead; return to room temperature an hour or so before baking.)
- Before serving dinner, adjust oven rack to middle position; heat oven to 450 degrees. Line a standard-size muffin tin (1/2 cup capacity) with 8 extra-large muffin papers (papers should extend above cups to facilitate removal). Spray muffin papers with vegetable cooking spray. Divide batter among muffin cups.
- Bake until batter puffs but center is not set, 8 to 10 minutes. Carefully lift cakes from tin and set on a work surface. Pull papers away from cakes and transfer cakes to dessert plates.
- Top each with a scoop of ice cream and serve immediately.
Peanut Butter & Chocolate Tart
This easy and tasty dessert is a huge hit for all ages. Serve for any occasion with a glass of cold milk.
Makes one 9 inch tart
FOR THE CRUST
- Ten 4¾ x 2½" graham crackers, broken into pieces
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
FOR THE FILLING
- 3 ounces best-quality milk chocolate, finely chopped, plus more for garnish
- 1¾ cups heavy cream
- ¾ cup creamy peanut butter
- ½ cup cream cheese (4 ounces)
- ½ cup sweetened condensed milk
- Place graham crackers in food processor. Pulse until fine crumbs are formed. Add melted butter, pulse a few times to thoroughly combine. Place crumbs in tart pan with a removable bottom. Press crumbs up the sides of the pan to form the edge of the tart and then evenly over the bottom of the pan. Place in the refrigerator while making the filling.
- Place chocolate in a medium bowl. Place ½ cup cream in a small saucepan over medium heat, and bring to a boil. Pour over chopped chocolate. See aside for 5 minutes then whisk to combine (this is your chocolate ganache). Set ganache in ice bath to cool, whisking constantly. Once ganache has cooled, remove from ice bath, and whisk until thick enough to hold its shape; do not overbeat. Spread in bottom of the prepared crust, and return to the refrigerator to set.
- In the bowl of a food processor; Combine peanut butter, cream cheese, and sweetened condensed milk - process until smooth. Transfer to a mixing bowl.
- Whip ¾ cup heavy cream to soft peaks. Add whipped cream to peanut butter mixture; whisk to combine.
- Spoon mixture into prepared crust.
- Prepare chocolate drizzle garnish. Place ½ oz of chocolate in a small Ziploc baggie. Microwave chocolate until melted, about 25-45 seconds, depending on your microwave. Cut a tiny hole in one of the corners of your baggie, drizzle in a large zig zag formation over your prepared pie. Return to the refrigerator for 2 hours or overnight. Remove tart from refrigerator, and transfer to a serving platter 10 minutes before serving.
Whip remaining ½ cup cream. Top tart with dollops of whipped cream.
Recipe by Steffani Adaska
Horchata (or orxata) is the name of several kinds of traditional beverages, made of ground almonds, sesame seeds, rice, barley, or tigernuts. Horchata varies in taste across Latin America. Although Horchata shares the same name, the flavor of each is very unique to its country of origin.
1 cup uncooked white long-grain rice
2 cinnamon sticks, (Mexican if you can get it), broken into pieces
7 cups water
1 cup milk (leche)
1/2 cup sugar, or to taste
1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
Ground cinnamon, (Mexican if you can get it), for garnish
Combine the rice and cinnamon pieces sticks with 4 cups water in a blender; pulse to coarsely grind. Transfer to a large bowl and add another 3 cups water; soak at room temperature for 3 – 4 hours.
Puree the rice mixture in a blender in batches until smooth. Strain through chinoix,or fine sieve, into your pitcher. Discard the rice. Mix in the milk, vanilla and sugar.
Chill and stir before serving over ice. Garnish each glass with a cinnamon stick (optional) and a dusting of ground cinnamon.
Tasty Sangria for the Holidays
By Chef Steffani
1/2 cup brandy
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/3 cup frozen lemonade concentrate
1/3 cup orange juice
1 (750 milliliter) bottle dry red wine
1/2 cup triple sec
1 lemon, sliced into rounds
1 orange, sliced into rounds
1 lime, sliced into rounds
1/4 cup white sugar (optional)
8 maraschino cherries
2 cups carbonated water (optional)
In a large pitcher or bowl, mix together the brandy, lemon juice, lemonade concentrate, orange juice, red wine, triple sec, and sugar.
Float slices of lemon, orange and lime, and maraschino cherries in the mixture.
Refrigerate overnight for best flavor.
For a fizzy sangria, add club soda just before serving.
Steffani’s Autumn Appletini with Caramel
3 parts Apple Pucker
1 part Butter Schnapps
.5 part Vanilla Vodka
thin slice of fresh apple, for garnish
caramel sauce, for garnish
Chill your martini glass.
Fill shaker up to the top with ice
Shake Apple Pucker, Schnapps and Vodka vigorously at least 17 TIMES.
Garnish chilled glass with a drizzle of caramel then a thin Apple slice.
Strain contents of shaker into garnished glass.