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Chef Dad

Chef Dad

Studies show that children who eat with their family are less likely to get into trouble and do better in school. Chef Dad shares his favorite family recipes that will bring your children to the dinner table for a delicious meal and good conversation.

Meatloaf Sunday!

Saturday, February 12th, 2011

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  • 5 lb. ground chuck
  • 2 medium red onions, chopped
  • 4 TBSP minced garlic
  • 3 TBSP fresh chopped oregano
  • 3 TBSP fresh chopped basil
  • 1 TBSP fresh chopped Italian parsley
  • 1 tsp. dried red chili flakes
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup BBQ sauce
  • 8 strips apple smoked bacon
  • Salt and pepper to taste

In large bowl combine all ingredients except bacon. Season with salt and pepper. Portion out a one ounce piece and cook in sauté pan over medium heat on each side for 3 minutes. Taste for seasoning and adjust if needed.

Place in 4 x 8 loaf and cover with bacon strips. Cook on a preheated grill at 325°for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before cutting.

Braised Pork in Slow Cooker

Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

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1-4 lb. pork shoulder roast

2 TBSP extra virgin olive oil

1 large onion, chopped into medium sized pieces

5 clove peeled garlic

1 1/2 cup chicken stock

1 TBSP chopped fresh rosemary

1 TBSP chopped fresh thyme

1 bay leaf

1 tsp. red chili flake (optional)

3 medium carrots, washed and peeled, rough chopped

2 ribs celery, washed and cut into 1 inch pieces

8 new potatoes, washed and cut in half

3 TBSP Dijon mustard

1 TBSP Worcestershire

1 can chopped tomato

Salt and pepper to taste


In large skillet, heat olive oil. Season pork roast with salt and pepper and sear in a skillet on all sides until golden brown. Place browned pork in crock-pot. Add vegetables, herbs, mustard, Worcestershire and stock.

Cook over low to medium heat for approximately 5 hours. When finished, remove pork and allow to rest for 5 minutes. Slice and serve with vegetables and sauce.

“Steelers” Chili

Sunday, January 23rd, 2011


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Black & Gold “Steelers” Chili

Makes 10-12 servings

2 onions, chopped (about 2 cups)

1 cup chicken broth

1 TBSP extra virgin olive oil

2-4 oz. cans of green chiles plus liquid

2-14 oz. cans enchilada sauce

2-8 oz. cans tomato sauce

1-14 oz. can each black beans and corn kernels, drained

1-8 oz. can corn kernels, including liquid

4-5 cups cooked shredded chicken or meat of choice

2 oz grated white cheddar cheese

In large pan, sauté onions in olive oil until slightly brown. Add chicken broth and bring to a simmer. Transfer onion mixture to a crockpot and add green chiles, enchilada sauce & tomato sauce and set on low heat. Cover and cook for 1 1/2 hours. Remove cover and add beans and corn. Cover and cook on low for 2-3 hours. Serve and garnish with white cheddar cheese.

Ultimate Mac & Cheese

Wednesday, January 12th, 2011


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Yields 6 portions


1 lb penne pasta

2 large shallots rough chop

2 cloves minced garlic

2 sprigs fresh thyme

½ piece of bay leaf

Pinch nutmeg

3/4 qt heavy cream

2 cups chicken stock

2 tablespoons butter

½ pound of cubed smoked ham or turkey

1 cup shredded sharp white cheddar

1 cup grated parmesan cheese

½ cup panko

1 tablespoon fresh chopped Italian parsley

2 tablespoons EVOO

Salt and pepper to taste


In medium sauce pot sauté over high heat shallots, garlic and thyme in 1 tablespoon of butter for 2 minutes

Add chicken stock, bay leaf and bring to boil

Reduce to simmer and cook until reduced by half

Add heavy cream and simmer till thickened (coats back of spoon)

While sauce is reducing, bring to boil in large pot, 3 quarts salted water with 1 tablespoon olive oil

Add pasta and cook for 6 mins or until al dente

Strain pasta and toss with remaining olive oil and reserve

Pour finished sauce through fine strainer into clean pot and season with nutmeg

Return sauce to stove, Add cheddar cheese and half of parmesan cheese.

Whisk sauce over low heat until cheese has melted

Season with salt and pepper if needed

Combine pasta, sauce, ham and fresh Italian parsley in large bowl and toss well

Pour into baking dish and cover with Panko and remaining parmesan

Bake in oven at 350 till golden brown

Beef Stew

Wednesday, December 29th, 2010

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3 lb. beef stew meat

1 TBSP garlic powder

1 TBSP onion powder

4 TBSP extra virgin olive oil

2 TBSP all purpose flour

1/2 cup red wine

1 1/4 cup chicken stock

1 bay leaf

Pinch red chili flake

1/2 large yellow onion

6 cloves whole garlic

20 your-baby carrots

1 large baking potato

Salt and pepper to taste

Peel and cut onion into large dice and reserve. Clean garlic cloves and reserve, wash potato very well and reserve (cut later). Count out carrots and reserve.

Season stew meat garlic powder, onion powder and salt and pepper. Heat a large saut pan over high flame for 3 minutes. Add 2 TBSP olive oil and sear one-half amount of stew meat. Repeat process with second half of stew meat.

Place stew meat into crock-pot and add red wine to sauté pan to deglaze pan. Add red wine to crock-pot. Add chicken stock and cover. Cook on low heat for 4 hours.

After four hours remove lid carefully. Add onions, garlic, and carrots. Cut potato into large dice and add to crock-pot. Carefully stir stew. Return lid and cook for 45 minutes. Re-season if necessary.

Homemade Holiday Candy

Tuesday, December 21st, 2010

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1/2 lb. bittersweet chocolate

1/2 lb. white chocolate

1 cup crushed peppermint candy (use whole pieces and grind in food processor if you can not locate crushed)

Place both chocolates into plastic container and melt in microwave for 1 minute. When chocolate is completely melted, mix in the chopped peppermint and spread on cookie sheet lined with wax paper. Place in refrigerator and cool. When cooled, break pieces into shards and serve.


2 cups blanched sliced almonds

1 1/4 cups light brown sugar

2 TBSP water

1/2 cup unsalted butter

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1/2 tsp. baking soda

6 oz. chopped semi sweet chocolate

Preheat oven to 350°. Bake almonds on cookie sheet until golden brown. When cool grind into small pieces (not powder). Sprinkle 1/2 of nuts over 7 x 10 cookie sheet.

In heavy medium sauce pot combine sugar, water and butter. Stir constantly and bring to boil. Cook until it reaches 285° (use a candy thermometer).

Remove from heat and add vanilla and baking soda. Pour the toffee mixture evenly over the chopped nuts. Sprinkle chopped chocolate over toffee mixture and allow to sit for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes spread evenly the melted chocolate. Sprinkle remaining almonds over chocolate and allow to cool. When cooled break into irregular pieces.


1 lb. butter

2 egg yolks

3 TBSP powder sugar

2 TBSP brandy

4 cups flour

1 tsp. cinnamon

Beat butter in mixer until creamy. Add yolks, sugar and brandy. Beat in mixer until creamy. Slowly stir in flour (mixture will be sticky).

Spoon small balls onto cookie sheet and bake at 300° for 20-30 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to slightly cool. While still warm roll cookies in powered sugar.

Holiday Appetizers

Saturday, December 18th, 2010

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24 medium to large crimini mushrooms

1/2 cup dried instant polenta

1 3/4 cups chicken stock

1/4 cup white wine

1 large shallot minced

1 TBSP roasted garlic puree

1/2 tsp. dried chili flakes

1/4 cup goat cheese

1 TBSP chopped fresh oregano

1 oz. extra virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

1/8 cup grated Parmesan cheese


Place mushrooms in large bowl and rinse and clean mushrooms under cold water. Dry completely with a paper towel. Remove stem carefully and reserve caps on baking sheet. Drizzle caps with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

Place stems on cutting board and finely chop and reserve. In a medium pot, heat olive oil. Place shallots and roasted garlic in a pan and sauté for 2-3 minutes until translucent. Add chili flake and oregano and sauté for 1 minute. Add white wine and chicken stock. Bring to a boil. Add polenta and stir constantly until thickened. Add goat cheese and season to taste with salt and pepper. Cool slightly and fill mushroom caps. Top with Parmesan cheese and bake in 375° oven for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and cool for 3 minutes before serving.




2 large baguettes

1 can artichoke hearts

1 bunch standard asparagus

2 oz. extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp. roasted garlic

1/2 TBSP balsamic vinegar

Zest of one lemon

1 TBSP finely chopped chives

Salt and pepper to taste


Cut each baguette equally into 24 pieces. Drizzle with olive oil and grill quickly over high heat and reserve.

Open artichokes and completely drain and reserve. Trim asparagus and season with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Over a hot grill, quickly cook asparagus and remove.

Cut drained artichokes into quarters and place in medium bowl. Cut asparagus into 1/2-inch pieces and place in bowl with artichokes. In separate bowl combine olive oil, garlic, balsamic vinegar, lemon zest and chives. Toss asparagus and artichokes with this. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Evenly top toasted brushetta with mixture.




2 large baguettes

2 cups julienned sun dried tomato

2-7 oz. tubs buffalo mozzarella in brine

2 TBSP capers rinsed and chopped

1 large sprig fresh basil

2 oz. extra virgin olive oil

4 oz. thinly slice prosciutto, julienned

Salt and pepper to taste


Evenly cut baguettes into 24 pieces. Drizzle with olive oil and quickly toast over hot grill. Remove from grill and reserve.

Remove mozzarella from container and dry with paper towel. Cut into medium dice and reserve. Place sundried tomatoes in a medium bowl and toss with cheese. Add capers, basil and olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Evenly top brushetta with mixture.

Beef Bourguignon

Saturday, December 11th, 2010

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1- 3 lb. piece chuck pot roast

1 large yellow onion

8 cloves garlic

2 large carrots

1 bulb fennel

1 stalk celery

2 bay leaves

5 black peppercorns

1 tbsp onion powder

1 tbsp garlic powder

3 juniper berries

1 clove spike

3 sprigs fresh thyme

2 oz. canola oil

2 cups red wine

3 cups veal stock

Salt and pepper to taste

Place the pot roast on cutting board and remove any exterior fat. Cut the roast into 2×2 inch chunks and place in large kitchen bowl. Season with onion powder, garlic powder and salt & pepper.

Wash, peel and rough chop yellow onion, carrot, fennel and celery and reserve.

Gather remaining ingredients in separate containers and reserve.

Heat a large cast iron pan or large wok for 5 minutes over high flame. Carefully add 1 oz. of the oil to pan. Add half of cubed meat to pan and sear on all sides until well browned.

Remove from pan and place on dish and repeat process with remaining meat. Reserve all browned meat on a dish.

Once all meat is well browned add vegetable to pan and caramelize vegetables in pan for 4 minutes. Add meat back to pan and sauté for 1 minute. Add red wine and spices to pan. Reduce red wine by half of the original volume. Place the mixture into crock-pot and add veal stock.

Cover crock-pot and set on high. Cook on high for 3 hours. Reduce setting to low and cook for 1 more hour. After one hour set crock pot to warm and prepare

Side dishes.

This dish is best served with mashed potato and sautéed spinach.

Breakfast Frittatas

Saturday, November 27th, 2010

YIELDS:  Approximately 4 portions

“With a whole lotta love”

6 large eggs

4 oz. ground chorizo or pork sausage

1 large roma tomato, deseeded and chopped

1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese

1 scallion minced

2 tsp. fresh chopped cilantro

1 tsp. roasted garlic

1 oz. half and half

Salt and pepper to taste

In a medium kitchen bowl, crack open eggs and mix with half and half until completely combined. Reserve in refrigerator.

Preheat oven to 325°. In a non-stick sauté pan place chorizo and over medium-low flame cook until rendered. Add scallions, roasted garlic and tomato. Sauté with chorizo for 1 minute until scallions wilt. Add eggs and cilantro and stir ingredients well. Cook over a medium low flame until eggs start to set. Add feta cheese on top and place in oven.

Cook until eggs have completely set, roughly 4-8 minutes. When frittata has cooked, remove from pan and place on a cutting board. Cut into wedges and serve.

Serve with either hash brown potatoes or room temperature vegetables salsa.

With not so much love”

6 large eggs

4 oz.  smoked turkey breast, julienned

1/4 cup shredded lowfat mozzarella cheese

1 TBSP fresh chopped basil

1 roma tomato

1 oz. skim milk

Salt and pepper to taste

Crack eggs and place in a medium kitchen bowl with skim milk and mix completely. Add remaining ingredients and mix. Pour into a non-stick skillet and place in preheated 325° oven for 5-10 minutes. Bake until eggs have completely set. Remove pan from oven and place frittata on a cutting board. Cut into quarters and serve with either fresh fruit or tossed salad.

Thanksgiving Brined Turkey and Stuffing

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010



1 gallon water

1 cup kosher salt

1 cup sugar

3 bay leaf

4 rosemary sprigs

2 sprigs thyme

2 orange

2 lemon (zested)

2 TBSP fresh ginger

10 black peppercorns

1 gallon ice cubes


In large stock pot place water, salt, sugar, bay leaf, rosemary, oranges split in half, lemons split in half, ginger, and peppercorn. Bring brine to boil. Cool and reserve.




1/2 lb. Andouille sausage

3 Granny Smith apples

3 large French baguettes

1 1/2 qt. Chicken stock

1 large yellow onion

2 medium carrots

3 stalks celery

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 TBSP fresh chopped rosemary

2 TBSP fresh chopped sage

4 oz. unsalted butter

1 bay leaf

2 cups heavy cream

Salt and pepper to taste


Cut baguettes in medium cubes and thoroughly dry in 250° oven.

Wash celery and finely chop. Wash, peel and fine chop carrots peel and finely chop onions. Place three vegetables and minced garlic in bowl and reserve.

Place chicken stock in medium pot and bring to boil and keep on stove for later use.

Wash and cut apples into medium dice and reserve.

Finely chop andouille sausage. Place sausage in large pot with 2 oz. Butter and cook thoroughly. Add chopped vegetables and sauté until tender. Add dried bread and sauté with vegetables for 2 minutes.

Slowly add stock to moisten bread. Add herbs and cream. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Place in baking dish and dot with remaining butter. Bake at 325° until golden brown.