GREAT RECIPES FOR EVERY COURSE

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Emeril’s Perfect Poached Eggs

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From “Emeril’s New Orleans Cooking”

For 2 eggs

3 c water 1/2 t white vinegar 1/2 t salt2 eggs

Bring the water, vinegar and salt to a boil in a small saucepan over high heat. Crack an egg into a cup and slide the egg gently into the water. Crack another egg into the cup and when the water returns to a boil slide this egg into the water as well. When the water returns to a boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer until the eggs are set.

Watch carefully and remove eggs when the yolks are still soft, about 2 to 2 1/2 min. {Test by lifting an egg slightly out of the water and gently pressing the center with your finger, the yolk should be soft and the white firm.} Drain on paper towels. Poached eggs can be made ahead and kept immersed in a bowl of water in the refrigerator. Reheat by immersing briefly in simmering water.

Note . . . cheeky I know to add to Emeril’s instructions, but I have found it’s a good idea to treat the paper towel with a little nonstick spray

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Emeril’s Creole Seasoning

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From “Emeril’s New Orleans Cooking”

Makes about 2/3 cup

2 1/2 T paprika 2 T salt 2 T garlic powder 1 T black pepper 1 T onion powder 1 T cayenne pepper 1 T dried leaf oregano 1 T dried lead thyme

Combine all ingredients thoroughly and store in an airtight jar or container.

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LITTLE ITALY SAUSAGE BURGERS – by Rebecca Reese, Sutter Home award winner

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Serves 6

Sauce: 2/3 cup mayonnaise 1/3 cup bottled red wine vinaigrette Patties: 1 pound bulk sweet Italian sausage 1 pound ground pork 1/2 cup chopped pickled pepperoncini 1/2 cup [about 2 ounces] grated Asiago cheese 1/2 cup Italian-style bread crumbs 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher or coarse sea salt 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper Toppings: 9 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into 6 equal slices 6 bun-sized pieces focaccia bread, sliced horizontally, or focaccia buns, split 6 thin slices red onion 2 cups coarsely shredded romaine lettuce

Prepare a medium hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover, or preheat a gas grill to medium high. Combine the mayonnaise and vinaigrette in a small bowl and mix well. Cover and refrigerate until assembling  the burgers.

To make the patties, combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Handling the meat as little as possible to avoid compacting it, mix well. Form the mixture into six equal patties to fit the bread pieces.

Brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Place the patties on the rack, cover, and cook, turning once, until done to preference, about 4 minutes on  side for medium. During the last few minutes of cooking, place the cheese slices on the patties to meltand place the bread pieces, cut side down, on the outer edges of the rack to toast lightly.

To assemble the burgers, spread the mayonnaise mixture on the cut sides of each bread piece. On each bread bottom, place a patty, an onion slice, and a portion of the lettuce. Add the bread tops and serve.

Notes . . . This recipe and other winners, along with some just awesome side dishes and desserts, are gathered in the cookbook, “Burger Parties,” and as the name suggests it also features fun ways to get the festivities in full swing.

“Burger Parties” on Amazon Sutter Home

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MAINE LOBSTER MACARONI AND CHEESE by Hubert Keller

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Serves 4

3 T white wine vinegar 4 live Maine lobsters (about 1 lb each) Salt to taste White pepper to taste White wine to taste 1 T butter 1/3 c finely minced shallots ¼ c very finely diced carrots ¼ c very finely diced celery 1 T cognac 2 T port 1 ½ c cream or half-and-half + 2 ½ T cream bouquet garni egg yolk 8 oz elbow macaroni or small pasta shells 3 T freshly grated Gruyere cheese

To prepare the lobster, bring 1 ½  gallons salted water to a boil in a large stockpot. Add the vinegar and then add 2 of the lobsters, head first. Cover tightly with a lid, and cook for 3 minutes. Remove the lobsters, drain and set aside to cool. Repeat with the remaining 2 lobsters. Break the lobsters in two where the tail meets the body. Using scissors, cut the underside of the tail and remove the meat in one piece. Break off the claws, carefully crack the shells and remove the claw meat in a single piece. Cut the bodies in half
lengthwise, and remove and discard the greyish, milky sand sacks located near the eyes. Remove the soft green strip of tomalley and dark green coral and reserve.

Season the lobster meat with salt and white pepper. Heat the butter in a large nonstick skillet, and gently sauté the lobster meat over medium heat for 2 minutes. Remove the claw meat and continue to sauté the rest of the lobster meat for 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer the lobster meat to a work surface and let cool slightly. Cut the meat into ¼ inch-thick slices and set aside.

In the same skillet, sweat the shallots, carrots and celery over medium heat for 3 minutes. Add the cognac and port, reduce to almost dry. Add the white wine and reduce by half. Then add  1 ½ cups of the cream, the bouquet garni salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook for 5 to 7 minutes. Cover the skillet, remove from the heat and set the sauce aside.

Whisk the remaining 2 ½ tablespoons of cream in a small mixing bowl until thick. Fold in the egg yolk and keep refrigerated.

Cook the macaroni in a large saucepan of boiling water until just tender, about 10 minutes. Drain in a colander and set aside.

Preheat the broiler. Return the sauce to low heat and warm gently. Whisk the reserved lobster tomalley and coral into the sauce, and then stir in the cheese, lobster meat and macaroni. Increase the heat to high and quickly bring to a boil. Adjust the seasoning if necessary.

Divide the macaroni mixture equally between individual warm gratin dishes. Pour the reserved cream-egg mixture over the macaroni, and place the gratin dishes under the broiler until golden brown. Serve immediately.

Notes . . . Culinary maestro Hubert Keller is known to legions of fans for his “Secrets of a Chef” series and foodie specials on PBS, his critically acclaimed Fleur by HK at Mandalay Bay and Burger Bar at Mandalay Place, both in Las Vegas, plus his flagship Fleur de Lys and a Burger Bar in San Francisco, and another Burger Bar in Beijing,  and also, uh huh, for his role as a primo dj.

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KENTUCKY BOURBON SAUCE by Emeril Lagasse

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From Chef Lagasse’s “Emeril’s New Orleans Cooking”

1 1/2 cups heavy cream 1 cup half-and-half 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract 1/4 cup sugar 1 tablespoon cornstarch 3 tablespoons bourbon

Heat the cream, half-and-half, vanilla and sugar in a saucepan over high heat, whisking for three minutes. Dissolve the cornstarch in the bourbon. When bubble form around the edges of the cream, whisk in the bourbon mixture. As the cream boils up, remove the pot from the heat and continue whisking vigorously until thoroughly blended and slightly thickened.

Place over low heat and simmer for 1 minute. [This is not a thick cream sauce; it's meant to be fairly thin.] Serve immediately or store, refrigerated, in an airtight container for up to 24 hours. Reheat in a double boiler.

Notes . . . this is the totally indulgent sauce Emeril lavishes on his awesome bread pudding

Emeril Emeril’s New Orleans Cooking” on Amazon

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CARAMEL APPLE CREAM PIE

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Serves 6-8

Ready to use pie crust {see notes} 1 T melted butter 21 oz can apple pie filling tub caramel {see notes} 8 oz cream cheese {see notes} 1/3 c sugar 1 egg chopped pecans or walnuts

Gently spread butter over the bottom and sides of the crust with the back of a tablespoon. Cover evenly with apple filling.

Beat cream cheese, sugar and egg till smooth, and spread over apple filling. Once it is in place gently push some of the cream out to the edges to form a small rim. Now spoon the caramel into the center up to the rim. I used about half of a 16 oz tub. Sprinkle all over with nuts, probably about 1/3 of a cup.

Bake at 350 for about 45 min or until a tester comes out with none of the cream cheese mixture on it. Serve warm, or cool and refrigerate.

Notes . . . I used a Nilla crust which was not only tasty but the perfect size for the fillings . . . the cream cheese will be easier to work with if you let it sit awhile at room temp . . . you can usually find the tub caramel in the produce section near the apples – I like to use a new tub for this recipe so the caramel is soft

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PUMPKIN CAKE by Les Kincaid

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6-8 servings

Cake: 1 (18 1/4-ounce) yellow cake mix 1 large egg 8 tablespoons sweet butter, melted

Filling: 8 oz cream cheese, softened 15 oz can pumpkin 3 large eggs 1 t real vanilla extract 8 T sweet butter, melted 16 oz  box powdered sugar 1 t cinnamon 1 t nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine the cake mix, egg, and butter and mix well with an electric mixer. Pat the mixture into the bottom of a lightly greased 13 by 9-inch baking pan.

In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and pumpkin until smooth. Add the eggs, vanilla, and butter, and beat together. Next, add the powdered sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and mix well. Spread pumpkin mixture over cake batter and bake for 40 to 50 minutes. Make sure not to over bake as the center should be a little gooey. Serve with fresh whipped cream.

Chef and wine show radio host Kincaid

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PEANUT SAUCE by Phillip Dell

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By “Chopped” Champ Chef Dell

1/4 cup grapeseed oil , adjust as needed {or canola} 1/4 cup rice vinegar 1/3 cup Tamari sauce, low sodium 3 tablespoons dark sesame oil 1 tablespoon honey 2 garlic cloves, minced 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger 2 tablespoons white sesame seeds, toasted 1/2 cup smooth, natural peanut butter 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Mix all ingredients together and whisk until smooth.

Chef Phillip Dell

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DEVILED EGG PATE

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From the CCC Kitchen

8 hard cooked eggs, coarsely chopped 8 oz tub chive & onion cream cheese 2 T cold butter, coarsely chopped 3-4 {depending on size} green onions, thick sliced, including most of green tops 3 T yellow mustard 2 rounded T mayo 1 T ranch dressing 2 T dillweed / scant 1 t celery salt  1 t freshly ground pepper, or to taste

Combine all ingredients in a food processor at high speed for about 20 seconds. Scrape down sides and taste for seasoning.

Continue processing until velvety smooth, scraping sides as necessary. Spread in a shallow pan or on a platter, cover with foil and chill thoroughly {if the foil will touch the mixture, first treat it with non-stick spray}.

Notes . . . I like to garnish the pate with alternating diagonal stripes of chopped black olives and additional dillweed . . . I also provide both a butter knife and a flat serving utensil so folks can either enjoy it as a spread or plop it on the plate

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