Butternut Squash Soup

Ingredients
4 pounds whole butternut squash (about 2 medium), halved lengthwise and seeds removed
2 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/4 stick)
1 medium Granny Smith apple (about 8 ounces)
1/2 medium yellow onion
8 fresh sage leaves
2 1/2 cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth (can use gluten free)
2 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more as needed
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup toasted pumpkin seeds, for garnish (optional)
Dallop of Sour cream (optional)

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Jerk Chicken Wrap For One

Recipe yields one wrap. To serve two, double each amount per ingredients.

Ingredients:

For Wrap

  • 1 Agave tortilla
  • 4 oz. pre-cooked Jerk seasoned chicken
  • 2 leaves of lettuce
  • 3 sliced tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp fruit salsa

For Fruit Salsa

  • 1 small pineapple diced
  • 1 small star fruit diced
  • 1 small red onion diced
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp chopped cilantro

Instructions:
1. Mix all ingredients in mixing bowl and let sit. If needed, it can refrigerate for up to 2 days.
2. Place lettuce on wrap followed by sliced tomato, salsa & chicken.
3. Roll up and cut in half or to desired size.

Makes 1 Wrap/Sandwich

Courtesy of Chef James Harris of Harrah’s Resort in Atlantic City

Chocolate Peanut Butter Tarts

Ingredients:

Base

  • 2 cups (8 oz.) pecan halves
  • 1 Tbsp packed light brown sugar
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • 2 Tbsp butter at room temperature

Peanut butter filling

  • ½ stick butter, softened
  • ¾ cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • ¾ cup powdered sugar

Mousse topping

  • 1 cup whipping or heavy cream
  • 2 Tbsp packed soft brown sugar
  • 1 cup (6 oz.) semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

2. Chop nuts, sugar and cinnamon in processor until nuts are finely ground. Add butter and blend until well combined.

3. Press nut mix into bottom and up sides of 9” pie plate or springform pan. Bake for 15-20  minutes or until golden brown.  Remove from oven and cool.

4. In a bowl with an electric mixer or in a food processor, mix peanut butter, butter and vanilla essence.

5. Mix in powdered sugar until well blended. Add milk, if necessary, to make it more spreadable.

6. Spread into cooled nut crust.

7. Heat cream, sugar and vanilla in sauce pan or microwave until nearly boiling.

8. Add chocolate, leave for a few minutes and then stir until totally smooth. Let cool.

9. Pour 2/3 of chocolate mix over peanut butter layer and leave in fridge to chill and set.  The mix will not harden like a bar of chocolate, but will be firm enough to cut.

10. Once the remaining sauce has cooled (at least 1 hour in fridge, quicker in freezer; don’t attempt to whisk if it is not cold), whisk with an electric mixer until thickened like whipped cream. This will happen very quickly.

11. Pipe the stiffened chocolate mix around the edge of the pie and serve.

For presentation, reserve 2 Tbsp of the peanut butter mix. Add some milk to make it thinner and pour into a snack size Ziploc bag. Snip a corner off the bag and pipe a continuous circle of peanut butter mix radiating out from the center of the dish. Take a toothpick, knife or skewer and gently drag the tip through circle from outside to the center to form a pattern. Refrigerate to set.

From Chef Oonagh Williams of Royal Temptations Catering

Greek-Style Gluten Free Pasta Salad

Greek-Style Gluten-Free Pasta Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup gluten-free penne, ziti or rotini
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. of the green of green onions, washed and scissored thin
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped, fresh mint
  • 1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped, fresh dill
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt or lemon flavor
  • 1/2 cup vanilla yogurt
  • Zest of half a lemon
  • 6-8 oz. can artichoke hearts in brine, drained, rinsed and chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. black olives, drained, rinsed and sliced (optional)
  • ½ lb. grape tomatoes, washed, dried and quartered, or 4 large Campari tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 English cucumber, peeled, deseeded and cut into ¼” to ½” dices
  • 2 Tbsp. gluten-free finely chopped dill pickle
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, deseeded and cut into small dice (optional)

Directions:

  1. Cook pasta in boiling water according to package instructions. Drain and rinse in cold water to stop cooking and chill pasta.
  2. Place zest of lemon, salt, pepper in mixing jug. Add yogurts and whisk or use immersion blender to form an emulsion.
  3. Add mint, parsley, dill and green onion to jug and mix.
  4. Place pasta in large bowl. Stir in vinaigrette.
  5. Add artichoke hearts, olives, tomatoes, cucumber, pickle and red bell pepper.
  6. Taste and adjust seasoning. (Chill before serving, but it is better at room temperature.)
  7. Sprinkle with Feta cheese upon serving (optional).

From Chef Oonagh Williams of Royal Temptations Catering

Berry Flan

Ingredients:

Crust:
– 2 cups hazelnuts ground finely
– 2 tablespoons honey*
– 1 tablespoon lemon juice

Blend hazelnuts, honey and lemon juice and press into flan tin (or pie plate) and refrigerate.

Filling:
– 8 oz strawberries
– 8 oz raspberries
– A sprinkle of cinnamon or fresh ground allspice to taste.
– Sprig of mint

Reserve a few berries for decoration, then puree the remainder of the berries in the blender or food processor.

Add spice to taste

Spoon into flan (or pie plate), decorate with reserved berries and mint sprig, and refrigerate until ready to serve.

*For a Vegan version, replace honey with agave or maple syrup.

Red Pepper Pasta Sauce – Gluten Free

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb gluten-free pasta Gluten-Free Pasta Sauce
  •  2 – 13oz jars of roasted red peppers; packed in water and vinegar (check label to make sure its white vinegar)
  • 1 clove of garlic; minced
  • 1 small onion; rough chopped
  • ¼ tsp dry basil
  • ¼ tsp dry oregano
  • ¼ tsp dry parsley
  • ¼ tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

1. Empty both jars (with liquid) into your food processor and run until smooth.

2. Place a mesh strainer on a bowl and pour in the puréed red peppers and let drain into the bowl to remove  seeds; use a spatula if it is not draining fast enough and mash it through the strainer.

3. While peppers are straining: In a sauce pan or pot, sauté the onions in a little olive oil until translucent over medium-low heat; about 3 to 5 minutes.

4. Add garlic and all dry ingredients and sauté until fragrant; about a minute.

5. Add the strained red pepper puree to the pot, and simmer covered for 15 minutes.

6. While the sauce is simmering: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil for the pasta and cook the pasta as per the package’s directions.

At this point, you can toss some sauce on the past and serve it. HOWEVER, for restaurant quality results, follow these additional steps.

1. CONTINUED FROM STEP 6 ABOVE; cook the pasta until JUST BEFORE al denté (as we are going to cook it a little longer after it is drained).

2. Reserve one cup of the pasta water and then drain the pasta (don’t rinse).

3. In a large pot over medium-high heat, add about two ladles of the roasted red pepper sauce and bring it up to a simmer (this should be enough to coat the pasta).

4. Put the pasta in the pot and pour in half of the reserved pasta water. Stir everything around to combine. The pasta water will start to come together with the sauce and the pasta and the pasta will look coated and thick, not watery. Only use the rest of the pasta water if you want to thin out the sauce.

5. Serve with an additional scoop of roasted red pepper sauce on top and some grated cheese (optional).

From Paul Biscione of Food Living and Everything Else

Jalapeño Cornbread – Gluten Free

The finished jalapeño cornbread. Photo: JeffreyW

Ingredients:
1½ cups stone ground yellow cornmeal
1 cup gluten-free flour
3 tablespoons seeded and chopped jalapeños, about 1-2 peppers
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ cup sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1 egg, lightly beaten*
2 sticks butter, melted*
1¼ cups buttermilk*

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400°F and brush a 10-inch square or round baking dish with butter.

In a large bowl, combine cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar and salt.

In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, and butter. Slowly add wet mixture to dry ingredients. Stir until lumps dissolve but do not over-mix. Let batter sit at room temperature for 15 minutes.

Pour batter into pan and bake for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool before serving.

*For a Vegan version:  use vegan egg replacers (such as Ener-G, chia- or flax-eggs, or 1/2 banana or 1/4 cup applesauce per egg), vegan butter (such as Earth Balance), and a vegan buttermilk replacement.