Summer BBQ Nachos

Summer BBQ Nachos

Create these tasty nachos using up any shredded leftover BBQ meat – chicken, pork, or beef. Just toss the meat with your favorite sweet BBQ sauce and top over tortilla chips. Add lots of cheese, green onions, jalapenos, cherry tomatoes, and fresh grilled or roasted corn off the cob.

1 cup grilled chicken, pork or beef
½ cup sweet BBQ sauce (we like Williams Sonoma Sweet Onion Applewood)
½ cup green onions, thinly sliced white and green parts
1 jalapeno, very thinly sliced
½ cup quartered cherry tomatoes
½ cup roasted corn on the cob, removed from cob
4 cups tortilla chips, we like the homemade version at Lucky’s
1 8-ounce package of Mexican Mix shredded cheddar cheese
½ cup sour cream
Juice of ½ lime
Zest of one lime
¼ cup chopped cilantro leaves

Shred the meat with two forks, add the BBQ sauce and mix thoroughly. Thinly slice the green onions and jalapeno, cut the cherry tomatoes into quarters, and removed the grilled corn from the cob; set aside.

Preheat the oven to 400ºF. In an oven-proof pan or cast iron comal pan add a layer of tortilla chips. Top the chips with 1/3 of the cheese, chicken, green onions, jalapeno, tomatoes, and corn. Repeat with two more layers of chips, cheese, and toppings. Place in the oven and bake for 15 minutes.

While the nachos bake, whisk together the sour cream with the lime juice. Place in a serving bowl then top with the lime zest. Remove the nachos from the oven and top with the fresh chopped cilantro. Serve the sour cream with the warm nachos.

Makes 4 servings.


Sautéed Shrimp with Smoked Caramelized Pineapple, Toasted Coconut & Almonds

Sautéed Shrimp with Smoked Caramelized Pineapple, Toasted Coconut & Almonds

Need a quick visit to the tropics? This recipe is your ticket to paradise – caramelized and smoked fresh pineapple rings with a delicious crunchy topping made with toasted coconut and almonds then finished with pan-sear shrimp tossed in caramelized pineapple sauce.

The Perfect Pureé of Nappa Valley Caramelized Pineapple Concentrate used in this recipe can be ordered online direct or through Amazon. If you don’t have a smoking gun, simply cook the pineapple on a grill with a handful of apple wood chips to get a nice smoky flavor.

 Coconut & Almond topping
½ stick butter, melted
¼ cup flour
¼ cup brown sugar
½ cup slivered almonds
½ teaspoon of salt

Preheat the oven to 375˚ F. In a large mixing bowl, combine the ingredient together and spread on a Silpat mat or parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 20-22 minutes until golden, stirring every eight to ten minutes. Remove from the oven and cool completely. Process the mixture in the work bowl of a food processor until it becomes finely ground. Set aside.

Caramelized Smoked Pineapple
1 pineapple peeled and cored, cut widthwise into 3/8” thick rounds
1 ½ tablespoon dark rum
1 ½ tablespoon packed dark-brown sugar
1 tablespoon melted butter

Smoking Gun or BBQ Grill and Applewood chips

Preheat oven to 375˚F or heat a grill to high heat. Place pineapple rounds on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Whisk together the rum, brown sugar, and butter in a small bowl. Brush rum mixture onto pineapple.

Roast until the liquid has evaporated and pineapple has caramelized about 30 minutes. Using a smoking gun, cold smoke the pineapple with apple wood chips. Or heat a BBQ to high heat, add applewood chips, and roast the pineapple turning frequently until cooked through and caramelized.

Sautéed Shrimp
One pound 16/20 shrimp
1/2 cup lemon juice
2 cups of The Perfect Pureé of Nappa Valley Caramelized Pineapple Concentrate*
¼ cup soy sauce
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
Olive oil

Preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Peel and devein the shrimp. Retain the shrimp shells; place the shrimp back in the refrigerator. Add the shrimp shells to a quarter sheet tray and roast in the oven for 15 minutes. Pour the shells and any liquid on the sheet tray to a small 1 quart saucepan and cover with 1 cup of water. Bring to a simmer and reduce the liquid to 2 tablespoons. Strain and discard the shells saving the liquid.

In another saucepan add the lemon juice, Perfect Pureé of Nappa Valley Caramelized Pineapple Concentrate, soy, and fresh ginger. Reduce the mixture to 1 cup. Strain the mixture through a fine mesh strainer, place back in a clean saucepan and then whisk in the shrimp liquid. Cover and keep warm.

Over medium-high heat, cover just the surface of a large 12” sauté pan with olive oil. Sauté the shrimp in one layer for 1-1 ½ minutes per side, then add a ¼-½ cup of the sauce, tossing and sauté for one more minute then remove from the heat. Retain the remaining sauce for drizzle on the plates.

Fresh Cilantro leaves, torn or chopped

In the center of a plate add a pineapple ring. Lightly press the coconut and almond topping into the pineapple. Top with the shrimp, spoon sauce over, and finish with cilantro leaves right before serving.

*The Perfect Pureé of Nappa Valley products are available on Amazon or https://www.perfectpuree.com/shop/.

Kentucky Hot Brown Flatbread

Kentucky Hot Brown Flatbread

Serve our easy Hot Browns at your Derby party in a delicious flatbread. We’ve taken this famous dish and converted it into a flatbread with six “sandwich size” single serving pieces or cut those in half for 12 smaller bites. To make the recipe, we covered thinly-rolled pizza dough with white cheddar, thin slices of roasted turkey and topped those with additional white cheddar, sliced tomatoes, Mornay cheese sauce, and bacon. Then baked it to cheesy, bubbly deliciousness. As a plus, you will have extra cheese sauce. Save it to make delicious pasta for another meal.

2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup heavy cream
¼ cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
kosher salt
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
Dash of hot sauce
6 slices applewood smoked bacon, cut in half
½ pound of pizza dough, fresh homemade or frozen store-purchased, thawed
olive oil
1½ cups grated white cheddar
6 pieces, very thinly sliced, roasted turkey breast, about 8” x 3” in size
2 Roma tomatoes, sliced into 12 thin slices
2 tablespoons chopped chives
1 tablespoon chopped parsley

To make the Mornay sauce, melt the butter in a medium saucepan and whisk in flour until combined. Cook until thick roux forms. The mixture should look like wet sand. Whisking frequently, continue cooking for 2-3 minutes until the mixture turns a blonde color. Whisk in the heavy cream and cook until the mixture thickens about 2 minutes. Immediately remove from heat and stir in the cheese, ⅛ teaspoon salt, nutmeg, and hot sauce. Stir until the cheese melts, then pour into a high-speed blender and blend until the sauce is creamy and thick.

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Arrange the bacon pieces on a rack set over a foil-lined baking sheet. Cook until golden and crisp, about 30 minutes. Remove and drain on paper towels, turning over once to drain both sides or blot off excess fat.

Increase the oven temperature to 450˚ F.

Lightly brush olive oil on a 9”x13” quarter sheet pan; sprinkle the pan lightly with salt. Roll out the dough on a floured surface to a 10 x 14” size then press the pizza dough evenly to fit inside the pan. Brush the dough lightly with olive oil and sprinkle lightly with salt. Add 1 cup of cheddar cheese over the dough. Top with three pieces of turkey overlapping slightly. Sprinkle with ¼ cup of cheese, then top with three more pieces of turkey. Sprinkle the remaining ¼ cup of cheese over the turkey,

Slice the tomatoes and sprinkle lightly with salt. Place on paper towels, and cover with another paper towel. Press gently to remove any excess water. Place tomato slices, two together alongside each other for form 6 “hot browns.” Add two tablespoons of cheese sauce over the tomatoes and gently spread to cover. Place in the oven and bake for 15 minutes, remove and top each set of tomatoes with two pieces of bacon. Place back in the oven and bake for 2 minutes more or until the edges and bottom of the pizza are browned. Remove from the oven and cool slightly. Remove from the pan and top with chives and parsley.

Cut the flatbread in half lengthwise then into 6 long pieces for individual “hot browns” or into 12 pieces.

Black Olive, Roasted Garlic, and Rosemary Flatbread

Black Olive, Roasted Garlic, and Rosemary Flatbread

A welcome start for any spring event, appetizer, or a light dinner, our flatbread is chewy on the inside, crispy and crunchy on the outside. Covered in roasted garlic, black olives, parmesan cheese and fresh rosemary, it’s perfect for dipping in a fresh tomato sauce. You can substitute green-pitted olives for the black or if you’re not an olive fan, the flatbread tastes great without the olives too. This recipe showcases the pizza dough, so use a high-quality brand of either thawed, frozen store purchased or fresh homemade.

1 large garlic bulb
Olive oil
Kosher salt
½ pound fresh homemade or thawed, frozen store-bought pizza dough
12 pitted black olives, cut in half
15 small sprigs fresh rosemary, about 3-5 leaves per sprig
½ cup shredded Parmesan Cheese, plus 1 teaspoon, divided
½ cup canned or boxed fresh tomatoes, chopped
fresh ground pepper
½ teaspoon garlic powder
3-4 fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced

Preheat an oven to 375˚F. Cut the top off the garlic bulb exposing the cloves. Place on top of a piece of foil in a small baking pan. Sprinkle with olive oil and salt. Place on a sheet tray and bake for 20 minutes until the cloves are browned and softened. Remove from the oven but leave the oven on. Cool slightly so you can remove the roasted cloves from the garlic skins.

Lightly brush olive oil on a 9”x13” quarter sheet pan; sprinkle the pan lightly with salt. Roll out the dough on a floured board to 12 x 14” then press the pizza dough evenly to fit inside the pan. Set aside.

Preheat the oven temperature up to 450˚F.

Brush the top of the dough lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Place the black olives, roasted garlic cloves, and rosemary evenly on the dough and pressing them slightly into the dough. Top with ½ cup shredded Parmesan Cheese. Place in the oven and bake for 12-15 minutes until the edges and bottom are browned. Remove and cool slightly. Cut in half lengthwise then into 16 long pieces.

In a blender add the fresh tomatoes, ½ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoons black pepper and the garlic powder; process until smooth. Pour in a serving bowl and top with the remaining cheese and basil leaves. Serve on a platter with the cut flatbread. Make 4-6 servings.

Vietnamese Summer Rolls

Vietnamese Summer Rolls

Summer rolls, also known as fresh spring rolls, are a refreshing light dish to make with rice paper wrappers rolled around fresh crunchy vegetables, chilled shrimp, fresh herbs, and rice noodles. Dip your summer rolls in an easy blender-made spicy peanut sauce to compliment the crunchy vegetables. Not dense like a fried Asian roll, these refreshingly delicious bites will have you thinking of the coming summer days.

Vietnamese summer roll is not at all difficult to make. If you’re careful not to overstuff, the rice paper rounds are very forgiving. The process might look intimidating but is quite simple. In fact, the more you make, the easier it gets. Be sure to use soft lettuce leaves, like Bibb or Boston, rather than crispy like an iceberg, so they wrap nicely around your vegetables.

Summer Rolls
4 ounces rice vermicelli noodles
8 jumbo shrimp, peeled, deveined, and butterflied open
8 rice paper rounds, 8-9” in diameter
¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves only
½ cup enoki mushrooms, available at Whole Foods and Asian Grocery Stores
24 matchstick cut pieces cucumber, cut as long as the shrimp
24 matchstick cut pieces carrot, cut, as long as the shrimp
8 green soft lettuce leaves

Peanut sauce
1″ piece ginger, peeled, chopped
1 small garlic clove, chopped
½ cup creamy peanut butter
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon light brown sugar, packed
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
¼ teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons chopped, salted peanuts

Summer Rolls
Preheat the oven to 325˚ degrees. Skewer the shrimp to hold them flat and open. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Bake for 5-6 minutes until done. Cool and remove the skewers.

Bring a pot of water to 180˚F. Put noodles in a large bowl. Pour enough water over to cover; let stand until softened about 5 minutes. Drain and immediately transfer to a large bowl of ice water to cool; drain and set aside.

Fill a flat shallow dish, like a pie pan, with warm water. Working with 1 rice paper round at a time, soak rice paper in water, occasionally turning, until just pliable but not limp, about 30 seconds. Transfer to a work surface – preferably marble or a similar slick non-porous surface. Arrange a shrimp in the center of the rice paper round. Top with some cilantro, 3 matchstick-cut cucumbers, and 3 matchstick-cut carrots. Arrange a small handful of noodles and enoki mushrooms over the vegetables; place 1 lettuce leaf over the top of all the vegetables. Fold the bottom up and over filling, then fold in ends and roll like a burrito into a tight cylinder. Transfer roll, seam side down, to a platter. Repeat to make 7 more rolls. Cover with a damp kitchen towel and refrigerate.

Peanut Sauce
In a blender combine the ginger, garlic clove, peanut butter, soy sauce, lime juice, brown sugar, toasted sesame oil, red pepper flakes, and blend, adding tablespoons of water, if needed, to thin until smooth. Pour into a serving bowl and top with chopped peanuts.

To serve
Cut rolls in half on diagonal and serve with the peanut sauce. Makes 4 servings, 2 rolls each.

Maple Peanut Chicken Wings

Maple Peanut Chicken Wings

Rule the gridiron party with a platter of delicious bites. These tasty wings are showered with salty chopped peanuts and crisp green onions over the top of a glossy maple and mustard coating – making them perfect for Super Bowl Sunday. All it takes for these wings to cook is just seven minutes is a presser cooker, then pop them in the oven under the broiler to create a beautiful crunchy exterior.

If you don’t own a pressure cooker and want to make this recipe in the oven only, contact Chef Kathy by email for instructions. kathy@freshchefexperience.com

¾ cup maple syrup, divided
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
¼ cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 pounds of chicken wings, cut into wingettes and/or drumettes
⅓ cup finely chopped roasted and salted peanuts
¼ cup thinly sliced green onions

In a pressure cooker, whisk ½ cup maple syrup, Dijon, soy sauce and lemon juice until thoroughly incorporated. Add the wings and toss to coat well.

Following the pressure cooker manufacturer instructions, cook the wings on high for 7 minutes then use the quick-release method to drop the pressure to normal.

Unlock the pot and remove the wings, cover, and keep warm. Pour the remaining liquid into a 2-cup fat separator. Allow the liquid to sit for 5 minutes for the fat to rise then save the lower 1 cup of defatted liquid. Add the defatted liquid to a clean saucepan over medium heat and whisk in the remaining ¼ cup of maple syrup. Cook until the mixture is reduced to about ¾ cup and is a thick liquid.

Meanwhile, turn the oven broiler on low and preheat. Set a cooling rack on a foil-lined baking tray. Add the wings on the rack and baste with the maple liquid. Place under the broiler and cook until the skin is browned and crisp, turning frequently and basting the wings with the liquid every time you turn them. As they brown, remove them, and keep warm until all the wings are finished. (The wingettes may complete before the drummettes.) Baste the hot wings one more time with the maple liquid and place on a platter. Sprinkle with the chopped peanuts and the green onions before serving. Serves 4-6 people.