Charlotte Cooks Recipes | PBS Charlotte | Page 20248

Charlotte Cooks Recipes




Ciabatta Bread

Dry: Combine in the bowl of a stand mixer
• 3 ½ cups bread flour
• 1 teaspoon sugar
• 1 ½ teaspoons instant yeast
• 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
Wet: Combine is a glass measuring cup:
• 1 ½ cups warm water
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
Using a dough hook mix the dry ingredients, the add the wet ingredients
Set the timer and knead the dough on medium speed for 10 minutes until it is smooth and elastic. Resist adding more flour, the dough should be slightly sticky.
Remove the dough hook after 10 minutes kneading, cover and let the dough rest for 15 minutes in a warm area.
Prepare a sheet pan with parchment and cornmeal
Flour a surface lightly then plop the entire dough mass onto the floured surface. Sprinkle flour over any sticky parts of the bread. Flatten the dough into a rectangle, the roll from the long edge into a cylinder. Place the formed loaf onto the prepared sheet pan, cover and let rise in a warm area for 45 minutes.
During this 45 minute rise, preheat your oven to 450°F.
Once the dough has risen, spray it with a splash of water and place in into the oven for 30 minutes. The internal temp should read between 195-210°F for the bread to be done.
Remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack to cool completely before slicing.



-3 quarts popped popcorn, plain, lightly salted
-1 cup roasted and salted peanuts – Skins or not, your choice
-4 ounces unsalted butter
-2 cups/ 16 ounces brown sugar (Try (8 oz)1 cup granulated/1 cup (8 oz) brown and see which you prefer)
-1/4 cup corn syrup
-1 teaspoon vanilla – Add at the very end of making the syrup, before pouring over popcorn and nuts
-Preheat oven to 250°F
-Line 2 baking sheet pans with parchment or silpat. Spray well with pan spray and set side.
-Put popcorn and peanuts into a large bowl; set aside. Choose a bowl large enough to toss easily in; you want everything to be fully coated. Set aside.
-Melt the butter is a medium sauce pan over medium heat.
-Add the corn syrup and sugar. Stir to combine and bring to a boil. Simmer the syrup until it reaches 250°F. This takes about 6-9 minutes.
-Once the syrup reaches 250°F, add the vanilla carefully stir to combine.
-Working quickly, pour the syrup over the popcorn and nuts. Use two large spoons or spatulas toss the nuts and popcorn to completely coat with the syrup.
-Spread the popcorn and nuts on a sheet pan, trying to separate the popcorn so there aren’t large clumps.
-Place the sheet pan in the preheated oven for 1 hour.
-Remove from the oven, separate the clumps and let cool.
-Store in an airtight bag and eat within 2-3 days.


Yield: 24 popcorn balls
Active Time: 10 minutes

Popcorn Ball Ingredients
-9 cups popped popcorn
-1 cup roasted, chopped almonds or peanuts
-1/2 cup honey or maple syrup
-1/2 cup unsweetened almond butter or chunky peanut butter
-Pinch sea salt
-1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
-1 teaspoon cinnamon

-Measure out popcorn and chopped almonds in a large bowl, stir, and set aside.
-Place honey in a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, stir in almond butter, and simmer for 1 minute.
-Turn off heat and stir in salt, vanilla, and cinnamon.
-Carefully pour hot mixture over popcorn mixture and mix to thoroughly coat.
-Coat hands in nonstick spray or coconut oil, or butter and carefully form popcorn into 2- to 3-inch balls before the mixture cools.
-Store, covered, for up to 1 week.



Fresh Tomato Basil Soup


• 8 ripe Heirloom Tomatoes
• 1 medium onion, chopped
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• 2 garlic cloves, crushed or 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
• 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
• 1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese or 1/4 cup sour cream


1. Remove the stem end of the tomatoes and cut a shallow X into the bottom of the tomato.

2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil; blanch the ripe tomatoes until the skin “zips” up the side.

3. Transfer to ice bath; cool slightly and then peel off skin.

4. Cut tomatoes in half through the center, not top to bottom; remove seeds and chop.

5. In a medium saucepan, cook the onion in olive oil over medium heat, stirring frequently, until translucent, about 4 minutes.

6. Add the garlic and cook until you can smell the garlic.

7. Add the chopped tomatoes and cook uncovered over medium heat for 20 minutes

8. Spoon 3/4 of mixture into food processor or blender container; puree until smooth.

9. Return to saucepan. Add the chopped basil.

10. Heat until hot but do not boil.

11. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

12. Divide the soup into two warm bowls and serve immediately topping with a dollop of goat cheese or sour cream.

13. Garnish with fresh basil leaves, if desired.





Cheesecake Filling

• 3# Cream Cheese
• 1# Sugar
• 6 Eggs
• 1 Cup Cream
• Bake at 200 degrees for 3 hours


Plain Crust


• 1 and 1/2 cups finely ground graham cracker crumbs
• 1/3 cup light brown sugar
• 6 tablespoons butter, melted


1. Mix graham cracker crumbs, sugar, melted butter or margarine, and cinnamon until well blended. Press mixture into an 8 or 9 inch pie plate.

2. Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 7 minutes. Cool. If recipe calls for unbaked pie shell, just chill for about 1 hour.


Chocolate Crust


• 25 Oreo Cookies
• 5 tablespoons unsalted Butter melted


1. Finely crush your cookies. You can use a food processor for this step, but you can also place the cookies in a plastic bag and roll the sealed bag with a rolling pin. If you’re using a rolling pin, seal the bag but leave about an inch open for air to escape. You’ll have to put some muscle in it to get a fine crush. The crust sticks together best when the cookies are crushed finely.

NOTE: You do NOT need to remove the filling from the Oreo.

2. Stir the cookie crumbs and melted butter together with a fork. Press crumbs into the bottom and up the sides of a 9″ pie plate. Chill until ready to fill.

3. For a no-bake pie: chill the crust about 30 minutes before filling, then fill/chill as directed in the recipe.

4. For a crunchier no-bake filling pie: bake the crust for 8 minutes at 350°F then cool completely before filling.



Pickled Beets


Roasted, steamed or boiled beets – cooked until tender

To make the brine:

o 1 large red onion sliced
o 1 cup apple cider vinegar
o 1 1/2 teaspoons Kosher salt
o 1/2 cup sugar
o 1 cup water

Combine all ingredients in a small pot, bring to a boil.

Peel and slice beets into 1/8 inch thick slices.

Slice the onion, set aside in its own bowl.

Layer the onions and beets into wide mouth canning jars.

Pour boiling brine over beets and onions you have placed into a canning jar.

Cover with the jar lid and cool to room temperature. Store the beets in the refrigerator.

These are best after 2 days in the brine.




Kimchee and Noodle Salad

o 1/2 Head Savoy Cabbage, sliced thin
o 1 Tablespoon Kosher salt
o 2 Tablespoons Fish Sauce
o 1 Tablespoon sugar (dissolve in fish sauce)
o 1 large carrot, shredded
o 1 Tablespoon Sambal Olek or according to taste
o 1 Teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes – Optional
o 2 cloves fresh garlic, finely minced
o 1 bunch scallions, sliced thin

Cut the cabbage in half; remove the core. Slice the cabbage into thin slices.

Place the cabbage into a big bowl.

Add the fish sauce and sugar, stir to dissolve.

Toss the salt and fish sauce mixture over the cabbage and let stand for 15-30 minutes; while you prepare the remaining ingredients.

Toss everything together. Serve immediately or store in glass jars in the refrigerator.

This mixture will ferment as it ages and can be eaten in any stage.

This is great to make a quick and easy noodle dish for a snack, quick lunch or even dinner of you add shrimp or chicken or even beef or pork.

o 1 pound of Cooked Spaghetti or Soba Noodles
o 3 ounces fresh lime juice
o 2 ounces seasoned rice wine vinegar
o 1 ounce Kikkoman’s low sodium soy sauce
o 1 ounce grated fresh ginger
o Zest from 1 lime
o 2 cloves garlic, minced fine
o 2 tablespoons oriental toasted sesame oil
o 1 ounce chopped cilantro
o 4 ounces prepared kimchee, chopped
o 1 red pepper, sliced thin
o 1 bunch scallions, sliced

Make a vinaigrette from the ingredients, leaving the noodles and kimchee out.

Toss the kimchee with the noodles, coat lightly with the vinaigrette dressing.

Add cooked chicken, shrimp, beef or pork if desired.

Serve with Siracha for added heat



Braised Lamb Shanks

o 4 lamb shanks
o 2 sweet onions
o 2 stalks celery
o 4 carrots or 1# of baby carrots
o 1# tiny new potatoes
o 1 Tablespoon Herbs de Provence
o Pinch Lavender Buds
o 2 Rosemary stalks
o 4 bay leaves
o 1 bunch fresh thyme
o Beef Stock
o Flour
o S&P
o 1 bottle of Red wine – use for deglazing, then drink the rest

Season and dredge the lamb shanks in flour. Brown in a hot skillet until golden on all sides. Remove from pan; place into a braising pan.

Deglaze the skillet with red wine, pour into braising pan. Add carrots, onions, celery and potatoes.
Add beef stock to cover shanks by at least ½. Add seasonings.

Cover the pan with foil and place into a 350°F oven for 2 hours or until the meat is tender and pulls away from the bone easily.

Remove the shanks from the pan. Using a slotted spoon, remove the vegetables.

Place the remaining sauce into a sauce pot. Remove any grease that may be floating on top. Bring to a simmer. Adjust seasonings and consistency of the sauce.

Serve the shanks on a large plate with lentils or mashed potatoes or risotto with the braised vegetables on the side. Brighten the plate with the additions of a fresh green vegetable such as broccoli or green peas.



Stove-Top Mac and Cheese

Serves 4-6

o 1 pound elbow shaped macaroni
o Kosher salt to season the cooking water for the pasta
o One 12-ounce can evaporated milk
o 2 large eggs
o 1 teaspoon Franks Red Hot Sauce
o 1 teaspoon ground mustard
o 1 pound sharp cheddar cheese
o 8 ounces Creamy melting cheese such as: Jack, Fontina, Gruyere, Munster, cherve, American
o 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
o 8 Tablespoons (1 stick or 4 ounces) butter cut into chunks

– Cook pasta according to package directions. While the pasta is cooking, make the sauce. (Yes, you’ll have to pay attention, have everything ready to go before you start cooking the pasta.)
– In a separate bowl, mix the milk, eggs, hot sauce and mustard in a bowl; whisk it all together until smooth.
– Shred or cube the cheese. If using a very soft cheese, just cube it. Toss all the cheese with the cornstarch to give the cheese a light dusting. This helps prevent clumps and also thickens the sauce.
– When the pasta is cooked, drain it and return it to the pot.
– Add the butter; stir gently to coat the pasta, until the butter is melted.
– Add the milk mixture and then the cheese mixture to the pot, stir to incorporate.
– Cook over medium heat until warm, cheese is fully melted and incorporated into the milk so it is silky smooth.
– Taste to adjust seasonings with salt or hot sauce.
– Serve immediately. Garnish with toasted bread crumbs if desired.

Add-ins make it a meal:

o Diced Ham and Peas
o Broccoli and Cauliflower Florets
o Your favorite pizza toppings without cheese
o Cooked Lobster and/or shrimp



Delicious Vegan Chocolate Cake with Rich and Creamy Chocolate Frosting

Vegan Chocolate Cake with 2 Frostings:

1. Silken Tofu
2. Avocado Chocolate

Vegan Chocolate Cake Recipe:

-Preheat oven to 350°F

MIX together:

o 1 and 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
o 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
o 1 teaspoon baking soda

ADD to mix:

o 2/3 cup pure maple syrup
o 6 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
o 1 tablespoon white vinegar
o 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
o 3/4 cup cold water

-Mix well and pour into 9×9 baking pan and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Frosting Recipe:

o One 12-ounce package of silken soft tofu
o 3/4 cup dairy-free, semisweet chocolate chips, melted
o 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

-ADD all ingredients to food processer or blender and blend until smooth.
-Remove cake from oven and let cool. Once cool cover with frosting, garnish with berries.
-Serve with whipped coconut milk.

Chocolate Avocado Frosting/Pudding:

o 3 fresh, ripe avocados
o 1/2 cup granulated sugar
o 1/4 cup dark cocoa powder
o 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
o Pinch salt

-Almond or cashew milk to thin the mixture to desired consistency
-Place all ingredients except the almond or cashew milk into the bowl of a food processor.
-Process until smooth; thin to desired consistency with the almond or cashew milk



Delicious Banana Recipes!

Chocolate Banana Pops:


o Popsicle sticks
o Roasted and salted nuts, crushed with chunks (or crushed pretzels, cereal, potato chips, or any nut)
o Mini chocolate chips
o Nutella
o Almond and peanut butters
o Parchment paper wraps
o Butchers twine to tie
o Bowl for warm chocolate ganache
o Plate for crushed nuts

Instructions: Dip into warm chocolate, roll in chopped nuts, wrap in parchment papers, then freeze overnight.

Banana Ice Cream:


o 4 frozen bananas
o 1/4 to 1/2 cup well chilled almond or coconut milk
o 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
o Pinch of salt
o Nuts, fruit or chocolate to garnish


1. Freeze bananas, peel, then place in a food processor.
2. Add 1 teaspoon vanilla, pinch of salt; process until smooth, adding almond or coconut milk to desired consistency
3. Serve immediately or pack into a container and freeze.
4. Put in a star-tipped piping bag and pipe out into a bowl.
5. Top with fruit and a sprinkle of chopped nuts or chocolate, if desired.

Baked Banana Splits:


o 4 bananas
o Chocolate chips
o Fresh cherries
o Banana ice cream
o Coconut whipped cream
o Chopped nuts
o Coconut ganache – warm as a sauce
o 1 cool set up for end photos as the ice cream will melt before he can take photos


1. Slice an unpeeled banana lengthwise, slice it open only about half way through. Fill with chocolate chips.
2. Wrap it back together with tin foil, wrap tightly.
3. Bake for 10-15 minutes in a 350°F oven.
4. Remove from oven and carefully remove the hot bananas from the foil, place them on a dish.
5. Using a spoon, open the banana slightly; fill with banana ice cream, coconut whipped cream, top with chopped nuts and don’t forget the cherry or berry!

Coconut Milk Ganache:

o 1 can coconut milk, boiled
o Chocolate chips, dark chocolate
o Pinch salt
o 1 teaspoon vanilla extract



Stuffed Boneless Chicken Leg Quarters


o 1 Tablespoon Oil
o 1/2 onion, minced
o 1 pound Shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced
o 1 teaspoon of Herbs de Provence
o 2 cloves of garlic, minced
o 1/4 cup Marsala or dry sherry
o 2 pounds fresh spinach
o 1 teaspoon fresh nutmeg
o 1/4 cup crumbled Feta Cheese
o 4 boneless chicken leg quarters
o Salt and pepper to taste


Heat the oil in a large sauté pan. Add the onion and mushrooms, sauté for 3 minutes. Add Herbs de Provence and garlic. Once you can smell the garlic, (about 1 minute) add the Marsala. When the Marsala comes to a boil, reduce by half, then add the spinach.

Stir until spinach wilts, add ground nutmeg and feta cheese, and fold in gently.

Add salt and pepper to taste. Add the entire spinach mixture to a colander and allow to drain while the mixture cools.

Debone the leg quarters, season with salt and pepper. Stuff the spinach filling into each of the leg quarters, being careful not to fill the legs or thighs too full.

Tie each leg quarter closed with butchers twine, season the skin and roast in a 350°F oven for 30-45 minutes – the skin should be golden brown, crispy and the internal temperature should read 165°F. All juices should run clear.

Remove from the oven, allow the leg quarters to rest for 15 minutes. Using kitchen shears, cut away the butchers twine and discard.

Slice each leg quarter into 4 pieces and serve.



Refreshing Beverages!

Simple Syrup:
•   Equal parts of fresh water and organic sugar
•   Bring to a boil, simmer for 2 minutes, until all the sugar has dissolved
•   Cool and store
Lavender Simple Syrup
•   1 cup water
•   1 cup organic sugar
•   ½ cup dried lavender buds
Ginger Simple Syrup
•   1 cup sugar
•   1 cup water
•   1” piece of fresh ginger, sliced thin
•   1 cup fresh lemon juice
•   1 cup water (more if your taste buds think it is too sour)
•   ½ cup simple syrup (adjust sweetness to taste)
Fresh Mint Tea or Hibiscus Tea
•   1 generous handful fresh mint or 1 cup of dried hibiscus flowers
•   Boiling water to cover
•   Steep 20 minutes, strain, then add to green tea or lemonade
*Or allow to steep until cool
•   Sweeten as desired
Grapefruit Basil Tea
•   Peel and juice from 1 grapefruit
•   1 sprig of basil
•   2 quarts boiling water
•   Simple Syrup to taste
*Additions to Lemonade: Any of the teas above or pureed blackberries or strawberries. Be sure to serve refreshing beverages with plenty of ice!



Preparing Simple Vegetables


Steamed Cauliflower Pomodoro


1 head of Cauliflower, broken into florets

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

½ cup diced tomatoes, canned or fresh

¼ cup shredded Parmesan Cheese

  • Steam the cauliflower until done. Place the cooked cauliflower into an oven proof dish, season then top with the diced tomatoes and parmesan cheese.
  • Bake in a 350°F oven for about 20 minutes, until the cheese is melted and everything is hot and bubbly.
  • Serve as a side dish.

Maple Glazed Carrots

Serves 4

4 carrots, peeled and sliced into coins or matchsticks

½ cup water

¼ cup pure maple syrup

1 tablespoon butter

  • Salt and white pepper to taste
  • Place the carrots and water into a deep sauté pan. Bring to a boil and simmer until the water has evaporated.
  • Add the butter and maple syrup, toss to coat, and adjust seasonings to taste; serve.

Steamed Broccoli with Lemon Dijon Butter

Serves 4

1 head of broccoli, stems peeled and sliced if using

1 Tablespoon Dijon Mustard

1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 Tablespoon butter

Salt and pepper to taste

  • Steam the broccoli until tender, depending upon the size, this should take about 4-6 minutes.
  • While the broccoli is steaming, place the mustard, butter and lemon juice into a bowl.
  • When the broccoli is done, add the hot broccoli to the bowl to melt the butter and then toss so all of the broccoli is coated with the sauce.

Sautéed Apples, Onions and Parsnips

Serves 4

This delicious sauté goes really well with pork or chicken.

1 large onion, sliced into matchsticks

2 Granny Smith apples, cored and sliced into wedges

3 parsnips, peeled and sliced into coins

2 Tablespoons butter

½ cup water

  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Melt the butter in a large sauté pan, add the onions and parsnips, sauté until the vegetables start to wilt.
  • Add the water and simmer until the water is gone. Add the apples, toss and allow to sauté for about 2 more minutes. The apples should be crisp but warmed through and not mushy.
  • Serve over pork or chicken.






Hard Boiled Eggs

Place eggs in a deep pot, cover with cold water.
Place on high heat and bring to a boil. Once a boil has been reached, time 10 minutes then immediately place the eggs in ice cold water to stop the cooking process. Cool completely before peeling.
Deviled Eggs

  • Slice peeled hard-boiled eggs in half, length wise. Carefully remove the yolk leaving the whites intact.
  • Combine the yolks with enough mayonnaise or crème fraiche to moisten the yolks, but not too much.
  • Add sweet pickle relish, finely minced onion, and garlic powder salt and pepper to taste and mix to a paste like consistency.
  • The trick is not to add too much moisture so the yolk mixture is runny.
  • Scoop the mixture into a piping bag and pipe the mixture into the cavities on the egg whites.
  • Sprinkle thinly sliced chives on top, chill and serve.

How much mayo, relish etc. you use will depend on how many deviled eggs you make. Just add enough to flavor the yolks.

Scrambled Eggs

1 portion

  • 2 Eggs
  • Butter
  • 1 Tablespoon ½ & ½
  • Pinch of salt and white pepper
  • 1 Tortilla
  • 2 Tablespoons shredded cheese
  • 1-2 Tablespoons Salsa

Melt the butter in a non-stick pan.
Crack the eggs into a bowl, whisk together with ½ & ½ , salt and white pepper.
Pour the eggs into the pan with the melted butter. Immediately start stirring until you see large curds starting to form. Remove from heat, continue to stir the eggs to finish cooking.
Place the eggs on a warm tortilla, top with cheese and salsa, Roll it up for an on the go breakfast wrap.


For One 9” quiche

  • 1 pie tin, lined with simple pie dough
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 pint of half and half
  • 1 teaspoon herbs de Provence or Italian Seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • ½ cup of shredded cheese (Cheddar) (Swiss) (Goat Cheese)
  • 1 cup of cooked vegetables or meats of choice (Steamed Broccoli) (Diced ham) (Caramelized onions)

Whisk the eggs, half and half and all seasonings together. Place into a pourable container.
Line the pie tin with the pie dough. Put the pie tin on a parchment lined sheet pan for easy in and out of the oven and the sheet pan will also collect any possible “boil overs” neatly for easy clean up.
Place the vegetables of choice in the bottom of the pie, sprinkle with cheese then pour the egg mixture over the vegetables to fill up the pie.
Transport the quiche to a 375°F oven and bake for 50 – 75 minutes. When done the eggs will poof up like a dome and be golden brown on top.
The quiche will fall as soon as it comes out of the oven, this is normal and nothing to be concerned about.
Allow the quiche to cool for 10 – 20 minutes; cut into 6 portions and serve. Use an offset pie server to remove the pieces from the pie plate.
Serve with a bowl of soup or a crisp green salad.

Favorite Filling Suggestions:

  • Cheddar and Broccoli
  • Swiss and Diced Ham
  • Goat Cheese and Caramelized Onions
  • Parmesan and Roasted Peppers
  • Blue, Parmesan and Sautéed Mushrooms

Use your leftovers and imagination!


Almond Milk

You will need to plan this due to the overnight soak.

  • 1 cup raw almonds
  • Water to cover

Soak 1 cup of raw almonds in enough water to cover them overnight or at least 12 hours. This softens the almond skin and nut meat. Drain the water from the almonds, do not reserve.

  • 4 cups of fresh water
  • 3-4 medjool dates
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla
  • Pinch of salt

Add the soaked almonds, 4 cups of fresh water, medjool dates, vanilla and salt to the blender and process on high for 3-5 minutes; longer if you don’t have a high powered blender.
Place a wire mesh strainer over a bowl, and pour the contents of the blender into the strainer.
Using a rubber spatula; work the almond mash until it is dry.
Save this for the cookies.
Pour the almond milk into a pitcher and store in the refrigerator.

Serve well chilled.


“Almond Milk” Cookies


  • 8 ounces of soft butter
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1 ½ cups Almond Milk Debris
  • 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup slivered almonds
  • ½ cup dried cranberries, optional

Pre-heat the oven to 375°F

Cream the butter and sugar together until combined. Add eggs and vanilla, mix thoroughly. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Combine all of the dried ingredients in a separate bowl. Add carefully to the sugar and egg mixture to combine. Using a scoop, portion out the cookies onto a parchment lined baking sheet.

Bake for 10-14 minutes at 375°F until done. Allow cookies to cool for 5 minutes before moving them from the baking sheet to a cooling rack. Drizzle with icing if desired.



Cooking up a Mess of Greens

1 lb Collards, stemmed, trimmed and washed well
2 quarts of water, boiling
1 teaspoon olive oil, or butter or coconut oil
Juice 1 lemon or splash of hot pepper vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste

Bring the water to a boil; wash, stem and cut the collards into 1” strips. Drop them into the boiling water add salt; return to a boil and cook for 10-15 minutes. Strain the collards out of the liquid and place is a bowl. Serve the collards with hot pepper vinegar, a dollop of butter or crumbled bacon. Add cornbread and Pinto Beans and you have a great meal for “Meatless Monday’s” or any day.

Fresh Fish  “En papillote”

The following recipe makes one portion. Increase your amounts according to the portions you are servings.

1 Fillet of Fresh Red Snapper or other thin fillet per person
Julienne of ¼ red pepper
Julienne of ¼ yellow pepper
Julienne of ¼ green pepper
¼ Leek sliced thin, or sweet onion
1 clove of fresh garlic, minced
¼ cup white wine or vermouth
2 tbsp oil or butter
Salt and white pepper to taste
1 large heart cut out of parchment paper*
Oil for brushing the heart on both sides

Season the fish and set aside. Cut the peppers, onion and garlic into matchstick Julienne pieces. Sauté the onion until translucent; add the garlic and peppers, sauté until just tender. Add the wine then simmer for 2-3 minutes over high heat until the wine has reduced by half. Allow the pepper and onion mixture to cool.

Cut the large heart shape out of the parchment paper. Oil it lightly on both sides. Fold the heat in half.

Lay the seasoned fish on one half of the heart. Place a generous amount of the pepper and onion mixture on top of the fish. Fold the other half of the heart shape over the fish and peppers. Carefully, fold the edges tightly all the way around so it forms a tight seal. Place the packet on a baking sheet and place in a 350° F oven for about 20 to 30 minutes. The paper will puff up like a balloon.

To serve, place the packet on a place and cut the packet open at the table so the aroma is captured by the guest eating the dish. You can serve this with a nice green salad and crusty bread for a complete light meal.

* You can also make the packet out of tin foil, however it will not puff up like the parchment does. The foil packet can also be cooked on a grill but not over direct heat.


Home Made Bars


  • 2 cups whole roasted* unsalted almonds
  • 3/4 cup whole roasted* unsalted peanuts
  • 3/4 cup roasted* walnuts, chopped
  • 1/2 cup puffed millet, rice (or other puffed whole grain; or crispy brown rice cereal)
  • 1 tablespoon flaxseed meal
  • 1/2 cup honey**
  • 1/3 cup brown rice syrup
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt, divided
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips**
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable, grape seed, or coconut oil


Grease/spray large bowl, 9×13 baking sheet/pan, wooden spoon or rubber spatula, and bottom of drinking glass. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread nuts on large baking sheet and bake for 10 min. until lightly toasted and fragrant.
Add toasted nuts to large bowl. Add puffed rice/millet and flaxseed meal. Stir to combine; set aside.
In 1-1/2 or 2 quart saucepan, combine honey, rice syrup, apple juice concentrate, salt, and vanilla over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until mixture reaches 260 degrees (hard ball stage) on a candy thermometer. Immediately, pour mixture over nut mixture, stir until evenly coated.

Quickly transfer to greased/sprayed 9×13 pan, spread mixture evenly in pan; press the mixture to close in holes and distribute evenly all over the pan. Use the bottom of greased/sprayed drinking glass to tap and compact mixture in pan.

Let cool 20 minutes (pan should still be slightly warm). Invert pan on cutting board and tap until mixture falls out in one piece.

Cut into 20 bars. (If they cool too much and become too hard or brittle to cut easily, put in warm oven for 1-2 minutes to soften; proceed with cutting.)  Cool completely before drizzling with chocolate.

FOR CHOCOLATE DRIZZLES: Add chocolate chips and oil to microwave safe bowl. Cook on high power in 20 second intervals, stirring each time, just until last chips melt into mixture (approx. 60 seconds total). Use fork or squeeze bottle to drizzle chocolate over nut bars. Let cool until chocolate hardens.

STORAGE TIP: Store in airtight container with parchment paper between layers. For take-along convenience, use parchment paper pieces to wrap individual bars burrito-style. Store at room temperature for up to 1 week. May refrigerate to extend storage or if firmer, less sticky bars are preferred. May be frozen, too.

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION for one bar: 193 calories, 12.5g fat, 95mg sodium, 18.9g carbs, 2.1g fiber, 14.2g sugars, 5.2g protein; Weight Watchers PointsPlus: 6

**FOR VEGAN VERSION, use all brown rice syrup and vegan chocolate chips.

  • 2 cups whole roasted * unsalted almonds
  • 3/4 cup whole roasted* unsalted cashews, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup raisins, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup puffed millet, rice (or other puffed whole grain; or crispy brown rice cereal)
  • 1 tablespoon flaxseed meal
  • 1/3 cup honey**
  • 1/3 cup brown rice syrup (may substitute light corn syrup)
  • 1/4 cup frozen apple juice concentrate (thawed)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips**
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable, grapeseed, or coconut oil



Barley, Lentil, Black Bean Burgers

This is a great recipe for using up any cooked grains you have on hand. Simply substitute one for another in the recipe.

  • 1 cup cooked barley
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice
  • 1 cup cooked or canned black beans (if using canned, rinse them)
  • ½ large sweet onion, chopped fine
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
  • 2 Tablespoons chia seeds in ¼ cup water OR 1 egg
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt or to taste
  • ½ tablespoon ground pepper, or to taste
  • Set Aside: ½ cup brown rice flour or AP flour for dredging the shaped burgers


Cook each grain separately. Season each properly, cool each grain and bean, keeping them separate until cooled. Combine everything but the brown rice flour into a large bowl and mix together. Use a paddle on a stand mixer for best results. Smash the beans, but do not puree, you want some texture. If the mixture needs moisture, add water or vegetable stock. If it needs drying out, add old fashioned oatmeal or mash some more beans and add them to the mixture. You can play with this mixture to make it what you like. Use different beans, add cooked carrots or diced and sautéed mushrooms. Stuff a bit of cheese in the center of the burger before cooking for a melty treat!

Using a large scoop, measure our balls of the mixture; keeping each about the same size.

Pat them into burger shapes and coat the top and bottom, not the sides, with the rice flour you’ve set aside. This will help the burger brown.

Sauté in vegetable or coconut oil over medium high heat until each side is golden brown. Keep warm in the oven until ready to serve.

Use your favorite buns, lettuce, condiments and pickles on the side. Anything from traditional burger trimmings to whatever you can imagine works. Wrap each burger, cooked or not, in parchment paper, place them in a freezer bag and they will last up to 6 months in the freezer. Left-over cooked burgers can be used as filling for tacos and for vegetarian chili. We also crumble them over salads at lunch time.


Healthier Chicken Wings

  • 1 pound chicken wings, flat pieces or drumettes
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon herbs de Provence
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Place the wings in a large pot, cover with cold water. Place over high heat, bring to a boil. Add salt, garlic, herbs de Provence or whatever seasonings you like. Once boiling, boil the wings for 10 minutes. Drain.
Pre-heat the broiler on high for 5 minutes. Line a broiling pan with foil. Place the drained wings on the pan. Place under the broiler for 6 minutes. Watch carefully. Once browned, turn the wings over and broil again for another 6 minutes or until brown and crispy on both sides. Toss the cooked wings in Buffalo Sauce.
Serve with Bleu Cheese Dressing and Celery Sticks.

For the Buffalo Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup Texas Pete Hot Sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons non-fat chicken stock
  • Juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 2-3 Tablespoons butter (Optional)

Place the ingredients in a small sauce pot and warm. Toss the wings in some of the sauce; serve the remaining sauce on the side for dipping.

Blue Cheese Dip

  • ½ cup plain Greek Yogurt
  • ½ cup low fat sour cream
  • ¼ cup Dukes Mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
  • 4 ounces blue cheese

Mix all the ingredients together except the blue cheese. Once the mixture is smooth, crumble in the blue cheese and stir to distribute.


Chef Pamela’s Crab Cakes

1 bunch sliced scallions
1 teaspoon minced flat leaf parsley
½ cup Panko bread crumbs
Juice and zest from 1 lemon
2 eggs
1 pound crab meat
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon fresh black pepper

Combine the scallions, parsley, bread crumbs, salt, and pepper, lemon zest and juice in a medium size bowl.

Lightly beat the eggs in a small bowl, and combine with the other ingredients.

Pick through the crabmeat and remove any cartilage or shell fragments. Be careful not to break the crab up into tiny bits.

Add the crab meat to the mixture and gently combine.

Shape the crab cakes into thick patties; sauté on both sides until the cakes are golden brown on each side.

Serve with lemon wedges and homemade tartar sauce.

Crab Dip

½ sweet onion, chopped
1 rib celery, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
½ cup cream cheese
¼ cup sour cream
Zest and juice from 1 lemon
1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 scallions, sliced
1# crab meat, picked clean of cartilage and shell fragments
Splash of tobacco sauce

Sauté the onions, celery and garlic until soft but not brown.

Place the cream cheese sour cream, lemon, Dijon, salt and pepper and tobacco into a bowl.

When the onions, celery and garlic are done, add them to the cream cheese mixture. And stir well to combine.

Carefully fold in the crabmeat.

Place the mixture into a buttered baking dish and bake in a 350°F oven for 20-30 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly.

Serve hot with bread, crackers or other delicious dipping things.


Flank Steak with Chimichurri Sauce

  • 1 flank steak
  • ½ cup Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Granulated Garlic
  • 1 teaspoon Onion Powder

Combine the ingredients and marinade the steak overnight.

Grill or broil to desired doneness, set aside to rest 20 minutes before slicing.

Chimichurri Sauce

  • ½ bunch fresh flat leaf parsley
  • ½ bunch fresh cilantro
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh oregano
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • Juice from 1 lime
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Put everything into a food processor or blender and process to desired consistency. Adjust seasonings to taste.

Slice the flank steak thin and top with the chimichurri sauce; serve with tortillas, lettuce and sour cream.



Stuffed Cabbage Leaves

1 large head Green Cabbage
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons tomato sauce
Splash dry red wine
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 large egg
2 cups steamed white rice
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Sauté the onion and garlic in the oil until soft. Add the tomato sauce, wine (optional) parsley, rice and egg to the pan, stir to combine.

Set the mixture aside to cool.

Carefully remove the outer large leaves from the cabbage. Be careful not to tear the leaves.

Plunge the leaves into a pot of boiling water for just a minute.

Remove the leaves from the boiling water and place them into ice water to stop the cooking process.

Dry each leaf and stuff with the cooled rice mixture. Fold the leaves carefully to fold the filling inside of the leaves.

Place the rolls in a baking dish; top with tomato sauce and then bake for about 45 minutes to an hour in a 350° oven.

Bok Choy Salad

2 large bok choy or 3-4 small baby bok choy, sliced
1 red pepper, sliced thin
1 bunch scallions, sliced
¼ cup sliced or slivered almonds, toasted
1 pack of ramen noodles (toss the seasoning) broken into bite size pieces
¼ cup rice wine vinegar, seasoned
¼ cup olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Slice the bok choy and combine it with the remaining vegetables, nuts and noodles. Drizzle the vinegar and oil over the salad, toss to coat, season with salt and pepper to taste.

Stir-Fry Cabbage and Vegetables with Ramen Noodles

Easy and simple, use already sliced cabbage and sliced veggies from the salad bar to really speed this dish up.

1# bag of shredded cabbage
2 carrots, sliced this
2 ribs celery, sliced thin
1 large onion, sliced thin
1 bottle purchased “Stir-Fry” sauce
1 -2 packs of cooked ramen noodles, throw away the seasoning packets

Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add the vegetables and sauté until done. Fold in the cooked noodles, add the stir-fry sauce, toss to coat and serve.


White Chicken Chili

4 boneless chicken breasts, diced
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 cups diced Anaheim chiles, or a combination of other green chiles
1 large onion, chopped
2 ribs fresh celery, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
4 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 (15.5-ounce) can cannellini beans or white kidney beans
1 teaspoon salt
Fresh pepper to taste


Fresh Cilantro leaves
Cheddar cheese
Roasted Corn kernels
Sour cream
Lime wedges

Heat a sauce pan over medium heat. Add the oil and the diced chicken, cook until the outside of the chicken turns white. Add the diced peppers, onions and celery, stir to soften. Add the garlic and the cumin to the pan.
When you can smell the garlic and cumin, add the chicken stock and bring to a boil.
Reduce to a simmer and cook until the vegetables and chicken are cooked through.
Open the can of beans and rinse. Add the beans to the soup and heat them through.

Adjust the salt and pepper to taste.

Serve the soup with small bowls of garnishes on the side so people can add what they like:

  • Fresh Cilantro leaves
  • Shredded Cheddar cheese
  • Diced Avocado
  • Roasted Corn kernels
  • Sour cream
  • Lime wedges



  Black Forest Cake

Chocolate Chiffon

  • 10 oz cake flour
  • 2 oz cocoa powder
  • 8 oz sugar
  • .25 oz salt
  • .5 baking powder
  • 5 oz vegetable oil
  • 6 oz egg yolks
  • 9 oz water
  • .25 vanilla extract
  • 10 oz egg whites
  • 5 oz sugar
  • 5/8 tbsp

Stir sifted, dry ingredients in mixer. Slowly add oil and yolks. Scrape down bowl. Slowly add water and extract. Scrape down bowl. Whip egg whites, sugar, and cream of tartar to meringue. Fold into mixture in thirds. Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes.

2 mixing bowls
Paddle attachment
Whip attachment
Parchment paper
Bowl scraper
Spray butter
2 – 8″ cake pans, greased
2 parchment rounds

Cherry Filling
1 pt. amaretto cherries

Drain cherries and transfer into cherry pie filling “goo”. Reserve 12 cherries for garnish. Rinse and dry.

2 pint containers with lids

Whipped Cream
1 qt heavy cream
3-4 tbsp powdered sugar

Whip in mixing bowl with whip attachment until med/stiff

Mixing bowl
Whip attachment
Measuring spoon
Piping bag
Star tip

Kirsch Syrup
1 qt sugar
1 pt water
4 oz cherry syrup
1 tbsp kirsch alcohol

Bring sugar and water to a boil. Flavor with cherry syrup and kirsch.

Pastry brush

Chocolate Shavings
1 qt dark chocolate, melted

Melt chocolate over double broiler while stirring with spatula. Pour onto cold marble slab and work back and forth with large inset until set. Use bench knife to shave ribbons

Large inset
Bench knife
1 quart container


  1. Mix and bake chiffon
  2. Make simple syrup. Flavor with cherry syrup.
  3. Melt chocolate and make shavings.
  4. Torte chiffon cake into thirds.
  5. Remove chiffon from oven. Cool.
  6. Assemble black forest.
    Cherry syrup
    Cherry filling
    Cherry syrup
    Whipped Cream
    Cherry syrup
    Whipped cream
    12 portions
    Rosettes and cherries on each portion
    Chocolate shavings halfway up torte
    Seashell piping along bottom of torte
  7. Store black forest in cooler to let whip cream set.
  8. Torte chiffon in half. Display crumb side up on plate.
  9. Use a hot knife to cut one slice from black forest to display on small dessert plate.

Chef Pamela Roberts, Host - Charlotte Cooks

Shrimp Creole

This recipe comes from NOLA Cuisine.

  • 2 pounds Peeled and Deveined Shrimp, save shells to make Shrimp Stock
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • 1 Tablespoon Vegetable Oil
  • 3 Tablespoons All- purpose flour
  • 1 Large Onion, finely chopped
  • 2 Ribs Celery, finely chopped
  • 1 small Green Pepper, finely Chopped
  • 2 Tablespoon Creole Seasoning
  • 2 Tablespoon Tomato Paste
  • 2-1/2 Cups Very Ripe Fresh Tomatoes, Diced
  • 1/2 Cup Dry White Wine
  • 2 Cups Shrimp Stock
  • 2 Tablespoon Garlic, minced
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • Cayenne to taste
  • Kosher Salt to taste
  • 1 teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 1 teaspoon White Pepper
  • 1 bunch Fresh Thyme
  • 2 Tablespoon Tabasco or to taste
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1/2 Cup Green Onions, green tops thinly sliced, white part sliced into 1/4? thickness
  • 2 Tablespoons Flat Leaf Parsley, minced

Melt the butter in a large sauce pan with the vegetable oil over medium high heat. Add the flour and stir so it looks like wet sand on the beach.

When the butter begins to froth add 1/2 cup of the onions. Cook until the onions are golden brown. Add the remaining onions, celery, and bell pepper.

Reduce the heat to medium and season with 1 Tablespoon Creole Seasoning and a healthy pinch of salt. Sweat the vegetables until soft.

Add the tomato paste mixing well, and cook, stirring constantly, until the paste begins to brown, add the fresh tomatoes. Stir well.

When the tomatoes start to break down into liquid add the white wine, bring to a boil and boil for 1-2 minutes.

Add the Shrimp Stock, remaining Creole seasoning, garlic, bay leaves, black pepper, white pepper, cayenne (to taste), and Thyme.

Bring to a boil then reduce to a low simmer. Simmer for 30-45 minutes.

Add the hot sauce, Worcestershire, and adjust seasonings.

Bring the sauce to a boil, reduce the heat to low and add the shrimp. The key is to not overcook your shrimp. Let them slowly simmer in the sauce until just cooked through.

Serve with boiled rice and garnish with the remaining green onions and parsley.

Serve immediately.

Serves 4.