JANUARY: Pork Tenderloin With Apple Chutney


4 pork tenderloin
1 jar Purple Chef Apple Chutney

9 cups water
2.5 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup salt
2 T. whole black peppercorns

Brine the tenderloin for 3.5 hours. Wipe dry. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 15 – 20 minutes. Remove and cover with a thin layer of apple chutney. Return to oven for 10 minutes for a pink interior.

Slice and serve with extra chutney on the top.


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FEBRUARY: Party Quesadillas


1 package of tortilla shells
1 pound cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese
1 package fresh cilantro
1 jar Purple Chef™ Jalapeno & Tomato Marmalade or Fire Roasted Marmalava
Sour cream
Shredded chicken (optional)

Place tortilla shell on cutting board, spread with either kind of marmalade. Add a layer of cheese and scatter fresh cilantro over the top.

If adding chicken, layer at this point.

Top with second shell.  Repeat for all shells.

Grill in hot, dry frying pan.  Turn when one side is browned and cheese starts to melt.  Brown on the other side.

Cut in 6-8 wedges.

Serve with dipping bowls of sour cream and extra marmalade.


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MARCH: Almond Polenta Cake


1&1/4 cups flour
1/2 c. yellow cornmeal
2 tsp b. powder
1/4 tsp salt
1.5 sticks of butter, softened
3/4 c sugar
3 large eggs
finely grated zest of 1 orange
1 T. of fresh orange juice
1 tsp almond extract
1 c. milk
1/2 c. ground blanched almonds
1/4 – 1/2 c. toasted slivered almonds

Amaretto syrup : boil 1/2 c. sugar and 1/4 c. water until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat. Add 1-2 T. Amaretto.

Stir together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt. Cream sugar and butter till light and fluffy. Beat in eggs on at a time. Add orange rind, juice and extract. Alternately add flours and milk. Fold in ground almonds.

Turn in to a greased, floured 9 inch pan. Sprinkle with slivered almonds. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until done.

Let sit for 10 minutes. Brush with Amaretto syrup. Not necessary to use all of it. The syrup keeps in the refrigerator for your next cake. Let cake cool completely. You can dust with 10x Confectioners Sugar for presentation.


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APRIL: Chicken and Vegetable Curry

We had an impromptu party last night. My friends and I pooled the ingredients from our refrigerator’s and came up with this.


3 boneless chicken breasts, sliced crosswise

1/3 cups of oil, 75/25 canola/ olive mix, or more as needed
1-2 T. curry powder to taste
2 tsp. brown mustard seeds
1 tsp red pepper flakes
2 tsp. Thai Red Pepper Paste
1 can of Thai Coconut Milk 14 oz.
2 large cubes of Knorr Chicken stock dissolved in 4 c. of water
1/2 cup of dried unsweetened coconut
salt to taste

1 medium onion, large dice
4 large buds of garlic, peeled and diced
fresh ginger, about 2 whole walnuts worth, peeled and diced

2 crowns of broccoli, cut into small flowers
1/2 lb asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2 inch lengths
3 potatoes, peeled and large dice
1/4 – 1/2 lb green beans trim and cut in half
1 red pepper, sliced and cut into large dice

Basmati Rice

Heat oil in a large stew pot. Add onion, garlic and ginger, saute for a minute. Add curry powder, brown mustard seed and red pepper flakes. Saute a minute until aromatic.

Add chicken pieces, saute and turn until browned and coated . Add all of the vegetables and turn in the mixture.

Add the chicken stock and coconut milk. Stir the red curry paste into the mixture. Add the coconut and cook for 15 minutes until potatoes and chicken are soft. Season with salt. Add more coconut if it needs to thicken and cook another few minutes.

Serve over Basmati Rice and pass the PURPLE CHEF MANGO CHUTNEY


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JUNE: Chocolate Goat Cheese Cheesecake

Every now and then someone with special needs asks me to create a recipe for them. This person has an allergy to milk and asked me to make a Chocolate Goat Cheese Cheesecake for her wedding. Though I used butter to make the crust you could easily substitute a non-dairy product and a chocolate cookie crust.


One 7 inch cheesecake pan with a removable bottom
3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup of butter, melted
1/8 cup sugar

3 oz. semi sweet chocolate
1/2 lb Goat Rising Traditional Chevre
1/2 lb Vermont Butter and Cheese Co Impastata ( creamy goat cheese )

3/4 c. sugar
2 eggs
1 Tbsp cocoa
1 tsp vanilla

Heat oven to 350, less if it runs hot as mine often does.

Melt butter. Mix melted butter, graham cracker crumbs and sugar until fully moist, and press into the bottom of the spring-form pan.

Melt 3 oz. of semi sweet chocolate in a double boiler and let cool.

Blend the goat cheese and Impastata with a mixer.

Add 3/4 cups sugar, and mix again.

Add 2 eggs, one at a time, and mix after each addition.

Blend in the melted chocolate plus the cocoa and vanilla.

Pour the resulting mixture into the spring-form pan.

Place a tray underneath and bake for 1 hour, check for firmness — it should not wobble. May take 1.5 hours in your oven.

Let cool completely. Chill overnight before serving. Try adding a raspberry sauce on the side.

Serves 12-16 small pieces


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JULY: Fresh Summer Potato Salad

Today I was making focaccio and had some of the potatoes left over. So I decided to make a potato salad for lunch. You really cannot beat this. We couldn’t stop eating.


2 lbs boiled warm Yukon Gold potatoes in a bowl
4 large garlic cloves
Kosher salt
Vidalla onion
Fesh basil
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper

Chop the four large garlic cloves in kosher salt and add to the potatoes.

Chop about a quarter of a large vidalla onion, and add to the potatoes, along with a chiffonade of a large handful of fresh basil.

Pour the extra virgin olive oil over the whole thing and stir. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Eat while it’s still warm–the best. I always say, olive oil, salt and pepper, and fresh herbs turns everything into a party!


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AUGUST: Grilled Seared And Roasted Whole Side Of Salmon

My friend Dan did this for some of our catering clients last month.  It got rave reviews.  He graciously shared it with me.


1 whole side of salmon- take out pin bones, leave skin on
1 cup olive oil
1/ 2 cup sherry
1/ 2 cup of Pernod
1/ 2 cup of rice vinegar
1 good pinch of saffron
1 T. ground dill weed
1 T. ground fenel seed
1 T. Kosher salt
1 T. cracked balck pepper

1.  Mix all of the above in a bowl and pour into a large flat pan.

2.  Put salmon flesh side down in to spice and oli mixture and coat well, both sides.

3. Have grill clean and hot and spray grill with spray cooking oil.

4. Lay salmon flesh side down on grill for 2 minutes to get gill marks.

5. Remove salmon from grill with 2 large metal spatulas and put into a roasting pan, flesh side up.

6. Roast in the oven @ 350 for 10 minutes or so until flesh is barely cooked through.

7. Let sit on stove for 5 minutes to rest and firm up.

8. Plate and serve, leaving skin on the platter.

9. Serve with dilled cucumber sauce or yogurt herb sauce.

Compliments of my chef friend Dan


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SEPTEMBER: Tea Smoked Salmon

1/ 4 cup  light soy sauce
1.5 T. dry Sherry
1 T kosher salt

Combine these in a low shallow glass dish.

4 quarter size rounds of fresh ginger. (Save peels for smoking.)   Crush with a large knife, and add to above.

1.25 – 1.50 lbs salmon.  Lay on mixture, turn to coat. Refrigerate for one hour.  Turn after 30 minutes.

Remove salmon from the marinade and let dry on a rack for 15 minutes.

Line your wok with a double layer of aluminum foil, leave 4 inch overhang.  Line lid the same way.

In a small bowl combine:

1 T dry lemon grass
1/ 3 cups black tea leaves
1/ 3 cup uncooked  white rice
1/ 3 cup brown sugar
1 cinnamon stick
4  2inch strips of ginger peelings

Place the above in the bottom of the wok.  Place a rack one inch above the smoking mixture.

Place salmon on the rack.

Set the wok over hight heat and cook until the sugar bubbles and it smokes in several places. Cover with the top and crimp the alumunum foil all around leaving a one inch wide opening.

Cook for 10 minutes.  Turn off the heat and let sit 5 minutes.

Serve on dark bread with the following sauce and thinly sliced cucumbers or watercress and sliced scallion garnish.

1/ 2 cup mayonnaise
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp lemon juice


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OCTOBER: Marguerita Pizza

A client asked me to make one of these the other day.  I asked for a list of ingredients. Here’s my version.

Several days ahead put one cup of olive oil into a jar.  Add fresh or dried rosemary, chopped garlic to taste, salt and pepper and let sit.

PIZZA DOUGH: enough for two half sheet pans

2 packages of dry yeast
1.5 cups of warm water
3.75 cups of all purpose flour
1/4 th of a cup of rye flour
2 tsp. salt
1/ 4 cups of olive oil

Food processor method, takes 4 minutes:

Dissolve the yeast in water in a bowl or measuring cup. Add a 2 tsp. of sugar. Stir to dissolve.  Let sit.

Using the metal blade pour the flour and salt into the bowl.  Turn on and off quickly to mix.

Pour the olive oil in to a cup and have ready.

Turn on the machine and pour the dissolved yeast into the tube.Turn the processor on and off twice. The flour will resemble coarse meal. Turn on the machine and pour in the oil.  Mix with four or five turn off/ ons until the dough forms a solid ball that travels up the spinning blade.  Add flour or water as needed to achieve this.

Allow the blade to knead the dough for 45 seconds.


Place the dough in an oiled bowl, turn to coat . Cover and let rise 1.5 hours or until doubled in size.  I have often punched it down and let it rise a second time if I was in the middle of some other project.


Thinly sliced Vidalia onions
Thinly sliced tomatoes
Fresh basil chiffonade
Grated Mozzarella
Grated parmesan

Roll out the dough.  Fit into two half sheet pans.

Now take the Rosemary oil that you made three days ago and brush the bottoms with the oil and herbs.

Place a layer of onions on top.

Sprinkle with the basil.

Make a single layer of tomatoes over the entire surface.

Brush again with the flavored olive oil.

Lightly sprinkle the parmesan on top.

Now make a good layer of the mozzarella.

Bake in a preheated 475 oven for 25-30 minutes.



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NOVEMBER: White Root Vegetable Soup

I love the piles of different squash , pumpkins and root vegetables at the farm stands in the fall.  They are so bountiful and the shapes so great.   I am always  interested in the white root vegetables. Especially after going to the Gilfeather Turnip Festival in Wardsboro, Vermont a few weekends ago.  So I collected a few and made this soup last weekend.  My aunt and uncle were visiting and I wanted something nourishing and smooth for lunch.  My  94 year old uncle said, “I’ve never wanted to lick a plate before, there’s always a first time and this is it!”  With that support, I share this recipe.


3 leeks and a bunch of scallions, sliced and cleaned
4 T. butter, 4 T. olive oil
2 T. chopped garlic

1 medium Gilfeather turnip, peeled and diced
4-5 parsnips, peeled and sliced
1 celeriac, peeled and diced
1 fennel bulb, cleaned and sliced  (include the fronds )
5 small new red potatoes, peeled and diced
2 carrots, peeled and sliced
4-5 fresh sage leaves
Salt and pepper to taste

Chicken stock to generously cover
1 cup of light cream to bring it together ( optional )

Heat the butter and oil in a large stock pit. Saute the leeks and scallions until soft.  Add the garlic, sage  and vegetables, stir to coat . Turn the heat down and cover. Stir often and allow the vegetables to mellow. Add enough stock to generously cover.  This depends on if you want a thick or thin soup. You can always add more stock as needed.

Allow to cook until all of the vegetables are totally soft.   Puree with an immersion coil or remove to a Cuisinart bowl in batches.

Return to the pot.  Add light cream to taste. Reheat and enjoy!


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DECEMBER: Spice Rub for Pork


4 oz. cumin
2 oz. chili powder
3 cups brown sugar
1/2 c. kosher salt
1 c. Lea and Perrins
1/2 jar Emeril’s Southwest
1 large onion
2 oz. cayenne
2 oz liquid smoke
3 oz. smoked paparika

This recipe makes enough rub for 6 or more tenderloins.

Mix together all the ingredients in a bowl. Rub all over the meat and let sit overnight if possible.

Bake and serve with Purple Chef Jalapeno & Tomato Marmalade.


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