Connect with Chef Alli

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Crispy Bacon Breakfast Pie

4 slices bacon, cooked until almost crispy, crumbled, 1 Tbs. drippings reserved

1 cup cornflakes, slightly crushed

12 eggs

3-4 cups frozen shredded hash browns (I didn’t have any, so I shredded two large russet potatoes and used them instead)

1 ½ cups shredded sharp Cheddar

1 cup cottage cheese

2/3 cup milk

3 scallions, thinly sliced

Combine cornflakes with 1 Tbs. reserved bacon drippings; set aside.  Beat eggs just until foamy, then stir in the remainder of ingredients.  Pour mixture into a buttered 9 x 13 baking dish.  Sprinkle with cornflake mixture, then top with crumbled bacon.  Cover and refrigerate overnight, if desired. 

To bake, remove breakfast pie from refrigeration and let set on the counter for 30-40 minutes to remove the chill.  Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. (325 degrees F. for a glass baking dish) and bake, uncovered, 45-50 minutes on center rack, or until knife inserted into the center comes out clean.  Makes 12 servings. 

Now You’re Cookin’,

Chef Alli

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Snow-Day Donuts

I love it that these donuts are baked, not fried.  If you don’t have a donut pan, don’t worry!  Simply use a muffin pan instead and your donuts become Breakfast Puffs – what’s not to love about that?

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 ½ cups granulated sugar

2 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

¼ tsp. ground nutmeg

½ tsp. kosher salt

1 egg, beaten

1 ½ cups buttermilk (or sub sour milk made with 1 ½ cups milk and 1 Tbs. cider vinegar)

2 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted

2 tsp. pure vanilla extract


6-8 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted

½ cup granulated sugar combined with ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray 2 donut pans well with non-stick spray.  In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.  In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, buttermilk, butter and vanilla.  Add buttermilk mixture to flour mixture and stir just until combined.  Spoon the batter into the baking pans, filling each one a little more than three-quarters full.  Bake, 15-17 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.  Allow to cool for 5 minutes before popping donuts out of pan.  Dip top of warm donuts first into melted butter, then into cinnamon/sugar mixture.  EAT.
Now You're Cookin',
Chef Alli

Crispy Bacon and Sweet Potato Hash with Edamame and Kaniwa

I had a blast cooking at the Wichita Women's Fair last weekend.  So many pork fans came by the Kansas Pork booth to get recipes, coupons, stickers and a whiff of the bacon we were cooking for this beautiful dish on Friday and Saturday.

1/2 lb. sliced bacon, chopped

½ tsp. dried thyme

1 yellow onion, diced

1 red bell pepper, diced

2 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced into 1/4 inch cubes

2 cloves garlic, minced

12 oz. package frozen sweet corn, thawed

12 oz. package frozen shelled edamame, thawed

1 cup cooked kaniwa (this grain is a cousin to quinoa!)

1/2 -2/3 cup vegetable or chicken broth

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

In a large skillet over medium heat, cook bacon until browned and crispy, then remove to paper towels to drain; reserve. Remove all but 1 Tbs. of bacon drippings from pan; add thyme, onion, bell pepper and sweet potatoes and sauté 6-8 minutes, or until sweet potatoes are fork-tender. Stir in garlic and cook an additional minute; add corn, edamame, kaniwa and chicken broth to pan. Cover pan and continue to cook, stirring often, 12-15 minutes or until sweet potatoes are fork-tender. Add reserved bacon; season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.

Now You're Cookin',
Chef Alli

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

10 Minute Creamy Tomato Dill Soup

This recipe was taken from FRESH, a new cookbook written by Greg Fox of Topeka's Row House Restaurant.

28 oz. stewed tomatoes, pureed (can substitute crushed tomatoes as well)

¼ cup unsalted butter

1 bunch scallions, chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 ribs celery, diced small

2 pinches kosher salt

1-2 tsp. granulated sugar

1-2 tsp. dried dill

2 cups whipping cream (I often substitute fat free half and half, using a cornstarch slurry to thicken with)
In a medium stock pot over medium heat, melt butter; add scallions, garlic and celery.  Cook aromatics for 1-2 minutes; add salt and sugar.  Stir in tomatoes and dill; whisk in cream and heat just until warmed throughout.
Now You're Cookin',
Chef Alli

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Rich Mocha-Chocolate Fondue - As Seen on WIBW 13 News This Morning, Feb. 13, 2013

A deliciously rich blend of hot mocha and dark chocolate for you and your sweetheart.  Delicious served with slices of fresh fruit, pretzels, and sugar cookies for decadent dipping. This recipe came to me by way of Amber
Groeling, Hy-Vee Topeka Dietitian. 

Serves 22 (2 Tbs. per person)

10 oz. 63% baking chocolate baking morsels

¾ cup Hy-Vee fat free evaporated milk

¼ cup fresh-brewed coffee

½ tsp. pure vanilla extract

In a small saucepan over low heat, slowly melt chocolate with milk and coffee.  Stir frequently until blended and smooth.  Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. 

Nutrition facts:  70 calories, 4.5 g fat, 10 mg sodium, 8 g carbs, 0 fiber, 1 g protein
Now You're Cookin',
Chef Alli

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Creole Shrimp Pasta - As Seen on WIBW 13 News at 4, Feb. 13, 2013

This is a Hy-Vee recipe that is easy to create, luscious, and requires only 2 pans!

Serves 6

1 (16 oz) box Hy-Vee fettuccine

1 lb peeled, deveined raw Gulf shrimp

2 tsp Tony Chachere’s Creole seasoning

1 tbsp Hy-Vee unsalted butter

1 (15 oz) jar Bertolli Alfredo sauce

1 tsp chopped parsley

    1.  Cook fettuccini according to package directions.

2.  Meanwhile, toss shrimp gently with Creole seasoning to coat. 

3.  Melt butter in a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat.   Add shrimp; sauté 2 minutes or until slightly opaque.

4.  Stir in Alfredo sauce and simmer over medium-low heat while fettuccine cooks.

5.  Drain fettuccine to skillet and gently toss with Creole shrimp sauce. 

6.  Let stand 2 minutes; top with parsley and serve with warm, crusty bread.

Nutrition Facts per serving: 480 calories, 16 g fat, 7 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat, 140 mg cholesterol, 920 mg sodium, 61 g carbohydrates, 3 g fiber, 5 g sugar, 22 g protein.
Now You're Cookin',
Chef Alli

Sweetheart Fondue - As Seen on WIBW 13 News This Morning at 6:40 a.m., Feb. 13, 2013

8 oz. good quality milk chocolate

4 oz. good quality dark chocolate

1 cup heavy cream

7 oz. jar marshmallow crème

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Dippers:  Large marshmallows, whole strawberries, squares of brownies, pound cake and angel food cake, vanilla wafers, biscotti, graham crackers, sliced apples and bananas, toasted pecans for sprinkling

In a large saucepan over medium high heat, bring cream to a full boil; reduce heat to low and simmer.  Add chocolate (broken into pieces, if using bar chocolate) and stir until smooth; stir in marshmallow crème and vanilla, whisking gently and constantly till smooth.  Transfer to fondue pot and keep warm over low heat.  Serve with desired dippers listed above.
Now You're Cookin',
Chef Alli

Ree Drummond's Maple Pecan Scones - As mentioned on WIBW Kansas Live, Feb. 12, 2013


3 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled
1/4 cup pecans, plus more for sprinkling
1 large egg
3/4 cup heavy cream (I substitute buttermilk)


1 pound confectioners' sugar
1/4 cup whole milk
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
Splash of strongly brewed coffee
Dash of salt
2 teaspoons maple flavoring or maple extract
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, granulated sugar, baking powder and salt.

Cut the cold butter into small pieces. Cut the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles crumbs.

Now finely chop the pecans and stir them into the flour mixture. Mix the egg and cream together. Add the mixture to the bowl and stir until just combined.

Turn the mixture onto a cutting board. The dough will be very crumbly, but do not let your heart be troubled. With your hands, push the mixture together into a large ball. Do not knead or press too much; you want to leave that gluten alone!

With a rolling pin, very gently roll out the dough into a 10-inch round, about 3/4 inch thick. With a sharp knife, cut the round into 8 equal-size wedges.

Transfer the wedges to a baking sheet lined with a Silpat baking mat. (Or just spray the pan with cooking spray; either one will work!) Bake the scones for 22 to 26 minutes, until they're just barely starting to brown. Do not allow the edges to become dark or the Red Coats will come and get you. Allow the scones to cool completely before icing.

In a medium mixing bowl, stir the icing ingredients until smooth. Pour generously over the scones and sprinkle with pecans. Allow the icing to set before serving.

Now You're Cookin',
Chef Alli

Firecracker Shrimp

This is the recipe that I was serving from the sales floor when cooking at Hy-Vee Topeka last week. Please note that I have tweaked the recipe just a bit since then by adjusting the spice amounts called for below.

Spices: 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes, 1/2 Tbs. dried oregano, 1/2 Tbs. paprika, 1/4 tsp. dried thyme

1 Tbs. evoo (extra virgin olive oil)

1 large yellow onion, diced

1 sweet red bell pepper, diced

3 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 cup white wine or chicken broth

½ cup bottled Caesar salad dressing (I love to use Cardini’s)

¼ cup Worcestershire sauce (woozy)

½ -1 tsp. chipotle sauce

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

2 lbs. large raw shrimp

French bread, sliced thick, toasted

Bloom spices in a large, dry non-stick skillet over medium heat for a few seconds, just until fragrant.  Add evoo to spices in pan, then stir in onion and pepper; cook for 3-4 minutes, until onion is softened and translucent; add garlic and cook just until fragrant, approx. 30 seconds longer. Stir in wine to deglaze pan, bringing up any bits of fond attached to the bottom of the pan. Increase heat to medium high; add bay leaves, dressing, woozy and chipotle sauce; bring to a high simmer; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Add shrimp and cook 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally, cooking just until shrimp turn from gray to pink in color; remove from heat. Serve at once using the grilled bread to sop up the sauce.  Delicious served over rice or polenta!
Now You're Cookin',
Chef Alli

Monday, February 11, 2013

Wyatt's Ice Cream Cake

Smilin' Wyatt, The Cake Walk Kid
How can it be possible that our youngest son is turning 15 already?  I remember the morning he was born like it was yesterday.  Talk about a cake walk.  Wyatt's birth was a planned C-section and before I knew it he was a bundle in my arms and it wasn't even noon yet.  The biggest catastrophe of the entire event was during surgery prep when Big Daddy Patty saw a needle and a little bit of blood. I remember hearing the nurses say "Get the Dad, get the Dad!" when they realized that he was about to pass out, but it was too late - Big Daddy Patty was down for the count.  (He says his surgical mask was snugged up a little too tight and he couldn't get enough air. Yea, right....)
Wyatt came out of the womb smiling and he's never stopped.  People have been drawn to him his entire life and we have always marveled at that. He's always been kind and genuine, a kid who's comfortable in his own skin, with a persona much like Opie Taylor on the Andy Griffith Show, even in looks.  This year when Wyatt decided to try his hand at wrestling, it was neat to see him jump up from his match, always with a smile on his face, win or lose.  All of us in the stands would watch for that signature smile because it just made you feel good.
RVMS Wrestling
Below is the recipe for Wyatt's favorite B-Day Cake - we hope you enjoy it as much as he does.
Ice Cream Sandwich Cake
½ cup fudge ice cream topping, warmed
1 tub (8 oz) frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 pkg. (4 serving size) chocolate instant pudding
8 chocolate sandwich cookies (Oreos or the like)
12 vanilla ice cream sandwiches

Pour the fudge topping into a medium mixing bowl; whisk in 1 cup whipping topping until mixture is well blended.  Add dry pudding mix; stir for 1 minute or until very well blended.  (If fudge topping mixture is too thick to spread easily, stir in ¼ cup milk.) Chop cookies roughly into chunks; stir into pudding mixture. 

Place 4 of the ice cream sandwiches side by side on a large sheet of foil; top with half of pudding mixture.  Repeat the layers.  Top the pudding mixture with the remaining 4 ice cream sandwiches.  Frost the top and sides with the remaining whipped topping.  It doesn’t have to look perfect!  Bring foil up around sides of cakes, loosely sealing at the top to make a packet.  Freeze at least 4 hours before serving. 

To serve, let cake stand at room temperature to soften slightly before serving.  Slice through layers into fat slices to serve.  Store leftover cake in the freezer.

Serves 10-12
Now You're Cookin',
Chef Alli