Entries tagged with “Personal Chef”.

Cranberry Crab Rangoon


Grapeseed or canola oil for cooking
2 red onions, cut into 1/2-inch dice
2 tablespoons minced lemongrass, white part only
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 cups dried cranberries
½ cup sugar
2 cups rice vinegar
3 pounds picked, fresh crab meat
3/4 pound cream cheese, softened
½ cup chopped chives, 2 tablespoons reserved for garnish
1 package thin square wonton skins, defrosted (at least 60-count)
2 eggs mixed with 1/4 cup water


In a sauté pan coated lightly with oil over high heat, sauté onions and lemongrass until soft, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and check for flavor. Add cranberries and sugar and deglaze with rice vinegar. Reduce by 75 percent or until liquid is absorbed. Check again for seasoning. (When cool, you can transfer to a container and store in fridge for up to two weeks.) In a large bowl, mix crab, cream cheese, cooled cranberry mixture and chives. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and check for flavor. Lay out 4 to 6 skins, lightly brush the edges with egg wash and place a small mound of the mix in the middle. Top with second skin and press firmly to seal. This is very important so the rangoons do not burst and leak. Repeat until filling is gone. Preheat a large sauté pan coated with 1/4-inch of oil over medium-high heat. Add as many rangoons as pan can hold in one layer. Shallow fry until golden brown, flip and fry other side until golden brown. Transfer rangoons to plate lined with paper towels. Arrange on platter and garnish with dollops of cranberry-mixture and reserved chives.

Ginger Shrimp, Sugar Snap Peas and Corn Stir-Fry

Makes: 4 Servings


1 pound shrimp, raw, peeled, deveined
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
3 teaspoons fresh ginger, peeled and minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
1 pound sugar snap peas, strings removed
1 cup fresh corn kernels (cut from about 2 ears)
½ cup red pepper, diced
3 green onions, thinly sliced on the diagonal
2 teaspoons black or tan sesame seeds (optional)


Mix shrimp, 1 tablespoon oil, 1 ½ teaspoons ginger, half of garlic, ½ teaspoon salt, and crushed red pepper in medium bowl. Let stand 30 minutes. Heat wok or large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add shrimp mixture; sauté until shrimp are just opaque in center, about 2 minutes. Transfer shrimp to a bowl. Add 1 tablespoon oil to wok, and then add snap peas, corn, red bell pepper, green onions, 1 ½ teaspoon ginger and remaining garlic. Stir-fry until vegetables are crisp, yet tender, about 3 minutes. Return shrimp and any accumulated juices from bowl to wok; stir-fry 1 minute longer. Season with sea salt and pepper. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve with jasmine rice.

Beef with Spinach, Black Pepper and Garlic

Makes: 4 Servings


10 medium garlic cloves
2 teaspoons black peppercorns
4 tablespoons grapeseed oil
1 pound beef tenderloin (or chicken or pork), sliced
¼ cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons fish sauce
10 oz. fresh spinach, cleaned

Accompaniment Ideas…
Steamed jasmine rice
Stir-fried noodles


Grind the garlic and peppercorns in a mortar and pestle until mixture forms a rough paste. Over medium-high heat, heat the oil in a wok or sauté pan and add the garlic mixture. Sauté 30 seconds. Add the meat and toss until browned. Add the soy, sugar and fish sauce and toss 30 seconds. Add the spinach and toss until wilted. Serve at once with rice or noodles.

Coconut Custard

Makes: 6 Servings


¼ cup water
1 cup sugar

2 cups half and half
1 cup sweetened coconut flakes
2-inch piece of vanilla bean, split and scraped
4 eggs
2 egg yolks
1 cup sugar
Pinch of finely ground sea salt


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Caramel: Combine the sugar and water in a small heavy saucepan and bring to a boil. Allow to cook until the syrup caramelizes to a deep amber color. Carefully pour into individual ramekins or a 1 ½-2 quart baking dish. Allow to cool while you prepare the custard. Place the half and half, coconut and vanilla bean scrapings into a saucepan and heat gently until steaming slightly. Set aside to steep for 10-15 minutes. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, yolks, sugar and salt. Gradually add the cream, whisking constantly. Pour the custard into the caramel prepared dishes which have been set in a deep baking pan. Add hot water to the baking pan to reach halfway up the sides of the dishes. Bake, in 350 degree oven, until just set, about 20-30 minutes. Remove from oven and chill (2 hours). Unmold by running a table knife around the edges of the custard and inverting onto a plate.

Thai Salad Rolls

Makes: 12 rolls

4 oz. rice stick noodles
12 rice paper wrappers
½ cup julienne cucumber (skin on)
½ cup peeled, shredded carrots
½ cup julienne (cut on the bias) scallions
1 cup fresh herbs … cilantro, mint, basil, chives … use your imagination … use one or a combination of fresh herbs
Optional: cooked shrimp (sliced lengthwise) … poached salmon pieces … cooked, shredded chicken … poached lobster pieces … 

Place rice noodles in heatproof bowl. Cover with boiling water. Let stand for 10 minutes, or until softened. Drain and set aside.
In a separate heatproof bowl, pour more boiling water into bowl. Dip one rice paper wrapper into hot water to soften. Remove and place between two damp towels to soften for one minute. Lay a small amount of each ingredient on the wrapper; fold the ends in and wrap. Slice into serving pieces. Serve with sweet chili dipping sauce or your favorite Asian condiments. 


Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce

1 cup plain yogurt
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into strips 20 wooden skewers, soaked in water 30 minutes
Vegetable oil, for grilling
Butter lettuce leaves
Fresh cilantro leaves
Peanut sauce, recipe follows
Combine the yogurt, ginger, garlic, and curry powder in a shallow mixing bowl, stir to combine. Place the chicken strips in the yogurt marinade and gently toss until well coated. Cover and let the chicken marinate in the refrigerator for at up to 2 hours. Thread the chicken pieces onto the soaked skewers working the skewer in and out of the meat, down the middle of the piece, so that it stays in place during grilling. Place a grill pan over medium heat and brush it with oil to prevent the meat from sticking. Grill the chicken satays for 3 to 5 minutes on each side, until nicely seared and cooked through. Serve the satays on a platter lined with lettuce leaves and cilantro; accompanied by a small bowl of peanut sauce on the side.
Peanut Sauce:
1 cup smooth peanut butter
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
2 teaspoons red chili paste, such as sambal
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
2 limes, juiced
1/2 cup hot water
1/4 cup chopped peanuts, for garnish
Combine the peanut butter, soy sauce, red chili paste, brown sugar, and lime juice in a food processor or blender. Puree to combine. While the motor is running, drizzle in the hot water to thin out the sauce, you may not need all of it. Pour the sauce into a nice serving bowl and garnish with the chopped peanuts. Serve with chicken satay.


Pad Thai with Shrimp and Tofu

Makes: 6 Servings
8 ounces dried rice noodles (“rice stick”)
1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
1 clove garlic, minced
2 shallots, minced
2 tablespoons roasted chile paste
3 tablespoons each fish sauce, lime juice, rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon tamarind paste
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 dozen raw, deveined, peeled shrimp
2 eggs, lightly beaten
6 ounces firm tofu, crumbled or cut into ½” cubes
1 cup bean sprouts
½ cup peanuts, finely chopped
½ cup cilantro leaves
Lime wedges, shredded red cabbage for garnish
In a large bowl, soak the noodles in cold water for 1 hour or warm water for 30 minutes. Drain.
In a small bowl, combine the chile paste, fish sauce, lime juice, rice wine vinegar, tamarind paste and sugar.  Mix well.
In a large skillet, heat grapeseed oil and sauté the garlic and shallot until translucent, about 3 minutes.  Add the liquid mixture and stir. Add shrimp and sauté. Toss in noodles and mix well. Add the eggs and stir fry until set. Add the tofu and heat through, stirring gently. Add half the bean sprouts, half the peanuts and half the cilantro. Toss well and transfer to a platter. Garnish with the remaining bean sprouts, peanuts and cilantro and add lime wedges and shredded red cabbage, if desired.

Ann Marie’s 50th Birthday Party Menu


Passed Hors d’oeuvres
Tarts de provence with caramelized onion, bleu cheese and thyme
Smoked salmon on dilled lemon zest scone
Silver dollar crab cakes with zesty three pepper aioli
Bacon wrapped dates with goat cheese
Amuse Bouche
Grilled bosc pears and prosciutto with balsamic glaze and arugula
First Course – Soup

Potato Leek
Second Course – Salad

Salad nicoise towers

Champagne Ice

Filet mignon with Roquefort and French onion relish
Truffled potatoes anna
Sautéed spinach with lemon zest and pinenuts
Cheese Course

Warm brie in puff pastry with apricot confit and almonds

Trio – bananas foster and chocolate mousse


Chocolate Mousse

Makes: 4-6 Servings
8 oz. semi or bittersweet chocolate
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
5 eggs, separated
2 tablespoons Grand Marnier or other liqueur
6 tablespoons sugar
¾ cup heavy whipping cream
Place the chocolate and butter in a double boiler (or bowl set over barely simmering water) and allow to melt, stirring until smooth.
Remove from heat and whisk the egg yolks into chocolate and butter — one at a time — and then whisk in liqueur.
In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until foamy, gradually adding the sugar. Continue whipping until soft peaks form.
In a separate bowl, beat whipping cream to soft peaks.
Gently fold alternating batches of egg whites and whip cream into chocolate mixture being careful not to over process or “beat.” Transfer to serving glasses and chill for at least 2 hours before serving.

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