Monday, October 24, 2011

Redlands Daily Facts Food Column

As you may know, I write a weekly food column which appears every Saturday in the Redlands Daily Facts Food Section. To read prior columns on-line go to:

Or go to, under the "entertainment" tab, click Local Food!

Chef Lee

Friday, October 21, 2011

Fantastic Fall Soup !

Farmer’s Market Roasted Pumpkin and Green Apple Soup

Note: There are several ways to prepare this recipe. Originally, I made this recipe using heavy cream and bacon! It was delicious, but when cooking for my health conscious mother and sister, I decided to make this delicious soup a bit more healthy to eat.

3lbs Roasted Pie Pumpkin
1.5 tbsp Olive Oil
4 oz Turkey Bacon
½C Onion, Diced
2 Granny Smith Apples, or other tart green apple, peeled, cored, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
12 oz Soft (silken) Tofu
4C Chicken Broth
1 Bay Leaf
1 tsp Sage (dried or chopped fresh)
1C Apple Cider
¾ tsp Pepper
½ tsp Salt

Preheat oven to 350F. Cut pie pumpkins in half, scoop out seeds and loose ‘strings’. Place on baking sheet, cut side down, with thin layer of water covering bottom of baking sheet. Bake 30-45 minutes at 300F. When done, pumpkins should be dark brown to slightly black around edges on skin. Texture of pumpkin flesh should be moist, separating easily from skin. Scoop out filling with large spoon and put aside in separate container.

In pan, or dutch oven, on stove top, sautee ½ C diced onions, diced apples, 1.5 tsp olive oil and 4 oz diced turkey bacon. Sautee all ingredients until soft and translucent. Add minced garlic, sautee additional minute. Add roasted pumpkin, 1tsp sage, 1 bay leaf, 1 C apple cider, 4 C chicken broth. First bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for approx 30 min. Place ½ contents from stove top in blender. (or use a stick blender and blend on stove top). Add half tofu or cream. Put blended contents aside, then blend second half of stove top ingredients. Add second half of tofu or cream to blender. (Hint: Never fill a blender more than half way, always blend first on slow speed and hold lid on top of container!) After second round of cooked ingredients are blended and all tofu is added, return soup to stove top pot. Reheat soup and serve hot. Garnish with chopped chives or spoonful of cream fraiche.

Great Fall Recipe !

Sweet Potato Salad with Orange-Maple Dressing

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
2 tablespoons Sherry wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons minced peeled fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

6 pounds red-skinned sweet potatoes (yams), peeled, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
1 cup chopped green onions
1 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 cup pecans, toasted, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup brown raisins
For dressing:
Whisk all ingredients to blend in small bowl. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper.
For salad:
Steam sweet potatoes in batches until potatoes are just tender, about 10 minutes per batch. Transfer sweet potatoes to large bowl. Cool to room temperature. Add green onions, parsley, pecans, and all raisins. Pour dressing over; toss gently to blend. Season salad to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be made 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.)

Monday, October 3, 2011

Next Farmer's Market Cooking Class at North of Cabo Restaurant, Redlands

The next farmer's market cooking class will be on October 15 at North of Cabo Restaurant and Cantina in Redlands at Noon. The class will feature recipes and cooking demonstrating using seasonal farmer's market ingredients. The upcoming class on October 15, will feature fall produce in recipes such as Roasted Butternut Squash, Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes and Apple-Onion Compote.... all made with locally grown ingredients! Cost to attend the class is $50, and includes food samples of recipes and wine! If you wish to attend, please send me an email to reserve you seat:

North of Cabo Restaurant is downtown Redlands at 22 E Vine Redlands.

Chef Lee