By Erin Pesut
Albert Yepez of Cooking Connections
Citrus Chicken Alfredo
This is one of Albert’s favorite recipes from about 25 years ago from a restaurant he loved. His favorite way? He’d add more garlic than the recipe calls for.
“I like to use a pasta bowl placing pasta in sauce down first then adding sautéed spinach in the center.”
“Stir constantly and cook until creamy and the cheese is melty.”
5-6 oz chicken breast, pounded thin
Handful of fresh spinach
6-8 cloves of garlic, minced and divided
1 box Fettuccini pasta
2 eggs, whisked
lemon, to taste
parsley as garnish
parmesan cheese, per preference
Make egg wash by whisking eggs and adding 1 tbsp of water. Place pounded chicken breasts in egg mixture and lightly dust in flour. Place in vegetable oil and butter and cook until done. Squeeze fresh lemon on chicken. In a medium skillet, melt butter and add fresh minced garlic. Sauté until soft (note: do not brown). Add heavy cream, shredded parmesan cheese, white wine and white pepper. Stir constantly and cook until creamy and the cheese is melty. Use medium low heat and melt butter and add fresh garlic, white wine, salt and pepper add fresh spinach and cook until wilted. I like to use a pasta bowl placing pasta in sauce down first then adding sautéed spinach in the center. Cut chicken breasts into thin strips and place on top. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley, shredded parmesan cheese and fresh lemon.
Serve with a bright crisp white wine.
Greg Kalevas of Chris’s Steak & Seafood House
“I chose this recipe because I grew up eating lamb in Greece. I hope everyone likes the simplicity of it.”
“Lamb is a constant on menus in almost every wine region.”
Greek Style Lamb Pops
18-20 oz. Rack of lamb
1/3 oz. of salt
¼ oz. dried oregano
¼ oz. Pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ oz. Au jus sauce (made with beef base and water)
½ fresh lemon
1. Mix dried oregano, salt and pepper together.
2. Cut your chops—slice the rack between the chops ¼ of an inch. (Greg trims to where some fat is visible for flavor. He says that lamb fat is different than any other type of beef fat.)
3. Rub the individual chops with olive oil.
4. Use your prepared rub to rub each chop individually as preferred.
5. Grill on charcoal grill for 3-4 minutes on each side until at medium (or preferred temperature). Greg prefers medium because it sears the meat and fat and brings out the most flavor.
6. Pour au jus sauce over chops.
7. Squeeze lemons on top for a finishing flavor.
Note: If you do not have a grill, a frying pan with olive oil works as well.
Best pairs with Franciscan Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley or Saintsbury Pinot Noir from Carneros.
“Best yet would be some traditional Greek wine.” -Greg
Hilton (Hutch) Hutchens of Hutchens Law Firm
“These recipes are good for summer and the ingredients should all be fresh.”
“I don’t really keep actual recipes, so any measurements or cooking times are complete guesses.”
“To be honest, a refreshing Moscow Mule is usually best to sip while cooking and grilling. Your favorite white wine would be best with the meal, but the Mule compliments the dish, too.”
“Grilling over oranges should flavor the fish and keep it from scorching by the coals.”
Citrus-Grilled Sea Bass w/ Summer Salsa and Cilantro Rice
Diced red onion (about 1 cup)
2 diced mangoes
1-2 finely diced jalapeños (leave pith or seeds for heat based on preference)
Fresh, fine-chopped cilantro (you’ll need lots)
A splash of fresh squeezed orange juice (optional)
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
2 large, thick filets of Sea Bass (Or any thick, buttery fish)
2-3 large oranges, thick sliced into discs
Cooked rice (Hilton prefers Jasmine rice.)
Combine first four ingredients and about ½ cup of chopped cilantro in mixing bowl. Add 1 teaspoon of lime zest and the juice of 1 ½ limes. Salt and pepper to taste. Slowly add and stir in splashes of fresh OJ (if at all) until desired sweetness and citrus taste is reached. Chill in fridge. You can add a small bit of honey if mango is not ripe or sweet enough.
Combine some olive oil and fresh chopped cilantro in a small bowl and set aside. Dust fish filets with blackening seasoning and salt on all sides.
Oil the grill grate over medium high heat and lay out discs of orange slices over hot part of grill, overlapping each other slightly. Place fish filets on top of orange slices and brush with cilantro oil. Cover and grill at medium-high; make sure the grill vents are open. Grilling over oranges should flavor the fish and keep it from scorching by the coals.
Grill for about 6-8 minutes. Use tongs to flip fish back onto orange slices and brush with cilantro oil. Grill until desired doneness: about 4-6 minutes, depending on the thickness of fish. Do not overcook. Fish (after resting tented with foil for a few minutes) should flake off in large, oily, buttery pieces.
After rice is cooked and cooled slightly, use a fork to toss in some chopped cilantro, a little bit of lime juice and salt and pepper.
Spoon salsa over fish and serve over rice.
Neighborhood-Watch Moscow Mule:
In a copper Mule cup, combine two lime wedges, several mint sprigs, and some ice. Muddle. Fill cup with crushed ice. Fill 2/3 up with Tito’s vodka. Finish filling cup with your favorite ginger beer (Fever-Tree, Barritt’s, and Reed’s are available in Fayetteville). Stir very well.
Mustafa Somar of Sherefé
“It’s very traditional. You eat meatballs all over Turkey. Meatballs are comfort food.”
“A most refreshing drink made by mixing yogurt with chilled water.”
Recipe Izgara Kofte (Turkish meatballs)
1 pound ground lamb
1 white onion
1 bunch of parsley, pureed in food processor
1 cup bread crumbs
1 tsp. Ground cumin
Salt and pepper to taste.
1. Put all ingredients together in a mixing bowl.
2. Knead all ingredients together. Once thoroughly mixed, let rest for a few minutes.
3. Break off apricot-sized pieces and grill until done.
Drink: Ayran, a traditional middle eastern yogurt drink
2 cups of yogurt
½ cup cold water
Salt to taste