Cooking at Village


March 2016

Crispy Potato Roast with Bacon

Our class had previously tried the original Martha Stewart recipe for potato roast and found it bland, so we decided to throw in some more flavors that we found were missing. The four pounds of potatoes fit very snugly in our pot, especially with our addition of sliced shallots and bacon, which added some much needed flavor. We cut the potatoes crosswise (not lengthwise as the original recipe called for) on a board, but the job can be easily done with a mandolin. When tasting the final product, we found that some of the bacon didn’t cook properly when wedged so tightly between the potato, so a good improvement would be bacon bits sprinkled over the top, so that they would be in full contact with the heat. 


Crispy Potato Roast with Bacon (adapted from Martha Stewart and modified by Village Culinary Class)


  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 5 garlic cloves minced
  • 4 pounds russet potatoes, peeled
  • 1 lb bacon strips cut into eights, trim excess fat
  • 4 shallots, thickly sliced lengthwise
  • coarse salt
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese
  • 8 sprigs thyme


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a small bowl, combine butter, garlic, salt, red pepper flakes and oil. Brush bottom of a round 9-inch baking dish with some butter mixture. With a sharp knife or mandoline, slice potatoes very thinly crosswise.
  2. Arrange potato slices vertically in dish. Wedge shallots throughout. Wedge bacon throughout and on top. Brush with remaining butter mixture. Bake 1 1/4 hours. Add thyme and bake until potatoes are cooked through with a crisp top, about 35 minutes more. Add cheese 5 minutes before end of cook time.

Easy Skillet Chicken With Veloute Sauce

Easy Skillet Chicken With Veloute Sauce

4 boneless chicken breast halves

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon ground thyme

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

dash garlic powder

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 tablespoons butter


3 tablespoons butter

1 to 2 tablespoons finely chopped shallot or onion

4 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 cups chicken stock

salt and pepper, to taste

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Yield: Serves 4


Put a chicken breast between sheets of plastic wrap and pound to an even 1/2-inch thickness.

In a large skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of butter with the olive oil.

In a plate or shallow bowl, combine the flour, thyme, 3/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, and a dash of garlic powder. Stir to blend thoroughly. Dredge the chicken pieces in the flour mixture, coating well, then fry for about 4 to 5 minutes on each side, or until chicken is cooked through.

Chicken should read at least 165° on an instant read thermometer.

Meanwhile, in a saucepan, melt 3 tablespoons of butter. Saute the onion until tender. Stir in the 4 tablespoons of flour and stir until well blended and bubbly. Stir in the chicken stock and cook, stirring, until thickened. Add salt and pepper, to taste. Serve the veloute sauce with the browned chicken pieces.

Serves 4.
Number one tip: KNOW HOW TO COOK CHICKEN. Some of us struggled with nerves of undercooking the inside, while burning the outside. Let it cook through a little while, before a skin/ layer form on the chicken with a raw inside. Keep your pan greased and don’t fidget your chicken around too much. And also looks aren’t everything, this recipe isn’t the most appealing to the eye, but it’s tasty (with some amped up seasonings.) Overall it tasted fine. Although the flavor wasn’t very balanced. It was beige meat with a beige sauce. Having a heavy hand while measuring seasoning, can help. But you do you.

Stuffed Peppers

Ingredients1 tbsp Olive Oil

6 whole red peppers

1 cup cooked rice

2 cups black beans rinsed and drained

1 lb chopmeat 85% lean or higher

2 ½ cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

1 medium onion diced

4 garlic cloves minced

½ tsp Italian Seasoning

¾ tsp Cumin

¾ tsp Paprika

¾ tsp Cayenne Pepper

¾ tsp Salt 

¼ tsp black pepper 

2-3 sprigs fresh thyme

Preheat Oven to 350 degrees

Cut off tops of peppers and clean out the seeds and veins

Cook Rice (follow directions on package)

In a sautee pan heat the oil

Add garlic and onion and cook until onions are clear

Add chopmeat and cook until brown

Drain the excess fat if necessary

Combine spices in a small bowl and mix

Over medium heat spice mixture

Cook until blended, add beans and rice remove from heat

Mix in 1 cup of cheese 

Spoon in beef mixture and leave a small space at the top

Arrange peppers in a baking dish

Using the remaining cheese top off each pepper with ¼ cup cheese and push down

Loosely cover bake 10-15 minutes and remove foil

Bake another 25 minutes or until cheese is melted and peppers are soft.                                   

In the end we tossed in some more cheese because we thought it wasn’t cheesy enough.
We ran out of time and we under cooked the peppers just a tad. Everything was still delicious and cooked well just the peppers could have been softer. I don’t even like peppers so for those of you like me the pepper filling was BOMB! You could use it in tacos or topping for other things or just eat the filling straight up in a bowl. 


Vegetarian Chili

This recipe requires a large amounts prep work and best made with multiple people and/ or a rice cooker. The taste (in my opinion was fine,) it was balanced between the acidity of tomatoes, and the smooth creaminess of the beans. Probably would make again, but like in a slow cooker/ crockpot. This recipe requires a lot of teamwork, like a lot of teamwork. And just like experiment with it, add more tomato, add more beans, do whatever you like, do you. It’s vegetarian too, but you could do what you want.


Vegetarian Chili


2 tablespoons canola oil
1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onions
1 cup chopped red bell peppers
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 to 3 serrano peppers, stemmed, seeded, and minced, depending upon taste
1 medium zucchini, stem ends trimmed and cut into small dice
2 cups fresh corn kernels (about 3 ears)
1 1/2 pounds portobello mushrooms (about 5 large), stemmed, wiped clean and cubed
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespooon ground cumin
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
4 large tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
3 cups cooked black beans, or canned beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
1 cup vegetable stock, or water
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
Cooked brown rice, accompaniment
Sour cream or strained plain yogurt, garnish
Diced avocado, garnish
Essence, recipe follows, garnish
Chopped green onions, garnish


In a large, heavy pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions, bell peppers, garlic, and serrano peppers, and cook, stirring, until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the zucchini, corn, and mushrooms, and cook, stirring, until soft and the vegetables give off their liquid and start to brown around the edges, about 6 minutes. Add the chili powder, cumin, salt and cayenne, and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes and stir well. Add the beans, tomato sauce, and vegetable stock, stir well, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes.

Remove from the heat and stir in the cilantro. Adjust the seasoning, to taste.

To serve, place 1/4 cup of brown rice in the bottom of each bowl. Ladle the chili into the bowls over the rice. Top each serving with a dollop of sour cream and spoonful of avocado. Sprinkle with Essence and green onions and serve.

Per Serving (based on 6 servings): Calories: 311; Fat: 7g (Saturated Fat: 0.5g); Protein: 13g; Carbohydrates: 51g; Sugar: 15g; Fiber 12g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 1,040mg

Emeril’s ESSENCE Creole Seasoning (also referred to as Bayou Blast):
Combine all ingredients thoroughly.

Yield: 2/3 cup

Recipe from “New New Orleans Cooking”, by Emeril Lagasse and Jessie Tirsch

Read more at:

Cooking at Village

This spring semester 2016 I have the pleasure of teaching a basic cooking class.  The students will learn how to hold a knife, cut, chop, slice and dice. They will be cooking the five Mother Sauces Bechamel, Veloute, Espagnole, Hollindaise and Tomato.  We will cook one or two dishes with each sauce to understand how you can modify the basic sauce to accommodate taste and other added ingredients.  When we work on the tomato sauce we will also learn to make dough and create pizzas.

What is a meal without dessert? So we will make simple chocolate chip cookies and then split the group into teams the following day to make the recipes their own and of course have a tasting contest!

To finish up we will make a pie crust, apple pie and basic cheese cake.  If time allows we will add stuff along the way.  The students will be writing about their experiences throughout the semester.  Looks like we have a great group of chefs and I look forward to learning and eating with them.

Bon Appetite



Create a free website or blog at

Up ↑