Corn Bisque with Red Bell Pepper

Corn ChowderIngredients

4 tablespoons butter
2 cups chopped onion
1/2 cup diced carrot
1/2 cup diced celery
42 ounces frozen corn kernels, thawed and drained
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (adjust up or down to your liking)
6 cups chicken broth
1 cup half and half
1 red bell pepper, chopped


Melt 3 tablespoons butter in a heavy large pot over mediumm-high heat.  Add onions, carrot and celery and saute for 3 minutes.  Add 5 1/2 cups corn and cayenne and saute for 2 minutes.  Add stock and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer uncovered until vegetables are tender and liquid is slightly reduced, about 30 minutes.

Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender.  Return the soup to the pot.  Mix in the half and half and remaining 2 cups of corn.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Melt the remaining 1 tablespoon butter in a heavy large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the bell pepper and saute until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes.  Stir the bell pepper into the soup.

Bring the soup to a simmer.  Ladle into bowls and serve.

Ham and Pineapple Pizza Rolls

Ham and Pineapple Pizza PinwheelsIngredients

2 sheets puff pastry, thawed according to package directions
4 tablespoons tomato paste
1 small red onion, finely chopped
4 pineapple slices, finely chopped
6 ounces ham, finely chopped
3 ounces finely shredded cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped
1 egg, for sealing rolls


Roll puff pastry sheets to  12×8-inch rectangles.  Divide tomato paste and spread over each rectangle, leaving a 1/2-inch border.

Combine onion, pineapple, ham, cheddar and parsley.  Divide and spread evenly over tomato paste leaving a 3/4-inch border.

Beat egg with water and brush edges of sheets.  Roll up the dough from the long side and place on baking sheet.  Place baking sheet in freezer for 20 minutes to firm dough.

Remove rolls from freezer and cut into 12 even slices.  Place the slices on a greased baking sheet.

Bake at 375 for 15-20 minutes or until golden.

Pepper Jack Cheese Squares

Pepper Jack Squares


1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 eggs
12 ounces shredded Pepper Jack cheese
12 ounces cream-syle cottage cheese
2 tablespoons chopped pimiento
3 tablespoons chopped kalamata olives
cactus leaves


Preheat oven to 350-degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs until well combined.  Stir flour, baking powder and salt into beaten eggs and mix well.  Fold in Pepper Jack cheese, cottage cheese, pimiento and olives.

Pour into a greased 13 x 9-inch baking dish.  Bake for 35-40 minutes or until set and golden brown.  Let stand 10 minutes.  Cut into 1 1/2-inch squares and place on tray atop cactus leaves.

Creole Crab Potato Wedges

Creole Crab Potato WedgesIngredients

12 medium red potatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds)
4 teaspoons olive oil
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons butter
3 ounces cream cheese
1/2 cup finely shredded parmesan cheese
4 teaspoons prepared horseradish
1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
6 ounces lump crabmeat
1/3 cup finely shredded parmesan cheese
Creole seasoning
snipped fresh parsley


Bake potatoes in a large shallow baking pan in a 350 oven for 45 to 50 minutes or until just tender when pierced with a fork (Don’t overbake).   Cool; cut into quarters lengthwise.  Scoop out flesh, leaving shells 1/4 inch thick.  Brush shells lightly with the olive oil.  Place wedges cut side up in the baking pan.

Meanwhile, cook onion and garlic in the butter in a medium saucepan until tender.  Remove from heat.  Stir in cream cheese.  Add 1/3 cup parmesan cheese, horseradish, and Tabasco sauce.  Stir in crabmeat.  Mound in potato shells and sprinkle with the remaining parmesan cheese.

Bake in a 350-degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until filling is hot and cheese is golden.  To serve, sprinkle with a dash of Creole seasoning and snipped parsley.

Queso Fundido

Queso Fundido


2 ounces chorizo sausage
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
4 ounces chopped green chiles
1 tablespoon finely chopped canned chipotle chilis, drained
1/4 cup chopped green bell pepper
1/4 cup chopped tomato
1/4 cup sliced ripe olives
tortilla chips or scoops


Cook sausage in a small skillet until no longer pink.  Drain well on paper towels.

Combine cheeses, sour cream, and chili peppers in a large bowl; stir in cooked sausage.  Spread in a 9-inch pie plate, 9-inch quiche dish, or 1-quart au gratin dish.

Bake in a 375 degree oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly, stirring once.  If desired, top with chopped green bell pepper, chopped tomato and sliced ripe olives.  Serve immediately with tortilla chips or scoops

Reuben-Stuffed Mushrooms


LadyFingers Signature Recipe!


20 large fresh mushrooms
3 ounces very thinly sliced corned beef, chopped
1/4 cup sauerkraut, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup shredded swiss cheese
2 tablespoons crushed rye crackers
2 tablespoons Thousand Island salad dressing


Clean mushrooms and remove stems.  Arrange mushrooms, ten at a time, on a plate, leaving the center open.  Microwave 2 to 4 minutes or until almost  tender.  Invert caps on paper towels.  Repeat with remaining caps.

For filling, combine corned beef, sauerkraut, swiss cheese, crushed crackers and salad dressing.  Spoon 1 rounded teaspoon filling into each mushroom.

Preheat oven to 375-degrees.

Place mushrooms on baking sheet and bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until heated through.

Beer and Corn Fritters



5 ears of corn
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon chili powder
4 green onions, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 cup beer
2 cups vegetable oil
chili sauce


Cut the kernels from each ear of corn and place them in a medium bowl.  Add the flour, baking powder, salt, chili powder, green onions and pepper and stir to coat.

Gradually beat in the beer to form a batter.  Mix well and set aside for 30 minutes.

Pour the oil into a thick, heavy-bottomed pan or large wok.  Heat until a small piece of bread, dropped in, sizzles instantly.

Drop in 1 tablespoon of batter for each fritter, frying in batches of 5 for approximately 5 minutes or until golden and crispy.  Drain on paper towels and serve warm with chili sauce.

Advance Preparation:  The batter may be prepared 3 hours in advance and refrigerated; Alternatively, the fritters may be fried and frozen, then thawed in the refrigerator and baked for 5 minutes in a 400-degree oven.

Meatballs with Spiced Fig Sauce

Most Popular Selection of the 2010 Holiday Season!


75 meatballs
2 cups red wine
8 ounces natural fig preserves
1 tablespoon rosemary, finely minced
2 cinnamon sticks


Thaw meatballs if frozen.

In 2 to 3-quart pan, heat red wine, fig preserves, rosemary and cinnamon sticks over medium heat, stirring, until preserves have melted and become incorporated.  Reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes.  Add meatballs and stir to coat with sauce.  Simmer for and additional 10 minutes or until meatballs are heated through.

Transfer to serving dish.  Offer with festive wooden picks.

* Note: To prepare in advance, thaw meatballs and keep them refrigerated until ready to reheat.  Prepare sauce and after simmering for 30 minutes, remove from heat and let cool briefly.  Cover and refrigerate.  Sauce will thicken considerably but will return to proper consistency when reheated with meatballs.

Olive Tapenade

Originally from my dear friend Coletta


1 cup kalamata olives
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup chopped parsley


Pit the olives by crushing them with the flat side of a chef’s knife.

Place the pitted olives in a small food processor and add the olive oil.

Blend for about 30 seconds or until the olives are very finely chopped but not a purée.

Blend in chopped parsley by hand just before serving.

Mustard-Crusted Lamb Chops



4 lamb loin chops
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
1/4 cup grainy mustard
1 tablespoon whipping cream
1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1/8 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon cayenne


Preheat oven to 400.  Preheat grill to medium-high.

Season lamb chops with olive oil and salt and pepper

Put chops on grill and cook for 2 minutes on each side or until marked nicely.  Allow to cool.

Combine mustard and whipping cream. Coat chops with mustard mixture.

Combine breadcrumbs with parsley, paprika, and cayenne.  Dredge chops in crumbs and place on lightly greased baking sheet.  Roast for 10 minutes for medium-rare.