Hallie Norvet

Personal Chef Service


Garam Masala and Chile Crusted Lamb Chops with Mint Chimichurri

Posted on November 23, 2014 at 7:25 PM Comments comments (0)

Garam Masala and Chile Crusted Lamb Chops

with Mint Chimichurri

These lamb chops are seasoned with Indian spices that go so well with each other. It's no wonder these Garam Masala and Chile Crusted Lamb Chops with Mint Chimichurri will have your guests asking for more.

Lamb Chops with Mint Chimichurri Seen Above with Curried Pumpkin Puree, Cranberry Sauce,

White Asparagus, Pee-wee Potatoes and Fried Brussels Sprout Leaves

Servings: 2

Prep Time: 10 Minutes

Cook Time: 10-15 Minutes

By: Chef Hallie Norvet



1/2 Cup Finely Chopped Mint

1/4 Cup Finely Chopped Curly Parsley

1/2 tsp Chile Flake

2 Garlic Cloves, Finely Chopped

2 Tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar

6 Tablespoons Olive Oil


6 Lamb Chops, Trimmed and Frenched

Salt and Pepper

1 tsp Garam Masala

1/4 tsp Ground Red Pepper

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil



Mix all ingredients together in a medium sized bowl. Allow to marinate for at least 1 hour.


Pre-heat oven to 375. Pat dry chops with a paper towel. Season with salt and pepper on both sides. Next, evenly distribute garam masla and red pepper onto each side of the lamb chop. When all lamb chops are seasoned, you can pre-heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Once the pan is hot, add 2 Tablespoons olive oil. Gently place each chop into the pan with tongs. Allow to sear on each side for 1 minute until crispy and caramelized brown. Remove lamb chops from pan and place onto a sheet tray. Continue cooking in oven for 5 minutes until chops are medium rare. Cook an additonal 2 minutes for medum chops.

Allow to chops to rest for 5 minutes then drizzle with chimichurri. Enjoy!

Wild Mushroom Bisque

Posted on November 15, 2014 at 5:55 PM Comments comments (0)

Wild Mushroom Bisque

I love this time of year because it's finally getting cool enough to make some soups. One of my favorite soups to make is this Wild Mushroom Bisque. The best part about it is it can be made from start to finish in under one hour. This soup would be a great appetizer or first course for any Thanksgiving or Holiday party!


Prep-Time:10 Minutes

Cook-Time: 40 Minutes

By: Chef Hallie Norvet


1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil

2 Large Shallots, Chopped

2 Pounds White Button Mushrooms, Cleaned and Quartered

1 Pound Portobello or Portabella Mushrooms, Cleaned and Sliced

1/2 Pound Oyster Mushrooms, Cleaned and Chopped

1/4 Pound Shiitake Mushrooms

1/4 Pound Chantrelle Mushrooms

1 Tablespoons of Fresh Thyme

2 Cloves of Garlic, Chopped

5 Cups Vegetable Stock

1 Cup Heavy Whipping Cream


In a large stockpot, heat olive oil over medium heat and saute shallots until translucent. Increase heat to medium-high, and add all of the mushrooms. Stir mushrooms with large wooden spoon for 3-4 minutes until they start to produce excess water. Add chopped thyme and garlic. Continue cooking mushrooms over medium-low heat for 15 minutes. Once all mushrooms are thouroughly cooked add in vegetable stock. Bring mushroom and stock mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 10 minutes.

With an immersion blender, start to blend your mushrooms with the broth. If you do not have an immersion blender, you can use a regular blender, just be sure the liquid has cooled a bit because blending extremely hot liquids are never a good idea. Blend the msuhroom and stock mixture togetehr until smooth. Slowly add heavy whipping cream and blend until soup has a creamy consistency. If your soup is too thick, add 1/2 cup vegetable stock until you have your desired consistency. Season to taste with salt and cracked white pepper. Garnish with thyme and serve piping hot.

Sweet Chili Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Posted on September 2, 2014 at 5:00 PM Comments comments (0)

Sweet Chili Chicken Lettuce Wraps

These Sweet Chili Lettuce Wraps are so fresh and delicious it's hard to believe how good they are for you. Don't be overwhelmed by the knife work, you can get it all done ahead of time and cook the chicken whenever you see fit.

Servings: 5-6

Prep Time: 30 Minutes

Cook Time: 15 Minutes

By: Chef Hallie Norvet



2 Heads Butter or Boston Lettuce, Washed, Leafed and Dried

Pickled Vegetables:

2 Carrots Julienned

1 Small Jicama, Julienned

1 tsp. Sambal Oelek Chili Sauce

2 Tablespoon Rice Wine Vinegar

1 tsp. Fresh Ginger

1/2 tsp. Chopped Garlic

1/2 Cup Water


Fresh Vegetables:

1 Red Bell Pepper, Julienned

1 Yellow Bell Pepper, Julienned

1/4 Pound Snow Peas, Julienned

1/4 Head Purple Cabbage, Julienned

1/2 Bunch Cilantro Chopped Rough

1 Bunch Scallion, Greens Only Cut on a Bias

3 Radish Bulbs, Sliced Thin

1 Cup Bean Sprouts



1 Tablespoon Sesame Oil


1.5 Pound Chicken Breast Tenderloin


1 Tablespoon Chopped Garlic


1/2 Tablespoon Fresh or Powdered Ginger


2 Tablespoon Soy Sauce


1/2 Cup Sweet Chili "Mae Ploy" Sauce


Quick Pickling Vegetables:

Place carrots, jicama, sambal olek, rice wine vinegar, ginger and garlic into a small mixing bowl together. Add water and mix. Add salt to taste and allow to pickle for 30 minutes.


Heat a medium sized saute pan over medium-high heat. Add Sesame oil and sear chicken. Allow to cook for 1-2 minutes, then flip and cook for 1-2 minutes on the other side until both sides are browned. Then add garlic, ginger, soy sauce and sweet chili sauce. Turn chicken to coat evenly. Add water to pan and cover with lid. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 10 minutes until chciken is cooked to a temperature of 165 degrees.


Place hot chicken into one or two lettuce leaves. Finish with additional sweet chili sauce if desired. In a mixing bowl, toss fresh and pickled vegetables together and serve on top of chicken. Wrap like a taco and enjoy!

Korean Braised Shortribs

Posted on June 8, 2014 at 3:35 PM Comments comments (0)

In Los Angeles, we have a LOT of food trucks, there is one to satisfy any craving. The most notorious of all being the Kogi Truck. Kogi's cuisine is Mexican/Korean fusion much like population of Los Angeles. They specialize in dishes like, Korean Shortrib Tacos, Kimchi Quesadillas, The Infamous Blue Moon Mulita and Pacman Burger.. You must try any (or all) of these if you are ever in L.A. Which brings me to my recipe: Korean Braised Shortribs. I was craving Kogi but havent had time to catch the truck lately so I made my own shortribs for tacos. Here is my variation of their famous shortribs.

Servings: 6

Prep Time: 20 Minutes

Cook Time: 4.5 Hours

Recipe By: Chef Hallie Norvet


Salt and Pepper

3 Tablespoons Sesame Oil

3-4 Pounds Bone-in Beef Short Ribs

1 Medium Yellow Onion, Peeled and Chopped

10 Cloves of Garlic, Chopped

2 oz. Fresh Ginger, Sliced

3 Tablespoons Korean Gochujang Paste

1 Tabelspoon Sambal Olek or Garlic Chile Paste

1/2 Cup Brown Sugar

1/2 Cup Reduced Sodium Soy Sauce

1/4 Cup Rice WIne Vinegar

1 Quart Beef Stock

1/3 Cup Cilantro Whole (Stems and All)


Remove your short ribs from the refrigerator, separate, pat dry with a paper towel and season with salt and pepper.

In a large dutch oven or stock pot, heat 2 tablespoon sesame oil over medium high heat until hot. Add short ribs one by one beef side down into the pot. Do not overcrowd the pot, or stack the short ribs, our goal here is to get a nice sear on the meat side of the rib. Cook until golden brown and remove from the pot. You can do this in two batches if your pot is not large enough to sear off all of the ribs at once.

Reduce the heat to low, in the same pot, add one more tablespoon of sesame oil as well as onion, garlic, and ginger. Saute over low heat for 2 minutes until tender. Move onion, garlic and ginger to edges of pot with a spoon. Return short ribs to the pot beef side down as you did the first time. It's okay to stack a few on top of each other this time around, or crowd the pot to get as many as you can in there since we will be braising.

Once your ribs are all added to the pot, return the heat to medium-high and add in your remaining ingredients: gochujang, garlic chile paste, brown sugar, soy sauce, vinegar, beef stock and cilantro. Bring ingredients to a boil. Once boiling reduce heat to a low simmer. Cover with heavy lid. Simmer for 4.5 hours until fork tender. Note: Check on short ribs every hour, if liquid gets lower than 1/2 inch, add 1/3 cup water or broth.

Pre-heat oven to 425. Remove short ribs from pot and place onto a baking sheet beef side up. Place onto middle rack of oven and allow to roast for 15 minutes until the utside edges are crispy and dark brown. Baste with warm cooking liquid and serve.

Serving Suggestions:

Over rice, on a hawaiian roll, over mashed potatoes, cous cous etc. I always make some lightly pickled vegetables as an accompaniment, here's a quick and easy recipe: http://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1014140-shortcut-banh-mi-with-pickled-carrots-and-daikon


Posted on May 9, 2014 at 5:20 PM Comments comments (1)

I made this beautiful ratatouille last night! I tried to follow this recipe as closely to Thomas Keller's as possible This was of course inspired by Ratatouille's ratatouille.

You can find the recipe here courtesy of Star Tribune!


Quinoa and Roasted Vegetable Zucchini Boats in Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

Posted on March 15, 2014 at 1:20 AM Comments comments (0)

These Quinoa and Roasted Vegetable Zucchini Boats baked in a Roasted Red Pepper Sauce are so comforting and delicious you will forget that they are actually good for you! You can omit the breadcrumb and cheese for a vegan/gluten-free meal.

Serves: 3-4

Prep-tiime: 40 minutes

Cook-time: 30 minutes

By: Chef Hallie Norvet


1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil

4 Whole Roasted Red Peppers, Canned or Fresh

1/2 Onion, Chopped

1 Garlic Clove Chopped

1 Small Can Tomato Sauce

1 Cup Quinoa

2 Cups Chicken Broth/Stock

3 Large Zucchini, Halved

1 Yellow Squash, Chopped

1 Carrot, Peeled and Chopped

1 Red Bell Pepper, Chopped

1 Eggplant, Cut into 1/4 Inch Cubes

1 Small Red Onion, Chopped Fine

3 Cloves Garlic, Chopped

4 oz. Mozzarella, Shredded

1/2 Cup Panko Bread Crumb

1 Tablespoon Butter

1/2 Tablespoon Chopped  Curly Parsley


Pre-heat your oven to 375.

In a medium sauce pot heat olive oil over medium heat. Add roasted red peppers,onion and garlic. Saute until onion is translucent and add tomato sauce. Bring sauce to simmer over medium-low heat, and stir occasionally for 40 minutes.

In the meantime, place 1 cup quinoa and 2 cups chicken broth into a medium sauce pot. Heat pot over high heat and bring to a boil. Season lightly with salt and pepper, then cover with lid. Reduce heat to low and simmer quinoa for 20 minutes until all water is absorbed and quinoa is cooked. Next, grab a large baking sheet and drizzle a tablespoon of olive oil over it. Then disperse squash, carrot, bell pepper, eggplant, red onion and garlic evenly over pan and roast in oven for 20 minutes.

Take your 4 halved zucchini, and with a melon baller, gently scoop out the inside of the squash. You want to leave a little bit of a barrier so you do not go through the zucchini.

Once the roasted red pepper sauce has cooked for a 40 minutes, blend together and season with salt and pepper.

Once your quinoa is cooked, fluff with a fork and mix with the roasted vegetables from the oven in a large mixing bowl. Taste the mixture and season with salt and pepper to taste.

In a large glass baking dish, evenly distribute your roasted red pepper sauce. Place each zucchini (scooped side up) into the sauce. Then with a spoon, carefully scooop quinoa and roasted vegetable mixture into zucchini.

** If you would like this recipe to be vegan or gluten-free, this is where you would stop and bake your dish! **

Lastly, top zucchini boats with shredded mozzarella cheese and toasted breadcrumbs. To toast your panko bread crumbs, simply melt butter in a saute pan, and add bread crumbs. Stir bread crumbs constantly over medium high heat until breadcrumbs are golden brown.

Roasted Vegetable Lasagna Roll-ups

Posted on March 11, 2014 at 8:25 PM Comments comments (0)

These Roasted Vegetable Lasagna Roll-ups are great for anyone who doesn't feel like assembling an entire lasagna! Also, don't limit yourself to the ingredients I have shared below, you could add a multitude of different vegetables or proteins!

Serves: 4

Prep Time: 30 Minutes

Cook Time: 20 Minutes

By: Chef Hallie Norvet


8 Lasagna Pasta Sheets, Pre-Cooked as Directed

1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 Onion, Chopped Small

3 Cloves Garlic, Chopped Fine

1 Large Can Organic Tomato Sauce

2 Tablespoons Tomato paste

1 Tablespoon Basil

1 Tablespoon Oregano

Salt and Pepper

2 Zucchini, Halved and Sliced into Half Moons

2 Yellow Squash, Halved and Sliced into Half Moons

8 Large Button Mushrooms, Sliced

2 Red Bell Pepper, Chopped

1 Carrot, Peeled and Chopped Fine

1/2 Tablespoon Dry Italian Herb Seasoning

1 8 oz. Container Whole Milk Ricotta Cheese

2 Tablespoons Fresh Basil, Chopped

1/2 tsp Garlic Salt

1 Ball Fresh Mozzarella, Sliced Thin


In a medium stock pot, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium high heat for 1 minute. Add onion and garlic to pot and saute for 3 minutes until translucent. Add tomato sauce and tomato paste to pot and bring to a simmer. Simmer sauce over medium low heat for 40 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon basil and oregano to sauce. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Reserve sauce on back burner.

Pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees. Drizzle 1 tablespoon olive oil onto a large sheet tray. Place chopped zucchini, squash, mushrooms, carrot and bell pepper onto sheet tray and season with dry italian herbs, salt and pepper. Place sheet on middle rack of oven and roast for 20 minutes. In the meantime, in a medium mixing bowl place ricotta, 2 tablespoons of fresh chopped basil and 1/2 tsp garlic salt. Mix and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Once your vegetables are done, allow them to cook for 10 minutes or so. On a clean cutting board, lay out one cooked lasagna sheet lengthwise. Scoop 1 tablespoon or so of ricotta mixture with a spoon and spread evenly over one side of lasagna noodle. Then, evenly place one or two sliced of evgetables the entire way down the roll. Be sure not to over stuff the rolls. A layer or two of vegetables will be fine and you can use the extra veggies later on. Once the entire roll is evenly cvered, place 1 or two slices of fresh mozzarella onto both ends of the roll. Then, roll those lasagna noodles up like a rug. It may get a little messy, but try to keep as much in the roll as possible. Place finished rolls to the side.

In a large baking dish, spread out your tomato sauce evenly amongst the pan. Be sure to save a cup of sauce or so for the top of the roll-ups. Place each roll up on top of sauce. Top each roll-up with any leftover vegetables and/or more mozzarella if you would like. Lastly, finish each roll-up with 2 tablespoons or so of sauce. Cover Roll-ups with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes at 375. Remove foil and broil for an additional minute or so if you would like a browner, crispier lasagna roll!

Zucchini Noodles in Arugula Pesto Sauce with Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

Posted on February 22, 2014 at 3:35 PM Comments comments (0)

I've really been trying to cut back on my carbohydrate intake lately, so I created this lovely Zucchini Noodle Dish with an Arugula Pesto and Roasted Cherry Tomatoes. It definitely satisfied my craving for pesto pasta without me feeling like I've ate an extra 600 calories. This dish is vegan, paleo and gluten-free if you omit the cheese, but I will not give up my cheese..

Servings: 2

Prep-Time: 20 Minutes

Cook-Time: 5 Minutes

By: Chef Hallie Norvet



1 Clove Garlic, Chopped

1 oz. Basil Leaves, Chopped

1 oz. Baby Arugula

1 Tablespoon Freshly Grated Parmesan

2 Tablespoon Pine Nuts

1/4 Lemon, Juiced

1/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Salt and Pepper


12 Cherry Tomatoes (On the vine if possible, if not no biggie)

4 Medium Zucchini

1 Teaspoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 Teaspoon Garlic, Chopped

1 Tablespoon Shallot, Chopped

Salt and Pepper


Shaved Parmesan


Basil Leaves

Baby Arugula



Put all ingredients (garlic, basil, arugula, parmesan and pinenuts) except for olive oil into blender. Start blending ingredients while slowly adding olive oil to mixture. Continue to blend and pour until you have a smooth, bright green mixture. Season with salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste. If you would like your pesto a bit thinner, simply add more olive oil.


Pre-heat oven to 375. Roast your cherry tomatoes on a small sheet pan in the oven for 5 minutes, then remove and allow to cool. With a spiralizer, spiralize your zucchini until you have a decent amount of "pasta." What's a spiralizer? It's like a fancy grater that makes all kinds of fancy cuts that would take you hours with a knife. You can buy one here: http://www.williams-sonoma.com/products/paderno-sprializer/ or at most high end culinary stores. Keep in mind the zucchini noodles will wilt and shrink a bit, so make a bit more than you would be satisfied with.

Pre-heat a medium saute pan over medium heat and add olive oil, garlic and shallot. Cook until aromatic, for 1 minute or so. Add zucchini noodles to pan and saute for 2 minutes. Don't allow them to cook for too long, they will continue to cook even when you remoe them from the pan. Season with salt and pepper and remove from heat. Add 1 or 2 tablespoons of your pesto mixture to your noodles and toss with a pair of tongs until coated thoroughly.

Place noodles into a bowl and top with shaved parmesan and cherry tomatoes. Garnish with fresh basil leaves or dressed arugula in olive oil. Enjoy!

The "Ultimate" Wedge Salad

Posted on February 22, 2014 at 6:05 AM Comments comments (0)

Have you ever ordered a $15.00 wedge salad from a restaurant and you end up with a chunk of iceberg with some ranch on it? I have, and oh, how disappointing it can be. My recent wedge salad let down left me craving a real, satisfying wedge salad with toppings galore.. This is when The "Ultimate" Wedge Salad was born. The best part about it? Besides bacon, it can be made in under 20 minutes.

Servings: 4

Prep Time: 15 Minutes

Cook Time: 5 Minutes

By: Chef Hallie Norvet



1/2 Cup Ranch Dressing (The good stuff in the refrigerated section, no Kraft)

1/2 Cup Good Quality Bleu Cheese

1/2 Shallot, Chopped

1/4 Cup Water

Salt and Pepper


1 Iceberg Head, Washed and Quartered

1/2 Red Onion, Sliced

8 Strips of Bacon, Cooked and Chopped

10 Grape Tomatoes, Halved

2 Radish Heads, Sliced

1/2 Cup Bleu Cheese Crumbles

1 Tablespoon Chopped Parsley


In a blender, blend ranch dressing, bleu cheese, shallot and water until smooth. Season with salt and freshly cracked black pepper.

On a plate, pour a small drizzle of bleu cheese dressing. Top with wedge, flat side down. Drizzle remaining dressing over wedges. Top with red onion slices, bacon crumbles, grape tomatoes, radish slices, bleu cheese crumbles and chopped parsley to finish. Serve with a knife and fork and enjoy

All photos and recipes by Chef Hallie Norvet, Hallie Norvet Personal Chef Service, Los Angeles, CA

Shrimp, Avocado and Green Goddess Salad

Posted on February 21, 2014 at 6:00 AM Comments comments (0)

Green Goddess Dressing is a thick, creamy dressing made of sour cream, mayonaisse, herbs and lemon. I have made a "healthier" version of this classic dressing by substituting avocado for mayonaisse. I personally think it tastes better, and it will give you a rich, green dressing without the added mayonaisse. You can also use this dressing as a dip!

Servings: 2-3

Prep Time: 15 Minutes

Cook Time: None

By: Chef Hallie Norvet


1 Avocado, Halved and Peeled, 1/2 Sliced

1 Clove Garlic, Chopped

1/2 Cup Sour Cream

1/4 Cup Scallion or Chive, Chopped

2 Tablespoons Basil, Chopped

2 Tablespoons Tarragon, Chopped

1 Tablespoon Parsley, Chopped

1 Teaspoon Anchovy Paste or Chopped Anchovies

1/2 Lemon, Juiced

Salt and Black Pepper

Black Pepper

1 Head Lettuce, Washed and Quartered (Butter/Bibb or Green Leaf would be ideal.)

1/2 Pound Cooked Shrimp, No Shells or Tails

10 Grape Tomatoes, Halved

3 Radishes, Sliced


Parsley Leaves

1 Tablespoon Chopped Green Onion

Baby Buttercrunch Lettuce from my personal garden.


In a blender add 1/2 avocado, garlic, sour cream, scallion, basil, tarragon, parsley, anchovy, lemon and a dash of salt and pepper to make your dressing. Blend until smooth. Season to your taste. If you would like your dressing a bit thinner, add 2 tablespoons of water and blend until smooth. Re-season.

On a large plate, pour a smal circle of dressing onto the center. Top with lettuce, shrimp, sliced avocado, tomatoes and radish slices. Garnish with parsley or chopped scallion. Not into shrimp? Other great protein packed toppings would be cooked salmon, hardboiled egg or bacon. Yum!

All photos and recipes by Chef Hallie Norvet, Hallie Norvet Personal Chef Service, Los Angeles, CA

California Cobb Salad

Posted on February 10, 2014 at 12:15 AM Comments comments (0)

This California Cobb Salad is one of the first salads I learned how to prepare as a garde manger cook. It is a great stand-by because you almost always have the ingredients on hand and it will fill you up without weighing you down.

Servings: 4

Prep-Time: 20 Minutes

Cook-Time: 10 Minutes

By: Chef Hallie Norvet


4 Large Eggs, Hardboiled and Peeled

3/4 Cup Vegetable Oil

1 Small Onion, Sliced into Small Rings

2 Tablespoons Half and Half

1/2 Cup AP Flour


1 Teaspoon Dijon Mustard

1 Teaspoon Honey

1 Tablespoon Red Wine Vinegar

3 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 Bunch Green Leaf Lettuce, Washed and Chopped

4 Strips Bacon, Cooked and Chopped

1/2 Cup Grape Tomatoes, Halved

1 Avocado, Quartered and Sliced

20 Chive Sprigs, Cut into 1/2 Inch Batons

Salt and Pepper


Separate hardboiled egg yolks from egg whites. With a grater, grate both the yolk and white individually. Keep separated until time for assembly.

In a small stock pot, add vegetable oil and heat over medium heat for 3-4 minutes or so to fry onions. If you have a thermometer, it should reach a temperature of 325 degrees. Use caution to not overheat oil as it can catch fire. If you ever see oil smoking, remove from heat  until it has cooled a bit. If your oil should ever catch fire, *do not* add water to to the pot, this will create a crazy water/oil explosion. Carefully, take the pots lid and place it over the pot to extinguish flame. Place your sliced onions in a small bowl and cover with half and half. Let sitfor 2 minutes or so. Remove onions from half and half and place them into flour until coated thoroughly. Once your oil is up to temperature, drop in one test onion to see how the rest of the batch will cook. Cook onions 3 or 4 sliced rings at a time as not to overcrowd oil. When cooked place on a paper towel to drain and season with salt. Make as many or as little as you want, or you can omit this step completely.

In a small mixing bowl, whisk dijon and mustard until incorporated. Then whisk in red wine vinegar. Once incorporated, slowly whisk in olive oil. It will make a thick yummy dressing. If the dressing is too thick for you, add a small amount of cold water until desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper.

Now you're ready to assemble! Dress the green leaf lettuce with the dressing then place an equal amount of salad into 4 long plates. Then, you are free to place topping on the top in whatever order you wish, but you can use my photo for reference. Top with fried onions, and enjoy!

Fried Polenta Sticks with Wild Mushroom Ragout

Posted on February 5, 2014 at 2:35 PM Comments comments (0)

Polenta and mushrooms is one of my favorite comfort food combinations! Try out my Fried Polenta Sticks with Wild Mushroom Ragout and you will understand why. Be careful though, the polenta sticks are addicting! If you are short on time, most grocery stores sell pre-made polenta so you don't have to cook and cool freshly made polenta.

Servings: 3

Prep Time: 2 hours

Cook Time: 20 Minutes

By: Chef Hallie Norvet


1 Box Polenta (Makes about 3 Cups)

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil

2 Shallots, Sliced Thin

1 Clove Garlic, Chopped

10 Medium Button Mushrooms, Washed

4 Portobello Mushrooms, Washed

4 oz. Oyster Mushrooms

4 oz. Chantrelle Mushrooms

3 Tablespoons Butter

1 Teaspoon Wondra Flour

1 Tablespoon Thyme, Chopped

1 Tablespoon Italian Parsley, Chopped

Salt and Pepper

3 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 Small Block Parmesan Cheese for Grating


Shaved Parmesan

Italian Flat Leaf Parsley

Chopped Chive

Thyme Sprig


Make polenta according to package. Lightly oil a 8x8 baking dish. Gently pour hot polenta into the dish spreading out to 3/4 inch to 1 inch thick. Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes then transfer to refrigerator to cool for 2 hours until firm.

Pour 1 tablespoon olive oil into a medium stock pot over medium-high heat. Saute shallot and garlic until translucent, then add button mushrooms, portobello mushroom, oyster mushroom and chantrelle mushroom. Reduce heat to medium-low and "sweat" the mushrooms for 15-20 minutes until cooked thoroughly. Once the mushrooms are soft and fully cooked, add 3 tablespoons of butter to the mushroom mixture until melted. Bring mushroom ragout to high heat and sprinkle wondra flour into mushrooms. Wondra is a very fine flour that is used to thicken sauces and gravies without a roux. It will not impart a lot of "flour" flavor. Stir mushrooms until any sauce in the pot thickens and return ragout to low heat. Add in thyme and parsley and stir until incorporated. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Keep on very low heat until time to serve.

Pre-heat your oven to 250. Once your polenta has cooled, cut it into 1 inch by 2 inch sticks. Place a large saute pan over high heat and add 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Gently place each polenta stick into the oil and cook for 3 minutes on each side until golden brown. It is best to do this in a couple of batches to the polenta has room to crisp. Keep your first batch in the oven to keep warm until you are ready to serve.


When ready to eat serve, the mushroom ragout over a few polenta sticks, and shave fresh parmesan over the plate. So delicious. I want some now!

Potato Leek Soup with Bacon, Cheddar and Scallion

Posted on January 30, 2014 at 11:20 PM Comments comments (0)

This Potato Leek Soup with Bacon, Cheddar and Scallion qualifies as a meal. Super hearty, simple to make and it tastes like a loaded potato wedge. This is a man-food favorite, tested and approved.

Servings: 4

Prep-Time: 15 Minutes

Cook-Time: 20 Minutes

By: Chef Hallie Norvet


1/2 Pound Bacon, Chopped

2 Leeks, White Root End Only, Chopped Thin

2 Russet Potatoes, Peeled and Chopped

2 Cups Water

1/2 Cup Heavy Cream

Salt and Pepper

2 oz. Cheddar Cheese, Grated

2 Scallions, Chopped


Heat a medium stock pot over medium heat and add bacon. Stir bacon with a wooden spoon for about 4 minutes until crispy. Remove bacon bits from pan and dry on a paper towel. Leave bacon fat in pan and heat over medium heat. Add leek and saute until translucent for 2 minutes. Add potato and water to pot, stir and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and allow soup to simme for 10 minutes. Once the potato has become soft, blend with an immersion blender until smooth. Slowly add cream until incorporated and smooth. If soup is too thick, add a bit more water. Season with salt and pepper. Serve hot with cheddar cheese shreds, bacon bits and scallions on top of soup

Peanut Mushroom and Tofu Satay with Stir-fry Vegetables

Posted on January 16, 2014 at 3:10 PM Comments comments (0)

These Peanut Tofu and Mushroom Skewers with Stir-fry Vegetables were inspired by one of my favorite Thai dishes, Chicken Satay. If you're looking for even more flavor, you can grill these instead of searing them. Either way, they will be delicious! Serve over a bowl of white rice, hot noodles or stir-fry vegetables with a side of peanut sauce.

Servings: 3
Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Cook Time: 15 Minutes
By: Chef Hallie Norvet



6 12" Bamboo Skewers, Soaked in Water

4 Portobello Mushrooms, Washed, Cleaned, Stem Removed 

1 Package Extra Firm Tofu, Drained
1 Tablepsoon Sesame Oil

Peanut Sauce:
1 Cup Organic Peanut Butter
1/4 Cup Coconut Milk
1/4 Cup Soy Sauce
2 Teaspoons Sriracha or Sambal Chili Paste
2 Tablespoons Dark Brown Sugar
2 Limes, Juiced

1 Tablespoon Sesame Oil
1 Red Bell Pepper, Julienned
2 Peeled Carrots, Sliced into Coins
1 Cup Broccoli Florets
1/2 Red Onion, Sliced Thin
1 Tablespoon Soy Sauce
1 Bunch Green Onion, Greens Chopped Thin

Chopped Peanuts
Sesame Seeds


Pre-heat oven to broil. Chop portobello mushroom into 1 inch cubes, they don't need to be perfect, just as long as they are all about the same size. Reserve in a bowl and out to side.  Remove tofu from container and place on two paper towels. Place two more paper towels on top of the tofu, and with light pressure, push down to remove any excess water. The tofu will absorb more flavor from the sauce this way. Slice tofu into one inch cubes with a sharp knife and reserve in a bowl. 

Grab your skewers, and alternate one piece of mushroom and one piece of tofu until you have no more mushrooms and tofu. Put your skewers to the side, until your peanut sauce has been made. 

To make the peanut sauce, in a blender, add Peanut Butter, Coconut Milk, Soy Sauce, Sriracha, Dark Brown Sugar and Lime Juice. Blend until mixture is smooth. Put sauce in bowl and put to side.

Heat a large sauté pan over high heat, and add 1 Tablespoon sesame oil. Once pan is hot, add your skewers. Sear on each side until golden brown and season lightly with salt. Turn off stove, remove skewers from pan and onto a foil-lined sheet tray. Take two tablespoons of peanut sauce and drizzle over your skewers. Brush or apply with the back of a spoon until each skewer is coated thoroughly. 

Place sheet tray with skewers on the upper rack of oven, and broil for 3 minutes or so until they show a nice brown carmelization. Use causation not to forget about them, because they will cook quickly! 

Clean the large sauté pan, then return it to the stove. Once again, heat the large pan over high heat, and add 1 Tablespoon sesame oil. Once the pan is hot, add bell pepper, carrots and onion to pan. After one minute, add broccoli. Stir-fry for one more minute. 

Serve Peanut Mushroom and Tofu Skewers over Stir-fry vegetables with side of Peanut Sauce. garnish with chopped scallion and sesame seed.

Dutch-Oven and Crock-Pot Burgundy Braised Shortribs

Posted on January 12, 2014 at 3:25 PM Comments comments (0)

Did you know that January is National Slow-Cooking Month? One of my favorite slow-cooked dishes is these Burgundy Braised Short ribs. I have written out directions for both Dutch-ovens and crock-pot because everyone has their preference. I served these over a risotto Milanese with some of the braising liquid and vegetables. They would also be wonderful over pureed/mashed potatoes, or pasta!

Serves: 3

Prep Time: 30 Minutes

Cook Time: 3-4 Hours

By: Chef Hallie Norvet


2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

9 Medium Beef Shortribs

Salt and Pepper

3 Tablespoons Wondra or Sifted AP Flour

1 Large Yellow Onion, Chopped Small

3 Large Carrots, Peeled and Chopped Small

3 Celery Stalks, Chopped Small

4 Garlic Cloves, Chopped

3 Bay Leaf

1/2 Cup of Chopped Thyme

1 Small Can Organic Tomato Paste

1 Teaspoon Black Pepper

2 Cups Burgundy Wine, (I like to use Port)

4 Cups Beef Stock

2 Tablespoons Butter


2 Tablespoon Chopped Parsley

1 Tablespoon Lemon Zest

1/2 Garlic Clove Chopped Very Fine

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

Note: What is Wondra? Wondra is very fine flour that is used in sauces and soups as a thickening agent.


Dutch-Oven Burgundy Braised ShortRibs:

Pre-heat oven to 325. In a large dutch oven, heat olive oil over high heat. Season shortribs with salt and pepper, and pat dry with paper towels. Sprinkle wondra/flour over shortribs and coat evenly. This process will help thicken the sauce. Sear shortribs in dutch oven until there is a nice browning on both sides. Turn the heat down to medium if caramelizing too quickly. Once shortribs are browned, remove from pan and hold on a sheet tray.

Turn heat to medium on the dutch oven, and add onion, carrot, celery, garlic, bay leaves and thyme. Stir with a wooden spoon, being sure to scrape any browned bits off of the bottom of the pan. Those brown bits = Flavor. Once the vegetables are soft and translucent, add tomato paste and black pepper and stir until incorporated. Cook for 2 minutes to cook-out some of the bitterness from the tomato paste. Turn the heat up to high and add the burgundy wine. Cook wine and vegetables for 2-3 minutes until wine has reduced by half. Add beef stock to pot and stir until all ingredients are incorporated smoothly. Return shortribs to dutch oven and bring to a simmer. Place lid onto pot and place in oven on lower rack for 3-4 hours. Check your shortribs at 3.5 hours or so, they are done when they are fork tender. If they are not done yet, continue to cook in 30 minute increments until tender.

Remove shortribs from pot and place on sheet tray. Return shortribs for oven for 20 minutes to caramelize. You will be left with a large pot of liquid and vegetables. Return the pot with the braising liquid to the stove to reduce. *Please use caution as the pot will be very hot! Try to skim the large layer of fat off the top with a large spoon, do your best, it doesn't have to be perfect. Let cooking liquid reduce for 15 minutes and then add butter to finish. Try tasting your sauce. Does it need more salt? Then add some! Season in "layers." It is better to add too little salt, then add more if needed. If your sauce is too thin for your liking, try blending a bit of the vegetables and liquid. It will create a delicious gravy. Serve over shortribs over risotto, mashed potatoes or pasta then spoon sauce over it all and sprinkle with the gremolata.. Yum!!

Crock-Pot Burgundy Braised Shortribs:

I wish we all had all day to cook but most of us do not. So I have created crock-pot directions for those who want a hot meal to come home to after a long day!

Turn crock pot to high heat. Heat olive oil. Season shortribs with salt and pepper, and pat dry with paper towels. Sprinkle wondra/flour over shortribs and coat evenly. This process will help thicken the sauce. Sear shortribs in crockpot until there is a nice browning on both sides. Then, add onion, carrot, celery, garlic, bay leaf and tomato paste. Stir until incorporated, being sure to keep shortribs on the bottom of the crock-pot. Add black pepper, burgundy wine and beef stock to pot. Turn heat to low and slow cook for 8 hours, or turn heat to high and cook for 4 hours, whichever works best for your schedule. Before serving, taste and seaosn with salt and pepper. Add butter to mixture and stir, it will make the sauce extra velvet-ey. If your sauce is too thin for your liking, try blending a bit of the vegetables and liquid. It will create a delicious gravy. Serve over shortribs over risotto, mashed potatoes or pasta then spoon sauce over it all and sprinkle with the gremolata.. Yum!

For Gremolata:

Mix all ingredients together. Chill in fridge for 30 minutes to meld flavors, and serve over braised shortribs.