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Cooking Diary of Chef Susan Ytterberg!  

Read, try, enjoy!  Cooking is fun and a great way to exercise your creativity and inner artiste


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Chef Susan Ytterberg- Ahi Tuna Poke Bowl

Posted on August 23, 2017 at 4:25 PM Comments comments (0)

Chef Susan Ytterberg

Ahi Tuna Poke Bowl

Once in a while, it's fun to create a feast that is visually appealing, offers unique flavor choices and is also fun and delicious to eat.  What else could that be than a Poke Bowl?  The key to this meal is to source sushi grade Ahi Tuna from a reputable seafood purveyor.  Once you've got that figured out, the rest of the ingredients can be purchased at your grocery store and then the fun begins prepping your ingredients!


Recipe: Serves 4

1 1/4 lbs Ahi Tuna- Sushi Grade

2 tbsp soy sauce

Juice of 1 lime

1 tsp sesame oil

First- clean the fish and pat dry.  Then cut tuna into small, bite-sized squares and put in bowl. Add the soy sauce, lime juice, sesame oil and mix together. Sprinkle some sesame seeds on top for garnish

Toppings for bowl: Chop and slice the toppings and place in bowls on buffet

Chopped Macadamia Nuts

Cubed Avocado pieces

Chopped Green Onions

Lime Wedges

Sesame Seeds

Rice: Cook the Rice and Place in large bowl on buffet

1 Cup Basmati rice  

1 1/2 cups water

1 tbsp butter

1/2 tsp salt

 You're set!

To serve, set up your bowls of ingredients buffet style.  Then give each diner a medium sized bowl and they can add the rice, then top with the Ahi Tuna and top with all the great toppings!

 Serve:For fun, serve sake or a chilled white wine and you're set for a delicious feast.

My Newest Publication! Chef Susan Ytterberg

Posted on July 19, 2017 at 7:15 PM Comments comments (0)


Cooking Class- Pasta Making! Chef Susan Ytterberg

Posted on July 19, 2017 at 6:05 PM Comments comments (0)

Pasta Making- 

What could be more fun?  Basically this is Play Dough for grown-ups but it tastes so much better!  I teach cooking classes regularly and you'll find my class offerings here on my website under, "sample menus".  Class size is for a minimum of 2 people and is held at the client's home kitchen.

Our menu:

Ravioli with Crispy Butter Sage Sauce

RIcotta Gnocchi with Basil Pesto

Pasta dough is pretty simple to make- it can seem complicated but that probably has more to do with using a pasta dough roller. If you have the right tools and 2 people, you can really make this deliciousness happen!  I've made pasta on my own but with experience, one person can manage.

Adults learn best by doing- seeing and then trying themselves and this class is perfect for that.  With a demo at each step, The dough is made from flour, eggs, water & olive oil, salt.  L and S picked up quickly and before you know it, they were rolling beautiful sheets of pasta, yeah!

Pasta Dough Recipe:

2 cups all purpose flour

3 large eggs

1 tsp salt

1 tsp olive oil

1 tsp water

Place ingredients in food processor and run for 1 minute until dough forms a ball.  Wrap in plastic and chill for 30 minutes before you roll. When ready:

1. Form dough into flat disc.  Then cut in to 4 and form 4 flat discs.  Start rolling the dough!

Once L and S rolled out their beautiful pasta sheets, it was time to make the cheese filling, place it with a tablespoon sized scoop on the sheets, cover the bottom layer with the cheese filling with the top sheet of pasta, adhere-press, cut and cook.  The cheese filling is made with ricotta cheese, goat cheese, Parmesan, salt and herbs.  We used fresh thyme leaves!

Ricotta Filling Recipe:

1 cup ricotta cheese

1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

4 oz goat cheese

salt & pepper to taste

Fresh herbs (optional)

1.  Mix the ingredients together and use for pasta filling

Once the filling is placed, and top sheet of pasta is adhered S cut his ravioli into elegant pasta sheets, and L using a pasta cutter form and created ravioli squares and circles with scalloped edges.  Remember it will all the taste the same, but the look will be unique depending on the creative spirit of the pasta maker!

Sauces:

Crispy Butter Sage Sauce is made with salted butter and fresh sage leaves.  The basil pesto is made with fresh basil, EVOO, Parmesan, toasted pine nuts and salt.  

SImmer your ravioli til cooked, make sure not to boil or the cheese filling will seep out of the pressed edges.  Once cooked, toss gently with your chosen sauce, some Parmesan and enjoy.  This home made ravioli is absolutley yum and tastes nothing like the thick, prepackaged raviolis you buy at the supermarket.  SO, on a rainy day, or weekend evening, make the ultimate comfort food and enjoy!


Cooking Class- Bread Making! Chef Susan Ytterberg

Posted on June 2, 2017 at 12:35 AM Comments comments (1)


Bread Making- Cooking Class

Chef Susan Ytterberg

Bread... what's not to like!  I love bread- warm out of the oven, ready to eat.  Ok, if you have a gluten intolerance you can still enjoy this nugget of joy by using rice flour or gluten free flour.  Bread is comfort food and comes in a variety of shapes, sizes, types and colors.  


Today's cooking class was a lot of fun and we were focused on creating 2 herb cheese breads- the first braided and the second a 2 stranded turban.  The first was made with Thyme, Fontina Cheese & Caramelized Onions with a Sesame Seed Crust.  The second was made with Rosemary & Parmesan with a Poppy Seed Crust.  Remember, we eat with our eyes, our mouths and our noses so how the bread looks, feels and smells all adds to your enjoyment of this deliciousness.


When you're making bread, you depend not just on the instructions in the recipe, but your own judgement about the texture of the dough you are handling!  You can adjust texture by adding more liquid or flour and also how long you knead the dough.  One of the biggest mistakes a first timer can make is over working the dough.  If it is kneaded too long the texture of the finished bread will be stiff and lack flakiness.  



Once the dough has risen you can then add the cheese. You will then pull up the edges of the dough and knead until the cheese is folded in the dough!




Chef Susan Ytterberg- Brunch Frittata Easy & Delicious!

Posted on April 24, 2017 at 4:15 PM Comments comments (0)

Chef Susan Ytterberg-Golden Plum Personal Chef Services

I love to have friends over for brunch and this dish creates a delicious, satisfying, aromatic frittata that everyone will love. This is easy to make and you can create variations by using different vegetables and herbs! Think about creating a brunch buffet surrounding this with a cheese platter, roasted chicken apple sausages, a basket of muffins or croissants and to round things out, a beautiful mixed greens salad with sliced apples & pecans with a citrus vinaigrette.


Vegetable Frittata

Preheat oven to 375

Ingredients:

8 large eggs

½ large onion, chopped

2 tomatoes, seeded and diced or steamed Asparagus cut into 1" pieces

1 Yukon potato, steamed and sliced

1 tbsp finely chopped fresh rosemary

Olive oil- 2 tbsp for onions and 3 tbsp for frittata pan

1 tsp salt

¼ tsp pepper


Instructions:

1. Whisk eggs in bowl until completely beaten and frothy, about 1 minute.

2. Steam Potato, then slice into thin strips and add to whisked eggs

3. Chop onions into small dice

4. Cut tomato in half, remove seeds and dice. Set aside to use later as a topping on the frittata.

5. Remove Rosemary needles from branch and finely chop until texture of fine sand.

6. Place oven-safe, non-stick pan on stove over medium heat and add 2 tbsp of olive oil. When heated, added the chopped onions and rosemary. Sauté until very soft, about 3 minutes. Remove pan from heat and allow onions to cool. Then stir into egg mixture.

7. Wipe pan clean, coat entire surface including sides with 3 tbs olive oil. Place on stove over medium heat. Once olive oil is heated pour egg mixture containing the potatoes and onions into the pan and allow to cook for 15 minutes. You will see it set and begin to firm at sides. Now scatter your chopped tomatoes over the top and place the oven-safe pan in oven. Bake for 30 minutes or until firm and cooked through.

8. Remove from oven, and with silicone spatula slide frittata out of pan onto pretty serving platter. Slice into wedges and serve warm or at room temperature.


Spring Greens Salad with Apples & Pecans with Citrus Vinaigrette 

Ingredients:

1 bag clean mixed greens

1 Apple, cored & cubed

½ cup salted pecans 

2 tbsp Orange Juice

1 tbsp Lemon Juice

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

½ tsp Dijon mustard

Pinch of salt and pepper


Instructions:

1. Clean lettuce and place in salad bowl.

2. Clean and core the apple. Cut into slices and cube and sprinkle apples over top of lettuce.

3. Combine orange and lemon juices in small bowl with olive oil, salt, pepper and mustard. Whisk together until creamy and combined.

4. Pour desired amount of dressing over salad and toss. Top with pecans and enjoy!


Chef Susan Ytterberg- Over The Top Dinner Party

Posted on March 31, 2017 at 2:20 PM Comments comments (0)

When I'm planning a dinner party,  I try and think of dishes that are beautiful, high impact, definitely delicious- AND easy to make! I look for ideas from ingredients that are available locally or even better in my own pantry. I found some amazing balsamics which inspired my recipe for the crostini. Give these a try! They are sumptuous and perfect for a special occasion or holiday gathering. The main event which is the filet mignon is simple and delicious, requiring little preparation and winning happy compliments from your guests. Let’s get started!


Caramelized Maple Onion Crostini with Blue Cheese, Thyme and Cherry Balsamic Drizzle


1 Baguette, thinly sliced and toasted or grilled

1 Yellow Onion thinly sliced

2 tbsp Butter

1 tbsp Maple Balsamic

½ cup Blue Cheese Crumble

Thyme- a few sprigs, leaves removed and used for garnish

Cherry Balsamic- Drizzle ½ tsp on top of each crostini


1. Melt butter in sauté pan over medium heat. Add thinly sliced onions and the maple balsamic. Cook stirring occasionally until golden brown and caramelized. This can take 10 to 15 minutes depending upon the heat of your stove. Remove from stove and cool.

2. To assemble crostini, take slice of grilled baguette and top with about 2 tsp blue cheese- more if desired. Then drape a tablespoon of caramelized onions on top of blue cheese. Garnish with a few leaves of thyme and drizzle cherry balsamic on top.

3. Arrange prepared crostini on a small platter and serve.



Filet Mignon with Thyme and Garlic

Serve 4


4 individual filet mignon steaks, about 8 oz each in size. Before you are ready to start cooking, remove from fridge and allow to come to room temperature for about 30 minutes.

4 tsp Olive Oil

1 tbsp pressed garlic

Thyme

Salt and Pepper


1. Turn oven on to broil following your own oven’s instructions related to safety when broiling.

2. While your oven is heating, take each filet and lightly coat with a tsp of olive oil. Then rub a tsp of pressed garlic over the top of each. Then salt and pepper each filet.

3. Place filets on a foil lined baking sheet that has been sprayed with non-stick oil or Pam.

4. Place in oven and broil for 5 minutes. Then after 5 minutes, turn over and broil for 4 to 5 more minutes.

5. If you have a thermometer, insert sideways into beef after 8 or 9 minutes. You can buy one or $3.00 or so. Internal temperature is the best way to ensure your meat is cooked the way you like it. Basically 130 to 135 degrees is rare, 135 to 140 is medium rare. Keep in mind the theory of, “carry over” cooking. This means your meat when removed from the broiler is still very hot and will continue cooking until cooler. So if your thermometer reads 140 in the oven, by the time the meat cools it will have continued cooking outside the oven by another 5 degrees! That would mean you wanted medium rare but are ending up with medium. For example if you want rare, I would take it out of the oven when your thermometer reads 125 to 130 degrees.

6. Serve for small sprig of thyme on top of each filet as a pretty garnish.


Roast Asparagus 

1 large bunch of asparagus (plan for 6 to 8 spears per person)

EVOO to drizzle over asparagus

1 tbsp Herbs de Province

Salt & Pepper to taste


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees

2. Line baking sheet with foil.

3. Trim ends off of asparagus and wash under cold water. Pat dry

4. Place asparagus on baking sheet uniformly with tips all facing the same direction. Drizzle EVOO over asparagus- about 1 to 2 tbsp.

5. Sprinkle the herbs, salt and pepper over the asaparagus.

6. Place in oven and roast for 15 minutes. Check after 15 minutes to see if it is cooked to your satisfaction. If it is too, “al dente”, cook another 5. You can check after 10 minutes if you want to if you like it less cooked.

7. Remove from oven and serve on platter or portion servings onto plates beside the Filet Mignon.


Cannolli

8 Small Cannolli Shells

1/2 cup Mascarpone

1 1/2 cups Ricotta Cheese

1 tbsp Amaretto or Bourbon

1/3 cup Powdered Sugar

1/4 cup chopped, shelled pistachios placed on a plate

1 large zip lock bag with one corner snipped 1/4" in from end


1. Place Ricotta, Mascarpone and Amaretto in bowl. Mix together well until combined. Add alcohol of choice and powdered sugar. Mix until incorporated.

2. Take whipped mixture and spoon into the plastic bag. Squeeze mixture to bottom but do not extrude yet.

3. With each cannolli shell, Squeeze mixture into shell on both sides until completely filled with the cream mixture, flush to the end of the shell.

4. Dip the end of each shell where the cream is at each end so the nuts stick to the cream and create a finished look.

5. Serve with coffee


Chef Susan Ytterberg: Cravings-Crunchy Chicken Tenders

Posted on March 28, 2017 at 11:20 AM Comments comments (0)

Cravings

We all know what it’s like to crave food that is yummy, delicious, crunchy, satisfying. That’s what will happen once you try this menu; you are going to crave this but also know that overall, it’s good for you! Typically, my cravings are on par with wanting to eat a bag of Mint Milano cookies, or a pizza, but then I made this. The chicken fingers are coated with a home-made spice mixture of chili, garlic, brown sugar and salt, then dipped in a silky mustard, egg & yogurt coating and then rolled in a crunchy mixture of panko bread crumbs and sliced almonds. This sounds like a lot of work, but not really! You can easily put this recipe together in a half hour, bake it and then enjoy it! And it’s worth it! Like all my recipes, use them as a guide and if you want, go ahead and substitute your favorite spice mixture, or use different nuts!

Crunchy Chicken Tenders

Maple Sesame Glazed Roasted Carrots

Classic Mashed Potatoes


Chicken Tenders

Serves 4 to 6 

Preheat oven to 400°


2 packs chicken tenders- each contains about 6 per pack

1/3 cup olive oil

2 eggs

1 tbsp Greek yogurt

2 tbsp Dijon mustard

¼ cup brown sugar

1 tbsp ground ancho chili

2 tsp ground garlic

1 tsp salt

2 cups panko bread crumbs

1 cup sliced almonds

8 sprigs thyme


1. Clean chicken tenders, pat dry and set aside.

2. Create your spice mixture by blending together the brown sugar, chili, garlic and salt in a small bowl.

3. Whisk together the oil, eggs, yogurt, mustard and 2 tbsp of your spice mixture in a bowl until smooth and combined.

4. On a large plate, pour half your nuts and panko bread crumbs, 1 tbsp of spice mixture and mix together. You will use the second half of the nuts and panko and another 1 tbsp of spice mixture once the first is used up.

5. Place 6 chicken tenders in your egg mixture, then dip each tender into the nut/bread crumb mixture, pressing the tender into it gently so the crumbs and nuts adhere. Pick up coated tender and place on foil lined baking sheet that has been sprayed with non-stick spray. Continue until all 6 are done. You will most like have used up your nut/bread crumb mixture and the plate will probably be gummy. Rinse the plate, dry, and start again with the remaining nuts and bread crumbs. Repeat same process for remaining 6 chicken tenders.

6. Place baking sheet in oven and bake for 35 minutes or until internal temp of chicken is 165°

7. Remove from heat, sprinkle thyme leaves over cooked chicken tenders. Use spatula to remove from pan and place on serving dish.


Maple Sesame Roasted Carrots

Preheat oven to 400°

8 to 12 carrots- peeled and cut into 2 to 3” pieces

1 tbsp EVOO

2 tsp sesame oil

1 tbsp maple syrup

Salt and pepper


1. Place cut carrots on foil lined baking sheet

2. Pour olive oil, maple syrup and sesame oil over carrots, mix carrots into liquid mixture so coated. Sprinkle and salt and pepper and place in oven.

3. Bake for 30 minutes, remove from oven and serve.


Classic Mashed Potatoes

4 russet potatoes- peeled and cut into 8 pieces each

4 tbsp butter

1/3 cup of half & half

Salt and pepper

 

1. Steam or boil potatoes in pot on stove for 20 to 30 minutes until soft.

2. Place steamed potatoes in bowl, mash and add butter. Mix until butter is melted. Add cream and mix in. Add salt & pepper and mix. Taste and if you want to add additional butter or cream go for it!

3. Serve with the chicken fingers and roasted carrots.


Chef Susan Ytterberg- Fun Food Dining In

Posted on February 17, 2017 at 3:40 PM Comments comments (0)

Fun Food

 

Let’s make some recipes that are fun, easy and delicious! This isn’t formal dining, it’s a fun Saturday night and a creative way to cook. We’re going to start with Vodka Lemonade, while enjoying a flat bread topped with proscuitto and mixed greens that have been tossed with a lemon vinaigrette. For your main course, a crispy sage, butternut orzo mixed with goat cheese, hazelnuts and bacon salt which is ridiculously good. You can finish your meal with chocolate truffles or biscotti with your coffee.

 

Vodka Lemonade

Serves 4

 

6 oz Vodka

2 Cups Lemonade- your favorite brand

1 Lemon- use vegetable peeler to create 4 small strips of the yellow lemon peel for garnish

 

1. Measure out 1.5 oz Vodka per glass. Quanty is up to you if you would like less or more!

2. Pour ½ cup lemonade into the glass

3. Add Ice and stir

4. Top with lemon strip

 

 

Flat Bread with Prosciutto and Arugula

Serves 4

 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

 

2 large squares of lavosh flat bread

Olive oil to brush on lavosh bread

Juice of 1 lemon

2 tbsp olive oil

4 cups arugula or spinach

Prosciutto-8 to 10 slices

Shaved Parmesan to top

 

1. Brush olive oil on lavosh bread and place on bread on baking pan. Put in oven and bake for 3 to 5 minutes to allow bread to crisp a little. Remove from oven.

 

2. While bread is in oven, mix juice of 1 lemon with 2 tbsp of olive oil and ¼ tsp of dijon.

 

3. Toss the greens with the lemon dressing.

 

4. Place prosciutto slices any way you want on each of the flat breads. Place baking pan with breads back in oven for 5 to 8 minutes to finish crisping the bread and to crisp the prosciutto. Remove from oven

 

5. Top flat breads with the dressed greens and sprinkle tops with some shave Parmesan. Place on serving dishes. Use sharp knife to cut pieces and enjoy with your vodka lemonade!

 

 


Orzo with Butternut Squash and Crispy Sage

Preheat oven to 425 degrees

 

Step 1)

3 tbsp butter, browned.

½ lb Orzo- Cook orzo, drain and place in a mixing bowl, toss with browned butter. Set aside.

 

Step 2)

1 bag of butternut squash cubes or 1 whole butternut squash peeled, seeded, and cubed.

20 sage leaves

¼ cup EVOO

Cover a baking pan with foil and place your squash cubes and sage leaves on pan. Pour EVOO over these ingredients, toss to ensure everything is coated with the oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and place in oven. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes until squash is caramelized and sage is crisp. Remove from oven and pour everything from the baking pan into the bowl with the cooked orzo.

 

Step 3)

1 ball of goat cheese, cubed

½ cup hazelnuts, chopped

Add the cubed goat cheese and hazelnuts immediately to the warm bowl of orzo and roast vegetables, toss until well mixed and goat cheese is melting and blending in.

 

Step 4)

Sprinkle bacon salt or truffle salt over top, mix gently and serve. If you don’t have either, use Kosher salt and serve.


 

For dessert I recommend something very simple like truffles or a dark chocolate bar broken into pieces and served with coffee.

 

Chef Susan Ytterberg-Cooking with Whole Grains & Legumes

Posted on February 17, 2017 at 3:30 PM Comments comments (0)

 

 Hearty Farro Entrée Salad with Red Grapes, Green Onions, Celery, Walnuts & Blue Cheese Crumble with Orange Vinaigrette

 White Bean Rosemary Crostini

 

 

When I used to hear the words, “grain” or “legume”, I wanted to run in the other direction. Then I discovered just how delicious these ingredients are to eat, and also how easy it is to turn them into something very special!

Cooking farro is just like cooking rice, you’ll be amazed how easy it is and as an added bonus, farro is a good source of fiber, protein and iron! You can find farro in your supermarket in the same section where you find Quinoa and Rice. The farro salad is hearty, satisfying, tasty and something you’ll want to eat the next day and like just as much. The white bean crostini are a crunchy, savory accompaniment to your farro salad and I don’t think you’ll be able to just have two!

 

Farro Salad:

1 cup farro

2 cups water

½ tsp salt

 

Place the farro, salt and water in a pot and bring water to a boil. Then cover and turn the heat to low and allow to cook for 25 minutes. Check after 15 minutes, give it a stir then continue cooking. After 25 minutes remove lid and see if water is absorbed. If there is a little water in the bottom of the pot, keep the farro on the stove with lid off for a few more minutes to allow water to cook into farro. Remove from heat, stir and set aside.

 

Farro Salad Ingredients:

1 cup red grapes cut in half. Measure after grapes are cut. Add more if you want!

½ cup chopped walnuts

3 green onions, chopped

1-1 ½ stalks celery, finely chopped

½ cup crumbled blue cheese (optional)

½ tsp salt

½ tsp ground pepper

 

Farro Salad Citrus Dressing:

¼ cup orange juice

Juice of half a lemon

1/8 cup extra virgin olive oil

¼ tsp Dijon mustard

1 tbsp agave

Pinch of salt

 

Blend dressing.

 

Put cooked farro into a bowl and add the salad ingredients. Stir together until incorporated. Then pour half of the salad dressing over salad and stir until well mixed. Then add more dressing until you have the right amount preferred on your salad.

(Remember it’s easier to add more dressing if needed, but impossible to subtract!)

 

White Bean Rosemary Crostini:

1 Baguette, sliced and toasted

 

1 can white cannellini beans (Rinsed in water and drained)

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

¾ tsp finely chopped rosemary

¾ tsp salt

½ tsp pepper

 

Start by draining your beans in a colander and running water over them until cleaned of the canning fluid. Then begin by measuring out ¼ cup of beans. Set the ¼ cup of beans aside; you will mix them into the white bean spread at the end.

 

In a food processor, add the remaining bean, and the evoo, rosemary, salt and pepper and process until smooth. Taste and if you are happy with the seasoning and consistency you are done. If you want to add more of any of the above ingredients, or want to add a tbsp. of water to thin it go ahead.

 

Transfer your processed bean mixture to a bowl. Fold in the reserved ¼ cup of whole beans. Spread onto crostini and serve.

 


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