BF Cookbook

Aug 13, 2002
Recipe posted, thanks JG! :thumbup:
35 mouth watering recipes on there folks, feel free to share some more of your personal favorites.

Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith

ilmarinen - MODERATOR
Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider
Aug 20, 2004
Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler

Today is Fat Tuesday...AKA Mardi Gras .... so I though you chaps might like my Gumbo Recipe and cooking tips. It makes about a dozen hearty servings. My wife was born in New Orleans and raised in Gulf Port, so Gumbo has to be right in our house. It took a long time to convince her a Yankee could actually cook edible gumbo

What you need to have on hand:
A 10-12 quart pot, preferably a heavy bottom one. A large Dutch oven is best, but a heavy aluminum/stainless stock pot works well. Slotted spoon, a wire whisk, sharp knives, a big ladle, a good size cutting board, lots of room, a stack of disposable soup bowls ( for cooking), an uninterrupted morning/afternoon in the kitchen, a half-bottle of good wine or two Guinness.
Extras that don't hurt to have on hand- 5-6 good Friends in the living room, a nice oak fire in the fireplace, snow outside.

As you slice/dice/chop the ingredients, place them in the plastic soup bowls for easy adding at the right time. When cooking a complicated meal or recipe, I put all my prepped items in bowls and disposable cups, including the measured spices and such. Arrange those in the order of addition/use. It makes it nearly impossible to leave out an ingredient or add one at the wrong time. Toss the bowls and cups when done to eliminate a lot of dish washing.

Prep safety - Cut all vegetables first, then the chicken, ...then wash the board, knives, and hands.

Gumbo is a classic New Orleans/Cajun soup. It has no exact recipe, as the ingredients are mainly based on what you like and what you have.
The name "Gumbo" is from the African word for okra. Many recipes use okra, but it is left out of most nowadays. If you like okra, by all means add it. It will make the gumbo thicker. It won't be slimy by the time the soup is done.The best way to prepare the okra is to slice it into 1/2" rounds and lightly brown it in some bacon fat. Set aside until the roux is done.
"File' gumbo" is when you use file' powder in the final stage. File' is powdered dried sassafras leaves, and adds a wonderful earthy flavor ( it smells somewhat like tea). NEVER, boil the soup after adding the file'. Some people ( my wife) like to have it on the table and sprinkle it across the soup just before eating it. This is a good way to allow each person to decide how much file' they want. A small bowl filled with the file' and a salt spoon is a nice way to do that.

The meats:
Gumbo is classically a seafood dish. That said, any meat ( even ducks, geese, and venison) could be used. My taste is a blend of fat producing meats and seafood:
1 pound peeled and deveined shrimp ( tails off)
1 pound crab meat ( claw meat is best, IMHO, but any crab meat will be fine)
1 pint oysters - drained ( or more if you like)
[other choices are scallops, clams, firm fish, crawfish tails, lobster, snails, etc.]
1 pound Andouille sausage ( or use regular pork sausage, like Italian sausage. If you like the "kick" use hot Italian Sausage, if not, use the mild.)
1 pound smoked beef sausage ( beef brats, beef kielbasa, little smokies, etc.)
1 pound chicken breast cubed

The Base:
The base is a rich stock of the Cajun "trinity" - Onion, celery, green bell pepper.
The ingredients for the base are:
5-6 quarts chicken stock ( I use one or two quarts of the "Cajun" stock and the rest regular chicken stock. It adds flavor and just a tad of "kick")
1 large onion, minced
1 large green bell pepper, minced
3-4 stalks of celery, thinly sliced or minced
1 clove garlic finely minced ( optional)
1 pound sliced and browned okra ( optional)

The roux
The roux is what thickens and flavors a soup/sauce. The longer you cook the roux, the darker and more earthy it gets. Gumbo requires a dark roux.
A roux is just fat and flour - One cup oil/fat and one cup regular flour ( I like good olive oil, but regular vegi oil, butter, duck fat, or lard will work) If you like your gumbo a bit thicker, use 1&1/2 cups each. If you have a favorite roux making method ( oven roux, or skillet roux) you are familiar with, use it. The one given below is almost fool-proof, though.

The "others things"
1 bunch green onion sliced thin
2-3 tsp. thyme ( or 2 tsp. of your favorite "herb blend")
2-4 bay leaves
salt and pepper to taste. ( I rarely add any of these. It is best to let the people add these seasonings at the table)
Cooked Rice. Rice is not a necessity, but makes the gumbo go farther. Judy and I eat the gumbo as is most of the time. For a fancy gumbo diner, use a mix of wild and white rice.
Hot pepper sauce, if that is your thing. But frankly, a good gumbo needs nothing "spicy" added. It would just cover the delicate and wonderful flavors you spent an hour or so developing. I suggest you serve hot sauce on the table, not cooked in the gumbo. Try the gumbo before shaking hot sauce in it.

Getting started:
1) Clear the kitchen of guests and anything else in the way. Pour a glass of wine or open a Guinness. Hit the privy/loo/head/john/bath/etc. - because the next hour you will be standing at the stove.

2) Put the pot on the stove, and brown the pork sausage. Remove the pork, and brown the beef sausage. Remove the beef and brown the chicken. Remove the chicken. Slice the sausages into 1/2" pieces. Place all the browned meats in disposable soup bowls and set aside.

3) Add the oil for the roux to the fat and "brown bits" in the pan. Heat over medium heat until it is fairly hot. It should "shimmer", but not smoke. Add the flour gradually while stirring with the whisk. Keep whisking and cook the roux for about 15 minutes. It is imperative that you stir the roux continuously, or it will burn. If that happens, clean the pot and start over with fresh oil/flour. By now, it should be a medium brown ( well past tan, which is called a "blond" roux). This medium brown color is a "brown" roux ( often called a chocolate roux). If it is darkening too fast, turn down the heat. You can cook a roux too fast, but not too slow. Some chefs consider a roux that takes less than an hour "rushed" (I find that a bit excessive, but their point is well understood). Add the onion and continue stirring. Cook the roux and onion about 5 minutes more until it is dark brown. Add the celery and green pepper (and garlic if used). Cook until softened, about 5-7 minutes more. By now the roux will be very dark and have cooked nearly 1/2 hour. If it isn't dark enough, continue to cook ( adjust the heat a bit higher if needed). At this point you have made a "dark" roux.

4) Add 5 quarts of the broth ( hold one for later if needed). Stir the broth in slowly and continuously to mix the roux and broth, bring to a boil. Once the stock is well mixed and boiling, add the cooked meats ( and okra if used). Bring back to a boil and reduce to simmer for 45 minutes to an hour. Check and give a stir every so often. It should thicken a good bit during cooking ( more if you added okra). You don't want it like gravy, but it should be thicker than the stock was by a good bit. If it starts to get too thick, add some of the reserved broth.

Pour a second glass of wine or open the other Guinness and go join your guests while the gumbo simmers.

5) Once the broth/meat is cooked and thickened, add the spring onions and the seafood. Cook until the oysters "frill" and the shrimp "pinks". DON'T over cook! 5 minutes is all you should need. ( if using fish, it may be wise to sear the fish and cube it first. Some pre-cook their shrimp, but I don't. Overcooked shrimp is like cardboard. Properly cooked shrimp should be barely white - just past transparent, and have a slight pink blush on the edges.)

6) If you add the file' in the pot, turn off the heat and wait a minute, then stir in about 2Tbs. file'. Again, this can be done at the table in the bowl just as well.

7) Ladle a good serving into a wide soup bowl, making sure you get some of all the meats and seafood in the bowl. If serving rice, place a well packed scoop of rice in the center of the bowl. Sprinkle the rice with some garnish, like chives, if you want a fancy look. The rice is "drawn" by the spoon into the soup as you eat it. Done right, you get the last of the rice with the last of the soup. Of course, you can be a sacrilegious troglodyte, and just stir all the rice in your bowl of gumbo :)

8) Serve to the guests with buttered French bread and hearty ales or robust wines. Serve "seconds" and "thirds" as needed

Bon Appétit!
Jan 27, 2008
That is spot-on Stacy.
Its great to see someone who understands how to use file'.:thumbup::D


Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith

ilmarinen - MODERATOR
Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider
Aug 20, 2004
Belated photos of gumbo under construction and completed.

Working the chocolate roux
adding the meats
Simmering the broth
Finished dish after adding the seafood


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Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith

ilmarinen - MODERATOR
Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider
Aug 20, 2004
While I am updating some recipes, here is my July dinner recipe and cooking notes. This was an upscale dinner for four with all the stops pulled out ( choir/organist reference).
The lobster was flown in from Maine, and the food was all prepared fresh that day. Cost was about $100 per person, but was better than you would get for $800 ( total) at any five star restaurant. I was very pleased with this were the guests and Judy.

Photos -
Everything ready and prepped
Table ready
Asparagus in pan
Lobsters on grill
Happy guests

Menu and notes:

Menu – Friends & Lobster Fest - July 25, 2015

Sparkling White Wine – Saint Hilaire, Limoux France
Stuffed Mushrooms
Salad –
Assorted greens and herbs with heirloom tomatoes, cucumber slices,
apples, almonds, asiago/fontina/parmesan cheese, and sun dried tomato
vinaigrette dressing
Chardonnay – Woodbridge 2013 ( surprisingly good for a table wine)
Entre – Colossal Grilled Maine Lobster Tails ( 24 oz each) with Jalapeno Butter Baste and
drawn butter. ( Flown in from Maine yesterday.)
Sides - Serrano Ham Wrapped Asparagus with Parmesan and Asiago Cheese
Loaded Double Baked Potatoes

Wines- Gewurztraminer – Napa Valley 2013

Desert –Gelato with Fresh fruit
Fino Sherry – Don Fino - Spain
Single malt Scotch Whiskey – Balvenie 14 Caribbean cask
After Dinner Cigars – Virgin Island Rum – St. Johns, Virgin Islands


Lobster – Parboil for 4 minutes, split shells in half. Pull meat free from the shell , leaving attached at the tail, and place back in the shell. Baste with butter sauce inside and out. Grill hot - Flesh side 3 minutes, shell side 3 minutes. (I often remove the meat from the shells and grill without the shell. This only takes about 3-4 minutes on a hot grill and assures even and fast cooking.)
Baste often with chili butter. Remove when just barely opaque and white.
DO NOT OVERCOOK. Show to guests (even better is to have them watch you cook them while sipping a nice chardonnay), and remove from shells before serving. Plate with drawn butter and side dishes.

Chile butter basting sauce
1.5 cups lemon juice ( fresh squeezed is best)
½ cup butter
1-2 tsp lemon zest
2-3 finely chopped chilies (jalapeno or other varieties to your spice palate)
Sea salt and ground black pepper
1-2 tsp. honey
Preparation – simmer chilies in lemon juice over high heat until reduced by ½ to ¾ volume, add honey, melted butter, and zest. Stir until smooth, and. Season to taste. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
Baste lobster before, during, and after cooking. Don’t fear this being a “fiery hot sauce”, the reducing period cooks almost all of the heat from the chilies. If desired, add any basting sauce remainder to drawn butter and serve as a zesty table dip for the lobster.

Stuffed Mushrooms
16-20 mushrooms – medium size with good caps.
Wash, stem, dry. Chop stems finely ( add chopped caps from any unused mushrooms), and place in skillet over medium heat with 2Tbs butter, 1/4 cup cheddar or other cheese, 3Tbs. minced green onion and/or chives, 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce, 1tsp. Yoshida’s cooking sauce, 1/3 cup bread crumbs,2 tsp minced garlic, Salt, pepper, cayenne to taste. You can also add 1/4tsp. white or black truffle oil to the mix. Stir continuously to mix and heat through for 2 minutes. Add a little water or white wine if needed to make consistency right. Stuff caps and refrigerate until ready to bake and serve. Bake at 350F for 15 minutes or until brown. Serve immediately. Can be garnished with paprika, chives, cilantro, Yoshinda’s, etc.

Prosciutto wrapped asparagus
16 medium or 20 small spears, trimmed and washed. Season as desired. Wrap bundles of 4/5 spears with prosciutto. Simmer over a few tablespoons each of lemon juice and white wine (or champagne) for 5 minutes. Raise heat to high to remove liquid and sear a bit. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and coarse ground pepper. They should be soft but not limp.
Can be garnished with a squeeze of lime and finely slivered almonds. If you like the look, dress on the plate with a swirl or squiggle of balsamic reduction.

Loaded baked Potatoes
The trick here is how to turn the most mundane of starches into a fine dining experience. The two ways are an explosion of flavors and presentation.
4 large baking potatoes, washed and dried. In a small bowl, mix 2-3Tbs. olive oil and 1/2tsp. white truffle oil. Oil the potatoes well and place on a baking sheet. Poke holes in top and bake at 325F for 60 minutes. Truffle oil is good here, as it adds an earthy smell and taste to the skins.
Remove when just slightly soft and golden brown. Split and carefully remove potato meat, reserving the skins intact as possible. Mix potato pulp in bowl with - ¼ stick butter; 1 tsp each - salt, garlic, and finely chopped bacon and/or ham; cheese ( ¼ cup each - mozzarella and cheddar or your choice), and 1-2Tbs. sour cream . Place skins in small casserole ramekins and stuff with the filling to make it bulge. The skins should just stick out along the sides a bit. Re-bake for 20 -30 minutes at 325F. Top with chives, green onion, black olives slices, sour cream, bacon bits, and shredded parmesan and asiago cheese. The individual ramekins add a flair of class to the humble potato And the mixture of flavors take it up several notches above steak house dining.
Summer Salad
Make a bed of mixed greens with a slightly bitter taste. Basil, arugula, spinach, micro-greens, baby lettuce, etc.
Layer on thin apple slices ( green tart varieties), heirloom cherry tomato halves, very thin cucumber slices, mozzarella, and thin sliced almonds. Top with a few gratings of parmesan/asiago/Romano cheese and sun dried tomato vinaigrette or balsamic vinaigrette.

Do the shopping the day before, and prep the dishes on the morning of the dinner. Everything will sit nicely in the refrigerator until dinner time. Parboil the lobster, split it, and refrigerate, too. Clean the kitchen and wash the prep dishes, and the place is ready for the final event. Remember that preparing the meal should be as enjoyable as serving it, so don’t rush or make it arduous.
Take a shower, dress for the day, set the table, and relax for a few hours.
Pre-heat the oven to 350F about an hour before company will arrive. Take the mushrooms and potatoes out of the fridge. Place asparagus in a wide pan with the lemon juice and wine/champagne.
Pop the mushrooms in the oven 20-30 minutes before serving time and make the salads up. Re-set the oven to 325F and put in potatoes when the guests arrive. Serve the aperitif and appetizers and seat your guests for dinner when the time is right. Remember the little things like lighting the candles, etc.

The rest of the cooking should roll along with the evening, as nothing takes long to finish. Don’t rush courses, as time for the guests to chat and sip their wine while you prepare, plate, and serve the next course is just as important to the quality of the evening as the quality of the lobster is to the meal. After a pleasant meal, give some time for discussion of pleasant things and time for the meal to settle before serving desert. Desert on the deck or patio if the weather and climate allow is a great way to end the evening. In the winter, desert and drinks by the fireplace works just as well.

Cooking notes and gastronomy
Lobster is a seafood, so it is moist and has a slight saltiness. It is also very sweet. It is a powerful muscle, so overcooking will make it tough. Cook only until it is opaque and has just turned white. If it needs a minute more on the grill or under the broiler when you cut into it, no problem. If it is overdone, dry, and tough as a two dollar steak….big problem. Done right it is sweet, tender, and moist. One reason I often cook the meat from larger tails without the shell is to assure even and fast cooking. This also allows sticking the meat in the basting sauce pan and setting on the grill dripping with sauce.

Grilling and broiling are the preferred method to get the most flavor from lobster. Grill hot and fast. On all but the smaller tails, it is best to parboil it for 3-4 minutes before grilling/broiling. This assures even cooking and a shorter time on the grill. For an 8-10 ounce tail. Boil for 3 minutes, drain and dry, grill for 3 minutes on the flesh side (get a few good grill marks on the flesh if possible), then grill for 3 minutes on the shell side. Watch the meat color and clarity, and pull off when it has just lost its translucency. Let sit for a minute or two on the platter, then cut a slot down one tail and check the center. If it is white all the way through, put it on the dinner plates. If it is a bit translucent gray, toss it back on the grill for one more minute.

Since it is a seafood, salt is OK to use, but use it in moderation. Salt’s main purpose in gastronomy is to open the taste buds to the flavor of the food (AKA – flavor enhancer). Lobster doesn’t need to be enhanced, butter does the job just fine . Fresh ground coarse black pepper will do more to accent the sweetness of lobster than extra salt.

Butter is the fat that makes lobster taste wonderful. Many say lobster is just an excuse to eat lots of seasoned butter. Just plain melted, or clarified, …. with garlic or herbs, .… butter tastes great with fresh off the grill lobster. Season the butter if you wish with garlic, chilies, herbs, chives, or black pepper. Use unsalted butter, see above note.

Lobster naturally contains iodine. This what gives it “the taste of the sea”, and the reason you NEVER serve red wine with lobster (or any seafood, for that matter). The tannins in the wine react with the iodine and make a bitter taste. It is rumored to make your tongue blacker, too. A mild to slightly tart, medium dry chardonnay is perfect for lobster. Gewürztraminer is an excellent pairing for lobster, and my go-to choice. A real bonus is that it is a very affordable white wine. Pinot Grigio also pairs well. For the aperitif, champagne is the only choice…as if there was any more reason to share a glass of champagne with your guests. Again, choice beats price when shopping. Saint Hilaire is a sparkling white wine from Limoux. ( it is only champagne when it comes from the Champagne district). St. Hilaire is great with lobster, and lower price than Moet.
For the digestif, a medium dry sherry, like an amontillado or fino, is excellent. These sherrys are good for aperitifs, too.
I recently discovered Balvenie 14 Caribbean cask single malt scotch. Served in wide glasses with Virgin Island Rum cigars (only available in one shop on St. Thomas/St. Johns),….sitting on the deck on a lovely night was a great end to a great meal.


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Jan 16, 2013
Some great sounding recipes, Stacy!

I only Only cocktail recipes handy at the moment, bunches I need to transcribe - but maybe I'll add them later.

Since we're moving forward toward the Holidays already -

"Granny's Egg Nog"

1 doz eggs - separated
1 1/4 cups sugar (for the yolks)
3/4 cups sugar (for the whites)

6 cups milk
2 cups half&half
2 cups heavy whipping cream
2 cups bourbon
3 cups rum (roughly a full 750ml bottle)


In separate bowls:
Beat sugar with egg yolks (should be custard/creamy).
Beat sugar with egg whites (should be foamy, but not to even soft peaks, still pours)
Fold whites into yolk mixture.

Pour into a big pot
Mix half&half and milk with the egg mixture
add rum and bourbon to the mixture
stir well

In a separate bowl, whip the 2 cups of heavy cream, then fold into the egg mixture.

Ladle into festive cups, and optionally, grate a little fresh nutmeg onto the foam before drinking.
Enjoy! Keeps for a week on a cold back porch, or fridge.

Ultimate whiskey sour - (makes two)

1 egg white
2 oz simple syrup
.5 oz fresh lime juice
1.5 oz fresh lemon juice
4 oz Rye whiskey (if Bourbon, reduce simple syrup to balance sweetness)
4-5 cubes ice (6oz)
martini glasses
angostura bitters

Put egg white in a cocktail shaker, and vigorously shake 10-20 times to lightly foam it.
throw ice in shaker
pour in syrup, juices, and whiskey
shake firmly to combine well, and chill.

Strain into martini glasses, let settle for a minute, and put a few drops of bitters on top of the foam. Serve.
Last edited:

Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith

ilmarinen - MODERATOR
Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider
Aug 20, 2004
Another new recipe I created for an Oktoberfest gathering. It really isn't all that German, but who doesn't like BBQ and wurst?

Peach-Apple-Mango BBQ sauce and sausages

This is a basic recipe for a superb and different BBQ sauce. The fruits could be changed with many others. Peaches and apples should be primary, and mango, pineapple, pears, kiwi, etc. can be added or experimented with. In this recipe I used ripe peaches, apples, and peach-mango canned juice. The other ingredients are also flexible. Any bulb type can be added to the onion/garlic/shallot sauté. Consider fennel or celery root as an experiment.

The amount of spices is a matter of taste. The quantities given make a robust and flavorful sauce. Less will make the fruit stand out more, and more will make the sauce zippier. I use a rub mix from my friend’s BBQ shop, but any commercial dry rub, or just some BBQ spices can be used. The herb mix is whatever I have in my “Herbs de Provence” jar. It is just a dried mix of rosemary, thyme, sage, marjoram, and others from the garden.

The Ingredients:
3 apples and 3 peaches, unpeeled, cored/pitted, and sliced thin (1 cup diced mango and/or pineapple can also be added).
2-3 cups canned peach-mango juice (comes in 8oz cans). Peach nectar will work as well. If nothing peach flavor is available, use apple juice.
½ cup sweet onion, minced
1 to 2 large shallots, minced (use more if small)
1 to 2 cloves garlic, minced
2 to 3 dried chipotle peppers, crushed
¼ cup each – lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, brown mustard, honey
½ cup each – brown sugar, ketchup, Bourbon or Peach Brandy
1Tbsp each – Worcestershire sauce, dry rub spices
1 to 2 Tsp. each – cinnamon, mixed herbs
Other items that can be added – 1 diced red pepper, ¼ cup molasses, ¼ cup orange juice, etc.
Feel free to vary the ingredients and their amounts to your taste. What will happen is more fruits will add sweetness and flavor and more spices and acids will add kick and tanginess.

Cooking the sauce:
Melt 2 Tbsp. butter in large pot and sauté’ the onion/shallot/garlic until soft. Add all other sauce ingredients except the fruit and bourbon/brandy. Simmer for 10-20 minutes and add the fruit. Simmer for half an hour, stirring occasionally. It should get thicker and reduce slightly. Adjust thickness/thinness as needed with more brown sugar or peach juice. Cook longer for a thicker BBQ sauce.
I cook to get a “Victoria’s Secret Model sauce – not too thick, not too thin, a bit spicy, with a hint of sweetness.
Cool until warm enough to put a finger in and puree in the food processor or blender to a smooth consistency. Add the bourbon/brandy at the end of pureeing. Cover and set aside. Sauce can be made ahead and kept in a container in the refrigerator for up to a month.
Now, for the meats:
I used three pounds of kielbasa and three pounds of Andouille. Any sausage, bratwurst, or even hot dogs can be used. Chicken, pork tenderloin/chops/ribs, even grilled pineapple or veggies. The meats should be either cooked almost done, or fully cooked (as in the kielbasa and Andouille I used). If grilling/roasting meats, cook until about three quarters done, cut into pieces, place in a baking pan and pour over the sauce. Stir to coat well and then bake at 350° in the oven for 30 minutes or until done. I prefer to pre-cut the meats into chunks or slices when coking and finish in the oven with the sauce. This assures even cooking, easy plating, and full penetration of the sauce flavors. Smaller amounts of meats can be used for a smaller group. This recipe feeds 15-20.

OK, let’s get cooking!
Cut the kielbasa and Andouille into 1” pieces. Place in a roasting pan, cover with foil, and put in a 350° oven for 15 minutes. If there is any great quantity of juices or fat in the roaster, drain some off. You can also grill the sausages and then cut into pieces. Add the sauce and stir well.
The amount of sauce is up to you and your guests’ taste. I like the meat swimming in sauce. Some folks only like a light coating. The finished dish will be a bit saucier when done due to the cooking juices from the meats. Unused sauce can be refrigerated for later use.
Place the roasting pan back in the 350° oven and cover with a loose foil tent. Cook for 20-30 minutes more, stirring occasionally.
This recipe makes enough for a good crowd - 15 to 20 servings. I use a large foil baking pan to bake and serve the dish, and that cuts clean up time down. The half size foil pans are good for serving, as it allows two pans on the serving line, and easier storage of leftovers … which you aren’t likely to have!

Finishing off a great party
Grilling peaches for desert is simple, and a really great end to a perfect casual dinner. Halve and pit the peaches. This can be done in advance. After pitting, dip the cut face in lemon juice or sprinkle with “fruit fresh” and store in the refrigerator. Oil peaches lightly with vegetable oil and grill on a hot grill. Turn frequently until brown and cooked through. Try and get a good grill mark across the cut face by setting down on that face first while the grill is hottest. Put in bowls and drizzle with honey, a little Bourbon ( just enough for taste), and sprinkle with cinnamon. Place a scoop of vanilla ice cream on it and serve.
Bon appétit!

Stacy Elliott Apelt, FSA Scot October 2015

Greenberg Woods

Wood Fanatic and Rosewood Addict
Dealer / Materials Provider
Dec 27, 2013
The Creamiest ice cream you will ever have

2 cups milk
3 cups heavy cream
2 cups sugar
1 cup coconut cream "if you use coconut milk let it settle out and scoop the cream that settles to the top off"

to flavor it, you can use
2 cups of Dutch processed coco + 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 vanilla pods or 3 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 shots of espresso or 5 spoonfuls of instant espresso powder
1 cup of tea leaves "green or black"
1 cup of mint leaves, bruised and mixed with warm ice cream mix then strained out

Combine the ingredients thoroughly then transfer to a fridge to cool down over night. Next you are going to need dry ice. Some people use an ice cream machine but i use dry ice. For the dry ice, you will need 2-3 pounds of it.

Get a clean towel you dont care about and fold it around a block of dry ice, now with medium force and a hammer crush the ice into a powder making sure to break up any clumps. transfer the powder to a large bowl.

Pour the ice cream mix into the largest metal bowl you can find and using an assistant, have one person slowly spoon in dry ice while the other person mixes the batter. It will bubble up and may spill, but the extreme cold means ice crystals are very tiny and much like knives, the finer the grain the better the product. Once it becomes to hard to easily stir, transfer to the freezer to allow some of the dry ice to sublimate out, about 15 minutes. Then enjoy your fizzy ice cream!


Gold Member
Mar 13, 2006
Roast Chicken

This one is simple, most ingredients are probably available in your kitchen. There is very little prep or clean up.

One whole chicken 1500 grams or 2 and a half pounds
Add a cup of water to the casserole dish and place in the chicken

In a cup mix together ingredients:
One clove garlic well minced
One level teaspoon of seasoning salt
One level teaspoon of poultry seasoning

Mix ingredients with slightly less than1/4 cup of water into a sauce
Pour evenly over the chicken coating it

Place chicken into preheated oven at 375F and bake for about 1 1/2 hours or until done.

Turn off oven and let chicken stand for another 20 minutes and serve.

Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith

ilmarinen - MODERATOR
Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider
Aug 20, 2004
Here is the basic recipe for my "Gourmet Chicken Salad"

The basic recipe can be varied to meet the ingredients you have on hand.

A batch costs less that $10 to make, and will feed 10 people.

Gourmet Chicken Salad

(I get all the ingredients at Costco)

Remove the meat from a Rotisserie Chicken and coarse chop.

Place chicken in a large mixing bowl and add the following items. The amounts as well as other ingredients can be varied.

¼ cup chopped black olives

½ cup fresh salsa (the kind that is just chopped tomatoes and veggies)

¼ to ½ cup chopped cucumber (I like the English type)

¼ cup chopped marinated artichoke hearts

1 or 2 oz chopped sundried tomatoes

¼ cup capers

¼ cup mayonnaise

¼ cup Ken’s Steakhouse Italian dressing

1 oz lime juice

1 Tsp to 1 Tbsp. dill

¼ cup fresh chopped cilantro ( if you have it on hand)

Several leaves fresh basil slivered and chopped.

1 to 2 Tbsp. herb blend (The 21 herb mix from Costco, “Kirkland Organic No-salt Spice Seasoning” goes in almost everything I cook).

Lemon pepper to taste

Mix well and chill for four or more hours before serving. Add more lime, and Italian dressing as needed for taste and texture. I like it a tad on the wet side when first mixed, as it will be drier a few hours later.

Almost any other veggie can be added. Fennel root and fennel tops is really great. Avocado, cilantro, quinoa, celery, chopped red and green peppers, jalapenos, jicama, etc..

Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith

ilmarinen - MODERATOR
Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider
Aug 20, 2004
Some recipes I made up this weekend to serve some friends who came over.

Crab Imperial Casserole ala Stacy

The ingredients can be changed to suit what is in the pantry and to fit personal taste. The basic recipe is easy to make. It can be used with lobster, shrimp, fish, mushrooms, veggies, etc.

Start with the roux:

5 Tbsp. butter

3 Tbsp. all-purpose flour

2 cups heavy cream

Melt the butter in a 2-3 quart saucepan over medium-high heat.

Whisk in the flour, and continue to whisk/stir for 2-3 minutes to make a white roux. If you like an earthier roux, you can continue to cook to a blond roux – about 5 minutes. Adjust heat as needed - don’t let it burn!

When the roux is done, add the cream and stir until it is well blended. Stir regularly until it comes to a boil, reduce heat and cook at a simmer for 10 minutes.

When the white sauce is thickened add:

½ cup panko crumbs ( I like the Italian seasoned panko, but plain is fine)

½ cup red bell pepper, finely chopped (or ¼ cup pickled peppers and ¼ cup red bell)

1 or 2 cloves garlic, smashed and minced

2-3 shallots – sliced thin

¼ cup red onion – thin sliced or minced

1/4 cup fresh cilantro (or parsley)

¼ cup fennel – finely sliced (optional)

1 to 2 Tbsp. sherry or cognac

1.5 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

1 Tbsp. lemon juice

1 Tbsp. lime juice

1 tsp. paprika

1 tsp. dry mustard

1/2 Tsp. white truffle oil

½ tsp. tarragon (optional)

Ground black pepper to taste (I give it a good covering), salt to taste (usually about ¼ tsp.)

Optional – jalapeno sauce, Tabasco, cayenne, finely minced hot peppers. Just enough to give it a little kick … not enough to make it hot.)

Add - 1 pound lump crab meat (or any other seafood or veggie)

Fold gently together to avoid breaking up the lumps of crab. Taste the dish and add more sherry or Cognac if needed, and adjust any other flavors as you wish.

Pour into well buttered casserole dish, ramekins, etc.

In a medium bowl mix:

4 Tbsp. melted butter

½ cup panko crumbs

1 Tbsp. sherry or Cognac

Cover the tops of the casseroles with the crumb mixture (make up more if needed)

Bake at 400F for about 20 minutes until browned and bubbling in the middle.

Let sit for a few minutes before serving because it will be HOT!

Drizzle a little cognac over the top of the casserole just before serving.

Serve with toast for a one dish dinner

Gourmet Guacamole Recipe

Use ripe avocados that are soft, but not mushy. All the rest can be changed to fit your taste and imagination.

The key ingredients are:

Two ripe avocados – mashed to a medium pulp (no big lumps, but not pulverized)

½ Tsp. salt (Kosher, fresh ground sea salt, Himalayan, Morton’s, whatever type you use)

1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice

Drizzle of olive oil.

Mix these with a fork in a medium bowl, leaving it slightly lumpy (like oat meal)

Add the good stuff:

2 Tbsp. total of shallots, red onion, green onion, leeks ( I use shallots and red onion)

1 clove garlic – minced and mashed to a paste

1-2 Tbsp. chopped chilies – serrano, poblano, jalapeno, Hungarian, etc. Your heat taste will decide this. It is best to add a bit, taste, and add more if you want.

1 Tbsp. sun dried tomatoes – sliced thin and chopped

2-3 Tbsp. fresh cilantro

½ cup chopped heirloom cherry tomatoes (or any type tomatoes you like. Seed larger tomatoes first.)

Fresh ground black pepper to taste. Adjust other ingredients as needed.

Mix the ingredients well. Add more lime juice to taste and to get the desired consistency.

Cover with plastic, pushing the film down on the surface of the guacamole to keep the color bright.

Refrigerate 2 hours or more.

Top with grated radishes, jicama, or dust the top with a smoky paprika.


Guacamole is avocados, lime, …. and whatever you want to add.

You can cut the hard work out and add a cup of commercial salsa to the avocado base mix.

Mango salsa is also great to use.

It is great made with fruit (a regular dish in Mexico). Add chopped or crushed pineapple, strawberries, mango, or peaches. These fruits pair well with a little heat, so don’’t fear adding some chilies to the dish.

Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith

ilmarinen - MODERATOR
Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider
Aug 20, 2004
The other evening I went to the fridge to see what I wanted to fix for dinner. Nothing jumped at me, so I decided to create a dish from what was there. This dish came out so tasty I wrote up the recipe. It is simple to cook, and can be changed in ingredients to many different flavors. I would consider this a gourmet dish.: Enjoy!

Cheesy Beef and Vegetables – makes two big portions or three regular ones

10-12oz ground beef (more or less to fit desired portion sizes and fat content)

One medium fennel bulb – Bottom cut off, halved and sliced across thin (Save tops and stalks for another dinner)

One small to medium onion (red or yellow) - halved and sliced thin

¼ cup to ½ cup red/yellow bell peppers (optional) – lengthwise sliced into ¼” strips

Herbs bundle (thyme, rosemary, sage, etc.) – tied

2-4 oz. sharp cheddar cheese ( I like it cheesy, but 2 oz. will be fine. Sharpness to taste.)

1 Tbs. coarse ground Dijon mustard (more if you like it spicier) - Inglehoffer is my preferred brand.

1 to 2 cloves garlic – smashed/minced (optional, but it gives more aroma and flavor)

½-1 cup cream or milk (Use ½ cup to make roux and add more as needed when cooking)

1Tbs. butter or olive oil (1tsp. for roux, the remainder for the skillet)

flour to make roux – about a Tbs.

Add salt, pepper, commercial herb blend, etc. to taste as you cook.
This is a good way to be creative. Jerk seasoning will give it an island flavor. Or try seasoning blends like Italian, Thai, Indian, Chinese, etc. Adjust/eliminate herb bundle to match these if you go the creative route.


In a large non-stick skillet, put 2tsp. olive oil or butter.

Heat to medium hot and add onions - Sauté for 2-3 minutes

Add garlic and fennel - Sauté for 4-6 minutes until slightly soft

If using peppers, add after 2 minutes of the sauté on the fennel

While the veggies cook, make the roux – put 1 tsp. butter or oil in a small pan/pot and heat slowly. Stir in 1 Tbs. flour and mix well with a whisk or spoon while heating. When smooth and just starting to bubble a bit (don’t burn it), add ½ cup milk slowly, whisking continuously. Turn off heat ad leave on stovetop.

When the veggies are softened, add the milk/roux and the herb bundle. Stir constantly until bubbling …. About 1 minute. Add the grated cheese and continue to stir as it melts into the milk/veggie mixture. Add more milk as needed to get the desired creamy texture ( add a little flour if gets too thin). Turn to lowest heat and cover.

In a medium pan add a small amount of oil and brown the beef for 2-3 minutes until all red is gone. Drain excess fat and add to cheesy mixture. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring well.

Remove herb bundle.

Serve in bowls with a garnish of fresh herbs or thin sliced green onion.

Ideas -
1 or 2 tsp. Paprika will make this a Hungarian type dish.
Chili powder will make it Tex-Mex.
Served over rice and it will feed four people.
You can add 6oz cooked macaroni/pasta (or more) for a gourmet beefy-mac-n-cheese or chili-mac. If using pasta, add while still very al-dente and cook after the pan for 2 min.
Last edited:

Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith

ilmarinen - MODERATOR
Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider
Aug 20, 2004
OK, here is my latest dish. My friends say it may be the best dish I have created. The best part is it does not take long to make. Cooking time is barely over twenty minutes. Prep can be done in the morning. I did the meats and prepared the garlic bread before the guests came. I cooked the dish while the guests were chatting over wine after the ante-pasto salad course.

Fettuccini Apelt

This dish is a rich and filling meal. It needs no side dish. A simple anti-pasta salad is a nice start. Full bodied red wines pair well. Simple and light deserts finish it.

It is cooked with a minimum of pots and utensils, and serves four hungry people. It would make six smaller servings. Cut this recipe in half … or even a third … for a nice candlelight dinner with your sweetie.


Fettuccine – Two 8-9 oz. bags of the good dried type. Fresh is fine if you can get it. You need about 70% more if buying fresh pasta. The Garlic and Herb dried varieties in the paper bags are very good.

3 Cheese blend – about 3-4 ounces of any good mix, Asiago, Parmesan, Romano, Fontina, etc. Most stores carry it in a bag of thin flakes.

Mascarpone cheese – About 2-4 ounces mascarpone. Roughly, one quarter to half a container. You can use plain old cream cheese if you don’t have mascarpone (mascarpone is found in the cheese case with all the import cheeses and sausages).

Feta cheese – about 1-2 ounces good feta. Get the solid block type packed in its liquid. It tastes and keeps far better than the crumbled stuff in a bag/box. Cut/break/crumble the cheese into small cubes and set aside.

Canned tomatoes – about 20 ounces whole pealed canned tomatoes. You can use the crushed type, but I prefer to crush them with my hand in the prep stages. They seem to taste better.

Prosciutto – 4-6 ounces of prosciutto. Remove from the spacer papers and stack. Roll the stack on the long side and slice into sections about ¼” wide. Toss in a bowl. They will unravel into individual 2" strips in the cooking.

Bacon – Not a requirement, but four strips of thick Applewood bacon (center curt) make it even heartier. Stack and slice the bacon into thin pieces ¼” wide.

Cream – one cup heavy cream or half-and half.

Shallots – two shallots, cut in half and sliced thin.

Bell Peppers - About half a cup to one cup of sliced mixed red/yellow bell peppers (green would be OK, too). Other types of mild peppers would be fine. I often toss in a tablespoon or two of thinly sliced chipotle pepper.

Garlic – The heart of any Italian dish is the garlic. The fresher, the better. Three or four good size peeled cloves (not whole heads!) sliced into thin slices. More if you like garlic. Garlic cooks fast and will burn easily, so treat it right and it will reward you. Keep the heat at medium and stir frequently. DON’T walk away to do some other task while sautéing the garlic. Finely minced garlic will overcook very fast, so thin slices or rough chopped are better. Another way to use garlic is with a garlic press. Put the cloves in the press one or two at a time and squeeze into the dish when you are almost done with any sautéing. Pressed garlic needs very little sautéing.

Mushrooms – About 8-12 ounces. A blend of mushrooms is a good way to increase the flavor palate of a dish. I use medium size brown cremini for the bulk (AKA - Baby Bella’s), and a mix of oyster, shitake, cloud, and whatever is in the store that looks fresh. However, a box of fresh plain small white creminis will do just fine. Rinse well, trim the stem end off, and slice into ¼” thick pieces. Chop up the Japanese mushrooms in a medium rough chop. Mushrooms are mostly water and what looks like a huge amount quickly cook down to a much smaller amount. They absorb the other flavors well, so add them towards the end of any sautéing steps.

Spinach – One bag of baby spinach - 6 to 10 ounces. Like the mushrooms, it looks like a lot, but reduces to a very small amount. If tiny, leave it as–is. If medium size, rough chop.

Other good stuff – Capers, sliced black olives, sliced green olives, sundried tomatoes, pickled peppers, etc. A teaspoon to a tablespoon of any or all of these adds a lot. I often add a whole ounce of capers. All these items can add to the saltiness of the dish, which is why salt should not be added until close to being ready to serve … if needed at all.

SpicesGround black pepper, salt (I grind it, but plain old Morton’s is just as good for cooking). Any good herb blend. I particularly like the 21 herb blend from Costco. They call it Organic, No-Salt Seasoning. It goes in most everything I cook. Add spices as needed, don’t add too much early on, as the flavors can bloom with cooking. Jar type spices are OK, and most folks have Oregano, Thyme, or a prepared Italian Blend in the cupboard. The difference with fresh herbs is enormous though. A small clam-shell pack of thyme will last a month and just a few sprigs will flavor a whole dish. Just strip the tiny leaves off the stems and use the leaves. Fresh oregano is also highly recommended. Quantities vary with taste, but I use the leaves from about eight sprigs of thyme and about 1/4 a pack of oregano leaves for this dish. I add things like a small amount of Garam Masala, chili powder, red pepper flakes (I used ½ tsp.), Parsley/cilantro, fresh rosemary, etc.

Basil is also a mainstay of Italian cooking. Add basil after sautéing and long simmering, as the flavor is destroyed by long cooking. I add it when the tomato sauce is close to dome cooking down. Two or three whole leaves (chopped up small) or a teaspoon or two of dried basil is about right.


I use the rest of the prosciutto I bought to wrap around some mozzarella sticks. I cut these into 3” long pieces and put three pieces on the salad top. I made a simple ante-pasta salad of romaine, heirloom cherry tomatoes, a few slices of red bell pepper, black and Kalamata olives, and a mascarpone stuffed red cherry pepper in the center. I dressed it with a basic balsamic, olive oil, and herbs vinaigrette.

For desert, I put scoops of three flavors of sorbetto (very fruit rich Italian sorbet) into stemmed desert glasses (Judy’s Grandmother’s crystal), and placed some fresh raspberries on top. I set the glass on a desert plate, and put two cannolis on the plate next to it (finger size pastry tubes filled with sweetened ricotta cheese and chocolate chips). I then drizzled balsamic reduction over the sorbet and cannolis, leaving a little puddle on the plate to run the cannoli through as you eat it with your fingers. If you haven’t tasted balsamic reduction, it is a treat … like sweet and tart molasses. I use a Tuscany wine that was excellent. It is called Pallastro Primitiva. A good Zinfandel, Chianti, or Cabernet would also do well. Serve the dish in big Italian pasta bowls. I made up Italian garlic bread and heated it in the oven while the dish was prepared.

To be continued in the next posts

Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith

ilmarinen - MODERATOR
Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider
Aug 20, 2004
Cooking the dish:

I used a large wok to do the cooking. A large skillet would work, too (preferably non-stick). A stock pot will do for the pasta. Besides a cutting board, and bowls to put the prepped ingredients in, there were no other pot and pans used. I used my favorite santoku to prepare the whole dish.

Start the pasta water – Fill the pot with three or four quarts of water. Add a teaspoon of salt. Set on the back burner of the stove and bring to a boil on high, then reduce to a simmer. One major mistake in cooking a pasta (or rice) dinner is not getting the pot of water boiling 30 minutes before you start the cooking. I start the water while I prep the veggies. It can sit at simmer for an hour with no harm, but will make you crazy standing there waiting to drop the pasta if you don’t start early enough.

Start with the meats – Over medium heat, in the wok/pan put a squirt of olive oil (the best way to use oil in cooking is put the oil in a squirt bottle), then add the bacon. Stir and cook a bit until separated and the fat is starting to melt out. Add the prosciutto and stir until it gets separated and the whole mix is browning a bit. DON’T overcook. Drain the fat and set the almost cooked meats aside in a bowl (put a couple paper towels in the bowl first). The bacon should not be crispy.

Start the pasta – Bring the pot back up to a full boil and drop the fettuccini in. When it returns to a boil, start timing the pot. Reduce heat to keep it at a low boil. Cook about 2 minutes less than the directions call for, and drain while still fairly al dente (it will finish in the sauce). Al dente means that if you bight it, it is still a little undercooked. Rinse with cold water and return the pasta to the pot. Place on the stove on low and add a tablespoon of softened butter/margarine. Mix it all well to coat the pasta as the butter melts, and set aside until needed in a few minutes. When draining, save a cup of the pasta water for the sauce later on.

Start the veggies – While the pasta cooks, start sautéing the veggies. Either leave a bit of the bacon fat in the wok/pan or squirt in some olive oil. Use medium to medium high heat. Add the shallots and stir for 1 minute, add the garlic and stir for 1 minute. Add the mushrooms and peppers and cook until just starting to wilt … 2 to 4 minutes. Add the spinach and stir everything together well. Simmer together until the mushrooms and spinach are wilted fully … about 2-3 minutes.