herb-roasted-turkey-breast-03

Ihave been making Ina’s Herb Roasted Turkey Breast for at least ten years. Each and every time I make it I continue to be amazed at how delicious it is. As wonderful as roasting a whole turkey is (not!) there is simply no way to properly cook the legs and thighs without overcooking the breast. Since I really can’t bear to eat dry turkey, I turned to this recipe and never looked back.Over the years, I made two notable tweaks to Ina’s original recipe. The first is that I always double the amount of marinade she calls for. The second is that I always prep the turkey one day in advance so the flavors have time to really infuse the turkey meat.

The combinations of herbs create a really wonderful savory crust that somehow manages to penetrate the entire turkey. It is simply delicious! The hardest part is prepping the herbs you’ll need, which I think we can agree is more time consuming than it is difficult!

Look no further, this is simply the best turkey recipe and the only one you’ll ever need.

Herb Roasted Turkey Breast
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
2 hrs
resting time
15 mins
Total Time
2 hrs 30 mins
 

Savory roast turkey breast is the only turkey recipe you'll ever need. 

Course: entree
Cuisine: American
Ingredients
  • 1 whole bone-in turkey breast 6 1/2 to 7 pounds
  • 2 tablespoon minced garlic 6 cloves
  • 4 teaspoons dry mustard
  • 2 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves
  • 2 tablespoon chopped fresh sage leaves
  • 2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 3 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons good olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 cup dry white wine
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl, combine the garlic, mustard, herbs, salt, pepper, olive oil, and lemon juice to make a paste. Loosen the skin from the meat gently with your fingers and smear half of the paste directly on the meat. Spread the remaining paste evenly on the skin. 

  2. Cover the turkey with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. 

  3. 1 hour before you are ready to cook, take the turkey out to come up closer to room temperature. 

  4. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Place the turkey breast, skin side up, on a rack in a roasting pan. Pour the wine into the bottom of the roasting pan.

  5. Roast the turkey for 1 3/4 to 2 hours, until the skin is golden brown and an instant-read thermometer registers 165 degrees F when inserted into the thickest and meatiest areas of the breast. If the skin is over-browning, cover the breast loosely with aluminum foil. When the turkey is done, cover with foil and allow it to rest at room temperature for 15 minutes. Slice and serve with the pan juices spooned over the turkey.

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Slow Cooked Filet of Beef

This recipe for Slow Roasted Beef Tenderloin is by far, my most favorite special occasion meal to make. It is not only one of the easiest dishes I have ever made, but it is also sure to impress even the most critical of guests. (Hopefully you don’t have too many critics in your life!)

There are no tricks, fancy techniques or equipment needed to execute this recipe. All you need is a great cut of beef, some fresh tarragon and butchers twine. After that, the oven does all the work.

I have invented reasons to host special occasions just so I have an excuse to make this incredible beef tenderloin!

Every special meal deserves a special sauce.

Having made this beef tenderloin countless times, I can tell you that every-single-time, the results are simply beyond impressive.

I have tried many, many sauces to accompany this beef, but I always come back to the Ina Garten’s original recommendation for sauce which is a delicious Basil Parmesan sauce. When I don’t have the time or the ingredients to make this basil mayonnaise, I serve the beef with a delicious horseradish creme sauce or a good steak sauce such as Delmonico’s or Peter Lugers

Slow Roasted Beef Tenderloin
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
1 hr 25 mins
Resting time
15 mins
Total Time
1 hr 35 mins
 

This recipe for slow roasted beef will make you the star of the show! 

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Ingredients
  • 1 whole filet of beef tenderloin trimmed and tied (4 1/2 pounds)
  • 3 tablespoons good olive oil
  • 4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper
  • 15-20 branches fresh tarragon
Basil Parmesan Mayonnaise
  • 2 extra large egg yolks, at room temperature (Organic is best)
  • 3 tbs freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tbs dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves, lightly packed
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt (may require 2 tbsp)
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 cup sunflower oil
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 275 degrees.

  2. Place the filet on a sheet pan and pat it dry (all over) with paper towels. Brush the filet all over with the oil, reserving about half a tablespoon. Sprinkle it all over with the salt and pepper.  Place the tarragon branches around the beef, tying them in 4 or 5 places with kitchen twine to keep them in place, and then brush the tarragon with the reserved oil.

  3. Roast the filet of beef for 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours, until the temperature registers 125 degrees in the center for rare and 135 degrees for medium-rare. Cover the filet with aluminum foil and allow to rest for 20 minutes. Slice thickly and serve warm or at room temperature. 

Basil Parmesan Mayonnaise
  1. In this order, place the basil, lemon juice, Parmesan, mustard, garlic, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper then the egg yolks, in a food processor fitted with the steel blade. 

  2. Process for 20 seconds, until smooth. Combine the sunflower oil and olive oil in a 2-cup liquid measuring cup. With the processor running, slowly pour the oil mixture through the feed tube to make a thick emulsion. 

  3. Taste for seasonings – the mayonnaise is a sauce so it should be highly seasoned. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use; it will keep for up to a week.

Recipe Notes

Because the beef is slow roasted, the recipe can be adjusted to accommodate a small cut of beef without altering the time. Of course, keep an eye on it, but I have produced excellent results using varying size cuts. Simply, adjust your seasonings correctly. 

Recommended side sauces for serving are horseradish cream sauce or Ina’s Basil Parmesan Mayonnaise. 

prosciutto wrapped pork tenderloins

It’s no secret that Ina Garten, or otherwise known as “The Barefoot Contessa” is an inspiration to me. Her cookbooks are full of reliable recipes that “wow.” I found the recipe for Herbed Pork Tenderloins with Apple Chutney in her “Make it Ahead” cookbook, and what was unusual was that it wasn’t featured on Food Network, as almost all her recipes are. So I had no reviews to read, which is usually the first thing I do before committing to making a new recipe. Feeling up for the risk, I decided to go for it right out of the cookbook without a single review in mind.

The end result was that this dish turned out to be, hands down, one of, if not the best, meals I’ve ever made.

I had a small struggle deciding how perfect to try to get the prosciutto around the tenderloins, but eventually I decided that a rustic approach would do just fine. That was the most difficult part of the recipe and that just comes down to technique.After I had the tenderloins prepared, I wrapped them in plastic and tucked them in the fridge. Then I got to work on the Apple Chutney.

The chutney came recommended by Ina to serve with this pork, and unlike the pork, there were reviews for the chutney recipe, and the reviews had me skeptical. But, when Ina says make the chutney with the pork, you make the chutney with the pork. So chutney I made. I did something I rarely do and that is deviate from the recipe. Inspired by the wise words of Alton Brown, “Raisins are always optional.” In this house, we tend to agree. So I omitted the raisins. No regrets. Folks, let me tell you about this chutney.  It-is-very-special. The ginger adds a zing to this salty, sour, sweet, spicy, savory jam. It is, without a doubt, the last chutney recipe I will ever turn to. I will be making this chutney for the rest of my culinary life. That pretty much sums up how I feel about the chutney. The recipe produced 2.5 pint size mason jars from Ina’s recipe. It stores well in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks and also freezes well.

This is a Five Star Recipe that will blow your taste buds away!

The following day I invited a friend over for Sunday dinner to test out the meal as a whole. I took the pork out of the fridge and brought it closer to room temperature and then followed the cooking instructions. I warmed the chutney slightly in a non stick sauce pan, just to take the chill off.

After the pork was cooked and rested, I used a sharp carving knife to slice on a diagonal in 1 inch – 1.5 inch slices. the The pork plates beautifully. My recommended side dish is Roasted Potatoes and/or Roasted Brussel Sprouts.

It was time to dine. We were a table of three and for the next 30 minutes all we could do was eat this dish, and talk about eating this dish. Our friend commented that we couldn’t have had a better dish out at the best restaurants in town. And my husband said it was his new favorite meal, topping his love for Slow Roasted Beef Tenderloin. And I agreed with them both.

Since that first time I have made this meal over half a dozen times and each and every time, it is simply outstanding.

Prosciutto Wrapped Pork Tenderloins with Apple Chutney
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Resting Time
15 mins
Total Time
35 mins
 

This recipe for Prosciutto Wrapped Pork Tenderloins from Ina Garden is a five star recipe that is guaranteed to blow your taste buds away! The salty prosciutto pairs so well with the complex zing of the apply chutney.

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: International
Servings: 4
Ingredients
  • 2 pork tenderloins 2½ to 3 pounds total
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Good olive oil
  • 10 to 12 slices prosciutto
  • Apple Chutney see recipe
Apple Chutney
  • 1 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 2 tablespoons minced or grated fresh ginger
  • 1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice 4 oranges
  • ¾ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup light brown sugar lightly packed
  • 1 teaspoon whole mustard seeds
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • teaspoons kosher salt
  • 6 Granny Smith apples peeled, cored, and ½-inch-diced
  • ¾ cup raisins
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

  2. Place the tenderloins on a sheet pan and pat them dry with paper towels. Combine the rosemary, thyme, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper in a small bowl. Rub the tenderloins all over with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Sprinkle all sides with the herb mixture. If there is a thinner “tail,” fold it underneath so the tenderloin is an even thickness throughout. Wrap the tenderloins completely with a single layer of prosciutto. (I place the prosciutto sideways with the ends wrapping under the tenderloins.) Tie in several places with kitchen string to hold the prosciutto and the “tail” in place.

  3. Roast for 20 to 25 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the middle of the end of the tenderloin reads 140 degrees for medium rare and 145 degrees for medium. Cover the tenderloins tightly with aluminum foil and allow to rest at room temperature for 15 minutes. Slice diagonally in thick slices and serve warm with the Apple Chutney.

Apple Chutney
  1. Combine the onion, ginger, orange juice, vinegar, brown sugar, mustard seeds, red pepper flakes, and salt in a medium-size saucepan. Add the apples, adding them as you chop to keep them from turning brown. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat and simmer for 50 minutes to 1 hour, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid has evaporated. Stir in the raisins and serve warm, at room temperature, or cold.

spiced apple chutney

Chutneys are awesomely delicious. They are sweet, but not sweet like a traditional jam. Chutney has a savory components as well which balance it, makes it more versatile, and much more interesting to taste. Chutney’s texture is also unlike it’s cousin in that it is more chunky than jam, which brings some texture to the palate party.

Enjoyed all around the world, chutney is most commonly associated with Indian and African cuisines, and can be traced as far back to it origin sometime around 500 AD. (So the Google tells me.) It was at that time that the Romans introduced chutneys to European tables, which is actually where I fell in love with chutney. (English countryside. 17 years old. A picnic with my aunt and uncle. Cheddar and Chutney. Game over.)

Where as in India, the Caribeean, Africa and other parts of the world, Chutneys are often served with vegetables, meats and fishes. Europeans do it a little differently, often seen included on a cheese & charcuterie platters. Cheese and Chutney folks- that’s the good life right there.

The Chutney recipe is a fantastic one and extremely easy to make. I found it in Ina Garten’s cookbook to accompany one of the best pork recipes in the world. (yes, you read that right- I said best pork recipe in the world.)

The flavors were absolute perfection. Savory, spicy, sweet. It is amazing how good this chutney is. The recipe below yielded about 2.5 pint size mason jars, which would mean you would likely get about 5-6 jelly jars out of it, making a great food gift for friends and neighbors.

No question, the pork and apple chutney is superb. But what I really like to do with this chutney is serve it with a really great quality English cheddar. Mmmm….it’s just so good.  You will simply be amazed at how the flavors come together and elevate each other. Your taste buds will thank you after this bite.

Spiced Apple Chutney
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 15 mins
 

Sweet, Savory and Spicy! This chutney is perfect to serve with a sharp cheddar cheese or your favorite pork chop recipe.

Course: Side Dish, Snack
Servings: 10
Author: Adapted from Ina Garten
Ingredients
  • 6 Granny Smith apples peeled, cored and half-inch diced
  • 1 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
  • 1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice 2 oranges
  • 3/4 cup good cider vinegar
  • 1 cup light brown sugar lightly packed
  • 1 teaspoon whole dried mustard seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
Instructions
  1. Combine the apples, onion, ginger, orange juice, vinegar, brown sugar, mustard seeds, pepper flakes and salt and in a large saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat to simmer and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, for 50 minutes to 1 hour, until most of the liquid has evaporated.
  2. Set aside to cool and store covered in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Recipe Notes

This recipe makes approximately 2.5 pint size mason jars. 

Ina Garten's French Potato Salad

Fresh herbs are one of my favorite things about summer cooking and this recipe is a great way to showcase my garden’s bounty.  The chopped herbs are tossed with warm potatoes, champagne vinegar and white wine to come together for a fabulous summer side dish.Ina Garten’s French style, no-mayo, potato salad is going to take your average summer barbecue to the next level. It’s a fantastic served as a side dish accompanying crab cakes, a grilled steak or even simple hamburgers.

The herbs can take some time to prep, but it’s worth it to serve up what everyone is sure to tell you, is the best potato salad they have ever had. After making this homemade potato salad, you never serve the stuff from the deli counter ever again! This recipe is best if served within a few hours of making, warm or at room temperature, however, this dish holds up pretty well for about 24 hours if you need to make it in advance.  After that, the herbs start to brown and breakdown. If refrigerated, take out about an hour before serving to take the chill off.

Potato Salad with Herbs & Vinaigrette
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
1 hr
 

Ina Garten's French Potato Salad is full of fresh herbs and vinagar and the perfect dish to elevate your next backyard barbecue!

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American, French
Keyword: potato, side dish, vegetarian
Author: Ina Garten
Ingredients
  • 1 pound small white boiling potatoes
  • 1 pound small red boiling potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons good dry white wine
  • 2 tablespoons chicken stock
  • 3 tablespoons Champagne vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 10 tablespoons good olive oil
  • 1/4 cup minced scallions white and green parts
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh dill
  • 2 tablespoons minced flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tablespoons julienned fresh basil leaves
Instructions
  1. Drop the white and red potatoes into a large pot of boiling salted water and cook for 20 to 30 minutes, until they are just cooked through. Drain in a colander and place a towel over the potatoes to allow them to steam for 10 more minutes. As soon as you can handle them, cut in 1/2 (quarters if the potatoes are larger) and place in a medium bowl. Toss gently with the wine and chicken stock. Allow the liquids to soak into the warm potatoes before proceeding.
  2. Combine the vinegar, mustard, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and slowly whisk in the olive oil to make an emulsion. Add the vinaigrette to the potatoes. Add the scallions, dill, parsley, basil, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and toss. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Roasted Parmesan Broccoli

Broccoli is the king of the vegetable kingdom. Well, at the vest least, the king of my vegetable drawer.  It’s my favorite vegetable and simply roasted, it is my go-to side dish most days of the week.  I know I’m not alone in this and I think that is probably why none of us think about broccoli as anything special and certainly not the side dish you think to include when planning a special occasion dinner. But THIS Parmesan Roasted Broccoli recipe from Ina Garten is life changing!This dish, however, is another story. It’s not just good enough for a special occasion dinner, it may actually compete for the best thing on the plate. I have more people comment on this side dish than any other always saying the same thing, “This is the best broccoli I have ever had. What did you do to it?” Well, the answer is simple- I followed the recipe!

This is my absolute favorite broccoli recipe and  just trust me, it will be yours too!It’s lemony, salty and decadently rustic.The trick to this dish is about preparing the ingredients ahead of time because it gets assembled quickly at the end of its roasting time.Prep ALL the ingredients and set aside before beginning to roast your broccoli. Then right as it comes out of the oven and you are preparing to serve, find a sous chef to assist you. Have them toss the broccoli in a large mixing bowl while you add in the prepared and measured ingredients. This will ensure even distribution of flavors and ingredients. Otherwise, you’ll have pockets of too much lemon, or too much salt, etc., so it’s important to be prepared with an extra set of hands!

Parmesan Roasted Broccoli
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
25 mins
Total Time
45 mins
 
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: International
Keyword: broccoli, side dish, vegetarian
Servings: 6
Author: Ina Garten
Ingredients
  • 4 to 5 pounds broccoli
  • 4 garlic cloves peeled and thinly sliced
  • Good olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons pine nuts or slivered almonds toasted
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons julienned fresh basil leaves about 12 leaves
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

  2. Cut the broccoli florets from the thick stalks, leaving an inch or two of stalk attached to the florets, discarding the rest of the stalks. Cut the larger pieces through the base of the head with a small knife, pulling the florets apart. You should have about 8 cups of florets. Place the broccoli florets on a sheet pan large enough to hold them in a single layer. Toss the garlic on the broccoli and drizzle with 5 tablespoons olive oil. Sprinkle with the salt and pepper. Roast for 20 to 25 minutes, until crisp-tender and the tips of some of the florets are browned.

  3. Meanwhile prepare all the remaining ingredients, measured out and set aside ready to toss in quickly when the broccoli comes out of the oven. (You'll need to move quickly!)

  4. Remove the broccoli from the oven and immediately toss with 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, the lemon zest, lemon juice, pine nuts, Parmesan, and basil. Serve hot.

Oyster Rockefeller

These oysters are as ‘Rich as Rockefeller!’

A few years back we were up in Newport, RI for a wedding. We had a great time and knew we would be back. We stayed in this great B&B- The Marshall Slocum Inn, which we had little expectations for and never expected to enjoy it as much as we did. It’s very serene and peaceful at the Inn- there is something really special about this inn and we were happy we found a room here.

Ok – so what does all this have to do with Oysters? Nothing. I just wanted to give you some background.

Oysters Rockefeller Ingredients
Select a Nutty cheese that melts well like parmesan or a really good gruyere.

We bounced around town enjoying the Newport night life and a local had recommended we head over to Benjamins for a late night bite. So off we went. And there it began….our obsession with oysters rockefeller.

They were so good. They were so good that we ordered them twice that night and before our Saturday afternoon departure, went back and order two more orders- we just couldn’t leave town without having them again! 

Well ever since then we have been trying oysters Rockefeller everywhere we go and always left wondering why there is no consistency between restaurants for this seemingly classic recipe? So we started to do some research and it turns out there is a long history, and a bit of a mystery, surrounding the creation of the original oysters rockefeller recipe. 

The jist of it:

In 1840 Antoine Alciatore opened the doors to “Antoines” – a French Creole restaurant in New Orleans. Antoine’s was a thriving restaurant that specialized in amongst other things, escargot. After Antoine’s death, his son Jules Alciatore took over as head chef and the restaurant continued to thrive.

On a late night in 1899, a hungry unnamed person ordered Antoine’s Escargot, but the Escargot had been 86’d. (That means they ran out.) Not discouraged but certainly disappointed, he asked the chef to create him something from the kitchen. It was late, and only scraps of vegetables lay around the kitchen. Inspired by the butter and herb mixture used to make the escargot, the chef combined these scraps with Oysters and baked them.  Upon tasting the dish the hungry man exclaimed, “Why this is as rich as Rockefeller!” Thus, the legend of oysters rockefeller was born.

Jules Alciatore went to his grave with the original recipe that was born that night. However, Antoine’s restaurant is still turning out the same dish to this very day in New Orleans. They keep their recipe a secret and it seems that no one will ever know how close todays version is to the one created that night back in 1899.

With this story as our inspiration, we got to thinking. What ingredients were available in New Orleans in 1899? What would have been in the kitchen? Antoine’s was almost 60 years old when they invented Oyster Rockefeller- 60 years! This means they had established dishes, recipes, clientele, and chefs. That would have played a part in the creation. There are numerous reports of it being a bright green color, which if you have ever seen escargot before it is cooked, you know this is common with this dish as well. Was that all it was- the recipe for escargot applied to oysters? Or was there more to it? We think a little bit of both. The escargot sauce elevated with likely less garlic and the addition of new herbs and greens to compliment the briny taste and delicate texture of the oyster. You must keep in mind- Oysters were a main source of food in America dating back to the first settlers. Oysters were plentiful all over the United States, and even were shipped on trains before beef was shipped. The point here is that the chef at Antoines knew how to cook Oysters. He was a talented chef who knew how to handle oysters and how to cook traditional french snails. He most likely simply adapted the classic escargot recipe that Antoine’s had been severing for 60 years and there you have it.

Oyster Rockefeller
Inspired by oyster rockefeller, we call these delicious gems “Oysters rock-a-brett!”

Only one thing left to do.. try it ourselves. We tested a few different approaches including with cream and without, with cheese and without, with spinach and without. Here is what we discovered in our test kitchen that night- they were all really good!

Oysters Rockefeller Ingredients
Simple, good quality, fresh ingredients are all it takes to make this rich and impressive oyster dish

I mean, lets face it- we were roasting oysters with garlic and butter and topping them with amazing cheese. The results proved that all combinations were fabulous and there really is no wrong way to make these. 

With the realization that no oyster baked with butter, herbs and cheese in any combination was ever going to disappoint, we ditched all the recipes out there and Oysters Rockabrett was born!

Feaster’s Tip:

When selecting oysters to roast or grill, tell your fish monger you are looking for oysters with a belly shape, not flat ones. This will provide a plumper cooked oyster and also keep them protected in the shell while roasting and prevent them from drying out.

The Recipe

Roasted Oysters
Prep Time
35 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
45 mins
 

These baked oysters are succulent and rich and oh so delicious! 

Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Seafood
Keyword: oysters
Ingredients
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley (and/or any combination of basil, tarragon or chives)
  • 1/8 cup minced celery with leaves (optional, but recommend!)
  • 2 tablespoons finely minced shallots
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon finely minced garlic
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 3 ounces gruyere cheese (or similar nutty cheese)
  • Sprinkle of breadcrumbs- optional
  • 12-24 fresh oysters (in the shell)
Instructions
  1. If you have a oyster roasting pan now is the time to use that! If you don’t, prepare a baking sheet with a roasting grate to support the oysters, or make a bed of dried rice or rock salt to nestle the oysters into on the sheet pan to keep them supported so they do not spill their liquor or the butter sauce you will add.

  2. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. 

  3. Open the oysters with an oyster knife. (if you don’t know how to safely do this, don’t make this recipe!)  

  4. Meanwhile, melt together the butter, herbs, shallots, lemon zest, garlic and a dash of salt and pepper. (Feel free to add a dash of white wine) Be careful not to burn the butter sauce but cook it enough to cook down the shallots and garlic. 

  5. Once all oysters are in place on your roasting tray, add a heaping teaspoon of the melted butter mixture on top of each oyster. Top with about a teaspoon of shredded cheese followed by a pinch of breadcrumbs, if using. 

  6. Roast the oysters until the the oysters are just cooked through and the cheese is melted and turning golden brown. (About 8 to 10 minutes) Serve immediately.

Recipe Notes

If your cheese is not browning or you really want a nice dark brown color, Put the oysters on broil for the last 2 minutes.  

Potato Skin Bites

Game day food needs to be easy to make, easy to eat, and above all else, DELICIOUS! So look no further because the Potato Skin Party Bites from Feast & Merriment are everything you need all rolled into one recipe.

These one bite potato skins are guaranteed to turn your guest’s eyes away from the TV and straight onto you! But you better be ready because they’ll be looking at you asking for seconds and thirds. Consider it a Local Taste promise that this will happen!

The best part of this recipe is that you can make it ahead of time and just throw it all together 10 minutes before half time and it will be GAME ON!

Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken

Holy cow folks. Local Taste has done the homework for you and found you THE BEST game day recipe you’ll ever need! It is actually unbelievable that this recipe only requires two ingredients. Thats right- I said TWO! Chicken breasts and hot sauce. Okay, you need water too, but hopefully you have a running faucet and I don’t need to include that as an ingredient.

Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken is really simple to make. Literally, anyone can do it so you have no excuse not to serve up some home-cooking at your Super Bowl party this weekend. (I’m talking to all you lazy bones out there.)

All you need to do is add boneless chicken breasts to a slow cooker, combine equal parts water and hot sauce (NOT Tabasco or Sriracha) and pour over the chicken until just covered. Turn your crockpot on low for about 6 hours until chicken falls apart easily with a fork. Drain, shred, top with extra hot sauce if desired and serve!

This recipe hails from the Feast & Merriment culinary blog. They recommend setting up a ‘make your own’ Buffalo chicken slider bar with slider rolls, lettuce and blue cheese dressing. Guests will absolutely love this and it gives you, the host, one less thing to do at your own party!

Happy Crockpot Cooking!

Crab Dip

This is, without a doubt, the single most requested recipe I get asked to make by friends and family.

Having tried many crab dip recipes over the years, I can tell you that this is the ultimate Spicy Crab Dip. The recipe is adapted from Emeril Lagasse’s original Hot Jalapeño Crab Dip recipe, to whom I am eternally grateful for creating this easy and delicious dip. I have altered the quantity of some of Emeril’s ingredients, and the directions, to arrive at what I think is crab perfection.  It turns me into a star cook every time.

Ok, lets get down to it.  Selecting your crab.

You want a good crab dip? Use good crab. It’s just that simple.

I know this is not always possible for those of you who don’t have access to a good fish shop, but fortunately for me, we have several around these parts- which means fresh crab is the only acceptable option for me. And for that reason alone, I remain a coastal citizen.

Alright, fresh crab- check.

Now, what kind of crab to use? Claw, backfin, lump, jumbo lump. The options are overwhelming! Actually, no they are not.

Let me repeat a little something I said earlier… You want a good crab dip? Use good crab. It’s just that simple.

And so, jumbo lump is the way to go. Nothing makes a feaster more happy than getting a big ole’ meaty lump of fresh crab and only jumbo lump will do that. When jumbo isn’t an option, lump does the job fantastically, and what Emeril calls for in his original recipe, but avoid claw and backfin meat for this recipe. They do have their place in other recipes, but not this one.

Next, picking a hot sauce. When the recipe calls for hot sauce, use hot sauce- not Tabasco sauce, not Sriracha sauce. Got it? They are not the same thing! Tabasco nor Sriracha should ever be used as a substitute for hot sauce and vise versa in a recipe. They have different flavor profiles and their measurements do not equal each other. For example, a tablespoon of hot sauce is not equal to a tablespoon of Tabasco sauce in a recipe. So in order to achieve the desired result for this gem of a recipe, be sure to use a hot sauce like Frank’s Red Hot Sauce or Chilula Original Hot Sauce. 

The rest of the ingredients are pretty straight forward and don’t require much introduction- mayonnaise, garlic, jalapeño jack cheese, pickled jalapeños and parmesan cheese. So there you have it- everything you need to make this amazing crab dip.

But… hold up a second. A dip is only as good as whatever you dip it with. The ‘dip’ and the ‘dipper’ need to be in perfect culinary harmony. So, no crackers, no chips, no vegetables here. This recipe needs homemade toast points.

The toasts used to take me a while to baste each one with just the right amount of olive oil and it was, simply put, a pain in the ass. I’ve since figured out a trick that makes these toasts super easy and quick to make, while also cutting out a few calories. Instead of basting the toasts in olive oil, I simply use a good olive oil spray. It works out brilliantly and I no longer have an excuse not to make them.

Time to get your dip on!

Ultimate Spicy Crab Dip
Ingredients
  • 1 lb Jumbo lump or lump crabmeat, picked over for shells and cartilage
  • 1 tsp chopped garlic
  • 1/3 lb Monterey Jack cheese with jalapenos, grated
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp Hot Sauce, such as Franks
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup Mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup diced jarred jalapeños (up to half a cup depending on taste)
  • 2 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated
Crouton Points
  • 1 French baguette- sliced into 1/4 inch thick slices
  • salt & fresh ground pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F

  2. Combine the garlic, jalapenos, Monterey Jack, Worcestershire, hot sauce, salt, and mayonnaise in a medium-size mixing bowl. Gently mix in the crab.

  3. Spoon the mixture into a 9x9 or other medium-size, shallow baking dish. Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese evenly on the top.

  4. Bake until golden brown and bubbly, about 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and let sit for about 5 minutes. Serving with the croutons

Crouton Points
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

  2. Arrange the bread slices on the baking sheet and spray them with olive oil spray and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Flip and repeat.

  3. Bake until the croutons are lightly browned, about 6 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool completely before serving.

potato skin bites

Game day food needs to be easy to make, easy to eat, and above all else, DELICIOUS! So look no further because theses Party Approved Potato Skins are everything you need rolled into one recipe.

These one bite potato skins are guaranteed to turn your guest’s eyes away from the TV and straight onto you! But you better be ready because they’ll be looking at you asking for seconds and thirds.

Traditional potato skins are typically hollowed out halves of whole potatoes, loaded with cheese, bacon and served with sour cream. They require a fork and knife to eat and a deep fryer to make. It’s a boat load of work in the average home kitchen. Whereas this recipe serves up all the deliciousness that comes with traditional potato skins, but delivers it in an easy to eat, easy to make, crowd pleasing, single bite! Whomp- there it is!

How to Make Potato Skin Bites

Slice the potatoes in 1/8″ inch rounds, brush on olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, flip, repeat, bake, transfer skins to an oven proof serving platter, top with cheese and bacon, pop back in oven until cheese melts and garnish with scallions and ranch dressing. Serve.

You could get seriously creative with the toppings on these potato bites, but I like to keep it simple.

When it comes to what kind of potatoes to use, I tested out a few different types of potatoes for this recipe and the clear winner was the red skinned potato. It had a much better flavor and consistency than its friends the Russet and The Yukon Gold. Note: When selecting your red potatoes, try to pick ones of similar size. This will help out with plating.

The testing didn’t stop there. I also tested out a few cheeses. I crowned Colby Jack the winner due to flavor profile, the melting quality, and the presentation of blended white and orange color. You can use any good melting cheese you wish, but make sure to grate your own. Pre-shredded cheeses contain unnecessary additives which prevent them from melting well and you want your cheese to melt into ewy-gooey deliciousness.

And if you can believe it- there is something that makes this recipe even better! You can make it in advance!  Simply bake the potatoes as directed, let cool and store until ready for use. They will remain good for at least one day. Prepare all remaining ingredients and store until ready for use. When you are ready to serve, simply assemble, bake and serve. This makes this recipe the ultimate party recipe!

Feasters Tip

You can scale this recipe up or down in quantity based on your needs. The process is the same.  For reference, a sheet pan can hold about 5 red potatoes which feeds about 3-4 people as an appetizer.

Baked Potato Skin Bites
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
40 mins
 

The ultimate game day recipe! 

Course: Appetizer
Ingredients
  • red skinned new potatoes
  • olive oil, salt, pepper
  • Colby jack or other good melting cheese
  • fresh bacon bits
  • scallions
  • ranch dressing
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

  2. Slice red skinned potatoes in 1/8″ rounds 

  3. Brush on Olive oil, sprinkle with salt & pepper. Flip and repeat. Bake for about 25 minutes. Flip and bake for about another 15 until cooked through and browned nicely. 

  4. Transfer to an oven proof serving dish (optional) Top with a good melting cheese such as colby jack and fresh bacon bits. Bake until cheese melts. 

  5. Top with scallions and ranch dressing. Serve hot. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

You can scale this recipe up or down in quantity based on your needs. The process is the same.  For reference, a sheet pan can hold about 5 red potatoes which feeds about 3-4 people as an appetizer.

Tuna Stuffed Pepperdews

The definition of Tapas loosely translates to “small Spanish savory dishes, typically served with drinks at a bar.” My definition is more like “little bites of deliciousness inspired by the Mediterranean.’

Tapas are fantastic and the true essence of Feast and Merriment. They bring people together to share in bites of savory and salty over cocktails. This recipe for tuna stuffed peppadews is ridiculously easy and takes only 3 ingredients! Those 3 ingredients produce a bite that is equal parts sweet, spicy, salty and savory. The pepper dews are both sweet and spicy and they work tremendously well to balance the brininess of the tuna and tartness of the marinara sauce. I challenge you to find another recipe that packs as much flavor with so few ingredients.

I like to serve these with Manchego cheese, olives, and Macrona almonds. Perfect for movie night!

Tuna Stuffed Peppers
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
20 mins
 
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Ingredients
  • 12 peppadew peppers in brine
  • 1 jar of high quality tuna fish
  • 1 cup your favorite marinara sauce
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

  2. Stuff each pepper with tuna fish and arrange on an oven proof dish so that peppers are snug enough to stand up. (Tip cut a tiny piece off the bottom of the pepper if it is having trouble standing to give it a flat surface) 

  3. Top peppers with marinara sauce and bake for about 7-10 minutes or until heated through. 

  4. Serve hot.