Category Archives: Local Life

Holiday Appetizers To Wow Your Guests

We’re feeling jolly at this month’s Local Life. The holidays are practically here, the temperatures are crisp, the Mayor’s Christmas Tree was lit tonight in Downtown Overland Park, and we’re starting to plan menus for entertaining.  In that spirit, Chef prepared some of our favorite appetizers. Try these at your next gathering – your guests will love them!

Chocolate HummusChocolate Hummus

  • 2 cans chickpeas, drained
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup chocolate chips, high quality such as 60%

Combine the chickpeas, maple syrup, brown sugar, cocoa powder, and vanilla and blend in a food processor to desired consistency.  Add the chocolate chips toward the end of the processing.  Serve with sliced apples or cinnamon-sugar pita crisps.  Makes 2½ cups

Blue Cheese, Bacon & Onion Savory Cheesecake

savory cheesecakeCrust

  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 2 tablespoons butter, unsalted, melted

Filling

  • 2 pounds cream cheese, room temperature
  • 4 large eggs
  • ½ cup cream
  • ½ cup bacon, cooked, crumbled
  • 2 tablespoons butter, unsalted, melted
  • 1 onion, diced
  • ½ pound blue cheese, crumbled
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 to 4 drops hot pepper sauce
  • ¼ cup scallions, finely chopped, for garnish

Preheat oven to 260 degrees. 

For the crust, line a 10-inch springform pan with aluminum foil.  In a mixing bowl add bread crumbs, cheese, and butter and stir to combine.  Transfer to pan.  Using hands (or back of spoon) press crust into the bottom of pan.  Set aside.

For the filling, in a large mixing bowl add cream cheese, eggs, and cream and mix thoroughly.  Add bacon, butter, onion, blue cheese, salt, pepper, and hot sauce and stir to incorporate all ingredients well.  Using a spatula, transfer cheese mixture to prepared springform pan, scraping sides to remove all of the mixture and smooth to cover entire pan.  Place in oven and bake for 90 minutes or until puffed and golden.  Turn oven off and allow cheesecake to sit in oven an additional 30 minutes.  Remove from oven and place in refrigerator overnight or until thoroughly chilled and set.  (Cheesecake can be made up to 3 days ahead of time.)

To serve, remove cheesecake from refrigerator.  Top with scallions, for garnish.  Serve with crackers.   Makes 20 to 40 appetizer servings

ETC:
Serve with salted rice crackers which are usually packaged in tubes and can be found in the deli section of most grocery stores.  The combination of the salted crispiness of the cracker with the smooth and tangy texture of the cheesecake is perfect! 

Sweet Potato Empanadas with Beef Picadillo Filling and Harissa Sauce

Sweet Potato EmpanadasHarissa Sauce

  • 2 large red bell peppers, roasted
  • 2 cloves garlic, whole, peeled
  • 2 whole jalapeno peppers washed, stem removed (or other hot pepper)
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground caraway seeds
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ cup mayonnaise

Filling

  • 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • ½ large onion, peeled, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled, minced
  • 2 tablespoons dried cranberries (or raisins)
  • 2 tablespoons almonds, unsalted, roasted, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons green olives, chopped (or capers)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • ¼ cup cilantro, fresh, washed, chopped (or parsley)
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten

Pastry

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour plus more for rolling
  • 2 cups cornmeal
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 pound butter, unsalted, cold
  • 2 cups sweet potato puree, chilled
  • 1 large egg white, beaten

For the sauce, in a food processor add red peppers, garlic, hot peppers, cumin coriander, caraway seeds, and salt.  Pulse until mixture is consistency of paste.  While processor is running, slowly add oil and continue to blend until mixture is smooth.   Turn off processor and add mayonnaise.  Pulse mixture until smooth.  Set aside.

For the filling, in a skillet heat oil.  Add beef, onion and garlic. Sauté until beef is no longer pink, stirring occasionally to prevent burning.  Remove from heat and set aside to cool.  Add cranberries, almonds, olives, salt, pepper, cumin, coriander, and cilantro. Stir to combine well.  Set aside.

For the pastry, in a food processor add flour, cornmeal, salt, and butter.  Pulse until pieces of dough form to the size of a pea.  Add puree and egg white.  Continue to pulse until dough is moistened throughout.  Transfer dough to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap.  Place in refrigerator to chill for an hour.  Remove from refrigerator and set aside until dough is pliable and able to be rolled out. Transfer dough to a lightly floured countertop (or pastry cloth).  Using a rolling pin dusted with flour, roll dough out to 1/8-inch thickness. Using a round cookie cutter, cut dough into 3-inch rounds and transfer to a baking sheet. 

To assemble empanadas, preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Place 1 tablespoon of the filling into the center of each dough round. Using a pastry brush (or your fingers), paint edges with beaten egg.  Fold dough over filling and pinch (or press with the tines of a fork) to seal edges.  (Make sure that edges are completely sealed so that the filling doesn’t bubble out when baking.)  Place in oven and bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown.  Remove from oven and transfer to a serving platter.  Serve warm with Harissa Sauce for dipping.  Makes 16 to 20 empanadas.

ETC:
To prepare the sweet potato puree, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Wash outside of 2 small sweet potatoes. Using a fork (or sharp knife), pierce each potato 2 to 3 times so that steam can escape during cooking.  Place directly on rack in oven and bake for about 40 minutes or until potatoes are soft and sharp knife can be inserted easily.  Remove from oven and set aside to cool to the touch.  Remove peels and place flesh in a food processor.  Puree just until mixture is smooth.  Transfer to a covered dish and refrigerator until chilled. (Puree may be made up to one day in advance and stored refrigerator.)

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Serving Up Pumpkins

The theme for our 3rd Fridays Local Life celebration in Downtown Overland Park in October on Friday was OPtoberfest: Pumpkins Everywhere!

In the spirit of the theme, and because we do so LOVE a good pumpkin recipe at The Culinary Center of Kansas City, we offered up pumpkin-themed samples and small plates in our kitchens tonight.  We’ll start with a Savory Pumpkin Dip, followed by a Harvest Pumpkin Pizza, and enjoy it with our Après-Raking Pumpkin Whiskey Cocktail

Then try them at home… and enjoy!

Savory Pumpkin DipSavory Pumpkin Dip

Ingredients

  • 1 (8 ounce) brick cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup toasted pecans, chopped
  • 4-6 slices of bacon, cooked until crispy and crumbled, plus more for garnish
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced, plus more for garnish
  • 1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preparation

Using a wooden spoon or an electric mixer, still the cream cheese, cheddar cheese, pumpkin puree, pecans, bacon, onions, salt and cinnamon together until combined.  Serve garnished with extra bacon and green onions if desired, or cover and refrigerate until use.  Makes about 2 cups.

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Harvest Pumpkin PizzaHarvest Pumpkin Pizza

Ingredients

  • Extra virgin olive oil to taste
  • 1 sweet onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • 1/2 tablespoon thyme, fresh and chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 homemade pizza dough (recipe follows or prepared ready-to-bake)
  • 1 cup arugula or other bitter green
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated
  • 2 cups Havarti cheese, freshly grated (or similar substitute)

Preparation

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. For those that have a pizza stone, put the stone in the oven to warm.

While the oven is heating, heat the stove on medium low heat and cook half of the onions with olive oil. You’ll want to cook them on low heat for…a while to caramelize the onions. When they are about halfway caramelized, sprinkle sugar on them. As they cook, continue to stir and move them around with a spatula.

Next, add the pumpkin puree, garlic, shallot, thyme, and the other half of the onion to a mixing bowl. Mix in the parmesan cheese. Add salt and pepper to taste.

On a lightly floured flat surface, roll the pizza dough into a circle, transfer it to your pizza stone and top it with the pumpkin mixture. Sprinkle the arugula and caramelized onions on top of the pumpkin mixture, and then add the grated cheeses. You can add a dash of salt and pepper here, too, if you would like.  Cook the pizza till brown and bubbly.

Pizza Dough

(Prepare the day before)

Ingredients

  • 1½ cups water
  • 3 cups bread flour
  • 1 teaspoon yeast
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

Preparation

Start with a large bowl and add water, bread flour, and yeast on one side of the bowl and 1 ½ tsp of salt on the other side of the bowl.

Stir the mixture until the dough pulls away from the side of the bowl. Then stir in extra virgin olive oil. Remove the dough from bowl and knead dough until smooth.

Oil the bottom of the sheet pan, divide the dough into four similar skins (or balls), continue to knead and then place them on the sheet pan.

Lay one side down, press gently then flip over and press down again, gently. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Makes enough dough for 4 (12-inch) pizzas

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Pumpkin Whiskey CocktailAprès-Raking Pumpkin Whiskey Cocktail

SIMPLE SYRUP

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin puree
  • 1 (1-inch) chunk of fresh ginger, peeled
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Small pinch of ground cloves
  • Small pinch of ground allspice

COCKTAILS

  • Sugar & cinnamon, for the glass rims
  • Whisky, as needed
  • Soda water, as needed
  • Ice cubes, as needed

Preparation

In a saucepan over medium-high heat add the water, maple syrup, pumpkin puree, ginger, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and allspice; bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for about 5-8 minutes, stirring often. Taste test and adjust seasonings if necessary. Strain the mixture through a fine sieve. Discard the ginger root.

Mix sugar and cinnamon on a plate.

Wet the rim of each cocktail glass.  Dip each glass into the sugar and cinnamon mixture.

For each cocktail, combine 1-2 tablespoons of the simple syrup with 1 1/2 ounces of whisky and top with soda water. Stir vigorously (a little separation may happen) until well combined. Add a few ice cubes and enjoy!

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If you love pumpkin as much as we love pumpkin, register today for our ‘Pumpkin Love: Clean, Simple and Delicious Recipes’ class at The Culinary Center on Oct. 30, 2017. Click here for more information!

Go Hog Wild with this Pork Recipe

Another fun Local Life in Downtown Overland Park! It was a celebration of pork at The Culinary Center of Kansas City.  Chef Sergio worked a whole roast pig into a number of dishes that we gave as samples and sold as small plates in the CCKC kitchen, including Smoked Pork Belly with Red Wine Demiglace, Pork Leg Braised in Adobo Sauce (see recipe below), Roasted Pork Loin with Apple Whiskey Sauce and Roasted Pork Leg with Roasted Pork Gravy. Yum!

If you’re ready to go ‘hog wild’ in your own kitchen, try this out at home!

Pork Leg Braised in Adobo Sauce

Roasted Pork with Adobo SaucePork and Marinade

  • Pork leg, approx 10 lbs with skin removed
  • 10 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 white onion
  • 6 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1  1/2 teaspoon of ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon salt

Adobo Sauce

  • 8 Ancho Peppers, cleaned & deveined
  • 6 Pasilla Peppers, cleaned & deveined
  • 2 cups orange juice
  • 1 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 tablespoon coarse salt
  • 3 tablespoons shortening

For marinade, roast garlic and onion in skillet on medium heat.  Then in blender, add the garlic and onion mixture with bay leaves, oregano, black pepper, cumin, juice, vinegar and salt. Blend into thick, smooth sauce.  Cut incisions in pork leg and place in large baking pan. Cover with marinade, smoothing it into the slices in the pork. Marinade in refrigerator for 6-8 hours (or even overnight), turning the meat once in that time.

Prepare the adobo sauce by tasting the peppers in a pan or grill over medium heat. Don’t overcook – it’ll go quick. Then place the peppers in a small saucepan and cover with water. Simmer for about 8 minutes or until soft. Let cool, then drain the peppers and add to blender with orange juice, vinegar, salt and water. Purée until smooth.

Bring pan with pork leg to room temperature while preheating oven to 350ºF.

Melt shortening and spread with pastry brush over the meat, covering completely. Then brush half of the Adobo sauce over the pork leg. Cover with foil and place pan in oven.

Turn meat after 1 hour, basting with juices in pan.  Turn and baste again after another hour. Figure on 1 hour of baking time for every 2 lbs of meat – so approximately 5 hours for a 10 lb leg of pork. Turn and baste every hour. Keep foil right after each turning and basting, in order to keep meat moist and tender.  If meat starts getting dry, brush on more of the adobo sauce.

When meat can be easily pulled with a fork, uncover pan and turn up oven temperature to 450ºF, roasting another 8-10 minutes to brown the meat. Remove pan and let stand 10 minutes before slicing.

 

 

 

Don’t W(h)ine – here are the recipes…

‘Wine Walk’ was the theme of 3rd Friday LOCAL LIFE in Downtown Overland Park in August. We had fun thinking through what to make for this one!

Here are some recipes that we enjoyed.
Try them out at home and ENJOY!

Watermelon Wine CocktailWatermelon Mint Wine Cocktail

  • 1 cup watermelon, diced, chilled
  • Ice cubes, as needed
  • 1 cup pink Moscato wine, chilled
  • 1 lime, sliced in half
  • Handful of fresh mint, coarsely chopped

In a blender, add the watermelon and puree.

Fill two stemless wine or cocktail glasses with ice. Pour half of the watermelon puree and wine into each glass, distributing evenly. Squeeze the juice from a lime half into each glass.  Add some mint and stir with a spoon. Serve immediately.  Makes 2 servings.

Lavosh Crackers

  • 1-1/2 cups bread flour, unbleached, plus extra for kneading
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon instant yeast
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/3 to ½ cup water, room temperature
  • Spray oil, for bowl and countertop
  • Poppy seeds, sesame seeds, paprika, cumin seeds, caraway seeds or kosher salt to taste, for topping
  1. In a mixing bowl, add flour, salt, yeast, honey, and oil.  In small increments, add water and mix with hands until mixture forms a ball.   (You may not need the full ½ cup water, but be prepared to use it all if needed.)
  2. Sprinkle flour on a clean countertop and place dough on top.  Knead dough for about 10 minutes or until the ingredients are evenly distributed. (The dough should pass the windowpane test and instant-read thermometer should read 77 to 81 degrees. It should be firmer than French bread dough, but not quite as firm as bagel dough.  It should also be satiny to the touch, not tacky, and supple enough to stretch when pulled.)
  3. In a mixing bowl that has been lightly sprayed with oil add dough ball and roll it around bowl to coat with oil.  Cover bowl with plastic wrap and set aside to ferment for 90 minutes or until dough doubles in size.  (You can also retard the dough overnight in the refrigerator in covered bowl immediately after kneading.)
  4. Transfer dough to a clean countertop that has been lightly sprayed with oil.  Using your hand, lightly press the dough into a square and dust top with small amount of flour.  Using a rolling pin that has been lightly dusted with flour,  roll dough into a paper-thin sheet that is about 15 to 20 inches in diameter. (You may need to stop from time to time to allow the gluten in dough to relax.  At these times, lift dough from counter slightly and wave it a little;  then lay back down, making sure to cover it while it is relaxing.)  Once dough has been rolled out to desired thinness, cover and allow it to relax for an additional 5 minutes.
  5. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Carefully lift the sheet of dough and transfer to baking sheet. (If it overlaps the edge of pan, snip off excess with scissors.)  Preheat over to 350 degrees with rack on the middle shelf.  Mist the top of dough with a small amount of water.  Lightly sprinkle your choice of toppings on dough, keeping in mind that a little bit of spices goes a long way. (You may use one spice to cover entire piece of dough or alternate spices in rows for variety.)   Transfer to oven and bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until the dough begins to brown evenly across the top.  (Check for doneness often as the time it bakes will depend on how thinly or evenly you rolled the dough.)  When crackers reach desired doneness, remove from oven and set aside to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes.
  6. To serve, snap dough apart into shards and place on serving platter or in a basket.  Serve immediately or store in an air-tight container.    Makes 1 sheet pan of crackers.

COOKS NOTE: If you would like to serve pre-cut crackers, use a pizza cutter/rolling blade and score diamonds or rectangles in the dough before baking. (Do not cut dough all the way through as they will snap after baking.)

Pimento Cheese DipHomemade Pimento Dip

  • 12 ounces white cheddar cheese, grated
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, ground
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce, (preferably Frank’s)
  • 1 jar minced pimentos, drained well
  • 4 flatbread, cut into triangles and toasted in oven

Place the cheese in a bowl of a small mixer. Using a paddle attachment, start to mix the cheese. Add the mayonnaise, and spices. Mix well. Just before finishing add the pimentos and blend in slowly. Pimentos should be visible and not over mix.  Keep the cheese spread cold until needed. Should be soft enough to spread.

COOKS NOTE: We served the pimento dip with the lavosh crackers (recipe above). You might want to try those in place of the flatbread.

Marinara Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • pinch of hot pepper flakes
  • 1 (28 ounce) can of whole tomatoes, pureéd
  • 1/2  cup water
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 1/4 cup of fruit forward red wine (like a California table red or a Zinfandel)
  • handful of fresh basil, chopped
  • handful of fresh flat leaf Italian parsley, chopped

In a large Dutch oven heat the EVOO and sauté garlic with hot pepper flakes for 20 seconds on medium heat… DO NOT burn! If you do, you have to start all over again. Beforehand, blend can of tomatoes and purée until smooth. Add the tomatoes to the pot along with 1/2 cup of water. Turn up the heat a bit and wait for the sauce to come to a boil then turn down heat to let sauce simmer. Add salt and pepper to taste (I’d start with 1/2 tsp of salt and ½ tsp of pepper and go from there… Keep tasting and adding). Add cheese, wine, and fresh herbs. Stir and let simmer until liquid is reduced and sauce is thick, this takes about 20 minutes. Add to your favorite pasta.

 

 

Whiskey-a-Go-Go Recipes!

Wow. What a fun night we had in Downtown Overland Park at 3rd Friday LOCAL LIFE!Local Life - Whiskey-a-Go-GoHere at The Culinary Center of Kansas City, we had fun, family-friendly activities and tastings going on out front under our tent and in our Kitchen Shop, plus a Whiskey-a-Go-Go theme in our Santa Fe kitchen with lots of great tastings (food, wine, beer & spirits), cooking demo, food and drinks for sale for dinner, plus live music by Whiskey for the Lady.

Don’t miss Local Life on the next 3rd Friday on August 18, 2017 – jot it down in your calendar now!

Here are some recipes that our chefs offered up for Local Life.
You’re going to want to make them at home…

Daniela’s Bourbon Roasted Sweet Potatoes

  • 3-4 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into even cubes
  • ½ cup Bourbon
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne powder
  • ½ cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 6 tablespoons butter, cubed

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Put cubed sweet potatoes on a large baking sheet and pour Bourbon over top. Toss well with your hands to evenly coat the potatoes.

Over the top of the potatoes, drizzle the olive oil and sprinkle salt, pepper, cayenne powder, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Toss again with your hands to coat.

Arrange potatoes in a single layer and evenly distribute the butter cubes over the top of the potatoes.

Place in the oven and bake for 30-45 minutes or until potatoes are golden and can be pierced with a fork.  Makes 6-8 servings.

 

The Wild Summer Whiskey SlushThe Wild Summer Whiskey Slush

  • 1 12-oz can frozen lemonade concentrate
  • 1 6-oz can frozen orange juice concentrate
  • 2 cups strong brewed black tea
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 7 cups water
  • 2 cups whiskey
  • 1 liter ginger ale soda

Mix all ingredients except ginger ale.  Freeze.  Scoop some into a glass and top with some ginger ale.  Enjoy.

Makes about 18 drinks.

 

 

A Taste of the Tropics

The  Caribbean Jerk Chicken is a big hit at our Peace, Love & BBQ, Caribbean-themed Local Life at The Culinary Center of Kansas City tonight. Lots of folks are asking for the recipe, so we’re sharing it here on the CCKC Kitchen Talk Blog.  Turn up the steel drum music and enjoy!

Note: we used boneless chicken thighs for ease of sampling and small plates. Take license with the recipe and get creative…

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Caribbean Jerk Chicken

  • 1 tablespoon Ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon Dried thyme
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon Cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon Ground sage
  • 3/4 teaspoon Ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 teaspoon Ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons Salt
  • 2 teaspoons Garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon Sugar
  • 1/4 cup Olive oil
  • 1/4 cup Soy sauce
  • 3/4 cup White vinegar
  • 1/2 cup Orange juice
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 Scotch bonnet pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 cup Chopped white onion
  • 3 Green onions, finely chopped
  • 2 lb chicken wings

In a large bowl, combine the allspice, thyme, cayenne pepper, black pepper, sage, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt, garlic powder and sugar. With a wire whisk, slowly add the olive oil, soy sauce, vinegar, orange juice, and lime juice. Add the Scotch bonnet pepper, onion, and green onions and mix well. Add the chicken wings, cover and marinate for at least 1 hour, longer if possible. Preheat an outdoor grill. Remove the wings from the marinade and grill for 6 minutes on each side or until fully cooked. While grilling, baste with the marinade.

 

Pick Up Some ‘Reuben the Great’ Casseroles For St. Patty’s Day

We us some St. Patrick’s Day here at The Culinary Center of Kansas City. We’re already gearing up for it! Chef Sergio cooked up some ‘Reuben the Great’ Casserole this week that is now available in our Dinners on Demand freezers in The Kitchen Shop. It’s an annual tradition around here – a fully loaded casserole with all the same delicious ingredients as a Reuben sandwich. If you love Reubens, you will love this! It’s great at any time of the year, but it’s a MUST in March.

Ever wonder where the Reuben sandwich got its name?
We hear that the story goes like this… 
The year was 1914. Late one evening a leading lady of actor Charlie Chaplin came into the restaurant and said, ‘Reuben, make me a sandwich, make it a combination, I’m so hungry I could eat a brick.’  He took a loaf of rye bread, cut two slices on the bias and stacked one piece with sliced Virginia ham, roast turkey, and imported Swiss cheese, topped off with coleslaw and lots of Reuben’s special Russian dressing and the second slice of bread.  He served it to the lady who said, ‘Gee, Reuben, this is the best sandwich I ever ate, you ought to call it an Annette Seelos Special.’  To which he replied, ‘Like hell I will, I’ll call it a Reuben’s Special.’
(from Patricia Taylor, daughter of Arnold Reuben, founder of Reuben’s, as described to Crag Claiborne of the New York Times in his book, ‘Craig Claiborne  – The New York Times Food Encyclopedia’)

Here’s the recipe for our ‘Reuben the Great’ Casserole.
Try it at home. Or stop by The Culinary Center and pick one up from our Dinners on Demand freezers. Enjoy!

‘Reuben the Great’ Casserole

  • 'Reuben the Great' Casserole1 loaf rye bread, cut into cubes, divided
  • 16 ounces sauerkraut
  • 1 ½ cups Swiss cheese, shredded, divided
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • ½ cup Thousand Island dressing
  • 2 cups corned beef, cut into small pieces
  • ½ cup butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place half of bread crumbs in 9 x 13-inch pan.  Spread the sauerkraut on top of bread layer.

In a small bowl, mix sour cream and dressing, and spoon half on top of sauerkraut layer.

Next, layer on 1 cup Swiss cheese, then the corned beef. Add a layer of the sour cream/dressing mix on top of the corned beef. Top with remainder of bread crumbs, then remainder of Swiss cheese. Drizzle melted butter over it all. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake another 10 minutes. Serve warm. Serves 8-10.

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BTW –
We know the perfect place to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day 2017… 

Come for a bit of kitchen “Craic” at Third Friday Local Life in Downtown O’verland Park! Celebrate St. Pat’s in our kitchens with Irish Fare Cooking Demo and FREE tastings of Dublin Coddle. FREE live music with Leprechaun Johnny Murphy; FREE beer, spirits and wine tastings. Aye but the craic is FREE, too! As always, a cash bar with Guinness to boot! Small plates for sale: Coddle, Irish Soda Bread, Corned Beef Sliders and Guinness Brownies.