Archive for the ‘Recipe of the Week’ Category


Happy Pi Day!

March 14, 2017

Happy Pi Day

Happy Pi Day!  Yep, it’s 3-14, National Pi Day and that means we’re celebrating with PIE here at The Culinary Center of Kansas City.

What is your favorite kind of pie? Depends on the day for me…  but you just can’t go wrong with good ‘ol traditional Apple Pie, right?  Here’s a favorite recipe from our CCKC ‘Main Dish’ Laura Laiben for Old-Fashioned Apple Pie. Try it at home and celebrate Pi Day yourself.

Old-Fashioned Apple Pie

Apple PiePastry

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/3 cup shortening, chilled
  • 4 tablespoons butter, chilled
  • 4 tablespoons water

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Mix together flour and salt.

Cut the shortening and butter into the flour mixture with a pastry blender, knife or your fingers until it has the grain of small peas.

Sprinkle the dough with cold water. Blend the water lightly into the dough with a fork, allowing the moisture to spread. Add more water if needed to hold the mixture together.

When you can gather the dough into a tidy ball, stop handling. Divide the dough into two pieces.

NOTE:  If you do not want the dough to shrink during baking, then place in refrigerator for an hour or more. Let the dough come to room temperature before rolling.

Roll the dough using flour as needed to keep from sticking.

Line a 9” pie pan with pastry.

Apple Filling

  • 6-7 cups apples (8-10 medium tart apples)
  • 1 (+ or -) cup sugar
  • 2-3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2-3 tablespoons butter, unsalted

Pare, core and thinly slice 6-7 cups apples sprinkling with lemon juice to stop the browning.

Mix the salt, flour (or 1-2tablespoons cornstarch), cinnamon and nutmeg (if desired) in with the apples.  NOTE:  Only very juicy apples require the larger amount of flour (or cornstarch).  Stir the apples gently until they are well coated.

Place them in the pie shell. Dot with butter.

Cover with the second pie crust. Dot with butter and prick with fork.  You can also sprinkle the top crust lightly with sugar, cinnamon and vanilla before you put the pie into the oven. Some cooks brush the top with milk.

Bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes.  Reduce the heat to 350 degrees.  Bake until done, 35-45 minutes or until golden brown.

NOTE: As the pie cools the filling will set slightly so don’t worry if the filling is slightly runny when it comes out of the oven.



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

March 3, 2017

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.


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.


Who Says You Have To Have Pumpkin Pie at Thanksgiving?

November 23, 2016

Bet you thought we’d wrap up our November Pumpkin recipes with a Pumpkin Pie recipe, didn’t you? Well, just when you think we’re going to do a culinary zig, we zag, baby!  Shake up the holiday menu this year – serve Pumpkin Pie CAKE instead of Pumpkin Pie. Yes, I said it. Live on the edge… your family will love it.

This easy and delicious dessert is a whole new take on a Thanksgiving holiday favorite!  Try making cupcakes with this recipe for a unique updated “small cake” treat.  Why not top with a tiny candy pumpkin?

Ready to revolt against the expected Thanksgiving dessert but you just not feelin’ it to make it yourself?  Never fear – we’ve got your back. We have Pumpkin Pie Cake for sale in our Dinners on Demand freezers in The Culinary Center of Kansas City’s Kitchen Shop. Stop by today to pick one up!

Pumpkin Pie Cake“Pumpkin Pie” Cake

  • Oil, for pan
  • 1 (32 ounce) can pure pumpkin
  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/3 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • ¾ cup butter, melted (or margarine)
  • ½ cup walnuts, chopped

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Lightly grease a 9-x13-inch baking pan.

In a large bowl add pumpkin, eggs, milk, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger.  Using a large spoon, beat until combined thoroughly, scraping sides as needed.  Sprinkle dry cake mix evenly over the top of batter.  Drizzle butter over cake mix and top with nuts, spreading both layers evenly to edges of pan.  Place in oven and bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes or until knife inserted into center comes out clean.  Remove from oven and set on a wire rack to cool before cutting.  Serve warm.  Makes 16 servings.


For an extra special treat, add a dollop of cinnamon whipped cream on top of each serving.  To make, in a small bowl add 1 cup whipping cream and beat until slightly thickened.  Gradually blend in 2 to 4 tablespoons powdered sugar, ½ teaspoon vanilla, and ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon.  Beat until combined thoroughly and thickened. Makes 2 cups.

For successful fluffy topping, be sure that whipping cream, bowl and beaters are chilled thoroughly. Don’t over beat or eventually you’ll have butter.

Find this and other CCKC favorite recipes in our cookbook
“The Culinary Center of Kansas City’s
Available for purchase online at
and in our retail store –  “The Kitchen Shop.”™

Thanksgiving cooking classes
Happy Thanksgiving!


In case you missed them, check out the other pumpkin recipes we shared this month for Pumpkin and 3-Cheese Ravioli with Sage Walnut Butter Sauce, Pumpkin Sheet Cake and Pumpkin Apple Soup.


Pumpkin and 3-Cheese Ravioli with Sage Walnut Butter Sauce

November 18, 2016

More pumpkin… Must have more PUMPKIN!

In our month of gearing up for pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving dinner, we’re sharing a pumpkin recipe each week.  In case you missed them, check out the recipes for Pumpkin Sheet Cake and Pumpkin Apple Soup.

This Pumpkin Ravioli was a signature dish for us under the helm of our first Executive Chef, Nancy Stark. Don’t knock the pumpkin filling until you’ve tried it – it’s heavenly! The simple sauce of butter with walnuts and sage is drizzled on sparingly to add a richness and fullness to the dish. We use this recipe when guests want to be involved in some ‘hands-on’ dinner preparation. They love to see how easy it is to make your own stuffed ravioli.

Pumpkin and 3-Cheese Ravioli with Sage Walnut Butter Sauce

Pumpkin and Three-Cheese Ravioli with Sage Walnut Butter Sauce


  • ½ cup butter, unsalted
  • 1/3 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
  • 18 sage leaves, fresh, 8 cut fine chiffonade plus 5 whole, for garnish
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ¼ cup onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, whole, minced
  • 1 to 1/2 cups pumpkin, roasted, roughly pureed
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese, crumbled
  • ½ cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated
  • 3 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • Pinch of cayenne
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 40 wonton wrappers (available in produce section of most grocery stores)
  • 1 large egg white, lightly beaten
  • Water, for cooking
  • 1 teaspoon salt, for water

For the sauce, in a heavy skillet melt butter over low heat.  Continue to cook on low heat until golden brown and giving off a nutty aroma.  Remove from heat.  Add walnuts and sage chiffonades, salt, and pepper. Gently stir to combine and set aside.

For the ravioli, in a large sauté pan heat oil and sauté onions until soft and golden brown, stirring constantly to prevent burning.  Remove from heat.  Add garlic and pumpkin.  Gently stir to combine well.  Transfer mixture to a medium mixing bowl.  Add ricotta, feta, and parmesan cheese. Stir well to combine.  Very gradually add beaten egg yolks and gently stir to combine. (Filling should be moist, but not runny.)  Add nutmeg, cayenne, salt, and pepper.  Stir to combine thoroughly.  Set aside.

To prepare, on a clean, flat surface place one wonton wrapper.  Put 1 tablespoon of filling in the middle of wrapper.  Using a pastry brush (or your fingers), brush the edges of wrapper with egg white and top with another wrapper.  Press edges together lightly to seal.  (Make sure there are no edges left unsealed or filling will leak during the cooking process.)  Repeat this process until all filling is used.  In a large saucepan add salt and enough water to fill ¾ of pan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.  Carefully drop the ravioli, one by one, into the boiling water.  Cook for 3 minutes or until the ravioli floats to the surface.  Using a large slotted spoon, remove ravioli from water and transfer to warm dinner plates. Top with sauce.  Add 1 whole sage leaf to each plate, for garnish.  Serve warm.   Makes 4 to 5 servings.


Chiffonade is a cutting method that allows leafy vegetables and herbs to be formed into ribbons or thin strips, usually for garnishes.  While basil is easily the most common herb used for this sort of knife technique, other herbs such as the fresh sage called for in this recipe also work well.   Simply stack multiple leaves and roll them into a tight cylinder shape.  Using a very sharp knife, cut the herb cylinder horizontally creating aromatic ribbons that release the herbs natural oils and create a more intense flavor.  Leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale and cabbage may also be used for this technique.  If you wish to make the chiffonade ahead of time, simply immerse the ribbons into a cool water bath to prevent discoloration.

Find this and other CCKC favorite recipes in our cookbook
“The Culinary Center of Kansas City’s
Available for purchase online at
and in our retail store –  “The Kitchen Shop.”™

Thanksgiving cooking classes
Keep an eye out here
on the Kitchen Talk Blog
for more pumpkin recipes in November…


Pumpkin Soup for the Autumn Soul…

November 12, 2016

Pumpkin pie. Pumpkin cake. Pumpkin bread.
Pumpkin muffins. Pumpkin cookies. Pumpkin seeds…

I know I sound like Benjamin Buford ‘Bubba’ Blue talking about shrimp in the movie ‘Forrest Gump’. But there are just so many delicious dishes to make with pumpkins! We started with Pumpkin Sheet Cake last week. This week we move on to a savory dish… Pumpkin Apple Soup.

Not in a mood to make it yourself? We have out-of-this-world Pumpkin Soup for sale by the quart in our Dinners on Demand freezers in The Culinary Center of Kansas City’s Kitchen Shop. Stop by today to pick one up!

Pumpkin Apple SoupPumpkin Apple Soup

  • 1 (29 oz.) can solid pack pumpkin
  • 4 cups milk
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 20 ounces fresh apple slices
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream

In a Dutch oven, add the pumpkin and milk and whisk until smooth. Add the sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, butter, and vanilla and stir until well mixed. Add the apples and stir in, then heat until quite warm but not boiling. Add cream and heat again until just barely simmering.  Serve.  Makes 4 quarts.

Thanksgiving cooking classes
Keep an eye out here
on the Kitchen Talk Blog
for more pumpkin recipes in November…


Enjoy Some Pumpkin, Pun’kin!

November 4, 2016

‘Tis the season… for PUMPKIN! 
Not only do they look seasonal, but they offer great scents for decorations and candles, they’re fun to carve for Halloween, the seeds are delicious when roasted and the guts of the pumpkin lend themselves to SOooooooo many tasty recipes.

We’re feeling the need to ‘share the pumpkin love’ with some of our favorite pumpkin recipes here on our CCKC Kitchen Talk Blog this month. To kick things off, we offer up a Pumpkin Sheet Cake recipe that we think you will love.

Pumpkin Sheet Cake

Pumpkin Sheet Cake


  • 16 ounces pumpkin puree
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt


  • 5 tablespoons butter, unsalted, room temperature
  • 3 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ¾ cups extra-fine sugar
  • 2 to 4 teaspoons milk
  • Chopped nuts, for garnish (such as walnuts, pecans, etc.)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly oil a 15- x 10- x 1-inch baking pan and set aside.

For the cake, in an electric mixer bowl, add pumpkin, sugar, and oil; beat to combine. Add eggs and mix well.

In another mixing bowl add the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt; mix to combine. Add to the pumpkin mixture and beat until well blended.  Pour into the prepared baking pan and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.  Remove from oven and set aside to cool on a wire rack.

For the frosting, in an electric mixer bowl, add the butter, cream cheese, and vanilla and beat until smooth. Gradually add the sugar; mix well. Add enough milk to reach desired consistency.

When cake has completely cooled, spread the frosting on top and. Sprinkle the nuts over top, for garnish. Makes 20 to 24 servings

Thanksgiving cooking classes
Keep an eye out for more, as we bring you
both savory and sweet pumpkin sensations…


Enjoy A Lotta Panna Cotta

September 27, 2016

The ‘cherry on top’ of our final Tuesday Lunch here at The Culinary Center of Kansas City today was a delicious, creamy Panna Cotta with stewed seasonal berries.  What a tasty way to bid our weekly feasts farewell!  Try out our recipe at home. Berries are a great topping for it, but as always, we encourage you to experiment and get creative. How about peaches? Or caramel or chocolate sauce?  Let us know other toppings you try and give us the review…

Panna Cotta

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream, divided
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons gelatin
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • Pinch of salt

Coat four (5-6oz) ramekins lightly with flavorless oil

Pour 1/4 cup cream in to heatproof bowl, and sprinkle in gelatin.  Let stand for about 10 minutes, or until softened.

Place bowl in larger bowl of hot water to completely dissolve gelatin.  Then, in a medium saucepan, bring the remaining ¼ cup cream, sugar, and salt to a boil. Remove from heat and whisk until smooth.  Add the gelatin mixture and stir to incorporate well, strain mixture through a fine sieve into a measuring cup.  Divide mixture evenly among the ramekins, and let cool to room temperature.

Cover the panna cotta loosely, and refrigerate until set and completely chilled, at least 3-4 hours, or overnight.

To serve, dip ramekins in a bowl of hot water for 5 seconds, then, run a knife around the edges of the custard and invert onto a serving plate.

panna cotta




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