Category Archives: Recipe of the Week

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


  • 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


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


  • 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)


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)


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


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


  • 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


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


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!


Freshness in a Bowl

Our friend Farmer Steven shared some farm-fresh produce, including tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and jalapeños, from the CSA box last week with The Culinary Center of Kansas City’s Elle T. (also known around these parts as the ‘Goddess of Good Eats’).  Elle T immediately knew how she was going to put it to good use – Gazpacho! 

Gazpacho, a cold soup of Spanish origin, offers a simple, flavorful way to make the most of the season’s produce.  Armed with a cookbook called ‘Californian Markets’ that she found in the stacks of vintage and treasured cookbooks on sale in our Kitchen Shop, she made several of her own tweaks to the recipe and came up with a delicious, tasty soup.

Try her version of Gazpacho at home:


  • 2 lbs large, ripe tomatoes
  • 1 small cucumber, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 green pepper, deseeded and chopped
  • 1/2 red pepper, deseeded and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 jalapeños, seeds removed
  • splash of hot sauce
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper

Put tomatoes in a bowl and cover with boiling water. After 2-3 minutes, slip off the skins and cut tomatoes in half. Combine the tomatoes, cucumber, peppers, garlic, jalapeños and hot sauce into a blender or food processor on high speed until the mixture is smooth, adding the olive oil and red wine vinegar while blending. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Chill the soup in the refrigerator for at least 1-2 hours before serving. Garnish with croutons and/or additional chopped cucumber and pepper.  Serves 4-6.


Baking for a Cause

Bake Sale PrepWe’re excited to be a part of the No Kid Hungry Weekend in Kansas City, including the Culinary Bake Sale in Brookside on Saturday and the Country Brunch & Bloody Mary SmackDown on Sunday at The Guild KC.

Look for some delicious brownies, pies and cookies from The Culinary Center of Kansas City at the Bake Sale. The fundraiser brunch on Sunday will include biscuits from our Chef, as well as some Lemon Rosemary Shortbread Cookies with Prosecco Lemon Glaze that our ‘Main Dish’ Laura Laiben whipped up.

Try these shortbread cookies at home – they’re just a little bit fancy and oh so yummy!

Lemon Rosemary Shortbread Cookies
Lemon Rosemary Crackerswith Prosecco Lemon Glaze  

1 bottle Prosecco wine


  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • ½ cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons rosemary, fresh, chopped finely
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons lemon zest, freshly grated
  • 2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons Prosecco wine reduction


  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • 5 to 6 teaspoons Prosecco wine reduction
  • Pinch of salt

To make the wine reduction, in a small saucepan add Prosecco wine and reduce by half over medium heat.  Set aside to cool. You will use approximately ½ to ¾ cup of this reduction.  Save the remainder for other uses.

For the shortbread, preheat oven to 375 degrees.  In a mixer bowl add butter and cream slightly.  Gradually add the powdered sugar and beat until light and fluffy, scraping sides of bowl as needed. Add rosemary and zest. Mix to combine. On low speed, gradually add the flour. While continuing to mix on low speed, add the wine reduction, one tablespoon at a time, until a stiff ball is formed.   Line a 15-x10-x1-inch jelly roll pan with parchment paper and set aside. Press the dough into the prepared pan. Prick dough all over with a fork. Placed in the refrigerator to chill for 30 minutes.   Remove from refrigerator and place in the over to bake for 5 minutes. Reduce heat to 300 degrees and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until lightly golden in color.   

While shortbread is baking, prepare the glaze. In a bowl add powdered sugar. Add the juice and the wine reduction, 1 tablespoon at a time, until glaze is thin enough to drizzle from the end of a fork. Add salt and combine.  Set aside.

Remove the shortbread from oven and cut into squares or diamond shapes while still warm. Drizzle the glaze over top while slightly warm.  Allow shortbread to cool completely and glaze to set.  Makes 18-24 cookies.  

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.



Happy Birthday, America!

It’s a long holiday weekend for Independence Day 2017, and hopefully you’ll be heading to some celebrations – whether you host dinner at your house, take a picnic to a park or enjoy snacks at a lake or pool. There will be food involved. It’s what we Americans do when we celebrate, am I right?!

Well, here’s an idea to wake up your holiday celebration with a bang! These appetizers are an explosion of flavor with turkey and crisp cabbage and carrots, ignited by the zest of chili paste. We borrow flavors of the Orient in this tasty recipe. Enjoy!

fireworksChinese Firecrackers

  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 pound ground turkey breast
  • 1 cup chopped cabbage
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrots
  • 2 green onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chile paste
  • 1 tablespoon white wine
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 14 sheets phyllo dough
  • 4 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup sweet and sour sauce

Heat 1 teaspoon oil in 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. Cook turkey, cabbage, carrot and onions in oil about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until turkey is no longer pink and vegetables are crisp-tender. Stir in chili paste. Mix wine and cornstarch; stir into turkey mixture. Cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened.

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Cut stack of phyllo sheets crosswise in half. Cover with waxed paper, then with damp towel to prevent them from drying out. Place 1 half-sheet of phyllo on flat surface. Brush with small amount of oil. Top with second half-sheet of phyllo.

Place about 2 tablespoons turkey mixture on short end of phyllo; shape mixture into about 4-inch log. Roll up phyllo and turkey mixture. Twist phyllo 1 inch from each end to make firecracker shape. Place on ungreased cookie sheet. Repeat with remaining phyllo and turkey mixture.   

Brush firecrackers with remaining oil. Bake about 20 minutes or until phyllo is crisp and golden brown. Serve with sweet-and-sour sauce.  (recipe below)

Sweet and Sour Sauce

  • 2 T. cornstarch
  • ½ c. sugar
  • ¼ c. white vinegar
  • ¼ c. pineapple juice
  • 2 t. soy sauce
  • ¼ c. water

Combine ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer gently 5 minutes, then remove from heat.  Store in refrigerator and serve cold.