Family traditions and face-to-face relationships are important parts of gatherings of loved ones, and many of these gatherings focus on food. The whole family gathered around a table covered with hot and delicious food to share stories and create new memories is what makes the meal special.
Forty chefs from across the country have come together to create ‘Come to the Table’, which features a delicious mix of cuisines from diverse cultures, including this sample of classic family dishes, sweet treats and family-style creations, all inspired by what family means to each leader.
“Sales of this book will directly benefit the families we serve, so we are very grateful to every chef who has donated their time and talent to this cookbook,” said Jill Cumnock, CEO of Ronald McDonald House of Dallas. “The way ‘Come to the Table’ was created reminds me of a recipe that culminates in a feast for the senses. We can’t think of a better way to celebrate our 40th anniversary, especially as families begin to reunite after the pandemic has forced so many to go their separate ways. “
Visit rmhdallas.org for more information and to order the cookbook.
Oven stuffed pasta shells
Recipe courtesy of Chef Kevin Curry
6 ounces of giant pasta shells
1 tablespoon of fresh garlic
5 portobello mushroom caps, gills removed and diced
1 pinch of sea salt, plus extra, to taste
1 pinch of pepper, more additional, to taste
15 ounces of skim milk ricotta cheese
1 tablespoon The Fit Cook Land spice blend
1 1/2 cups reduced-fat marinara, divided
1 1/2 cups low-fat mozzarella
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta shells according to package directions. Drain then set aside.
Heat a pot or cast iron casserole dish over medium heat. Once hot, add the oil, garlic, onion and mushrooms. Add a pinch of sea salt and pepper while cooking. Cook until onions turn brown and mushrooms shrink, about 3 to 5 minutes. Empty the contents and set aside.
Return the pan to the heat. Add shredded kale and water to create steam. Combine the kale in a saucepan until it turns bright green; set aside to cool.
In a large bowl, combine the ricotta cheese with the mushroom mixture, kale, pesto and spice blend.
In a casserole dish, spread about 1/2 cup of the marinara on the bottom. Then, one by one, stuff each pasta shell with about 2 tablespoons of the ricotta mixture and add to the casserole dish. Repeat with the remaining shells.
Cover the shells with the remaining marinara and mozzarella cheese. Cover the gratin dish with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes. For the last 5 minutes, remove the foil so the mozzarella can brown.
Garnish with fresh herbs, salt and pepper, to taste.
Recipe courtesy of Chef Nikky Phinyawatana
1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
2 tablespoons of green curry paste
8 ounces boneless, skinless chicken, beef or pork, thinly sliced
1 small purple Japanese eggplant
4 teaspoons of granulated sugar
1/2 cup bamboo shoots, sliced
1/4 medium red pepper, thinly sliced
8-10 Thai basil leaves, plus extra, for garnish, divided
2 cups of cooked jasmine rice
In a blender, combine the spinach and water until the mixture turns green and no leaves are visible.
In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, heat the oil. Add the green curry paste and stir to release the scent, about 10 seconds.
Add the protein and cook for 3 to 5 minutes.
Add the mixed spinach water, purple eggplant, coconut milk, sugar and salt. To boil. Add the bamboo shoots and red pepper. Simmer 10 minutes.
Stir in the basil leaves and turn off the heat.
Serve with jasmine rice and garnish with additional basil leaves.
Daddy’s Birthday Flan
Recipe courtesy of Chef Ninamarie Bojekian Mendoza
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons rainbow sprinkles (optional)
1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk
1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
ground cinnamon, to taste
In a saucepan, heat the granulated sugar and water over medium-low heat until melted.
Grease and flour a 9-inch Bundt pan. Put aside.
When the sugar liquefies and turns golden brown, remove from the heat and use a silicone spatula or whisk to stir. While stirring, quickly pour into prepared Bundt pan.
To make the cake: In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Put aside.
In another bowl, use a hand mixer on medium speed to beat the butter and sugar, about 3 minutes, until fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla. Beat well.
On low speed, gradually add the flour mixture and buttermilk until blended.
Stir in rainbow sprinkles, if desired.
Pour the batter into the molds over the caramel sauce.
To make the custard: In a blender on high speed, combine the eggs, sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk and vanilla until well combined. Pour gently through a colander and over the prepared cake batter. Sprinkle cinnamon on top. Place the pan in a double boiler, putting it in a larger baking dish, roasting pan, hotel casserole or similar. Pour hot water halfway up to create a double boiler.
Cook for about 1 hour. The cake should be golden and shake when shaken when baked. Remove the cake from the double boiler and let cool on a rack for 10 minutes. Pass a knife or spatula carefully around the edges to separate. Place the plate on top of the cake and, while holding it, gently and quickly turn it over.
Refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight before serving.