Courtesy of The Neely's


4 tablespoons butter, plus 1 tablespoon for greasing dish

Kosher salt

1 pound penne pasta

2 small shallots, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

Freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons tomato paste

5 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/4 cup white wine

4 cups heavy cream

1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 bay leaf

2 cups shredded sharp white Cheddar

2 cups shredded Gruyere

2 (8-ounce) raw lobster tails, defrosted if frozen, meat removed from shell, chopped

1/4 cup panko bread crumbs

1/4 cup freshly chopped parsley leaves


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and adjust racks to the middle. Grease a 13 by 9-inch baking dish with butter.


In a large pot of boiling salted water over medium heat, add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain the pasta and reserve.


Add 4 tablespoons butter to a large pot over medium heat. Once the butter shimmers, add the shallots and garlic and saute until translucent. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Add the tomato paste and flour and stir to toast, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the white wine and reduce, by half, about 2 minutes. Slowly add the cream, whisking well to remove any lumps. Add the paprika, cayenne, and bay leaf. Bring the cream up to a simmer and turn the heat to low. Let reduce until the cream is thick and can coat a spoon, about 5 to 10 minutes. When thickened, remove the bay leaves.


Stir in the grated cheeses, a handful at a time, combining well after each addition. Add the chopped lobster meat to the sauce and stir well. Add the pasta and stir. Add to the greased baking dish and sprinkle with the panko crumbs and parsley. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes before serving. Sprinkle individual servings with parsley.


1/2 cup kosher salt

3 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoons light brown sugar

2 quarts water

4 (2-inch thick) pork chops, bone-in rib loin chops, split to bone

2 slices bacon, chopped

2 stalks celery, minced

1 small onion, minced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon freshly chopped rosemary leaves

1 tablespoon freshly chopped sage leaves

2 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley leaves

2 1/2 cups crumbled cornbread

1/4 cup dried cranberries

1/2 cup chicken broth

Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Whisk salt and sugars in 2-quarts of cold water. Add pork chops and cover. Refrigerate for 1 hour. Remove the pork chops from the brine and dry well.

In a large heavy bottomed saute pan, begin to fry bacon. Add celery, onion and garlic to pan and allow to saute with the crispy bacon. Add rosemary, sage and parsley after bacon has cooked for 8 to 10 minutes. Saute until fragrant. Season with salt and pepper.

In a large bowl add cornbread, dried cranberries and chicken stock. Stir in the cooked vegetable mixture. Mix well.

Preheat grill to medium-high heat.

Season the pork chops with salt and pepper. Stuff the chop with about 1/2 cup of stuffing. Use toothpicks to help seal the chops. Grill the chops for 5 to 7 minutes per side. Internal temperature should be 145 degrees F. Allow chop to rest for 5 minutes before serving.



5 large, ripe but firm peaches, peeled, pitted and sliced (3 pounds)

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 cup cornstarch

Juice of 1/2 lemon


1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup packed light brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon allspice

Pinch salt

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small cubes

1/3 cup sliced almonds


1 roll store-bought pie dough (recommended: Pillsbury)

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, thinly sliced


Heat the oven to 375 degrees F.

To make the filling:

In a large bowl, combine the peaches, sugar, and cinnamon. Add the cornstarch to a small bowl and whisk in the lemon juice so no lumps remain. Pour the cornstarch mixture over the peaches and toss. Let the peaches sit for 15 minutes while you roll out the pie dough and make the streusel topping.

To make the topping:

Mix the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, allspice, and salt in a large bowl. Blend the butter into the mixture with your fingers until it forms pea-size lumps and looks crumbly. Stir in the almonds.

To assemble:

Roll out the dough an extra inch on a lightly-floured surface. Place the dough in the bottom of a 9-inch pie pan. Crimp edges as desired.

Pour the pie filling into the pie shell and sprinkle the streusel topping over the pie. Dot the top with sliced butter. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool before serving.


14+ Reasons Grapes Make Sense for Your Health

Courtesy of Grapes from California

The belief that grapes have healing properties dates back to ancient times, long before scientific research gave them disease-fighting credibility.

Today, the average American consumes about eight pounds of fresh grapes per year, probably because table grapes of all colors — red, green and black — are a pleasure to eat. But there’s more to the story: Grapes contain a natural mix of antioxidants that help support a healthy heart and may offer an array of other health benefits.

Scientists have been discovering exciting new facts about grapes and why they may benefit health in so many ways. Much of the research focuses on the impact of the grape phytonutrients, those edible plant components that appear to positively affect human health.

Phytonutrients are biologically active substances that give plants their odor, color and flavor. Research indicates these may also protect the human body from heart disease and many cancers including breast, colon, stomach, oral and leukemia. They help protect cells from free-radical damage, lending grapes a reputation for disease-fighting properties. Studies have also shown positive effects in the potential to help maintain brain health, and to combat flu virus as well as a host of age-related illnesses including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.

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v12_chef-s-samuelson-and-roble-story-top(CNN) - Marcus Samuelsson and Roblé Ali are two different chefs.

Samuelsson, 41, is an established name amongst foodies and the proprietor of Red Rooster, a renown Harlem restaurant.

Ali, 27, is an up and coming chef and animated reality-show star who works full time as an established caterer.

Samuelsson has made a name for himself embracing his identity as both a black chef and a Swedish immigrant to the United States, but younger chefs like Ali find themselves pushing back against being known simply as a “black chef.” Ali, who’s still building his brand, was frustrated when a blog author unexpectedly labeled him a “hip-hop chef.”

“Who takes you serious when you’re the hip hop chef?” said Ali. “And why am I the hip hop chef, because I’m black? I’m not break dancing.”

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• 4 cups warm water

• 1/2 cup kosher salt

• 4 cups brewed French roast coffee

• 1 standing rib roast, 3-bones, about 6 pounds


• 1/4 cup dark brown sugar

• 1 1/2 teaspoons ground sage

• 1 1/2 teaspoons Hungarian paprika

• 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

• 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder

• 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper

• 1/4 cup plain bread crumbs

• 1/4 cup freshly ground French roast coffee, or espresso 

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt 

Freshly ground black pepper


For the brine: In a large bowl, add the water, salt, and coffee. Stir to dissolve the salt and add the rib roast. If the liquid does not cover all of the meat, flip the roast halfway through the marinating time. Or, consider pouring the marinade into a large plastic bag, adding the rib roast, and then sealing tightly so that the roast is completely surrounded by the brine. Refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

For the rub: In a small bowl, mix together the brown sugar, sage, paprika, parsley, garlic powder, white pepper, bread crumbs, coffee grounds, salt, and a nice grind or two of freshly ground black pepper.

Remove the roast from the refrigerator and discard the brining liquid. Pat the roast dry with a paper towel. Using your hands, coat the roast on all sides with the rub, gently massaging it into the flesh. Let it rest on the counter to come to room temperature, about 1 hour.

Place in a roasting pan and put it in the oven. Cook until medium-rare, 125 degrees F, about 1 hour and 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and cover lightly with aluminum foil while the meat rests, 15 minutes. Slice between the ribs and serve.

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• 3 tablespoons butter, divided

• 2 cups heavy cream

• 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning

• 10 fresh sage leaves

• 1 pound russet potatoes

• Cayenne pepper

• 1/2 cup grated Manchego cheese


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Butter an 8 by 8-inch casserole dish using 1 tablespoon of the butter.

In a pot, add the heavy cream, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and sage leaves. Bring to a simmer and steep for 10 minutes. While steeping, peel and slice the potatoes 1/8-inch thick on a mandolin. Begin to layer the potatoes on the bottom of the prepared dish, overlapping each slice by half. When the first layer of potatoes is complete, season with salt, cayenne pepper, and sprinkle with a third of the cheese. Repeat two more times, ending with a final layer of just potatoes.

Strain the heavy cream and discard the sage. Pour the heavy cream over the casserole, pressing the potatoes down. Dot the remaining 2 tablespoons butter in pieces evenly over the top of the potatoes. Cover with aluminum foil and place in the oven, lowering the temperature to 350 degrees F. Bake, covered, for 40 minutes. Uncover and bake 20 minutes more. Serve hot.


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