The Best of Jon Ashton
Some sweet and savory dishes from featured chef Jon Ashton, renowned food writer and editor.
Grilled Potatoes Topped with Shrimp and a Marie Rose Sauce
- 1 1/2 tablespoons Heinz tomato ketchup
- 1/4 cup low-fat mayonnaise
- 1 garlic clove, pureed or use a garlic press
- 1 tablespoon Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 pound cooked large shrimp, shelled and deveined
- 1 avocado, diced
- 1 bag Ore-Ida Grillers, cooked to manufacturer's directions
In a large bowl, whisk together ketchup with the mayonnaise, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, and garlic and season with salt and pepper. Add the shrimp and dived avocado and gently fold to coat.
Align the potatoes on a serving platter. Place the shrimp topping in a separate bowl for people to serve themselves, or place some topping on each slice of potato and serve. If you top each slice with the shrimp mixture, do it immediately before serving.
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1/3 cup dry breadcrumbs
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1/4 cup onion, finely chopped
- 19 ounces ground Italian sausage, removed from casing
Preheat oven to 350 F. In a large bowl, combine the egg, bread crumbs, Parmesan, milk, and onion. Remove sausage from casings. Add sausage to the bread crumb mixture and mix well. Shape into 20 meatballs; arrange in a shallow baking pan. Bake for 20 minutes or until meatballs are cooked through (160 F). Serve with your favorite sauce and spaghetti.
Brennan's Bananas Foster
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 cup banana liqueur, Creme de Banana or sub in banana rum
- 4 firm bananas, cut in half lengthwise, then halved
- 1/4 cup dark rum
- 4 scoops vanilla ice cream
Combine the butter, sugar, and cinnamon in a flambe pan or skillet. Place the pan over low/medium heat either on an alcohol burner or on top of the stove, and cook, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Stir in the banana liqueur, then place the bananas in the pan. When the banana sections soften and begin to brown, carefully add the rum. When the flames subside, lift the bananas out of the pan and place four pieces over each portion of ice cream. Generously spoon warm sauce over the top of the ice cream and serve immediately.
Chorizo Corn Bread Stuffing
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 2 cups onions, chopped
- 8 ounces Spanish chorizo, casing removed and sausage coarsely chopped
- 2 cups corn kernels, fresh or thawed frozen
- 1 teaspoon dried sage
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
- 1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
- 2 cups turkey stock, or reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 1 1/2 cups yellow cornmeal, (cornbread)
- 1 cup all-purpose flour, (cornbread)
- 1/4 cup sugar, (cornbread)
- 1 tablespoon baking powder, (cornbread)
- 1 teaspoon salt, (cornbread)
- 1 cup milk, (cornbread)
- 1 large egg, (cornbread)
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled (cornbread)
Heat oven to 400 F with rack in middle and butter an 8-inch square baking pan. Whisk together cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Whisk together milk, egg, and butter in a small bowl and stir into dry ingredients. Pour batter into buttered baking pan. Bake until golden and a tester comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool corn bread in a pan on a rack 10 minutes, then turn out onto rack to cool completely. Cut corn bread into 3/4-inch cubes and put in a large bowl.
Melt butter in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium heat, then add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 8 minutes. Add chorizo, corn, sage, salt, and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes. Remove from heat and add parsley. Toss chorizo mixture with corn bread and transfer to a 13-by-9-inch baking pan. Drizzle with broth. Bake at 400F uncovered, until golden brown, about 30 minutes.
Triple-Chocolate Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup golden brown sugar, packed
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup old-fashioned oats
- 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup fresh or frozen cranberries, coarsely chopped
- 2 ounces milk chocolate or white chocolate, chopped for drizzling
Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350F. Line two large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Whisk flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt in medium bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat butter and both sugars in a large bowl until smooth. Beat in egg and vanilla. Add flour mixture and oats and stir until blended. Stir in all chocolate chips and cranberries. Drop batter by rounded tablespoonfuls onto prepared sheets, 2 inches apart. Bake cookies, 1 sheet at a time, until edges are light brown, about 16 minutes. Cool on sheets 5 minutes. Transfer to rack; cool completely. Stir chopped milk chocolate in top of double boiler until melted and smooth. Using a small spoon, drizzle melted chocolate over cookies in zigzag pattern. Let stand until chocolate sets, about 1 hour.
- 8 cups white flour
- 2 packages rapid-rise dry yeast, or 2 tablespoons
- 4 teaspoons salt
- 3 cups water, luke warm
- butter, room temperature
Take your largest, widest mixing bowl and tip in the flour, yeast, and salt. Pour in almost all of the water and mix to a sticky dough. Keep mixing for a minute or so-the dough will become less sticky-then add a little more flour until you have a dough that is soft and springy and still slightly sticky to the touch.
Generously flour your kitchen countertop and scoop the dough out onto it. knead the dough with your hands, stretching it out as far as you can with your palms, then folding the far edge back toward you and pushing . Continue streching and folding the dough. for about 7 minutes. It should feel soft, springy. If you find it exhausting, then you are working too hard.
Place the ball of dough back in the bowl, cover it with a clean tea towel, and put it somewhere warm, but not hot, for about hour. The dough should will double in size.
Once the dough has doubled in size, you need to tip it out onto the floured countertop again, scraping out the dough that has stuck to the bowl, and give it another short session of pushing and folding. Bring the dough into a ball again and place it on a floured baking sheet. Dust it generously with flour, then cover with a kitchen towel and return it to its warm place to rise again. Set your oven at 500 F. After an hour or so the dough will have spread like something from a 60's horror movie. You want it to be twice its original size. Gently, and I do mean gently, tuck it back into a neat, high ball, then place it softly in the hot oven. Leave the loaf to bake for ten minutes, then turn the heat down to 425 F. After 25 or 30 minutes you can check the loaf for doneness. It should sound hollow when you tap its bottom. Like a drum. Let the loaf cool on a wire rack. Try not to cut straight into it; give it time to settle before slicing.
- 4 large ripe pears, peeled
- 3 cups tawny port
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 star anise
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
In a saucepan just large enough to hold the pears, place pears in one layer. Pour port, sugar, cinnamon sticks and star anise and vanilla over pears, then add enough cold water to just cover them. Bring to a simmer and lower heat to medium and cook until tender, about 15 minutes.
Transfer pears to a bowl. Once they have cooled, cut in half, core and slice each half into thirds. Continue to boil port mixture until it reduces to 1 1/3 cups, about 20 minutes. Discard cinnamon and star anise. To serve, place 1/4 cup ricotta in a bowl, top with sliced pears and drizzle with syrup.
- 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken thighs, trimmed of visible fat and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
- 3 tablespoons Asian fish sauce
- 3 small shallots, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons whipping cream
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 stalk of fresh lemongrass, tender white inner bulb only, minced
- 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro, plus 1/3 cup leaves for serving
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped mint, plus 1/3 cup leaves for serving
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 heads Boston or red leaf lettuce, leaves separated
- 1 small seedless cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
- 1 small red onion, halved and sliced
- Asian chili sauce, for serving
Preheat the oven to 400. Position a rack in the top third of the oven. In a food processor, pulse the chicken until coarsely ground; transfer to a bowl. Add the fish sauce, shallots, garlic, lemongrass, chopped cilantro and mint, cornstarch, salt and pepper and mix with your hands.
Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread the sugar on a plate. Using slightly moistened hands, roll the chicken mixture into 1 1/2-inch balls. Roll the meatballs in the sugar until they are evenly coated. Transfer the meatballs to the prepared baking sheet and bake them for 15 minutes, until they are lightly browned and cooked through.
Meanwhile, arrange the lettuce, cilantro and mint leaves, cucumber and onion on a platter. Transfer the meatballs to the platter and serve with chili sauce.
- Kosher salt
- 1 pound edamame, fresh or frozen
- 2 cups mint leaves, 16 leaves reserved for garnish
- 1 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, a little extra for grating
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
- freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 1 package wonton wrappers
- 3 cups tomato sauce
- 1 pound Italian sausage, cut into 1/2-in chunks
- 1/4 pound parmesan cheese, for grating
In the bowl of a food processor, combine the edamame, mint, Parmigiano-Reggiano and heavy cream. Season with salt and pepper and pulse to form a smooth paste.
Place 1 tablespoon of the edameme filling on each square and fold over to form triangles. Continue filling and shaping until all the pasta and filling are used. Cover and refrigerate until needed or place on baking sheets between layers of dish towels and freeze overnight. The next day, place in freezer bags and store up to 1 week.
In a medium saucepan, bring the tomato sauce to a boil. Add the sausage, reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook for 1 hour, skimming off the fat as it is rendered from the meat. Remove the sauce from the heat, cool briefly, and pulse it in a food processor until smooth. Transfer to a 12-inch skillet and keep warm.
Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil and add 2 tablespoons of salt.
Cook the ravioli in the boiling water until tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain the pasta and add to the pan with the sauce. Toss gently over high heat for 1 minute. Add the reserved mint leaves, toss 1 minute more, then divide evenly among eight warmed dinner plates. Grate the cheese over each plate and serve immediately.
- 1 French loaf, sliced 1/2-inch thick
- 1/3 cup (80ml) olive oil, plus extra to drizzle
- 6 vine-ripened tomatoes, sliced in half
- 8 ounces Gorgonzola, sliced
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped basil
Grill the bread approximately 2 to 4 minutes per side on a barbecue or toast it lightly in the oven. Once the bread is toasted, rub 1/2 clove of garlic, cut side of half, over the bread while still warm.
Rub tomato (cut side) over the bread, pressing firmly to push the pulp into the bread, until the toast is covered with tomato; discard the skins and remaining pulp. Scatter cheese over the rubbed breads, drizzle honey over and season with salt and freshly milled pepper. Serve immediately.
- 2 racks pork ribs, cut into two bone pieces
- 2 cups balsamic vinegar
- 1 1/2 cups ketchup
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup honey
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 3 tablespoons wholegrain mustard
- Pinch salt
- Freshly ground, milled pepper
- 1 bottle beer
- Zest of one orange
Place all ingredients in a pressure cooker and cook for 25 minutes. Let pressure naturally release steam. Remove ribs from pan and let cool. Place pot back on stove and reduce sauce until it becomes a syrup consistency.
Dip ribs in glaze and broil the ribs until crispy.
Mussels and Shrimp
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup finely chopped shallots
- 4 large garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 2 pounds mussels, scrubbed, de-bearded
- 1 pound medium sized shrimp, peeled leaving tails intact, deveined
- 6 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (1 lemon)
- Crusty Bread
Melt butter in a large deep saucepan over medium high heat. Add butter, shallots and garlic and saut until tender, about 3 minutes. Add wine & let cook out for 2mins. Dump in mussels, and shrimp. Cover and cook, stirring often, for 3-4 minutes or until mussels are open and shrimp are tender. Discard any unopened mussels. Add basil and lemon juice. Mix together and season with pepper. Toss and serve with crusty bread.
Scrambled Egg Sandwich
- 4 eggs
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 tomato
- 3 basil leaves
- 1/2 loaf of bread, sliced
Crack eggs into a bowl & whisk together In a pan on medium heat, melt butter. Once butter is melted, add eggs to the pan Keep stirring/whisking as they cook Season with salt & pepper Keep stirring. Pull off of the heat & pour in heavy cream While that cooks, slice one tomato & place slices on top of bread Roll up basil leaves and slice into thin strands. Sprinkle on top of tomatoes Season with salt & pepper Continue to stir the eggs & let cook for 3mins. Then remove from heat & continue to stir until eggs are silky with small curds Once ready, spoon egg mixture across the bread