Archive for the ‘Recipes’ Category

Here is a safe, easy and delicious side dish for all you who are procrastinators (like me) during the holidays.

Don’t be daunted by the ingredients- it’s actually pretty simple to make.

Chef Ryan’s Veggie Cheesy Gratin

 1 cup diced celery root
1/2 cup diced parsley root
1 cup diced parsnips
1 cup diced Yukon potato
1 cup cooked and shelled chestnuts
1 cup diced honey crips apples
1 cup diced butternut squash

Par cook all vegetables in a large pot of salted water separately

 They should be al dente. The potatoes will take longer to cook and the
squash will cook fast. This is the hardest part if the recipe. After the vegetables are cooked is smooth sailing.

Keep warm until needed.

 The cheese sauce:

4 TBSP Flour
5TBSP Butter
4 Cups Milk
2 cups clothbound Chedder Cheese or any strong chedder cheese
Salt fresh cracked pepper
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

Melt the butter when hot and bubbly add the flour and make a roux.
Cook the flour butter mixture until is if fully incorporated and
starts to brown. Slowly whisk in the the milk, trying not to make an lumps.

Cook at med heat, stir constantly until thick. Add cheese and bring
back to a boil.  Season with slat and pepper to taste and add nutmeg.

Reserve until needed.

2 1/2 TBSP chopped fresh sage
1 TBSP rosemary chopped
2 TBSP chopped thyme
1 cup Chestnuts diced
1 cup or more Panko bread crumbs
1/2 cup diced bacon rendered (optional)

In a large mixing bowl mix all the root vegetable together. Add 3 cups
of the cheese sauce the herbs , nuts and bacon.  Mix well and season with salt and black pepper. Add more sauce if you want it to be creamier.

 Place mixture into a casserole pan and sprinkle bread crumbs over the
top in a even layer.  Place in a broiler on med heat and let brown.

By this time it can be served if its hot. If its not – place in
a 350 oven for 20 min until bubbly and hot in the center.



easy way out recipe

Posted: November 6, 2012 in Food, Recipes

Without fail, this is the time of year when I get a ton of texts and calls from people asking for easy recipes to bring to holiday dinners and parties.

I thought I’d share with one with you guys that has worked for me for years- my Butternut Squash Soup.

This recipe has been tweaked and I’ve added and changed the flavor profiles many times so feel free to make it your own. For example- I’ve recently added popcorn to the pumpkin seeds to give it added texture.

And I know a lot of you may think soup is intimidating, but I promise it’s not. If you have trouble I’ll even come help you.

Ok- the last part may be a bit of a lie…but trust me I’d just get in the way anyhow!

Chef Ryan’s Butternut Squash Soup with Spiced Popcorn 

Serves: six         

Prep time: 45 minutes 


 3 tbsp  butter  

1           onion, sliced 

2           garlic cloves, chopped 

2 c        water 

3           butternut squash peeled, large dice 

1/2 c       heavy cream 

¾ c       organic local honey 

2 tbsp  chipotles, pureed  

How to make it:

 –    Melt butter in a medium saucepan, add onion and garlic and sweat until tender 

with no color. 

–    Add water and diced squash and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to a 

simmer and let cook 20 minutes until squash is tender. 

–    Puree soup until smooth; add cream, honey, and chipotle puree and bring back 

to a simmer.  

Serve it Up: season with salt and garnish with popcorn-spicy pumpkin seeds. 


1 c        oil 

1/2 c       pumpkin seeds 

1 c        popped popcorn  

1 tbsp  sweet smoked paprika 

1 tsp    cayenne pepper 


pinch sugar 


How to make the toppings:

 –    In a large pot add oil and heat to 350 degrees. While heating, mix paprika, 

pepper, a pinch of salt and sugar together. 

–    Using a basket or strainer, carefully lower the seeds into the oil until they are golden brown, approximately one minute.

–    Remove from fryer and place seeds in a bowl lined with paper towel. Remove paper towel while the seeds are still hot and sprinkle with the paprika-pepper mix.


Pumpkin Seeds- Poli Style

Posted: October 30, 2012 in Food, Recipes

Originally posted in Oct 2011

This time of the year almost all of us are carving pumpkins- but are you wasting or devouring the seeds?

As a chef, I see pumpkin guts and think of how I can turn them into something I can eat. I’ve been making seeds the same way since I was a kid fighting over pumpkins with my two brothers- and while this recipe is simple- it will bring you right back to your childhood.

Poli’s Perfect Pumpkin Seeds:

Remove all of the pulp and seeds from your pumpkin. Once you’ve got the seeds out, put them in a large bowl and let them rinse.

Strain the seeds and add 2 cups of water 1tbps salt to about 1 cup of seeds.
Let them soak for about 12 hours. This will help season the pumpkin seeds.
Strain off the water and pat dry when ready.

Melt 3 tbsp of butter and pour into a bowl. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon of sugar, 1 teaspoon cayenne and 1 teaspoon smoked paprika.

Mix in the seeds and stir the seasoning all over. Place on to a non stick baking sheet, in a single, even layer, roast in a 350 degree oven, for 45 minutes or until crispy and golden brown.

Let them cool before eating and enjoy.

Trick or Treat!