Saturday, October 15, 2011

I finally joined the Twitter World

Many folks suggested I joined Twitter as another forum to share my thoughts and ideas on food.  I have to admit I wasn't onboard with twitter and the whole, "tweeting" craze.  A few weeks ago I created a twitter account (@ChefTroyEllis), but I didn't tweet or follow anyone.  Last week I decided I better get in the game, so I started by following a few friends and sports writers, and then I received and alerts that people requested to follow me.  So I am up to 12 followers, and I have actually started tweeting things, and this morning I tweeted my first food picture.  My daughter and I went into the kitchen this morning and made Oatmeal Raisin Buttermilk Waffles.  I just adjusted my waffle recipe and added oats, brown sugar, raisins, cinnamon, and a pinch of nutmeg.  The pictures are below.  Have a great Weekend!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

A Unique Breakfast

I absolutely love breakfast.  For the next couple of cooking spots I tried to prepare creative yet simple breakfast/brunch dishes.  As a chef I feel that breakfast is an undiscovered territory.  You do not see a lot of experimentation or pushing of the envelope when it comes to creating new and innovative dishes for breakfast.  One of the simplest ways to kick up breakfast is to introduce different proteins. In this particular dish I decided to use Wild Boar to make a hash with green and red peppers, onions, garlic, and shitake mushrooms.  Below is the recipe along with the video and pictures.  Enjoy!

Scrambled Eggs with Wild Boar Sausage Hash on Brioche


6 Eggs
¼ Cup of milk
5 slices of Brioche Bread
6 Wild Boar Sausage Links
1 Roasted Red Pepper
1 Roasted Green Pepper
1 Medium Onion Diced
1 Cup of shitake mushrooms
3 Gloves of Garlic
Salt & Pepper
3 Tbsp Olive Oil
4 Tbsp of Melted butter


Wild Boar Hash

1. Dice the Wild Boar Sausage, Roasted Red & Green Peppers, and Onion
2. Mince Garlic
3. In a sauté pan heat olive oil
4. Add Sausage and cook until half-way cooked through
5. Add the Red & Green Peppers, Onion, garlic, and mushrooms
6. Season with salt and Pepper
7. Cook until Sausage is completely cooked through


1. Slice Brioche into 1 inch thick slices
2. Using a knife or biscuit cutter, cut out a small circle in the center of the brioche slices.  Make sure  not to cut all the way through.  It should look like a circular indentation in the center
3. Brush each slice with melted butter
4. Place each slice on sheet tray and toast in a 400-degree oven for 5-8 minutes or until bread start to brown.
5. Once the bread is toasted, remove from the oven and keep warm


1. In a bowl whisk eggs and milk
2. In a sauté pan melt 2 Tbsp. of butter
3. When the pan is nice and hot, pour eggs into the pan
4. Scramble eggs by constantly moving the eggs in the pan as they cook.  Once the eggs are cooked, remove pan from the heat, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

To Serve

Place a slice of the brioche toast on a plate and place the scrambled eggs into the center indentation.  It’s ok to pile the eggs a little high.  Then spoon the hash on top and around the slice of brioche toast.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Another Recipe

I just want to share another recipe that is being featured on Tiny Green Mom.  It's another great Breakfast dish that is simple yet creative.  The video for this recipe will be released real soon.  Click on the link below.

Scrambled Eggs with Wild Boar Sausage Hash on Brioche Toast

Chef Troy

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Featured on Tiny Green Mom

One of my recipes is being featured today on Tiny Green Mom (  It actually is recipe that I just shot a youtube Video for.  It's my Buttermilk Thyme Biscuits with a Blackberry Balsamic Jam. Checkout the link below.  I will be featured periodically on this site, so I will definitely post when my recipes are up.  The video for this recipe will be released in a week or so, along with another great breakfast/brunch recipe.

Click on the Link!
Tiny Green Mom Recipe of the Day

Monday, June 27, 2011

The Chocolate Biscuit

I am always trying to figure out new and creative twists on classic favorites.  This evening my kids were clamoring for something sweet, and I started searching through the cabinets and the refrigerator for ingredients that I could use in a dessert.   After rummaging through the kitchen and finding a bunch of different things, the first idea that came to mind was a cinnamon sugar biscuit with sliced strawberries, but then I  realized I had semi-sweet chocolate handy, and it finally hit me, chocolate biscuits!  So I modified my normal buttermilk biscuit recipe and added melted semi-sweet chocolate.  I topped it with sweetened whipped cream and a little powder sugar.  They were off the hook!  I am huge believer that people should be creative in the kitchen, and try things that you haven't seen or prepared before.  Below are pictures.

I am shooting some new videos soon and will post the biscuit recipe then.  My focus on the next few videos will delve into new and creative breakfast/brunch dishes.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Crème Brulee Bread Pudding with Bourbon Caramel Sauce

I have been hooked on this dessert since my Father introduced it to me when I was kid.  I have had many different versions of bread pudding, including savory recipes.  I have been working on this recipe for a little while, fine tuning it to the exact flavor combination's I love, but also keeping some sense of the traditional flavors of this classic dish.  I have made this for clients, family, and friends and they all love it.  This was actually the very first dessert I made in culinary school. Enjoy!


Bread Pudding
1 loaf of stale Challah Bread cubed
½ gallon of Half & Half
2 tbsp of Butter
4 Eggs Yolks
2 Eggs
1 Vanilla Bean
2 Cinnamon Sticks
Pinch of nutmeg
1 Cup Granulated Sugar
¾ Cup of Golden Raisins
½ Cup Grand Marnier
½ Cup Chopped Toasted Pecans

Caramel Bourbon Sauce
1 Stick of unsalted butter
1 cup Dark Brown Sugar
1 tsp of Vanilla Extract
½ cup of Heavy Cream
¼ cup of your favorite Bourbon



Pour Grand Marnier in a pot on the stovetop.   Heat until it starts to simmer.  Then remove from the heat and add raisins.  Allow raisins to soak in the Grand Marnier until all of the liquid is absorbed.


1. Pour Half & Half in a pot and heat on the stove top on medium low heat.  Split Vanilla Bean in half and scraped seeds into the pot of half & half, then add the split bean as well.  To this mixture add the two Cinnamon sticks.  It should be heated for about 10 minutes, but it shouldn't come up to a simmer or boil.

2. In a bowl combine eggs, egg yolks, and sugar.  Whisk together until they are incorporated.

3. Remove the half & half liquid from the stove top and strain it into a bowl.  This removes the vanilla bean and cinnamon sticks.

4. Then temper the egg and sugar mixture with the half & half liquid.  To do this ladle a little of the hot liquid into the egg and sugar mixture and whisk.  Repeat this process 4 to 5 more times so that eggs are slowly brought up to the same temperature as the liquid.  Once this has been done, pour the half & half, egg, and sugar mixture back into the remaining half & half liquid.  Then pour the mixture back into a pot and put it back on the stove on medium heat for about 5 minutes.  The custard will start to thicken.  After 5 minutes strain the hot custard liquid into a bowl and add the stale cubed Challah bread. Allow the bread to soak in the custard liquid for 30 minutes.

5. After 30 minutes fold in the toasted pecans and raisins.  Then add a pinch of nutmeg.  Save a little bit of the raisins and pecans for garnish. 

6. Now pour the mixture into a buttered loaf or square pan. 

7. Place your pan into a water-bath in a 350-degree oven.  Cook for 35 – 40 minutes or until the custard has set. If you insert a toothpick it should come out clean.

8. Once it is done, remove it from the oven and let stand for 10 – 15 minutes. 

Bourbon Caramel Sauce

In a saucepan melt the butter. Once the butter has melted add the brown sugar. Once the brown sugar has dissolved, add bourbon, heavy cream, and vanilla extract and remove from the heat.  Using a wooden spoon stir caramel sauce until it is fully incorporated.

To Serve
On a plate ladle a nice amount of the bourbon caramel sauce.  Place a piece of the bread pudding on top of the caramel sauce.  Then pour a little more of the caramel sauce on top.  Then finish by topping with the left over pecans and raisins. 



Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Memorial Day Weekend

I look for any excuse to barbecue.   With my family visiting from out of town, Memorial Day weekend gave me an opportunity to pull out the grille.  I initially thought about making a grilled lamb flatbread, but my wife and brother had a craving for ribs.  To kick up my barbecued rib recipe, I decided to make an Asian Barbecue sauce using a base of Hoisin sauce and ketchup.  To the hoisin and ketchup base, I added plum sauce, rice wine vinegar, fresh ginger, and a little honey.   It had a really nice sweet, sour, and spice balance.

I used baby back ribs that I dry rubbed generously with a combination of brown sugar, smoked paprika, chili powder, garlic powder, and black pepper.  I cooked the ribs using indirect heat with a combination of charcoal and mesquite wood chips.  The ribs had a great smoky flavor.  I basted them with the barbecue sauce just before I pulled them from the grille, then again before they were served. They came out pretty darn good!  Below are some pictures. 

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Escargot Experience

My wife and I just returned from a much needed cruise to the Bahamas.  We had a great time just kicking back on the beach enjoying the weather and a cool island drink.  On the ship they had several restaurants as well as the main dining room, and overall I thought the food was pretty good.  This was my first cruise and I really wasn't prepared for the amount of food you could sample on the ship.  In the main dining room you could order as many appetizers, entrees, and desserts as you liked.  At our final dinner I ordered two of everything, I was on vacation, why count calories!  They also had a Johnny Rockets that was all you can eat, as well as a pizza shop and deli that were all you can eat as well.  It was food overload. 

I thought the dishes served in the main dining room really stood out. One of my favorite dishes was the escargot in a parmesan garlic butter sauce.  I have eaten a lot of different types of foods, from frogs legs to snapping turtle, but this was my first time eating escargot and I thought the snails were delicious.  The parmesan garlic butter sauce really complimented them, and when I ate it on a piece of warm sourdough bread, it was really good.  The next dish that really stood out was the pan roasted duck with cherry jus.  The duck skin was crispy and the meat was tender. The cherry jus had a nice balance of savory and sweet.  It was served with braised red cabbage and fried potato cakes. I really enjoyed all the different elements of this dish.  The best appetizer I had was an oxtail broth with diced vegetables and small pieces of oxtail.  The broth had great depth of flavor. 

I have sweet tooth and I had two desserts that really were outstanding. The first was a bittersweet chocolate souffle served with an espresso cream.  The souffle was light and airy with a nice chocolate flavor.  The waiter served the souffle and then created an opening in the center and poured in the cream. The espresso cream added a nice coffee flavor that always tastes good with chocolate. I could have eaten two of them.  The second dessert was probably one of my favorites dishes I had the entire trip. It was a banana praline caramel parfait, but it was molded into the shape of a piece of cake. It had a creamy consistency with a nice banana flavor with the pieces of praline mixed in.  The slice of parfait was placed on top of the caramel sauce.  I enjoyed it so much, I may try to re-create this dish in my own variation. 

I definitely will be taking a cruise again not only for the sun and sand, but more importantly the food!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Kids & Brownies

Recently when I have been coming home from work, my kids have transformed my living room into a make shift kitchen. They have pots, pans, rolling pins, ricers, and bowls all laid out.  I asked them what they were doing and they said, "cooking like you".  My daughter would even throw one of my white kitchen towels over her shoulder exactly like I do.  I have to admit it was pretty cool to see my kids emulate my behavior in the kitchen.  My son even asks for real ingredients to use, but I had to deny that request if I didn't want heavy cream and eggs all over my furniture.  Maybe one of them will follow my foot steps into the kitchen, only time will tell.

In the past I have let my kids help me in the kitchen, especially when I bake.  They really like to add ingredients to the bowls and use the hand mixer.  This past weekend I told them that we would make brownies.  I'd figure it would be something fun for the three of us to do, and give me an opportunity to develop my own brownie recipe. 

Before we even got started, my daughter indicated she wanted to hold one of the boxes of semi-sweet chocolate, so I let her, and a few minutes later my son TJ came and told me to come into the living room.  There I see my daughter with an open box and an unwrapped piece of chocolate.  I guess I couldn't blame her too much, who doesn't love chocolate.  I rescued the chocolate from the couch and finished getting all of the ingredients together. 

The kids and I went into the kitchen and started melting the chocolate, and getting our dry ingredients together.  Once the chocolate was melted, I couldn't help but let them taste the melted chocolate, that may have been a mistake, because they wanted to keep eating it.  We finally finished our brownie batter and put it in the oven.  You would think the kids would be standing by the oven waiting for them to get done, but my little ones could care less.  When I pulled them out of the oven they smelled great.  We let them cool, and after dinner we tasted them and they tasted really good. The kids loved them.  I will post the recipe once I test it again. 

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Making Changes

I told myself that I really need to be more proactive about blogging, but between work, the business, and my family, I really just haven't had the time.  Since I really don't believe in excuses, I won't let this be one.  I am going to make a real effort to blog at least once a week.  I have been in the lab coming up with new dishes, and will be sharing the recipes for people to try and give me feedback.  

You may have also noticed I changed the layout and design, hopefully you like it, I do!  People have mentioned to me that they have tried to subscribe to the my blog, but since they didn't have a gmail account they couldn't.  I added a "Follow By Email" gadget to eliminate this.  Hopefully everyone you would like to subscribe will now be able to to easily follow the blog.  

My little ones (2 year old daughter and 3 year old son) and I will be making brownies tomorrow, so it should be real fun and crazy time in the kitchen.  There will be a definite blog entry for tomorrows adventure!

On another note, I shot two more cooking segments today.  We had a real good time shooting. I will be posting them in the coming weeks, so keep an eye out for them.  

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Shrimp & Grits

I had the idea to shoot a few cooking spots, showing people how to make some of my favorite dishes.  The first dish I prepared was Shrimp & Grits with Tomato Habenero Jam.  Below is the video, along with the recipe.  Let me know what you think. 

Quick shout out to my producer LeCarlo Beatty, who did a great job putting this together with me.

Chef Troy

Shrimp & Grits with Tomato Habanero Jam
Serves 4


1 ½ Cup Polenta
6 ½ Cups Salted Water
5 Tablespoons of Butter
1/3 Cup Heavy Cream
Salt & Pepper

Tomato Habanero Jam
5 Roma Tomatoes, Peeled, Seeded, & Diced
2 ½ Tablespoons Granulated Sugar
1 minced Shallot
1 Tablespoon minced Ginger
1 Habanero Pepper
¼ cup Red Wine Vinegar
3 tbsp of Olive Oil
Pinch of Salt
Pinch of Pepper

1 lb Peeled and Deveined Shrimp
1 tsp Smoked Paprika
½ tsp of Cumin
Salt & Pepper
4 scallion Stalks thinly sliced
2 tablespoons Parsley
4 minced garlic cloves
Olive Oil


Bring water to a boil and add Salt to taste.   Pour the Polenta into the boiling salted water in a thin stream, while whisking to avoid lumps.  Once Polenta is added to the water, bring to a boil and then reduce to medium low heat.  Cook for 20 – 25 minutes until the water is absorbed.  Then remove from heat and add butter and cream, then add Salt and Pepper to taste. 

Tomato Habanero Jam
In a saucepan heat Olive Oil on medium heat.  Then add shallots until they become translucent.  Then add tomatoes, ginger, sugar, and red wine vinegar.  Halve the habanero pepper and remove the seeds, then add the 2 halves to the pot.  Add a pinch of salt and pepper. Let mixture reduce for about 20 minutes until it reaches a jam like consistency. 

Rinse and pat dry shrimp.  In a bowl add shrimp and then season with salt, pepper, smoked paprika, and cumin.  Ensure spice mixture evenly coats the shrimp. In a pan heat Olive Oil.  Add shrimp and cook until they turn pink.  Then add garlic, scallions, and parsley and cook another 2 – 3 minutes. 

Spoon polenta on plate or in a bowl.  Spoon shrimp and herb mixture on top of polenta, and then spoon Tomato Jam on top of Shrimp.

Serve Immediately and Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Adventures in Baking

This past weekend my wife and I were throwing around ideas of things we could do for Valentines Day this year.  My Brother had mentioned some plans he was thinking about doing for his girlfriend, and when I mentioned them to my wife, I promptly was asked, "why can't you do things like that for me?"   In an effort to be somewhat romantic, I told her that we should bake some cupcakes together.   I am a huge fan of Food Network's, "Cupcake Wars", but I'm chef not a baker, so I knew this would be a good chance for me to get outside of my normal comfort zone.

I started digging through some of my books and looking for basic baking techniques, did some google searching, and then came up with a rough cake batter recipe (I will post it below).  My wife and I put the kids to bed, and began our baking.  I have to mention, my wife and I do not work harmoneously together in the kitchen. The old addage, "there are too many chef's in the kitchen" truly applies to us.  I setup our mis en place before we put the kids to bed, and assigned my wife to the hand mixer, while I measured out all of the dry ingredients.  We were able to get the batter together quite quickly, but my wife and I thought it looked extremely light.  Most people probably would think that would be a good quality, but I wanted to make sure the cake had a nice density to it as well.  It was too late to adjust anything at that point, so we pushed ahead and poured the batter into our cupcake pan, and put them in the oven.  About 15 to 18 minutes later they were done, and we pulled them out.  As my wife began to remove the cakes from the pan and put them on a cooling rack, we both initially thought that they were way too light, but I told myself lets just wait and see until they were completely cooled.

Now that the cakes were out of the oven, it was time to move onto the icing.  We decided to make fresh vanilla buttercream, so I had my wife whip the butter until is smooth and airy, and then blended in the confectioner sugar, and the vanilla.  Everything was tasting pretty good.   I then go to add my heavy cream and this is where I ran into problems. The cream and butter were not incorporating together, the butter was separating from the cream.  I basically had heavy cream and sweetened butter in my bowl.  At this point I was ready to scrap the separated buttercream and go with a whipped cream icing, and then I did some quick research and found that the butter was too cold to incorporate with the cream.  My heavy cream was actually still probably to cold as well.  I put on a pot of water and brought it up to temp so it started to steam (double boiler), and sat my bowl of separated icing on top, and began whisking.   As the butter melted and cream came up to temperature it started to incorporate, and finally I had a beautiful buttercream.

The cupcakes were cooled by this time, and they had firmed up as well.  My wife then iced the cupcakes, but we were both skeptical on how they would ultimately taste. I had tasted the batter and it was pretty good, but I wasn't sure how the final product would come out.  My wife and I both tasted a cupcake and they were really good.  The cake was moist and light, the buttercream was creamy and had a nice vanilla flavor.  We were actually quite impressed with ourselves. I told my wife we had a keeper with this recipe!  We will definitely be trying this recipe again, but expanding the flavors now that we have a good base.  I am not sure how romantic this was, but it was definitely fun!


Yields about 18 - 20 cupcakes

Cake Batter
1 1/2 Cups - Cake Flour
1 1/2 Cups - Self-Rising Flour
1 Pinch of Kosher Salt
1/2 tsp of Baking Soda
1 1/4 Cup - Granulated Sugar
1 1/2 tsp - Pure Vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup (2 3/4 sticks) - Softened unsalted butter
4 large eggs (room temperature)
2/3 Cup Buttermilk
1/3 milk

1.  Using a stand mixer or hand mixer and whip the butter until it's airy (about 3 minutes).  Add sugar and cream butter and sugar together until they are fully incorporated.
2.  Add Vanilla extract to the butter and sugar mixture and incorporate.
3.  Then add the eggs, one at a time, incorporating each egg before adding the next.
4.  Combine cake flour, self-rising flour, kosher salt in another bowl
5.  Add portion of the dry ingredient mixture to your egg/sugar/butter mixture and incorporate fully.  Then add portion of the buttermilk and incorporate. Repeat these steps until all of the dry ingredients, buttermilk, and milk are all incorporated.
6. Your batter should be light and airy.
7.  Put your batter into your lined cupcake pan and cook for 15-18 minutes on 350.  Do not over fill.
8. Once they are done, from your pan and let cool

Buttercream Icing

2 Sticks - softened Butter (room temperature)
1 1/4 Cups - Confectioner sugar
1 1/2 tsp - Pure Vanilla extract
1/2 cup - heavy cream

1.  Using a hand mixer or stand mixer whip butter until soft and airy
2.  Add Sugar and Vanilla to butter and whip until it is fully incoporated.
3.  Add heavy cream to the mixture.  It should incorporate, if it doesn't put mixture over a double boiler and whisk until it starts to incorporate and remove from double boiler.
4.  Ice cupcakes when they have cooled.

The recipe can be used to make a cake as well.

Monday, January 3, 2011

I love the Holiday's!!!

I love the Holiday's because of the delicious food that seams to be endlessly available at every turn.   You get to visit home and sample your Mom's homemade favorites.  This year I actually decided to make a few desserts.  My Mom wanted to taste my Sweet Potato Cheesecake, so I made one for her.  Then I made a Creme Brulee Bread Pudding to take to my in-laws for dinner.  Everyone seemed to really enjoyed the desserts.  I actually turned some folks into Bread Pudding fans.

On Christmas Eve, I went to the grocery store to pick up a few things and they had lobster tails on sale. I bought a few and then purchased some salmon.  Decided to make blackened salmon with Belgian Ale poached lobster tails, and Creamy herb rice.  Everything tasted really well.  My wife and I really enjoyed it!

Blackened Salmon with Beer Poached Lobster & Creamy Herb Rice