Your vacation menu needs these recipes from Delaware chefs


Are you looking for a fresh dish for your holiday menu? These three chefs make it easy for you.

Toasted Butternut Wild Mushroom Moody Blue Mac & Cheese

Fancy a new kind of Mac ‘n’ Cheese? Say goodbye to traditional cheddar and opt for smoked blue cheese. Here is a creamy, soft dish with pureed butternut squash and chopped forest mushrooms / Photo by Christina Peters

Chef Samuel Wall creates his own dishes at the Booth House Tavern in historic New Castle. During the fall break, rich macaroni and cheese are upgraded with smooth butternut squash and creamy blue cheese. Wall’s dish is so delicious that he says some guests have returned for a third and even fourth serving.

• 1 large butternut squash, diced
• 2 tablespoons of olive oil
• 6 tablespoons of butter
• 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
• 2 cups of wild mushrooms
• 7 cups of milk
• 2 cups of Moody blue cheese or smoked blue cheese
• 1 pound of cooked pasta (Cavatappi is recommended)
• Salt and black pepper to taste

Roast the butternut squash. Heat the oven to 375 F, drizzle the pumpkin cubes with a dash of olive oil. Roast for about 30 minutes or until tender. Set aside until cool.

Prepare the cheese sauce by first melting butter in a saucepan. Add flour to make a roux, then stir for 3 minutes while it cooks. Add about 3 cups of milk and stir until thick. Pour in the rest of the milk and bring to the boil while stirring. Add 2 cups of blue cheese until melted. Salt and pepper to taste.

Melt butter in a saucepan and add chopped mushrooms. Cook until tender. Add to the cheese sauce with the butternut squash.

To combine, place the cooked noodles in a bowl, pour half of the cheese sauce over the noodles and fold up. If it seems too dry, add more cheese sauce. Transfer to an ovenproof dish and bake at 325 F for another 15 to 20 minutes.

Chef Modesto’s Turkey

At the BBC Tavern and Grill in Greenville, Chef Esteban Modesto knows how to create a menu everyone will love. The holidays are no different. A well-seasoned, moist turkey takes center stage as a centerpiece. And fresh green beans with garlic and pecans are the perfect addition.


Season a mild Thanksgiving turkey with this flavorful condiment. This goes well with green beans with garlic and pecans. / Photo by Christina Peters

Serves: 10
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes per pound until the internal temperature is 180 F. amounts to

• A 13 or 14 pound whole turkey
• 2 tablespoons of garlic powder
• 2 tablespoons of onion powder
• 1 tablespoon of ground dry paprika
• 2 tablespoons of ground dry oregano
• 2 tablespoons of salt and black pepper
• 1 tablespoon of fresh thyme, ground

(If you like spices, like Chef Modesto does, add 1 tablespoon of chili powder, cayenne pepper, and red pepper flakes to the mixture.)

Tip: Before you season the turkey, put it in the refrigerator to dry for two hours to dry the skin, then let it sit on the countertop for about an hour until it reaches room temperature. This makes for a crispy skin.

Rinse the turkey in the sink, remove the innards from the recess and dispose of them.

Pat the turkey dry and tie the legs together with kitchen twine.

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Mix all the spices and thyme in a bowl.

Dust the whole turkey inside and out with the mixture. Place in the oven and cook until done.

BBC Holiday Green Beans

Serves: 6th
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 10 mins

• 1 pound of green beans
• 6 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
• 1/4 cup grated pecans
• 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
• 1 tablespoon of salt

In a large pan, heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add the pecans and toast them until golden brown, about 2 minutes, then set aside. Over medium heat, add the remaining olive oil along with the green beans and cook until the green beans turn light green and soften (about 6 to 8 minutes). Add garlic and stir until fragrant (1 to 2 minutes). Scatter pecans on top, then season with salt and stir over medium heat for about 1 minute.

Comfort food

Free up your vacation for family time by cooking up a stew. This potato casserole is high in butter, cheddar, and sour cream. Topped with potato chips, it’s the perfect mix of smooth and crispy./Adobe Stock | Brent Hofacker

Patty’s cheese and potato casserole

Charlie Moronski never forgets the cheese potatoes around the holidays, a family dinner passed down from his grandmother. The chef at Crust & Craft in Rehoboth Beach says he can’t remember a year when they weren’t at the family table. The best part? The crispy potato chip topping, he says.

• 2 pounds of Idaho potatoes, diced
• 1/2 bag of normal potato chips
• 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter
• 1 can of creamy chicken soup
• 1 cup of sour cream
• 1 cup of grated cheddar cheese
• 1 large sweet onion, diced
• Salt and black pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 F. Thoroughly mix all ingredients except the potato chips in a large mixing bowl. Pour the mixture into a 9 x 13 baking dish and cook for 45 minutes. Mash the potato chips and sprinkle over the casserole. Bake in the oven for another 15 minutes.

Classic casserole with green beans

Chef Moronski also conjures up this classic side dish for his guests. No vacation is complete without a green bean casserole, he says. This traditional dish is fun to make from scratch, including frying the onions yourself.


For the fried onions:
• 1 large sweet onion, thinly sliced
• 1 cup of buttermilk
• 1 cup of flour
• Salt and black pepper to taste

For the casserole:
• 1 large sweet onion, diced
• 1 pound of fresh green beans, trimmed and cut in half
• 4 cloves of garlic
• 6 ounces of unsalted butter
• 1 pound shiitake mushrooms, sliced
• 3 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
• 3/4 cup chicken broth
• 1 1/4 cup of heavy cream

a cook

Charlie Moronski, chef at Crust & Craft in Rehoboth Beach, creates two dishes he loves from his family’s holiday celebrations: cheese potato and green bean casseroles. / Photo courtesy of Sodel Concepts

Soak thinly sliced ​​onions in buttermilk. Put flour seasoned with salt and pepper in a separate bowl. Drain the onions from the buttermilk, then roll them in the seasoned flour. In a large pan, heat about 1 inch of oil over medium heat. As soon as the oil begins to shimmer, add onions and fry until golden brown. Remove from the oil and place on a plate with a paper towel to dry.

To prepare the casserole, preheat the oven to 400 F. Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil and add green beans after cooking. Boil for 3 minutes and then place in an ice bath.

Melt butter in a pan over medium heat. Add mushrooms and diced onions and cook halfway. Add the garlic, salt and pepper and stir. Add flour. Once the flour has absorbed the moisture, add the chicken broth, stirring occasionally. Once the sauce thickens, add green beans and half of the fried onions. Pour the mixture into a baking dish and cover with fried onions. Bake for 15 minutes and serve warm.

Related: 4 Delicious Back to School Recipes in Delaware

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