1 lb. CHEESE RAVIOLI (your favorite brand)                                           1 lb Chicken Apple Sausage (sliced)

2 Tbs Olive Oil
3 Shallots, finely chopped
3 – 4 TBS. minced Garlic
2 Cups Chicken Stock
1 Can (15 oz) Pumpkin Puree
1/2 Cup Heavy Cream
1tsp. ground Nutmeg 
1 tsp. ground Cinnamon
Salt and Pepper
Shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano
Cook ravioli according to package directions.
Saute shallots and garlic in oil over low heat until shallots are transparent (do not burn). Add sliced sausage and heat through. Pour in stock, pumpkin and stir well.  Stir in the cream and add seasonings. Drain ravioli and add to sauce. Serve with shaved cheese garnish and sprinkle with nutmeg.
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Three-Decade Culinary Veteran Serves up Secrets of Catering Trade in Delicious New Book.

Written by Jerri Lee George, CATER$AVVY “Secrets of the Trade Revealed” takes readers deep into the catering mind and into a platter of topics from sales techniques and pricing guidelines to a wealth of menus, recipes and personal vignettes. Written with the layperson in mind, ’CATER$AVVY’ is also part of a charitable mission to raise vital funds for the Meningitis Foundation of America.  

In the month’s to come, CATER$AVVY COOKS and CATER$AVVY and Friends will be out on Amazon.  

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I’M THINKING CHOCOLATE. It’s been some time since we’ve posted something as decadent and rich as this delicious cheesecake. Personally, I like to use dark chocolate in everything! After all, I’ve always said there are 3 food groups – dark chocolate, milk chocolate, and white chocolate. Today we focus on the darkest of chocolate and combine it with a heady sauce of cherries and Amaretto liqueur.

chocolate cherry amaretto cheesecake

12 oz. dark chocolate cookie crumbs (no filling)
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
8 oz. unsweetened dark chocolate
24 oz. cream cheese, softened at room temp
3 large eggs
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup Amaretto
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1 can dark pitted cherries or 1 lb. fresh Bing cherries pitted.
1/2 cup Amaretto
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 Tbsp cornstarch
Sliced almonds for garnish

Preheat oven to 350°.

Process the cookies in a food processor or use a plastic food storage bag and rolling pin and crush until all crumbs are fine. Pour crumbs into a bowl and add melted butter. Mix thoroughly. Mixture will look wet. Press mixture into a 10″ springform pan, along the bottom and partially up the sides. Cover with and refrigerate.

Place unsweetened chocolate in a microwave safe bowl and microwave on 50% power at 30 second intervals until chocolate is melted. Stir every 30 seconds. Allow to cool slightly when finished melting. Using a mixer, blend the cream cheese on medium low speed until creamy and smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add sugar and beat until well blended. Add chocolate mixture to the cream cheese mixture slowly and continue beating until well blended. Scrape the sides of the bowl to make sure all the chocolate is incorporated. Add the Amaretto, vanilla and whipping cream and beat on medium speed until mixture resembles a thick chocolate mousse.

Spoon filling into prepared crust. Place the pan on a baking sheet. Place the pan in a 350° oven for 50-55 minutes or until top is raised and cracked in the center. Allow cheesecake to cool to room temperature, then refrigerate at least two hours or overnight.

Cherry Amaretto Glaze:
Open can of cherries and set aside with juice in a small saucepan. If using fresh cherries (my personal preference), remove pits and add 1/2 cup of water. Add Amaretto and sugar and stir well. Soak cherries for several hours or overnight. Combine 2-3 TBS of cherry juice with the cornstarch and whisk until well dissolved. Add to cherries and juice in saucepan and heat on low to medium-low heat for 5-6 minutes or until mixtures bubbles and thickens and sauce coats the spoon. Remove from heat and allow to cool, slightly.

Once glaze has cooled, drizzle over top of cheesecake, sprinkle with shaved almond slices and serve.

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Herb Encrusted Chicken w/Honey Butter

BREAKING THE YOM KIPPUR FAST is one of the oldest and most meaningful traditions for Jews across the globe. Here is a wonderfully easy way to serve a crowd with the best combination of two popular ingredients. This dish gives a little pomp and ceremony to the typically baked or roasted chicken.


4 eggs
2 cups panko bread crumbs
4 Tablespoons chopped parsley
2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon chopped rosemary
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
12 chicken breasts, bone in
1 stick butter

2 sticks butter, softened
1/2 cup honey

Place eggs in a shallow bowl. Combine bread crumbs and seasonings in another shallow bowl. Dip chicken breasts first in the eggs, then in the bread crumb mixture. Pressing to cover completely.

In a large skillet over medium heat, cook chicken in butter 4-5 minutes on each side to sear. Place in baking dish and bake in the oven @350 degrees for 20-30 min or until a thermometer reads 165°.
While chicken is baking: Combine butter and honey. Chill until firm and serve a portion on top of each breast piece. Yield: 12 servings.

Serve this chicken with a Noodle Kugel and Asparagus Spears or Roasted Potatoes w/carrots and brussel sprouts. A salad of field greens with chopped apple and pecans w/Raspberry Vinaigrette Dressing makes for a complete and delicious meal anytime, not just for the holiday!

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OYSTER PRIMAVERA – Brought to you by the Letter “R”

Yes, summer has ended and the month’s that contain the letter “r” herald in the eating of Oysters. I do love oysters but not of the raw persuasion. Just could never get past the thought if them, whether soaked in cocktail sauce or shucked fresh from the boat!

I do, however, love oysters as in ingredient and combined with my favorite pasta. I love the light and buttery Bechamel sauce treatment with an added kick of vegetables. I like to top mine with a sprinkle of lemon zest! It’s my perfect way to MANGE IN SEPTEMBE”R”.

Oysters Primavera

10-12 large shucked oysters
1 16oz. pkg of Campanelle pasta
1 stick of butter
1 quart milk
3 TBS. minced garlic
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup white wine
4 oz. baby spinach leaves
1 diced tomato
Zest of 1 lemon
Shaved Parmesan cheese

Boil pasta until al dente (firm to the tooth), drain and set aside in colander placed over pan of hot water. Melt butter, add garlic and seasonings in saucepan. Add oysters and spinach leaves. Simmer over med-low heat until opaque and fully cooked and spinach has cooked down. Remove oysters and spinach. Set aside.

Slowly add and whisk flour into butter mixture forming a roux. Add milk. Cook and stir sauce until thickened and coats the spoon. Add more milk if sauce should thicken too much.

Place pasta in serving bowl. Blend oysters and spinach into sauce and fold gently. Pour sauce over top of pasta and toss. Top with the lemon zest (concentrating on hitting the oysters), chopped tomatoes and shaved Parmesan cheese.

Serve with warm Italian bread.

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pita pocket

This is a great make, wrap and carry-to-the-game pocket meal! Live a little ‘greek style’ on the sidelines!

8 Pita Rounds cut in halves
2 lbs. ground lamb
1/2 cup diced onion
3 TBS minced garlic
1 tsps. greek oregano
Salt and Pepper
Halved Grape Tomatoes
Black Olive Halves
Romaine Lettuce Leaves
Tzatziki Sauce

Brown lamb, garlic and onion in fry pan. Add greek oregano, salt and pepper to taste.
Spread Tzatziki sauce generously on sides and bottom of 1/2 pita pocket
Alternately layers of tomato, olives, and lettuce with ground lamb mixture. Wrap in foil to seal and go!

Tzatziki Sauce:
2 cups plain greek yogurt
1 large cucumber chopped finely w/skin left on
Salt and Pepper to taste
4-5 mint leaves OR sprigs of dill chopped
Blend ingredients together and let stand

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On the heels of the tragic death of a vacationing thirteen year old girl yesterday, who innocently took a bite of a peanut butter laced Rice Krispie treat, we as caterers must again ponder what can be done.  An abundance of caution must be enacted, safeguards put in place, and most importantly, awareness instilled in chefs and key food prep personnel.

The following are some major allergy rich foods: Wheat, Nuts (all, but peanuts are the front runner), Milk, Soy and soy products, Shellfish and Fish.

Ask your clients about guests and family known allergies and then Street clear of making suggestions for menus that will put you at risk as a food provider. PLAY IT SAFE.

A.) Learn how to administer shots to delay symptoms and save a life.  Sadly unsuccessful in this instance.

B.) Carry an epi pen in your first aid box.

C.)  Fnd out if a doctor is present BEFORE an emergency!

You can read more about food safety practices and tips when CATERSAVVY “Secrets of the Trade Revealed” for launches in August.

Our sympathies go out to the family and friends of young Natalie Giorgi.

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