Recipes from Chef Ace Champion
Sweet Potato Pie
Smoked Pheasant Stuffed Pastry with Basil Pesto Cream Sauce:
3-4 lbs Whole Smoked Pheasant
1/4 cup Dried Basil
1 cup Smoked Pepper Jack Cheese
1 Pastry sheet
Basil Pesto Cream Sauce:
2 cups Chardonnay
3 Tbsp Brandy
3 cloves Fresh Garlic
1/2 tube Basil Pesto Paste
1 cup Heavy Whipping Cream
2 Tbsp Cajun Seasoning
2 Tbsp Lemon Juice
1/4 cup Fresh Basil, sliced
1/4 cup Red Bell Peppers, diced
Instructions for the leftover Pheasant or Turkey: Buy a smoke pheasant, duck or turkey from our local grocery store. Or hunt your own and smoke it fully. After serving it for dinner shred off the remaining meat and store in an air tight container until ready to make the pastries. The carcass can be used for a rich homemade broth!
Directions for the Basil Pesto Sauce: Using a medium skillet on medium high add in a little butter then add the shallots and cook for about 1 minute. Add in the garlic and brandy then flambé (light on fire). Add the wine and reduce by half. Add the heavy whipping cream and continue cooking for about 4- 5 minutes. Add the lemon juice and the basil pesto to the cream. Cook the sauce until it thickens like a smooth alfredo sauce about another 5 minutes. Note: If the sauce is too thick, thin it out with a little wine. If it’s too thin continue to allow it to cook until it thickens or thicken it with a little cornstarch slurry.
Directions for stuffing the Pastry: Roll out your pastry sheets and cut them in an even square about 4 x 4 inches or whatever shape you like. In a small bowl lightly toss the turkey or pheasant and cheese mixture. Place directly in the middle of the square. Fold the square pasty from corner to corner forming a pyramid like shape. Pinch all sides to make sure you have a tight seal all around. Brush with egg wash. See directions on recipe for the pastry. Bake in a 375 degree pre-heated oven for about 12-15 minutes or until golden brown.
Presentation: Smother the pastry with a generous about of the sauce. Garnish on the top of the pastry with Chiffonade Basil and diced Fresh Red Peppers.
Southern Cream Cheese Sweet Potato Pie:
8 oz cream cheese
2 cups sweet potatoes, fully cooked
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
2 large egg yolks
6 oz evaporated milk
2 tsp vanilla
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp pumpkin spice
2 Tbsp Southern Comfort
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Wrap the sweet the sweet potatoes in aluminum foil and roast for about 1 ½ hours or until nice and soft. Check them after the first hour. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Press 1 piece of pre-made pie dough down into a (9-inch) glass pie pan and press down along the bottom and all sides then pinch and crimp the edges together to make a unique pattern. Put the pie shell back into the freezer for 15 minutes to firm up. Make little slices at the bottle to keep the crust from rising.
In a medium pot, place sweet potatoes in water and bring to a boil. For a sweeter pie at 2 tablespoons to the water. Reduce down to a simmer and cook until nice and tender (about 40 minutes). Hint-make sure potatoes are complete done in order to puree. Remove from pot and allow cooling. When cooled peel the skin from potatoes and set aside.
For the filling, in a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese and Southern Comfort with a kitchen aid using a paddle or hand mixer until nice and creamy. Add the sweet potato puree and beat until combined. Add the sugar and salt, and beat until combined. Add the eggs mixed with the yolks, evaporated milk, and melted butter, and beat until combined. Finally, add the vanilla, cinnamon, and ginger, if using, and beat until incorporated.
Pour the filling into the warm prepared pie crust and bake for 50 minutes, or until the center is set. Remember if the pie looks like its almost done remove it from the oven and allow it to finish carryover cook. Place the pie on a wire rack and cool to room temperature.
Presentation: Cut into 8 slices and top each piece with a generous amount of whipped cream.